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July 14, 2005

Good Work Harry

In the wake of the Rove scandal, Senate Democrats are introducing a bill to deny security clearances to officials who blow the cover of secret agents.  This shouldn't be an especially controversial issue, and I'm glad to see our people doing things that call the Republicans on compromising national security for political gain. 

--Neil the Ethical Werewolf

July 14, 2005 in Bush Administration | Permalink


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We certainly can't have people trying to use this sort of issue for political gain. Thank God the Democrats are above this sort of thing.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Jul 14, 2005 3:37:09 PM

Pointing out the other side's national security mistakes for political gain strikes me as completely within bounds. It's when publicly held national security assets (like the identity of secret agents) get appropriated and traded away for partisan purposes that something is really wrong.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Jul 14, 2005 4:16:34 PM

This is a good idea, regardless of the circumstance. In fact, there is a great need to treat classification, classified information, and clearances much more seriously.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 14, 2005 4:25:57 PM


I would accept that if this legislation was being put forth after the results of the investigation had been announced and if it had been determined that Rove avoided illegality, but behaved unethically.

As it is, this isn't a serious response to solve a problem, but a partisan manuevering to gain political advantage. As such, it is likely to further politicize intelligence gathering and harm national security.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Jul 14, 2005 4:50:37 PM

------"Pointing out the other side's national security mistakes for political gain strikes me as completely within bounds."


First, who could forget Sandy 'the hamburglar' Berger, former Clinton national security advisor, stealing Clinton adminstration documents related to 9/11, destroying some, from the National Archives. He stuffed them in his pants!


Also in the '80s, Leahy gained some notoriety as a member of the Intelligence Committee. He was charged with revealing classified information during the Achille Lauro terrorist incident, outraging administration officials. And he leaked a draft report on the Iran-contra affair, leading to his resignation from the intelligence panel. Behavior like this earned for him the sobriquet "Leaky Leahy."


Bill Clinton selling access to the White House to the communist Chinese for campaign cash.


Bill Clinton having an affair with an intern and LYING about it to the American people and under oath. That put him in a position where he is vulnerable to blackmail.

National security is not a winning issue for the left, too many skeletons. That was one of the lessons of the 2004 election.

'Rove for Chief Justice!'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 5:17:00 PM

Gosh, politicians engaging in partisan manoeuvring. Whatever next? The point is that the result of this law will be positive for national security. If it causes problems for the Republicans, well that's their problem, frankly.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Jul 14, 2005 5:20:28 PM


This case may be a catylst, but a good idea is a good idea. If the powers that be decide that Rove (or anyone else accused)did not give out classified information, then he (they) would get to keep his (their) credentials, but if ANYONE at ANYTIME is found providing classified information to the public, don't you think they SHOULD have their clearence revoked? I mean, if after everything is said and done it is determind that Rove gave classifid info, but it wasn't intentional, don't you think anyone stupid enough to give that kind of info unintentionally, shouldn't have that info? It reminds me of
Gilligan: I am not supposed to tell you, Ginger.
Ginger: What aren't you supposed to tell me?
Gilligan: That we are planning a surprise party for you.
Don't you think they should stop telling Gilligan about the surprise birthday parties?

Posted by: Craig | Jul 14, 2005 5:30:18 PM

Was Plame a "secret agent" as Neil puts it?

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 14, 2005 5:32:01 PM

Toke , I love the way that in a post discussing Democrats' "skeletons in the closet" on national security, you bring up Iran-Contra without a trace of irony. You know, Iran-Contra, in which senior Republican administration officials, and for all but the willfully naive the President, ran an operation selling arms to our sworn enemy Iran to fund terrorists. Can you count how many Iran-Contra felons are back in the administration? Yeah, lets talk skeletons.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Jul 14, 2005 5:35:49 PM

I listed 4, ginger, you named 1. Seems the Dems still have a lot more skeletons than Republicans. I didn't have to look hard for the ones I listed. I could probably find a lot more examples.

Why do you think the country trusts Republicans more with national security than the Democrats?

'Get Stoned, It's Thursday!'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 5:47:12 PM

Hmm, lying about a blow job versus selling arms to an enemy to fund terrorists, or leaking the report about said selling arms to an enemy to fund terrrorists vs selling arms to an enemy to fund terrorists. They clearly affect national security just as much as each other. Now that's what I call moral relativism.

I didn't have to look hard for the one listed. It was in your post.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Jul 14, 2005 5:53:09 PM

This board has been eerily silent about the surge in tax revenues that has cut the deficit by a third. http://tinyurl.com/awnrw

Also absent was any discussion on the report recently presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee that stated that there was no torture at Guantanamo Bay detainee facility.
"As the bottom line, though, we found no torture. Detention and interrogation operations were safe, secure and humane,"

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 14, 2005 6:09:49 PM

I don't know, Ginger, Clinton was impeached.

