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News Rove talked about CIA Op to Reporters (Article)

  1. Jul 10, 2005 #1
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15889405-38198,00.html [Broken]

    TOP White House adviser Karl Rove was one of the secret sources who spoke to reporters about a covert CIA operative whose identity was leaked to the media, Newsweek has reported.
    Mr Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed Mr Rove talked to Time about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, the magazine reported.

    Mr Luskin said Mr Rove had recently given Time reporter Matt Cooper permission to testify about the conversation to a grand jury investigating the leak in 2003, Newsweek reported.

    A US federal judge ordered Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller to testify and reveal their confidential sources.

    Cooper last week avoided a jail sentence for contempt of court by agreeing to testify in the case.

    Miller refused to testify and was jailed.

    The case has become an important test involving freedom of the press, and has pitted the media's traditional use of anonymous sources against the efforts of a federal government prosecutor to investigate a possible crime.

    It is illegal to knowingly reveal the identity of an undercover CIA agent.

    Mr Rove has previously made statements about the Plame leak but has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about the CIA agent.

    He has chosen his words carefully when questioned about the leak.

    "I didn't know her name, I didn't leak her name," he told CNN last year when asked if he had had anything to do with the leak of Ms Plame's name.

    Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been leading a two-year investigation into the leak, amid questions about whether it came from White House as part of an attempt to discredit Mr Wilson after he contradicted President George W. Bush's assertions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

    Mr Wilson wrote an opinion column in The New York Times saying he had been sent by the CIA in 2002 to investigate the Bush Administration's claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa – a claim the administration used to justify going to war in Iraq.

    Mr Wilson said he found no evidence to support the claim.

    The Newsweek article said an email Cooper sent his bureau chief after briefly talking with Mr Rove stated "it was, KR said, Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd (weapons of mass destruction) issues who authorised the trip".

    The email did not suggest Mr Rove had used Ms Plame's name, or that he knew she was a covert agent, the article said.

    "Karl Rove has shared with Fitzgerald all the information he has about any potentially relevant contacts he has had with any reporters, including Matt Cooper," Mr Luskin told Newsweek.

    I'm shocked.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2005 #2
    Very 'Clintonesque'.

    Is Kenneth Star comming out of retirement to persue the semantics of the situation, I wonder?
  4. Jul 11, 2005 #3


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    The really weird and troublesome issue in all this is:

    Judith Miller did not reveal publicly the name of Ms. Plame. So she did nothing illegal.

    On the other hand, Robert Novak, a conservative columnist, did reveal Ms. Plame's identity in his column. Presumably, Novak got his information from one of a few who would know that.

    So, it appears that Novak has violated whatever law - and the government is not prosecuting? And where is the investigation? And why hasn't he been charged? And why isn't he being asked to reveal his sources - or has he?

    It is simply bewildering - or have I missed something? :confused:
  5. Jul 11, 2005 #4


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    I wonder if Rove knows who actually named names
  6. Jul 11, 2005 #5


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    This same thing has had me bewildered too. Would someone please explain the legality of this ?

    As for Rove, he continues to live up to every expectation I have of him. There is no depth he will not plumb.
  7. Jul 11, 2005 #6


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    Its illegal to name a CIA operative by name to the general public. That is what they are trying to find out about (the White House). You are free to say that there is An agent doing something... but its illegal to actually give a name. Rove did not name names according to his lawyer.
  8. Jul 11, 2005 #7
    So what is the wording on the law?

    Is it 'name' or 'identify'?

    If I say so-and-so's wife, I don't actually name her but I sure as heck leave no questions as to who it is.
  9. Jul 11, 2005 #8


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    Identity because im pretty sure thats exactly how they found out. Someone named the husband's name.
  10. Jul 11, 2005 #9


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    Neither of the 2 journalists are in trouble for naming the CIA agent. They were charged with contempt of court for blocking an enquiry set up to find the leak by refusing to name their sources. Cooper was given permission by his source to name him (as it was out anyway as Cooper's bosses had turned over his computer to investigators) and so escaped jail; Miller who appears to have a different source wouldn't squeal and so got jailed.
  11. Jul 11, 2005 #10


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    I understand that.

    But, why isn't Robert Novak in the same situation? He did identify Plame - which is supposedly illegal. So presumably he HAS a source who he should be asked to name. Yet Novak is free, and Miller is in jail.

    Why isn't Novak being charged for the crime (alleged of course - innocent until proven guilty) of identifying a CIA person?

    The whole thing is bizarre!
  12. Jul 11, 2005 #11
    The law is explicit that it is not illegal for Novak to give the identity of the CIA agent if he gets that information, it is only illegal for the Government official to give that information, this is to prevent censorship of the press.

    As to why Novak is not in trouble for contempt of court, assumably this means that he disclosed his sources to the grand jury. The testamony is secret, so we may never know for sure.

  13. Jul 11, 2005 #12


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    I presume there will be charges brought when the investigation is complete (depending upon who in the whitehouse authorised the leak :wink: ) but the current business re the journalists is just a side issue emanating from the investigation.
  14. Jul 11, 2005 #13
    We know who had motive and this kind of thing is so Rovian, but there is so much dirty politics in relation to the Bush regime, I presume there will be more cover up, not investigations.

    In the meantime, it appears that Novak has been cooperating in some way so cannot discuss the case or his role at this time.
  15. Jul 11, 2005 #14
    This is really starting to irk me.

    I am seeing the 'big lie' forming.

    They keep saying things like 'it is illegal to knowingly reveal the name of a covert CIA agent', 'didn't know her name', 'didn't reveal her name' and 'didn't name her'.

    It will be interesting to see if he is fired.

    Actually, that is officially one of the signs of the apocolypse isn't it? :eek:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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