http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/758/1246/1600/student%20radio%20station%20attacked.jpg LIAR PARADOX: LEGAL ANALYSIS: KARL ROVE'S GUILTY

LIAR PARADOX

Whatever Bush says is a lie? That MUST be a truth!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

LEGAL ANALYSIS: KARL ROVE'S GUILTY

The Right Wing is arguing that Rove did not know that Valerie Plame was a covert agent and is therefore not guilty. They are arguing that Rove does not have the requisite intent under the statute to be culpable for committing the crime of releasing the name of a covert agent, because he did not know that Plame was a covert agent.

But the plain meaning of the statute shows that this line of argument does not matter.

The statute does not require Rove to have known that Plame was a covert agent.
All that the statute requires is that Rove intended to reveal the identity of the person who happens to be covert.

It is to Rove's misfortune that the person he intentionally named happened to be a covert agent.
I Repeat: Nowhere in the statute does it require that Rove knew that Plame was covert.

The issue is not one about Rove's intent, he clearly intended to leak the name of a CIA employee when he told Matt Cooper that "it was Wilson's wife who works at the Agency."
The issue is instead whether Plame's employment status at the CIA was "covert."
Evidently it was.

Novak's initial column identified Plame as "an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." He has since claimed that he believed Plame was merely an analyst at the CIA, not a covert operative—the difference being that analysts are not undercover, so identifying them is not a crime. Critics contend that after decades as a Washington reporter Novak was well aware of the difference and would be unlikely to make such a mistake. Indeed, a search of the Nexis database for the terms 'CIA operative' and 'agency operative' shows Novak correctly used them to describe covert CIA employees every single time they appear in his articles. Including the Plame article.

Here is the language of the statute:

Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As you can see, the language of the statute says, "intentionally discloses any information identifying."
Nowhere in the statute does it require that Rove KNOW that the person he identified was covert.

Therefore, this statute is part specific intent and part strict liability.

It does require the specific intent of "intentional disclosure," and "knowledge that such disclosure identifies the covert agent," however, it does not specifically require that Rove know that the person he identifies is covert. The "knowledge" language in the statute is referring to knowledge of the disclosure of the identity of the agent, NOT knowledge of the status of the person whose identity was disclosed. And of course status meaning whether the person is a covert agent.


If the legislators that passed this law intended that the person know that the person he was revealing was a covert agent, then the statute would look like this, with the words in green being the different language which would satisfy the type of intent the right wing is arguing the statute says.


Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE COVERT STATUS OF THE AGENT intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent, to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and KNOWING that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.


Therefore, if Plame was not a covert agent, then Rove would not be guilty under the statute.
Unfortunately for Rove, whether he knew that Plame was covert or not, it was to his misfortune that she was a covert agent. Rove and his right wing friends can argue all day long that Rove did not know that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative. He is still guilty under the statute.

Take a statute for statutory rape for example. This is a classic Strict Liability statute that all law students study when they take criminal law.

"A person is guilty for statutory rape where he intends to have sex with a child under the age of 18."

This statute merely requires that the accused INTEND to have sex. It wouldn't matter whether the accused KNEW the victim was under 18. He can argue all day long that he did not know the victim was under 18. In every criminal court in the United States, this man would be guilty of statutory rape if the person he had sex with was under 18.

Just as the statutory rape statute does not require that the accused know that the victim was under 18, the Identities Protection statute does not require that Rove know that Plame was a covert agent.

Therefore, Rove is guilty!!












6 Comments:

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Bulldog said...

Bravo. You laid it all out. Rove needs to go to prison and George Bush needs to be impeached. As I stated in a recent post of mine, couple Rove's outing of Valerie Plame with the Downing Street Memos and you have sufficient grounds to remove the whole damn lot of them. So again, thanks, Banana!

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger banana said...

Thanks bulldog.

It's tricky, I know.

Some folks tell me that we shouldn't argue the legal side, that we should argue the motive behind revealing Rove's identity.

That circumstantial evidence will show that Rove knew.

We can't hide from certain issues. We have to tackle them all HEAD ON.

And every argument that the right wing throws out is so easily refutable.

Hey, staunch right wingers are going to go down swingin' and the best thing for us to do is have all our shields up.

The legal shields, the dirty politics shield, the circumstantial evidence shield, the Downing Street Memo shield, etc. etc. etc. ;-)

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Nick said...

The author of the statute disagrees.

Strict liability treason? That's new.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger banana said...

First, you might have one person who drafts the federal law, but it takes the entire legislature to enact it.

Rarely does a federal law pass with just one person writing the law, so this person who claims to be the one that wrote this law is blowing smoke.

And if you read my blogpost one more time you will find that Novak is never wrong in classifying the employment status of CIA agents, and he referred to Plame as covert. And of course the Novak article came out at the time that Rove and LIbby leaked Plame's name.

There are other sources out there that demonstrate that Plame operated outside the United States within five years of the leak. You can find references to it on Talking POints Memo, see the link to the left of this webpage to run a search on it.

And I was explaining this law. It's not a full-fledged strict liability law. It requires a mens rea, which I stated. However, it IS strict liability in the sense that the person who intentionally revealed the identity of a CIA agent does not have to know that the agent was covert to be culpable under the statute.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger banana said...

ONe more thing, Nick.

Since when would a federal criminal law with a punishment of $50,000 and/or maximum 10 years of imprisonment be classified as a treason statute?

I thought I learned in elementary school that if you were found guilty of treason in this country that the punishment was death.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous The Impolitic said...

Great analysis banana. I especially like the statutory rape analogy.

The wretched thug is way overdue for his comeuppance.

Thanks for the pointer.

 

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