What happened to Reagan?

Oh, yeah, he is remembered as the Greatest American president in a recent poll on who was the greatest president.

I believe he was number 1, I am not positive. I will have to dig up the poll. But I know Reagan finished way ahead of Clinton.

So, Ginger, I guess the American people made their decision.

Besides making himself vulnerable to blackmail, and lying under oath, Clinton has more skeletons in his closet.

'the stickiest of the icky'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 6:22:20 PM


This is a FoxNews alert!

Ted Kennedy is going to the US Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Friday.

I wonder if he'll come to the same conclusion as the rest of the Democratic congressmen and women who have gone?

One said it was 'wonderful', another said it was 'a model for the rest of the world'.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 7:28:53 PM

CT,if the measure is a good one- and how would it be bad to take away clearances from people (of whatever political alignment)- we should support it.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 14, 2005 7:29:23 PM


It isn't needed. There is a law in place. A law that was voted against only by Democrats, including Chuck Shumer.

This is a political move to try and take advantage of the Rove situation. Karl Rove did nothing wrong.

Cooper called Rove, Rove did not reach out to anyone.

When Cooper asked Rove about Joe Wilson's version of the Iraq-Niger connection, he told Cooper not to put too much veracity into Joe Wilson's story cuz it wasn't Dick Cheney that sent him to Niger, as Wilson claimed, but Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and recommended him for the trip.

Which is another lie Wilson told, he said his wife had nothing to do with him going to Niger, but she is the person who got the ball rolling on his trip.

Wilson's oral report to the CIA suggested that Iraq had sought yellow cake in Africa, confirming British intel. Wilson's NYT article was completely opposite.

The fact that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA was fairly well known in DC. According to an interview she and Joe Wilson gave, Valerie told Joe on their third date.

Wilson has no crediblity. There is a senate investigation that confirms everything I have said about Wilson.

'A Puff Puff'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 8:09:31 PM

It appears to be needed, indeed.

Also, if the version of events indicated in your post is true, Rove did, in fact, do wrong. He didn't have to be the one dialing the phone to 'uncover' a CIA agent.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 14, 2005 8:27:30 PM

You cannot "uncover" an agent that is not undercover in the first place.
The federal code says the agent must have operated outside the United States within the previous five years. But Plame gave up her role as a covert agent nine years before the Rove interview, according to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
This "scandal" is going nowhere. It appears to have little "meat" to it.

Captain Toke: I am glad to hear Kennedy is going to Gitmo. He has been the one running his mouth about it and yet, he has never been.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 14, 2005 8:55:39 PM

------"Rove did, in fact, do wrong"

No, he did not. His intention was to lead Cooper away from a story with no credibility. He never said her name.

According to the law, he did nothing wrong. He didn't even come close.

'Rove for the SCOTUS'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 9:01:19 PM

So, Captain, what do you think about the massive tax revenues rolling in. The 2005 deficit estimate has been cut by a third!!! How do you suppose left chickenwing dogma will spin this one?

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 14, 2005 9:20:00 PM

Maybe one of us could guest host next ime Ezra leaves town. We could talk about gitmo, tax revenues, the improvements in Iraq the MSM never mentions, and so on.

I saw Nancy someone , a lib talk host, on Neil Cavuto's show the other day and she claimed it was some type of anamoly, Bush deserves no credit. I don't know too much on economics, but Cavuto started spitting out a bunch of numbers on investment and growth cuz of tax cuts, etc. and left her speechless.

He is a financial expert, so I am sure it wasn't hard for him to put her in her place (that is not a gender-equality reference for all you nags).

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 14, 2005 9:45:01 PM

Deny clearance to those who blow secret agents. Talk about making it official that the barn door will be closed after the horse is gone.

Posted by: opit | Jul 14, 2005 9:50:29 PM

Deny clearance to those who blow secret agents. Talk about making it official that the barn door will be closed after the horse is gone.

Posted by: opit | Jul 14, 2005 9:52:42 PM

Deny clearance to those who blow secret agents.

Well, John,
You can *claim* that Plame was a "secret agent" and keep repeating this 'til you are blue in the face, but it won't make it the truth (see my post above where I explain federal definitions of covert agents).
Plame simply doesn't meet any definition of "secret agent" much less the legal one. Of course, it you think this "talking point" needs to be repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated.....well, feel free, but "facts is facts".

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 14, 2005 10:02:28 PM

Zimmy, you're about as qualified to explain Plame's covert status as you are to explain whether Terri Schiavo was in a Persistent Vegetative State. Your beliefs on the issue don't matter.

Posted by: Constantine | Jul 14, 2005 11:04:58 PM

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