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View Diary: Rove, Cooper, and a Smoking Gun (20 comments)

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  •  you're right (none)
    I accidentally wrote foreign goverments instead of foreign nationals.  The direct/indirect analysis still applies, and I agree with you that a reasonable expectation of disclosure of the information to foreign nationals, as a result of your unauthorized disclosure, likely can be prosecuted.

    You only need one or the other though - in Franklin's case, he's screwed on both.  In the Plame case, even if they rule out an indirect disclosure to foreign nationals (under 'reasonable expectation'), then there is still the matter of 'injury' to the United States, which is pretty much reserved for the right to prosecute in the language of the affirmations one takes to receive secret clearance.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 03:02:33 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Once upon a time (none)
      I had a clearance and I had to sign a SF-312 every fucking year in order to keep it. I knew from the security briefing you get prior signing that leaking classified information to a internationally read newspaper was like signing your own death warrant. Because the penalty for violating 18 USC 794 is, "...punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life,..."
      •  Simple disclosure of classified materials ??? (none)
        Because the penalty for violating 18 USC 794 is, "...punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life,..."

        that is for ANY classified materials, not just identities of covert agents ???

        •  classified information period (4.00)
          here's the statute.


          18 USC Section 794. Gathering or delivering defense information to aid foreign government

              (a) Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, note, instrument, appliance, or information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life, except that the sentence of death shall not be imposed unless the jury or, if there is no jury, the court, further finds that the offense resulted in the identification by a foreign power (as defined in section 101(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) of an individual acting as an agent of the United States and consequently in the death of that individual, or directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information; or any other major weapons system or major element of defense strategy.

          excerpting the bolded parts it reads:


          Whoever, with...reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States...communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any...representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any...information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life,...

          makes it pretty clear, no?

          •  ouch (none)
            how does one play "Taps" on the internets ???

            Dead Man Walking

          •  Rove Leaked To A Foreign Government? (none)
            When did Rove communicate Valerie Plame's identity to a "foreign government" or to a "representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen" of a "foreign government?"  Reporters for Time Magazine, the Washington Post, and the New York Times are not, despite what some wingnuts say about the "liberal press," agents of foreign powers!

            Granted, Rove's unconscionable breach of trust has resulted in foreign governments learning Plame's identity, but that does not transform Rove's leaks to reporters into communications with a foreign government or its agent.  Under the principle that criminal statutes must be narrowly construed, I doubt that Rove's conduct will be found to violate this statute.  Had Congress intended this statute to apply also to leaks to American citizens so long as they ultimately result in a foreign government obtaining classified information, it would have said something like: "Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, directly or indirectly, communicates, delivers," etc., etc.

            Don't get me wrong -- Rove deserves prison time for his actions -- but I just don't think 18 USC 749 is a statute that can be applied to what he did.

            •  Reread the statute (none)
              it says directly or indirectly.


              Whoever, with...reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States...communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any...representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, any...information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life,...
              •  Some days...... (none)
                ....nothing seems to work right, including my eyes and brain.  Sorry for the waste of bandwidth!
                •  I agree (none)
                  that it is unlikely that this statute is really the most appropriate to decry Rove's leak of classified information.  It does seem concerned with revealing to a foreign gov't, etc.  While one may argue that Rove's leak would indirectly reach foreign shores, there are doubless a number of more fitting charges.  And, let's not forget that the whole RNC, administration figures (McClellan) and all others in the gop who deny the charges against Rove ought to be seriously investigated for obstruction of justice.  

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