LEAK - GATE:
This White House Scandal Finally Tips the Scale!
Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 et seq.)
(governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents)
Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982
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Networks Focus on Leakgate, Skate Over
Wilsons Liberal Views
For the third straight night all the network evening newscasts led with the supposed leakgate scandal as CBSs Dan Rather asserted: The Bush White House under increasing fire for how it's handling charges that it blew the cover of a CIA operative. NBCs Tom Brokaw declared as if he and his colleagues had nothing to do with it: It is now a Washington firestorm.
But in running through how the Department of Justice announced it had begun an investigation and that President Bush had promised that anyone who broke the law will be taken care of, the networks skated over two issues. First, how, as the Washington Post outlined on Tuesday, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act requires that a violator intentionally reveal a CIA operatives name and that the accused also knew that "the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States." See: www.washingtonpost.com
Second, the left wing and Democratic persuasion of Joe Wilson, the husband of the CIA operative/agent who inserted himself into the public debate by going to the New York Times and never turning down a TV appearance request.
(The media have been all over the board in describing the position of Wilsons wife, interchangeably calling her an operative and an analyst, though they are very different positions. On Tuesdays Crossfire, Bob Novak said his calling her an operative in his column had no meaning: I used it indiscriminately. It doesnt have any meaning and I certainly dont know what she did for the CIA. See item #2 below for how in a new column Novak reported it was not a planned leak, the CIA did not ask him to keep the name secret and her job was not much of a secret.)
Only ABCs Terry Moran on Tuesday night got near the specifics of the law: One crucial question in that investigation: Did the person who leaked the information about Ambassador Joseph Wilsons wife, shown here at a 1999 state dinner, know that she worked undercover for the CIA?
Moran allowed RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, in a soundbite, to tag Wilson as a pretty partisan Democrat, and Moran noted how Wilson will make an appearance with the House Democratic Caucus tomorrow.
CBSs John Roberts ran a soundbite of Gillespie revealing that Wilson is maxed out as a contributor to John Kerry's presidential campaign," but then Roberts countered: It should also be pointed out, though, that Wilson contributed the maximum to President Bush's primary campaign and worked in the Foreign Service Center under both President Reagan and President Bush.
However, Wilsons current politics are pretty clear. As Richard Leiby reported in Wednesdays Washington Post in a fact not cited by ABC, CBS or NBC: Wilson makes no secret of being a left-leaning Democrat and said yesterday he intends to endorse Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) for President.
Though Wilson has driven the accusations against Bush political aide Karl Rove as the guilty party, an accusation from which hes had to backtrack, CNNs Aaron Brown was befuddled by the relevance of Wilsons anti-Bush political stance. After John King noted how Wilson would be meeting on Wednesday with House Democrats, Brown wondered on NewsNight: What does Ambassador Wilson's politics have to do with either the leak or his wife's job?
(Nightline on Tuesday night was devoted to this subject with Ted Koppel interviewing Joe Wilson.)
A rundown of how ABC, CBS and NBC led their newscasts on Tuesday night, September 30, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, plus a bit of the more interesting parts of the subsequent stories beyond reporting the Justice probe, Bushs comments and Democratic demands for a independent prosecutor:
-- ABCs World News Tonight. Peter Jennings: Good evening, everyone. The Justice Department told the White House last night, and the country learned about it this morning. There is a full-scale criminal investigation under way in Washington into who leaked a CIA officers name to the press. The officer is married to a former ambassador who criticized the Bush administrations justification for going to war in Iraq. Publicizing the name of a CIA operative has been illegal since 1982. Today the focus, and some pressure, is on the White House. A newspaper columnist cited two unidentified senior administration officials as the source of the leak. The President said today that he thinks the investigation is a good thing, and he said so publicly. Heres ABCs Terry Moran.
Late in his story, Moran noted: One crucial question in that investigation: Did the person who leaked the information about Ambassador Joseph Wilsons wife, shown here at a 1999 state dinner, know that she worked undercover for the CIA?
Jeffrey Smith, former CIA General Counsel: They have to prove that the person who leaked it did it knowing that this person was undercover.
Moran: Republicans have begun to rally to the defense of the White House and attack the man whose wife was targeted by the leak.
Ed Gillespie, Chairman, Republican National Committee: Ambassador Wilson has made some allegations and had to back off them. He is someone who is himself a pretty partisan Democrat.
Moran concluded from the White House: And indeed, Ambassador Wilson will make an appearance with the House Democratic Caucus tomorrow. Even as the investigation just gets under way, Peter, the politics here are really heating up.
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rathers opening teaser: "Tonight: Investigating the leak. The Bush White House under increasing fire for how it's handling charges that it blew the cover of a CIA operative. As jobs disappear, millions more Americans lose their health insurance."
Rather led the program: "Good evening. President Bush and his aides stepped up their defense and efforts at damage control today in the case of who blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative. The Justice Department now says it has launched what it calls a full criminal investigation into who leaked the name and why. CBS's John Roberts reports tonight how the President responded to allegations that the leak did come from a White House insider and how the President tried to deflect calls for an independent investigation."
