01 Nov 2005

Leaking is a crime?

While Scooter Libby awaits arraignment on charges threatening 30 years imprisonment and up to a $1.25 million fine for allegedly providing false information to the special prosecutor investigating the leaking of Valerie Plame’s CIA employment to the press, “current and former intelligence officials” operating as part of the internal CIA opposition to the Bush Administration have clearly leaked to the Washington Post intelligence secrets incalculably more important and potentially damaging.

Where is Porter Goss, and what is he doing, permitting opponents of the current administration and its foreign policy within the Agency to cooperate with media partisans and the strategists of the opposition party to gin up a major criminal investigation and political scandal, a scandal artificially contrived to undermine the legitimacy of US military efforts in Iraq, and calculatedly intended to bring down senior administration officials, destroy their reputations, and drive them from office?

Obviously, the Libby indictment of last Friday was the happy outcome of a carefully architected and lovingly tended, partisan operation, modelled on the 1970s Watergate media coup d’etat. It is easy to see that the left hopes to bully Lewis Libby (with all the talk of fantastical 30 years sentences) into a plea bargain involving his implicating the Vice President in some sort of conspiratorial role. In the fondest dreams of the left, Plamegate will succeed in nothing less than firmly delegitimizing the US causus belli for the war in Iraq (promoting the Michael Moore “Bush lied” Big Lie into the realm of established fact). It will also compel the resignation of Dick Cheney, cripple the remaining years of the current administration, and guarantee a democrat victory in 2008. The scary thing is that I am by no means convinced that, however ridiculous the pretext really is, they are certain to fail.

The CIA director works for the president, as does –in theory– the Agency. It is time to have Porter Goss take center stage, and speak for the CIA itself, on Valerie Plame’s non-operative role, the lack of applicability of the law, and the non-consequences to the Agency and its operations of the disclosure of her role as an analyst. It is also time to clean house at the Agency, and to turn the prosecutorial tables on those “current and former intelligence officials” providing today’s headlines in the Washington Post.

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Chris

Gee, I don’t know. Is leaking the classified identity of a CIA agent that works on WMD, at a time we are supposedly at war over WMDs treason? Back in the day we knew how to deal with such traitors-fair trial, and if found guilty, strech their necks.

By the way, in a similar vein (so to speak), is getting a hummer a crime?



Administrator

If leaking classified information were always prosecuted, most of the infkuential people in Washington would be in jail. The fact that somone works at the CIA may be routinely classified, but the specific law originally alleged to be violated applies only under a number of conditions not so far as we know applicable to Mrs. Wilson. Were it applicable, I dare say Mr. Fitzgerald would have indicted someone for breaking it by now.

Let me explain that this is a polite blog, and off-color colloquialisms will not be tolerated in future.

To answer your question: Mr. Clinton’s illicit and adulterous sexual exploitation of a junior employee of 21 years of age was not against the law per se. His commission of perjury in federal court in his testimony in a sexual harassment lawsuit was. He was impeached. Though he was not removed from office, he was fined and disbarred.



Robert

The actual law says applies to undercover operatives, and has a time limit of 5 years. The published material I have seen states that Ms. Plame had not been a field agent, and therefore plausibly “under cover” for some 9 years at the time of the supposed “outing”.

What we have here is a violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Part I (Crimes), Chapter 47 (Fraud and False Statements), Section 1001.C.2. It can be found here:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/18/parts/i/chapters/47/toc.html

I propose that this odious piece of legislation be known as “Martha’s Law”. It amounts to being prosecuted for saying “but officer, I was only doing 55” and it is a marvelous tool for would be inquisitors who find it convenient to get people on SOMETHING, even if only to crack open organizations. As we have seen in the past, it is subject to considerable abuse. In the Libby indictments we see it’s logical extension into a hideously destructive mechanism for legal persecution. Frankly, under these conditions, highly talented, motivated people would have to be barking mad to go into public service in any form since they are liable to attack at any time by rabid packs of partisans using the US Courts as their killing grounds.

The only way to get this law off the books is 1) appoint the appropriate “strict constructionist” judges to the Federal bench, and perhaps 2) nuke the liberal perpetrators. Nuke them all – starting with those “current and former intelligence officials”, and not forgetting nice, fat targets like Michael Moore and Hilary Clinton. Then, they will probably be only too happy to work with our side to logroll this atrocity into the dustbin of history.

Really, this is the absolute equivalent of Star Chamber and the worst erosion of real civil liberties I know of.



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