Intimigate - Treason? - Logic of the Leak - Novak One of the Six? - Mike Spann's Father

From Common Dreams and the Center for American Progress, via Interesting Times:


The recent story of the Bush Administration leaking classified information in an effort to defame a WMD report is just the latest in a well-established pattern. A look at the historical record shows that the Bush Administration has summarily fired, intimidated and defamed anyone who has had the courage to tell the truth about Iraq. In fact, the Iraq policymakers who have remained in the White House are largely those who parsed and distorted intelligence and misled the American people.
The Wilson leak is just the latest and most egregious step in this pattern of bullying. The one page report is a must read, must print, and must distribute.

Can the Wilson leak be legitimately described as treason? From what I have heard so far, the answer is no on a technicality. Yes, someone blew the cover of a CIA agent who was involved in the search for WMD. This act is easily understood as giving aid and comfort to the enemy in real time. But each overt act of treason must be witnessed by two or more. There are six or seven alleged overt acts here, and only the journalist (who is bound by the ethics of confidentiality) and the perpetrator (who can take the Fifth) are party to each one. Since the "two witnesses" rule to each overt act is constitutionally mandated, there will be no official charge of treason in this matter, according to the evidence that is now before the people. It doesn't matter that six or seven people can witness to an overt act of their own (if they break confidentiality). No one can verify their particular act.

The Washington Post shows why several different scenarios of leak motivation don't work. They mention some buzz about the leakers not knowing that Wilson's wife was undercover, which would hurt the intimidation theory, if they truly didn't know, which I don't buy yet. But they do mention the nepotism meme, and that's the real jewel, I believe. Their main objective was getting this viewpoint out to the Mighty Right-Wing Wurlitzer, the way they've been funnelling information and spin all along. How did the Weekly Standard get Rove's phone records to slam Clark? The White House is actively feeding the rightwing scandal machine Bush supporters built to destroy Clinton, and this time they got stone cold busted, with felony charges hanging over their heads.

Along that line, here's an interesting twist to the story:
During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

Novak: The CIA Leak, emphasis added
Pay attention. Novak's in an interview, gets the scoop, calls another official who says, "Oh, you know about it." My first thought on this statement was what Novak means us to get: that the official is recognizing that Novak knows about the CIA agent. I'd considered that to be a possible defense against the felony charge on this leak - the official ensuring that Novak's not getting this information from him or her. Why, then, wouldn't the official say, "Oh, you know about her?" Why wouldn't the official say "her" anyway, since Novak is asking about a person?

But what if Novak wasn't one of the six reporters that the leak was being fed to? Then the second official's statement makes sense; you know about it - the leak. I'm betting Novak wandered into this information, creating the distinct possiblity that three White House officials are involved in this scandal, one who called the six, one who recieved all confirmation calls, and the one that gave Novak the scoop. Scooter Davis is the likely candidate for the first one, the Rove office is the area to look in the second, and Novak's source? How about Ari?

Further news: Jimmy Spann, the father of Mike Spann, believes Mike's status as an undercover agent was released before his family could prepare for any fallout. He has this to say about Intimigate. Got it at Eschaton.