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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gullible's Travails: Omnibus Curative-Prophylactic Edition

A couple days ago, I pointed out that the question of whether Karl Rove used the name "Valerie Plame" is really quite irrelevant to whether a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. What matters (in terms of the information itself, rather than knowingness, etc) is whether the actions in question identify a covert agent. Here is a part of the law's text:
Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Do note that I have provided the bold emphasis in phrases where forms of the word "identify" appears, and I have provided italicization in phrases where forms of the word "name" appears.

What? You don't see any italics? That's because the law says nothing about the name! What matters is the identity, which would be provided by the name but doesn't have to be!

Too many MSM journalists are falling victim to GOP attempts to drum up confusion on this issue. No one should be surprised that the Republicans are misleading journalists and viewers -- that is, after all, their specialty.

What is surprising is how easily MSM types (not all of them, to be sure) are falling for it. A friend in the industry tells me s/he thinks this is due to a combination of sheer laziness and herd behavior -- which is the only reasonable explanation, since a ninth-grader could find the text of this law using a Google search and could also understand the very clear wording.

Come on guys: stop making it so easy for bloggers to criticize you. You're better than that.

1 Comments:

Blogger strategery4 said...

But as Ken Mehlman is quoted in today's Times as saying, "He wasn't talking at all about her identity" (emphasis added). "He was saying, this is a bum story you shouldn't write this story" -- and obviously that effort had nothing to do with the fact that she was Wilson's wife. That was just a coincidence. Or is being somebody's spouse not part of your identity now? Good god, do these people not understand the sanctity of marriage? Look what gay marriage in MA has done already to the fabric of our society.

7/13/2005 3:48 PM  

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