Thursday, July 21, 2005

Plame-Gate: Memo Contradicts GOP Talking Points

Rove's lawyer and GOP talking points have been claiming that Rove didn't break the law because he didn't KNOWINGLY out a covert operative, but the Washington Post finds out that the memo Colin Powell had on Airforce One in June of 2003 clearly classified Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as SECRET:
Plame's Identity Marked As Secret: "A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the 'secret' level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as 'secret' the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.

Anyone reading that paragraph should have been aware that it contained secret information, though that designation was not specifically attached to Plame's name and did not describe her status as covert, the sources said. It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a federal official to knowingly disclose the identity of a covert CIA official if the person knows the government is trying to keep it secret."
It'll be interesting to see if Patrick can prove that Rove saw the memo. Of course he did, but can't they prove it? And I'm betting that Rove outed Valerie Plame Wilson with Bush's blessings.