Roberts raised a discredited charge against Rove which Wilson has already taken back: "It was former Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, seen here at a 1999 state dinner, who was the focus of the leak. Retribution, Wilson says, for his proving wrong President Bush's State of the Union claim about Iraq and uranium. So convinced was Wilson that White House political director Karl Rove was behind it, that he said this in public:"
Joe Wilson, former Acting Ambassador to Iraq, at a Seattle forum in August held by a Democratic Congressman: "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
Roberts: "White House officials say there is no truth to the charge, and Wilson has since dialed back on those comments, a fact Republicans pounced on today."
Ed Gillespie, RNC Chairman: "He is not an objective foreign service officer. He is a Clinton appointee who is a partisan Democrat who is maxed out as a contributor to John Kerry's presidential campaign."
Roberts: "It should also be pointed out, though, that Wilson contributed the maximum to President Bush's primary campaign and worked in the Foreign Service Center under both President Reagan and President Bush. And, Dan, late today, the Justice Department sent over this letter to the White House telling it to preserve all records and correspondence dealing with Joe Wilson's trip to Niger, any contacts about that trip with the press, and any contacts with three reporters specifically."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw teased: The leak: Who revealed the name of a CIA operative? The FBI opens a criminal investigation. The President wants to know if the leak came from the White House.
Brokaw led his broadcast: Good evening. Shortly before 9 this morning, White House staff members read on their computer screens: 'Please read. Important message. It was their official notification that the FBI now is conducting a criminal investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA undercover operative to a journalist. The operative is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who, at the request of the CIA, investigated claims that Saddam Hussein tried to buy enriched uranium in Niger, claims used by President Bush in the runup to the war with Iraq. Wilson determined that the uranium story was not true, and then his wifes identity was published by a prominent journalist, citing administration sources. It is now a Washington firestorm. We begin with NBCs David Gregory whos traveling with the President.
-- CNNs NewsNight. White House reporter John King observed: The White House, though, is borrowing a page from Bill Clinton's playbook. This White House is saying it is Ambassador Wilson, not the Bush White House that is engaged in partisan politics and many here at the White House think Ambassador Wilson is playing into their hands. He has given a number of speeches at Democratic events. Tomorrow he is giving, going to Capitol Hill to meet with Democrats and to come out for a news conference with the Democrats. The White House thinks that helps them say this is all politics and when the American people think something is all politics they tend not to pay close attention.
Anchor Aaron Brown was befuddled: What does Ambassador Wilson's politics have to do with either the leak or his wife's job?
King: Well, one could say nothing at least in terms of the leak. Whether you like his politics or not it is against the law to leak that information, whether you like him, his wife, or anything so in terms of the leak nothing from a criminal standpoint. From a political standpoint, the administration is trying to make the case that Ambassador Wilson went out and made all these public denouncements of the Bush administration's policy because he's a Democrat. He's given money to John Kerry who is running for the Democratic nomination. He's appearing with Democrats.
So, in one way it has absolutely nothing to do with the central allegation, a serious criminal allegation in the middle of all this but this is Washington and the Bush people know how Bill Clinton managed to survive. Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship in the oval office with a young woman and two Republican House Speakers lost their jobs. Explain how that works.
We wish someone could. http://www.mediaresearch.org/printer/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20031001pf.asp#1
Bob Novak Undermines Premises Behind
Frenzy Over CIA Naming Leak
What scandal? Columnist Bob Novaks July 14 column more than two months later suddenly set off a media frenzy about him citing a senior administration official telling him the name of Joe Wilsons wife and how she worked for the CIA, which came in the context of suggesting that she, and not Vice President Cheney as Wilson had charged, had sent him to Niger. In a new column today, Novak asserts there is no scandal: First, I did not receive a planned leak. Second, the CIA never warned me that the disclosure of Wilson's wife working at the agency would endanger her or anybody else. Third, it was not much of a secret.
Novak insisted, in countering a Washington Post story: The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue. And he revealed that Wilson has hardly kept his wifes maiden name secret since it appears in Wilson's 'Who's Who in America entry.
An excerpt of Novaks October 1 column:
....The leak now under Justice Department investigation is described by former Ambassador Wilson and critics of President Bush's Iraq policy as a reprehensible effort to silence them....
The current Justice investigation stems from a routine, mandated probe of all CIA leaks, but follows weeks of agitation. Wilson, after telling me in July that he would say nothing about his wife, has made investigation of the leak his life's work -- aided by the relentless Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. These efforts cannot be separated from the massive political assault on President Bush....
During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.
At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause "difficulties" if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson's wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name. I used it in the sixth paragraph of my column because it looked like the missing explanation of an otherwise incredible choice by the CIA for its mission.
How big a secret was it? It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA....Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's "Who's Who in America" entry.
A big question is her duties at Langley. I regret that I referred to her in my column as an "operative," a word I have lavished on hack politicians for more than 40 years. While the CIA refuses to publicly define her status, the official contact says she is "covered" -- working under the guise of another agency. However, an unofficial source at the Agency says she has been an analyst, not in covert operations....
END of Excerpt
: LEAK-GATE: RESEARCH (Continued)
IMPEACHMENT TIME: "FACTS WERE FIXED."
George Galloway vs. The US Senate
movie clip & transcript
Documents Reveal Karl Rove as
Source in Plame Case
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