Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Karl Rove and the CIA: slanting the story at the NY Times

Only days after a major terrorist attack, the NY Times is focussed on its real enemy: George W. Bush.

The plan of attack is to focus on Karl Rove, and to minimize the reporting on the war on terror.

The spin is to ignore the basic fact that anyone in Washington knows: it's not a secret if you work at the CIA.

If you ask a government employee in the DC area what they do, if they work for the CIA, they'll nearly always tell you straight up--they're legally authorized to do so.

That's how you identify the NSA people--they're not allowed to tell you: they can't say more than that they work for the Defense Department. And of course when you then find out they work near Fort George G. Meade, Maryland (home of NSA headquarters), you know exactly what they do for a living.

Now covert ops in the CIA is obviously different. But to prove that Karl Rove broke the law, you would have to prove that a) Rove knew that she was covert ops; b) he deliberately revealed this to someone.

Based on the e-mail message, Mr. Rove's disclosures are not criminal, said Bruce S. Sanford, a Washington lawyer who helped write the law and submitted a brief on behalf of several news organizations concerning it to the appeals court hearing the case of Mr. Cooper and Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times. Ms. Miller has gone to jail rather than disclose her source.

"It is clear that Karl Rove's conversation with Matt Cooper does not fall into that category" of criminal conduct, Mr. Sanford said. "That's not 'knowing.' It doesn't even come close."

There has been some dispute, moreover, about just how secret a secret agent Ms. Wilson was.

"She had a desk job in Langley," said Ms. Toensing, who also signed the supporting brief in the appeals court, referring to the C.I.A.'s headquarters. "When you want someone in deep cover, they don't go back and forth to Langley."

The NY Times buries these paragraphs as the lines on the third page of the story.


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