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View Diary: WSJ: Fitzgerald going after WHIG on conspiracy charges (374 comments)

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  •  Who has security clearances? (none)
    What I've often wondered about this case, and perhaps you all will know, it appears that to be liable under 50 USC 421(a) or (b), you have been within a "circle of secrecy" about the identity of the agent in question.  That is, to have had "authorized access to [that piece of] classified information."  The crime described by 421(a)/(b) consists of identifying info* leaving the circle of secrecy, and the offender is a person within the circle who causes it to travel to a person outside the circle. (*And no you blithering rightwingers, it doesn't have to be a name: Joe Wilson's spouse, and that name is ... whoa that's the woman who was supposedly with Brewster & Jennings ... is plenty of ID for the parties who might want to act hostilely on that info and thus for purpose behind the statute.)

    In common parlance, I think such membership of the circle, is called the security clearance - - with respect to all or some IDs of covert agents.

    So, am I silly to wonder whether the Pres and V-P have the greatest possible access/clearance there is?  Or are agents' IDs esoterica reserved to real CIA people?  (Which leads me to fear that perhaps the people potentially liable under 421 are unknown underlings in CIA, who will thrown into the volcano and all the aforesaid bigshots are untouched.)  Then, work down from there.  Their biggest Iago's like Rove, Libby, etc., also had the relevant clearances?

    Also, 50 USC 422(b) creates a special rule for 421, restricting who can be liable on a conspiracy or aid-and-abet basis.  Per 422(b)(2)(B), it would have to be other people in that same circle of secrecy.  That is, suppose - - oh say Rove - - were the big mover behind the whole plan, but was not in "the circle."  Even though that seems like conspiracy were it not for 422(b), might there be a question that 422(b) gives him legal Teflon?

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