July 15, 2005


Rove Learned CIA Agent's Name From Novak (JOHN SOLOMON, 7/14/05, Associated Press)

Chief presidential adviser Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he talked with two journalists before they divulged the identity of an undercover
CIA officer but that he originally learned about the operative from the news media and not government sources, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh
Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

Rove testified that Novak originally called him the Tuesday before Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 to discuss another story.

This much we do know: it's not illegal for someone who doesn't have access to classified information to reveal it to someone who does.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2005 9:06 AM

(trying not to be confused here) so.......why's Judith in jail?

Posted by: John Resnick at July 15, 2005 10:27 AM

Rove isn't her source.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 10:34 AM

W still said that Rove wasn't involved in the leak. The MSN will not let go of the "Bush lied/Rove is guilty" line.

Posted by: Dave W. at July 15, 2005 10:59 AM

John - Judith received Plame's name before July 2002, when it was a crime to reveal it; she's refusing to reveal the name of the criminal (most likely, Plame herself).

The fact that by June 2003 dozens if not hundreds of media people knew Plame was Wilson's wife and worked in the CIA, and were spreading that gossip all over Washington, and that the gossip was not criminal, doesn't mean that the original source who gave the media Plame's name wasn't a criminal.

Posted by: pj at July 15, 2005 11:33 AM

The NYT is going to implode quite soon - they editorialize one way on this story, while knowing the truth that their reporter (probably) broke the law.

Wait until Gail Collins starts blaming Fitzgerald or Judge Hogan for prisoner abuse. Then David Gregory and Terry Moran could berate McClellan about the horrible conditions of the D.C. lock-up.

This story is just too rich. In the end, the press, the CIA, the foreign service, and even the DoJ will have taken more lumps than they can imagine. And if David Corn really did first reveal the blonde's name, well - it's an octafecta, folks.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 15, 2005 12:44 PM


Still wasn't a crime--once she started working at HQ the CIA could no longer be said to be taking affirmative steps to keep her identity covert.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 12:53 PM

The Intelligence Agent's Identity Act of 1982 allows covert agents to reveal their own (but not other gents) identities.

Look it up under "Notes" at the end of the law. The exceptions for release of the info. incledes self-identification, release to the Congressional Intelligence Committees, and one or two other cases.

Release to/by journalists is NOT a defense. And one need not reveal a "name"...any information which would lead to the identification of a covert agent is subject to the law.

Posted by: Jerry at July 17, 2005 11:47 AM