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I'm now confused. was outing a CIA agent a crime or not?

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ORDagnabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:39 PM
Original message
I'm now confused. was outing a CIA agent a crime or not?
If it is then why has no body been charged with it?

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fitz couldn't prove anyone knowingly outed her
The Chicago Tribune had a pretty good explanation today. It's so rare that the Trib has anything worthwhile to say that I really sat up and took notice.
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ORDagnabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. is that online? I'd like to read it
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Here:
Edited on Wed Mar-07-07 05:56 PM by mycritters2
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0703070037mar07,1,5901504.story


Here's the key paragraph, but the whole article is helpful

"Why then was no one charged with the crime that Fitzgerald was initially empowered to investigate? In order to prove a violation of the law, the prosecutor has to show not only that the identity of the covert agent was leaked, but also that the covert status of the agent was known to the leaker at the time. This fact was something Fitzgerald evidently could not prove; not as to Armitage, Fleischer, Rove or even Libby."
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ORDagnabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. cool thanks. n/t
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. He couldn't prove it cause people lied in their testimony
specifically, Libby lied.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Exactly. That was why he couldn't prove it, but he couldn't prove it,
nonetheless.

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grizmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. under the Espionage Act the outing does not have to be committed knowingly
John Dean was among those who have pointed out that this statute applies.

793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000793----000-.html

(d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. See post #5
the rub is the classified information itself - plenty of documents in Libby's case had to be closely examined by the Court to determine if the defendant's right to them in discovery for purposes of presenting a defense out weighed the national security interests in keeping them classified.

Go look at some of the court's orders, this judge did a lot of balancing and mark my word, Libby's lawyers will try to use it against him and the verdict on appeal.

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grizmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. It's already public knowledge that Plame was a NOC
revealing that alone is clearly enough to prosecute under the Espionage Act with no need for additional classified info.

The last time it was used was under Reagan. They convicted a journalist of publishing secret documents even though there was more detailed info already in the public domain.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Nope, there would be more to it, much more to it
as the hiring practices of the CIA, the classification practices, the qualifications, etc.

And a journalist is lower on the totem pole than the president and/or his vp, the murky waters of executive orders and decisions at the time of war, etc would come into play. It is a legal quagmire and I predict Libby's folks will try to take full advantage of the limitations it placed on them.

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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. "Some people" were speculating that Cheney had a magic paper
in his desk drawer showing that her identity was 'declassified' before the leak. The 'some people' were callers into a radio show, but you know they might just be on to something.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Part of the problem with the "leak" issue
is that murky area of the law relative to the presidents powers during war. I believe that the law does not allow for the declassification as it probably occurred, but if legal scholars get confused by it and have questions about it, just imagine what it would be like to argue the issues to a jury.

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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes it is. If it wasn't, why would a lawyer perjure himself and obstruct justice to hide who did it?
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Ino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Libby's a lawyer? Will he be disbarred? (n/t)
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Disbarment is beyond my ability to predict, but he sure as hell SHOULD be!
If "rules" and "laws" still meant anything, you could
bet the farm on disbarment. People used to get disbarred
PERMANENTLY for perjury and "Obstruction of Justice".

But these days, who knows? :shrug:
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. Because Scooter saw fit to lie and obstruct justice, so the crime couldn't be investigated. Simple.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. it was a crime
Edited on Wed Mar-07-07 05:59 PM by merh
Why no one has been charged with it, because the grand jury hasn't returned an indictment against anyone for the crime. IMHO, it's tough to prove the elements of the crime without divulging classified information. Does a defendant's constitutionally guaranteed right to present a defense (and have access to the classified information) upsurp national security interests and the safety of other covert CIA operatives? That's what is in the balance and the Court did a remarkable job balancing that in the Libby trial (though it will still be an issue on appeal). I don't think the Court could do so well in a trial on the issue of the leak itself and the CIA isn't about to give up it's classified information. As pointed out by the others above me, why would a lawyer lie to cover for his boss and obstruct justice if it weren'ta crime and okie dokie to tell?

Congress has enough to investigate, whether or not they will is yet to be seen.

Welcome to DU. :hi:

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grizmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes it is a crime and violates the Espionage Act
Under this statute, bush, cheney, rove, and Scooter can all be sentenced up to life in prison or death for their crimes.

793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000793----000-.html

(d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or
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youngdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Fitz couldn't criminally prove she was KNOWINGLY outed
The law is very difficult to prove. You really have to have cooperating first hand accounts reflecting knowledge and intent and it just wasn't there in this case...Fitz went with the cases he could prove.

Like Capone going down for tax evasion. It's what they could prove.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. The right-wing is spending alot of energy to keep you confused.
Obviously a crime was committed.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. Remember - the request to investigate the crime came from the CIA
to the Justice Department. The CIA was not asking them to investigate if a crime had been committed. The moment Valerie Plame's name appeared in the paper the CIA knew a crime had been committed because they knew she was classified, etc.

What the CIA wanted to know was who committed the crime. It could have been one of their own spooks, a member of congress, a member of the state department, someone in the WH, it could have been anyone. The CIA wanted to know who had been entrusted with national security secrets and blabbed.

Again - the referral itself is/was absolute evidence that a crime had been committed. The question should have disappeared a long time ago save for the complicity of the msm.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. SIMPLE -- He couldn't prove it BECAUSE SCOOTER LIBBY OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE and LIED
So when these wingnuts claim there was "no crime committed" they are full of bullshit.

Fitz was quite clear in his first press conference after the Libby indictment that by lying, Libby had "thrown sand in the umpire's eyes"
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. also: TOTALLY different from Clinton impeachment - where there *really was no* underlying crime....
... What Clinton was covering up ("sex with that woman") wasn't a crime - just jackass.

But the distinction is vital:
(a) There being no underlying crime suspected, and
(b) Not being able to prove a suspected underlying crime.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
21. the justice system really can't deal with this
obviously. Too weak against this type of crime.

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Meeker Morgan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
23. I predict a pardon in Mister Scooter's future n/t
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. The criminally complicit media's sole intention was to confuse you.
They have managed to keep going a war that no one but war criminals now support.

They have done their job well.
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
26. If there were no crime why did the CIA request an investigation of one?
Why is Brewster Jennings no longer able to do what it was set up to do? Why are there now over a hundred contacts that are extremely fearful for their lives? Name one thing the Bush* Administration has done that was not a crime...
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jollyreaper2112 Donating Member (955 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
27. Al Capone
Going after Libby for the leak is like going after Capone's income taxes vs. his extended record of violence and murder. It's not that Fitz didn't want to get the higher-ups, he KNEW he could nail Libby with what he had on hand. And this opens the door for further prosecutions. As others have said, "why would he lie if he didn't think anybody was doing anything wrong?"
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
29. this meme is getting old
n/t
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