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Monday, July 18, 2005

Gullible's Travails: Edition 4 (Does Anyone Edit That Rag?)


I was all set to declare victory when I saw Adam Liptak's piece in the NYT today. Dedicated CCM readers will remember this post, in which I pointed out that the name "Plame" is really quite irrelevant to Rovegate. And they will also remember this post, in which I exasperatedly point out why.

Liptak's article today on page A14 makes the same basic points (and quotes law professors on the issue). It's nice to be vindicated (though it's a shame that it takes the NYT a week longer than some greenhorn like me to figure out and publish these points). So, props to Liptak.

But no props to the NYT; in fact, no soup for you -- come back one year.

Why? In the same edition of the NYT, after the jump in a page-A1 article -- better yet, on the same page as Liptak's article -- we find this text in an article by Lorne Manly and David Johnston:
Mr. Cooper also wrote that he told the grand jury he was certain Mr. Rove never mentioned Ms. Wilson by name, and that he did not learn of her identity until several days later, when he either read it in a column by the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who referred to her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, or found it through a Google search.

It can be a crime to knowingly name a covert officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Rove's supporters have argued that he did not know of her history as a covert operative and questioned whether she remained one under the statute.
So there it is: Rove tells Cooper that "Wilson's wife" works for the CIA on WMD issues, but Cooper "did not learn of her identity" until several days later, while "It can be a crime to knowingly name a covert officer". There is more confusion in this article than in an RNC press release. And it's worse in the NYT, because presumably its goal is to inform, not to disinform.

And here's a special GT bonus for Manly and Johnston, from the same article:
Under federal law, prosecutors and grand jurors are sworn to secrecy. And while witnesses are free to discuss their testimony, Mr. Fitzgerald has asked that the witnesses not comment. Administration officials have heeded the request.
Come on guys. "Administration officials have heeded the request"? Well, sure: ever since they got caught LYING TO THE WH PRESS CORPS!!!

Did Manly and Johnston get sent over to the NYT from the Dartmouth Review or something?


Blogger PGL said...

Greene of Fordham gets the law right. Even if Rove did not spell her entire name out - revealing her identity (not limited to name) is what this specific law covers Other laws are also in play. And even if the legal beagles can get Rove off the legal hook, the public is holding this White House to a higher standard. They say this is wrong even if it is not a felony.

7/18/2005 5:04 PM  

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