Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sound familiar?

Exposing the Plame case mistake - Los Angeles Times
The voice of authority, yesterday:
Pundits right, left and center have reached a rare unanimous verdict about one aspect of the grand jury investigation into the Valerie Plame leak: They've decided that no charges can be brought under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 because it imposes an impossibly high standard. Christopher Hitchens, for instance, described the 1982 act as a "silly law" that requires that "you knowingly wish to expose the cover of a CIA officer who you understand may be harmed as a result." Numerous other columnists have nodded their heads smugly in agreement.

Shocking as it may seem, however, the pundits are wrong, and their casual summaries of the requirements of the 1982 statute betray a fundamental misunderstanding regarding proof of criminal intent.

The voice of some punk, almost a month ago:

First, the statute by its terms applies to “Whoever.. intentionally discloses.” The key to interpreting this statute is to understand that the adverb “intentionally” modifies only the verb “discloses,” not the rest of the sentence. In other words, in order to satisfy the intent requirement of the statute, the prosecutor need only prove that the disclosure – the act of disclosing – was intentional. Fitzgerald will not need to prove that Rove intended that ruination of the CIA, or that Rove intended treason. He will only have to prove that Rove intended to disclose.

Remember, you heard it here first.


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