Wishful thinking from the right on Valerie Plame

Whoever outed Valerie Plame violated the Espionage Act.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal are still rooting for the unpatriotic scoundrels who revealed the identity of a deep-cover CIA officer to get away with it. No suprise there.

And they’re trying to promote that outcome by misstating the law and implicitly impugning the integrity of the prosecutor (a Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney). That, too, is par for the course.

But when Jane Galt lets herself be taken in, it’s time to call the meeting to order.

It’s quite possible that whoever outed Plame managed to avoid violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, or at least managed to avoid doing so in a way that could be proven to a jury beyond reasonable doubt. But IIPA is not the only statute in play. The Espionage Act is still good law, and the Espionage Act case is open and shut as soon as Fitzgerald squeezes the name out of one of the reporters.

From one perspective, the WSJ op-ed is actually good news. It suggests that the Rethuglicans (not Republicans in general, but those prepared to use, or approve of, thuggery in the GOP cause) are worried that Fitzgerald is closing in on someone important. May their direst fears be entirely fulfilled.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Wishful thinking from the right on Valerie Plame”

  1. Charmingly Naive

    Via Jane Galt, we find a WSJ piece puzzling over the question of whether the Plame leakers could ever be prosecuted under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

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