Innocent Bystander

A little tech, a little current affairs, and my view on whatever has my attention at the moment...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Reality Check

So yesterday I'm listening to a talk show on the radio... Not unusual, but I don't particularly like this show, the commentator and many of his listeners are a bit too far to the left for my tastes, however there's not much else on during the time I was in the car so I didn't have much choice...

A LOT of his callers were calling for Karl Rove's firing and arrest for treason over his possible role in leaking Valerie Plame's name to the media.

Ok reality check people. We DON'T KNOW if he broke the law yet. According to MSNBC, the law says he has to have intentionally disclosed that she was a covert agent. We have an e-mail that has been released that seems to indicate her, but doesn't mention her by name. Heck, we don't even know for sure that he knew what her role was at CIA.

However, here's the key thing. IF the results of the investigation are that he did in fact break the law, Karl Rove isn't getting charged with treason. The President should fire him, but don't expect him to be charged with treason, if anything we might see charges stemming from the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, a much less significant charge than treason.

Now before you start thinking that would be because the Republican's would circle the wagons to defend him... I think otherwise.

I think it's a matter of the scale of the crime, what he did is relatively minor. I know it doesn't seem minor, he quite possibly put a CIA agent and her family at risk and probably compromised some sources and operations.

But, what about Former Navy Chief Warrant Officer John Walker? This guy was selling classified information to the Soviets for almost 20 years. He even recruited friends and family members into his ring of spies. Countless servicemember's lives were put at risk for over 20 years as John Walker and his spy ring sold an unknown amount of classified documents and other material, this during war time and peace. John Walker and all but one of his cohorts were charged with epionage not treason, and sentenced to life.

How about Aldrich Ames? He knowingly sold the list of every CIA covert agent he knew of to the Soviets... Espionage, not treason and life in prison.

Since Karl Rove didn't sell the names, I don't think he can be charged with espionage. Since neither Ames nor Walker and his cronies were charged with treason, and what they did was substantially more damaging than Rove's leak, I don't think treason is an option here.

My prediction if charges are filed? A fine of a few thousand dollars and maybe probation or something. Definately not jail time...


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