My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


MSM: Back On Message

Or, if you prefer, Back On Rove.

WashPost: Plame's Identity Marked As Secret

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, . . .

. . .devote 10 more paragraphs to crimes and punishments of leaking coverts . . .

Then in paragraph 12: Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, has testified that he learned Plame's name from Novak a few days before telling another reporter she worked at the CIA and played a role in her husband's mission, according to a lawyer familiar with Rove's account. Rove has also testified that the first time he saw the State Department memo was when "people in the special prosecutor's office" showed it to him, said Robert Luskin, his attorney.

Oh. Okay, maybe. But then in paragraph 19 The description of Wilson's wife and her role in the Feb. 19, 2002, meeting at the CIA was considered "a footnote" in a background paragraph in the memo, according to an official who was aware of the process. Which had followed an earlier paragraph Anyone reading that paragraph should have been aware that it contained secret information, though that designation was not specifically attached to Plame's name and did not describe her status as covert,.

The Post titles this article in such a way that you think the mome was all about Plame; well . . . Only two sentences in the seven-sentence paragraph mention Wilson's wife.

So, in other words, Plame's identity was not actually given in the memo (it referred to "Valerie Wilson"), it was not specifically designated "Secret", nor was her status labeled "Covert", and there's no evidence to suggest that Rove ever saw this memo.

As smoking guns go, this is like my daughter's cheap water pistol.

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