Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Rove: Grand jury investigation leaks

Reader tip: Here's a forecast on Fitzgerald's sealed Chicago Grand Jury indictments.

The "chilling effect" of jailing time has done little to dissuade some from continuing to release sensitive information, even in the case conducting a grand jury hearing into such matters.

One of principles surfacing is the responsibility the prosecutor has to hold witnesses accountable when they refuse to cooperate with grand juries.

The CIA leaking case offers a curious twist.

Despite the so-called "chilling effect" that the jailing of Judith Miller has, witnesses are now releasing grand jury testimony to the press.
They spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the grand jury investigation.
The Plame case involves protecting classified information. One reporter who apparently refused to cooperate is now in jail because she refused to disclose the identity of a classified source.

Some in the media have said they will no longer run material arguing that it is too risky, or that people will not come forward.

In this case, the prosecutor has asked the witnesses to refrain from making public comments.

In the same case that is looking into leaking sensitive information and jailing reporters, that a reporter would use an anonymous source to discuss sensitive information.

Someone missed the point behind the Judith Miller jailing: If you release information, you may suffer consequences.

The media's threats of 'we can't do our job' are shown for what they are: Without merit.

Other thoughts

This is curious: The case involves leaking of information; one reporter has already been jailed for refusing to disclose the source of the sensitive information.

I find it ironic that someone would disclose grand jury information in the same situation and case that is investigating the very issue. It's as if someone hasn't figured out that there's a prosecutor who actually puts people in jail.

And more curious that despite the request not to discuss the issues, someone would disclose the information on the same condition of anonymity which Judith Miller promised and is now jailed for.

Are these people idiots? Wait, I know the answer to that.


Some have suggested that there be a special bill passed to make the specific disclosure of a CIA-agent's name the basis to lose one's security clearance.

I'm not convinced that is needed. 2 USC 192 already handles subversive activities.

Some haves suggested new congressional language is required to take Rove's security
clearance away.

I agree that the disclosure of an agents name is a bad thing;

My problem is that the existing agreement Rove signed already includes this stipulation: That his Security Clearance may be revoked.

Also, the security form Rove signed on page 2, para 10 lists "Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 per USAM.

Para 4 specifically states,
"4. I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearances I hold;
removal from any position of special confidence and trust requiring such clearances; or the termination of my employment or other relationships with the Departments or Agencies that granted my security clearance or clearances."

I don't see the need to have special legislation directed at a specific incident that appears to already be covered under both the broad statute and the specific construction of the security agreement.

The issue is: Who will decide that "revoking Rove's security clearance" is appropriate and mandatory: The court/prosecutor in the grand jury proceedings; or does this require a special act of Congress in this case?

If people are going to sign agreements and then ask to be given exceptions to those agreements, then you're messing with the wrong criminal justice system. The intent of these agreements is to ensure conduct is consistent with the agreement.

In the Rove-Plame situation, it appears as though the prosecutor has something that shows the conduct is not only inconsistent with the agreements, but sufficiency damaging to warrant the court jailing a witness.

This is why we have judicial oversight, something the RNC wants to get rid of under the Patriot Act.


Some discussion on the security agreement.