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Plame in the Courtroom


My latest Tomdispatch is about as close as I come to news and the information in it is surprising: In "Plame in the Courtroom: Is the Intelligence Identities Protection Act really impossible to prove?"

former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega considers the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act under which Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was essentially called into existence in the Valerie Plame outing case. Amid floods of articles on the case, the law itself is seldom discussed and yet a media/punditry consensus has formed that it is so specifically, even quirkily, written as to be almost impossible to use in a prosecution (hopeless, in fact, against a figure like Karl Rove or Vice President Cheney's right-hand man I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby). De la Vega, former Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, begs to differ. Alone among a sea of pundits, she explains that the 1982 law is perfectly a usable one under which, based on what we know at present, a case could be brought against a "senior administration official" and perhaps prosecuted successfully indeed. Don't miss this piece.


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From the thinkprogress site, hard to get to:

Please know that the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act is a Red Herring, designed to have everyone not look at the Real Controlling Laws which are far worse for the leakers. Why has everyone over looked the Title 18, Sections 793, 794 and 798? Simply Google them and then look at the law! For example, for leaking material that is "related to National Defense" is all that is required for conviction in Title 18, Section 794! There is no intent requirement and for violation of this during War Time--the Death Penalty applies!

First check out Title 18, Section 793:

Next, check out Title 18, Section 794:

Next, pay particular attention to this in 794(b):

"Whoever, in time of war, with intent that the same shall be communicated to the enemy, collects, records, publishes, or communicates, or attempts to elicit any information with respect to the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any of the Armed Forces, ships, aircraft, or war materials of the United States, or with respect to the plans or conduct, or supposed plans or conduct of any naval or military operations, or with respect to any works or measures undertaken for or connected with, or intended for the fortification or defense of any place, or any other information relating to the public defense, which might be useful to the enemy, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life."

Now, remember in US v Morison, the court said of the press:

"Finally, the danger to the United States is just as
great when this information is released to the press
as when it is released to an agent of a foreign
government. The fear in releasing this type of
information is that it gives other nations information
concerning the intelligence gathering capabilities of
the United States. That fear is realized whether the
information is released to the world at large or
whether it is released only to specific spies."

As far as the court was concerned, if the leaker released this to the press, he was in effect releasing it to enemy spies. In this case, who is the enemy? The Terrorists! To imply that they would not have access to the World Wide Press is absurd!

Next, check out Title 18, Section 798:

Finally, check out part 4 of the Non-Disclosures that Karl Rove and Lewis Libby violated:

"I have been advised that any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by me may constitute a violation, or violations, of United States criminal laws, including the provisions of Sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952 and 1924, Title 18, United States Code, the provisions of Section 783(b), Title 50, United States Code, and the provisions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982."

Notice how the IIPA is the last thing mentioned? It's the one law that they violated with a higher threshold for conviction and a lower penalty.

Time for Karl to either hang or share a cell with Aldrich Ames.

Ask yourself why did Robert Novack freak out on CNN? Could it be that he fears Title 18, Section 794(c)?

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