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View Diary: Is it possible the INR memo is a red herring? (140 comments)

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  •  Italy doesn't matter (none)
    As Mimikatz stated, WAPO published the information about Italy long before Novak did. It was public knowledge.

    The Italy part of your dairy should probably be updated to reflect that the Information on Italy was public knowledge, no mystery on why Novak had it.

    •  No, it is important (none)
      In January of 2003 it was the operative reason why this Niger claim didn't make it into the SOTU. It's a sources and methods issue, helf very dear.

      The WaPo article was sourced to a UN person, who might not have fallen under US classification laws.

      Therefore, Novak's statement may have been the first public statement leaked by a US employee. Therefore another violation of the law. We may not be able to prove it (although I think we may be able to do so if we find the document), but if it was Rove or Libby passing on that information, it was a violation of the law.

      Furthermore, Italy as source was STILL classified last year when they declassified the SSCI report. Yes, by now it's common knowledge. But according to government guidelines, leaking that is STILL a violation of the law.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 06:10:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or let me put it another way (none)
      The logic that a prior publication of the Italy fact would exonerate Novak's leaker in this case is only slightly more logical than the logic that Plame's easy identification in Wilson's bio exonerates Novak's leaker. It was (is) still classified. Therefore, if someone knowingly leaks that information, that person breaks the law.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 06:12:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One more way Italy matters (none)
      Again, we can't prove that Novak was leaked Italy. But it appears that way.

      And the principle is the same as it is with journalists. If you tell a source that you'll keep information in confidence, and then you leak that confidence, that source isn't going to want to share information with you anymore. THAT'S why we're still not officially saying where we got the information.

      We all know that Rove and Libby leaked Plame's identity. But Miller--even Pincus--aren't going to tell their source because it will ruin their reputation for sourcing.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 06:46:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Italy was public (none)
        knowledge why is it a leak to Novak?

        Explain it to me one more time please .. How is it a leak if Novak read it in WAPO months before he wrote the story.

        Sorry, I can't get it in my head how this is a leak to Novak,

        WAPO 3/22/03

        At some later point, a U.N. official recently told reporters, a Niger diplomat turned the letters over to Italian intelligence, which provided summaries of the information to Washington and London.
        •  Two reasons (none)
          First, because it's still classified. Which means, for those who know it through classified channels (as opposed to you and I), telling someone else is breaking a trust they've signed onto. It's precisely the same thing as a journalist outing their source--whoever told Novak (assuming he was told) outed their source, SISMI. For you and I--who have no way to know this is classified--it's not a crime because we never told SISMI (or signed a security agreement to that effect) we'd keep their involvement quiet. But it is for people who have security clearances.

          There's one more analogy with Plame. Purportedly, her identity was leaked by Aldrich Ames and later accidentally released to Cuba. The wingnuts want to say that that means Plame wasn't covert. But that's BS, because the measure of covert is whether CIA was still protecting her identity. It's the same here. CIA (I'm almost positive) was still protecting SISMI as a sources and methods classified piece of information. Sure, the Italy news was leaked by someone with the UN (I assume someone with IAEA, who very well could have discovered the source independently). But that doesn't absolve the people who DID know it was classified from keeping it a secret.

          And once again, I agree it'll be harder to prove Novak got this from a source than it is with Plame, because even though Plame's name had been released before, it hadn't been published in the paper two months before. But if we CAN prove it, it may pinpoint the documents in question. And it may mean someone like Libby is found guilty on one more charge of leaking classified information.

          Oh, one last thing. THere's a line in Wilson's book that suggests he was being blamed in DC for being the source of that Italy sourcing in the WaPo article on March 22, 2003. I think that means he was being accused of leaking classified information.I know the SSCI went to great pains to learn where Wilson had learned that Italy was the source. So if they're willing to accuse Wilson of leaking, why aren't they looking at Libby for leaking this?

          This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

          by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:28:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (none)
            for the explanation, I appreciate it.
            •  Sure (none)
              I'm still just thinking this through (my multiple answers came as a reuslt of thinking about your questions while I walked the dog). And the questions do help.

              I'm still not 100% sure I'm right. But I'm 84% sure.

              This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

              by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 08:17:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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