Jay Little - Software Obsessionist
And her name is... oops!
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07/14/2005 01:42:11

Sometimes it amazes what some will do when it has to do with loyalty. The current favorite example of this would have to be Karl Rove's involvement in the leaking of the name of an undercover CIA Agent . After years of hearing about this bland drama, it has finally been revealed that Karl Rove, Bush's Chief of Staff is the one responsible. Though in true political fashion he didn't say the actual "name" only mentioning that the agent was the wife of former US Ambassador Joesph Wilson. I mean it's not like it would take a rocket scientist to find out what her name was given that information.

So as you can imagine the technical spin on this is that Mr. Rove didn't actually utter the names "Valerie Plame" in his conversations with more than one reporter. Of course really who are we kidding here? Did anybody honestly believe that Bill Clinton didn't know the meaning of the word "is"? The law regarding this matter " The 1982 Intelligence Identity Protections Act " specifically says, "Disclosure of information by persons having or having had access to classified information that identifies covert agent Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

It seems to me that the part saying "any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information" makes it pretty clear that the leaking of actual name isn't the only thing up for grabs here. Given that and the testimony provided thus far, it seems pretty clear that Mr. Rove is guilty of violating those conditions. That being the case, what will happen to him? Based on the text above the possible punishment ranges anywhere from a "fine" to a sentence of no more than ten years in prison. Thats a pretty wide range people. However given the current climate of anti-terrorism and the heavy dependence upon intelligence that such a climate brings with it, it seems to me that the consequences for this slippage ought to be a bit more on the heavier side (i.e. prison time). Especially considering the fact that Rove went out of his way to contact a number of reporters with this information (which indicates that this wasn't just a one time "oops" kind of thing). Then again perhaps the reporters themselves should be brought up on charges (specifically Mr. Novak who originally published the name) given that they themselves revealed the identity as well as the actual name. It seems only fair....

So what does this all have to do with loyalty? Simple. Bush says nothing. Which actually is an improvement over his rather vocal support of other dunces in the administration such as Donald Rumsfeld (his mistakes being too numerous to rattle off in a single link). Given the way he interacts with members of his administration, it seems pretty clear that when the rubber hits the road, loyalty is pretty damn high on the list of attributes that Bush seems to admire most.

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