Sunday, July 17, 2005

Rove: 'I've Already Said Too Much'

The Raw Story posted excerpts from Matt Cooper's new article for Time Magazine which covers his testimony to the grand jury investigating the Plame leak.

This paragraph will probably get a lot of attention:

"I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, 'I've already said too much,'" he wrote. "This could have meant he was worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else. I don't know, but that sign-off has been in my memory for two years."

Sean Paul of The Agonist wrote a short post the other day that wondered whether or not Karl Rove violated his Nondisclosure Agreement when he spoke to Robert Novak a week before the columnist went to print about Valerie Plame (link):

"I spoke with a friend of mine in the intelligence profession recently about this topic and he told me, "intelligence professionals cannot confirm information that is classified even if you receive that information from a non-classified source. Period."

Sean Paul linked to a Fact Sheet which was issued by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the ranking minority member of the Committee on Government Reform.

Here are some highlights:

"Executive Order 12958 governs how federal employees are awarded security clearances in order to obtain access to classified information."


"It requires employees to undergo a criminal background check, obtain training on how to protect classified information, and sign a “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement,” also known as a SF-312, promising not to reveal classified information. The nondisclosure agreement signed by White House officials such as Mr. Rove states: “I will never divulge classified information to anyone” who is not authorized to receive it."


"Mr. Rove, through his attorney, has raised the implication that there is a distinction between releasing classified information to someone not authorized to receive it and confirming classified information from someone not authorized to have it. In fact, there is no such distinction under the nondisclosure agreement Mr. Rove signed."

"One of the most basic rules of safeguarding classified information is that an official who has signed a nondisclosure agreement cannot confirm classified information obtained by a reporter. In fact, this obligation is highlighted in the “briefing booklet” that new security clearance recipients receive when they sign their nondisclosure agreements":

"Before...confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not,...confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure."

(NOTE: I have two other articles that I'm going to link to later that are connected to this, after I do some fact checking.)

(Instead, I added them to Monday's post: From Karl Rove to Downing Street to Iraq.)


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