Monday, July 25, 2005

Monday Rove/Libby/Novak leak info

As CarpetBagger points out, Frank Rich of NYTimes wrote about how it took 12 hours for Gonzalez to tell the White House to preserve documents related to the Valerie Plame Wilson leak. This was easily enough time for the destruction of evidence. Not exactly new, but interesting.

CarpetBagger goes on to point out that it may be worse than 12 hours...
On Friday, Sept. 26, 2003, the CIA directed the Justice Department to launch a criminal probe into the leak. Three days later, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2003, the WH counsel's office was formally notified about the investigation. And then 12 hours after that, Gonzales told White House staff to preserve materials. In other words, the amount of time Bush aides were given to, perhaps, discard and destroy relevant evidence after the DoJ began its work wasn't just 12 hours; it was several days.

It's not as if the Gonzales notification — on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003 — told Rove & Co. something new. MSNBC told the world about the investigation that Friday night. This means Rove & Co. learned on Friday night that they were being investigated, but weren't formally told to start securing relevant materials until Tuesday morning. In case the MSNBC report wasn't clear enough, a front-page article was published in the Washington Post about the Justice Department's criminal investigation a full 48 hours before WH staffers were told to preserve potentially incriminating evidence.

There are new questions about when Gonzales told WH Chief of Staff Andy Card about the investigation, but this seems largely irrelevant. Card and the rest of the Bush gang didn't need word from the WH counsel's office on Sept. 29, 2003, to know that an investigation was underway; they, like the rest of us, learned about the probe days before hand.

The Bush gang didn't have 12 hours to cover their tracks — they had a whole weekend.
Makes you feel good that they were so on top of a leak that compromized national security. This attitude of half-assed work is what would get a normal person fired or put in jail. But in Bushworld, you get promoted!

Wilson neighbors didn't know (USAToday) Valerie was a CIA employee of any kind, via Booman.
As I finished reading the column, Joe ventured out onto his deck and offered a neighborly hello. I held up the paper and yelled over, "I had no idea about Valerie!" Joe looked stricken and gestured to me to keep my voice down. I immediately realized the "outing" of Valerie as a covert CIA operative had had a devastating effect on the Wilson family. In the weeks to follow, I came to understand just how harrowing the disclosure was. Obviously, the identification of Valerie meant an end to her decades-long career. It also meant the country had lost an essential part of the services provided by someone who was an expert on weapons of mass destruction.
Put that in your debunking file. Use as needed.

Not sure where I saw this, but Rep Waxman wrote a letter to Bush regarding the moving goalposts on Rove's involvement in the CIA leak. Waxman wrote
Your new standard is not consistent with your obligations to enforce Executive Order 12958, which governs the protection of national security secrets. The executive order states: "Officers and employees of the United States Government ... shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently ... disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified."3 Under the executive order, the available sanctions include "reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions."4

Under the executive order, you may not wait until criminal intent and liability are proved by a prosecutor. Instead, you have an affirmative obligation to take "appropriate and prompt corrective action."5 And the standards of proof are much different. A criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald is investigating, requires a finding that Mr. Rove "intentionally disclose[d]" the identity of a covert agent.6 In contrast, the administrative sanctions under Executive Order 12958 can be imposed without a finding of intent. Under the express terms of the executive order, you are required to impose administrative sanctions – such as removal of office or termination of security clearance – if Mr. Rove or other officials acted "negligently" in disclosing or confirming information about Ms. Wilson's identity.7
So Bush is acting against the rules by not sanctioning Rove AND Libby for their involvement as it is already known.

Will Bush do the right thing? Yeah. Riiiiiiight.

by Robster @ 7/25/2005 05:50:00 PM PERMALink