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Monday, July 11, 2005

Suspend Karl Rove's Security Clearance

Posted by Bob Brigham

I've been saying this for some time, but now I'm not the only one. From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

CREW sends letter to President Bush: suspend Karl Rove's security clearance pending outcome of Plame investigation

As reported today in Newsweek, Karl Rove was a confidential source for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on the identification of a covert CIA agent. Rove disclosed that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Iraq to investigate charges that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was authorized by Mr. Wilson’s wife, a CIA employee working on issues related to weapons of mass destruction. At that time, Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson’s wife, was a covert operative with the CIA whose identity as such had not yet been publicly revealed.

Under federal law, it is a crime to “intentionally disclose[] any information identifying” a covert agent “to any individual not authorized to received classified information.” 50 U.S.C. §421(a). Thus, by disclosing to Matt Cooper Ms. Plame’s relationship with the CIA and thereby identifying her as a covert agent, Mr. Rove appears to have committed an illegal act.

“Considering that it is a federal crime to identify covert agents, and that President Bush signed executive orders identifying the vital role the President plays in protecting national security secrets from unauthorized disclosure, it is appropriate for the President to suspend Mr. Rove’s clearance pending the investigation’s outcome,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today.

“The evidence uncovered so far raises serious questions about Mr. Rove’s conduct and his ability to safeguard highly sensitive classified information. Until those questions are resolved, CREW believes it is not appropriate for Mr. Rove to have continued access to classified information. Anything short of suspension raises an unacceptable risk to our nation’s security,” Sloan wrote to the President today.

Posted at 02:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati