Where Did Karl Rove Get the Information on Valerie Plame?

Now that we know Matt Cooper's sources were Lewis Libby and Karl Rove, the question that needs answering is: Where did Karl Rove get the information. The AP reports today,

[Rove lawyer Robert] Luskin declined to say how Rove found out that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and refused to say how Rove came across the information that it was Wilson's wife who authorized his trip to Africa.

Was it through attending meetings of the White House Iraq Group with Lewis Libby? I hate to sound like a broken record, but I keep returning to these four articles:

Chicago Tribune, March 5, 2004, on the three subpoenas issued to the White House:

The subpoena with the second production deadline sought all documents from July 6 to July 30 of the White House Iraq Group. In August, The Washington Post published the only account of the group's existence.

It met weekly, The Post said, and its regular participants included senior political adviser Karl Rove; communication strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas Calio; policy advisers led by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley; and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The WaPo article, the only article to mention the White House Iraq Group at the time.

Agence France Presse -- June 5, 2004

US Vice President Richard Cheney has been interviewed by federal prosecutors who asked whether he knew of anyone at the White House who had improperly disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA officer, The New York Times reported Saturday. Citing unnamed people involved in the case, the newspaper said Cheney was also asked about conversations with senior aides, including his chief of staff, Lewis Libby. Cheney was also asked whether he knew of any concerted effort by White House aides to name the officer, according to the report.

Associated Press Online July 11, 2003

One of the mysteries congressional investigators seem intent to explore is how much Cheney knew. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Monday that Cheney was not informed nor aware of the CIA report casting doubt on the British allegations. But Wilson, the former envoy who helped the CIA write the report, said in an NBC-TV interview last Sunday that Cheney's office requested and received from the CIA a report on Wilson's mission.

And this transcript of a Senate Policy Committee hearing, in which Vince Cannistraro, Former Chief of Operations and Analysis for the CIA Counterterrorism Center charged that most unusually, Libby and Cheney visited desk-level policy analysts at the CIA.

The vice president and his chief of staff went out to CIA headquarters on a number of occasions -- at least on two occasions -- specifically to address the questions of weapons of mass destruction and the attempt to acquire a nuclear capability. These meetings, I'm told secondhand, were contentious, but the vice president insisted that there must be some support for this reporting of the yellow cake acquisition attempt. CIA analysts, I'm told, didn't have any independent data to verify that, but as a result of the insistent pressure being applied to the analysts and particularly to the nonproliferation center, the CIA did send, as they've said publicly, Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson on a fact-finding mission to Niger.

My question: Has Rove thrown Libby (and possibly Cheney) into the lion's den?

Note: Non-linked sources are available on Lexis.com.

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  • Re: Where Did Karl Rove Get the Information on Val (none / 0) (#1)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:08 PM EST
    It may be nitpicking, but the meme "Rove came across the information that it was Wilson's wife who authorized his trip to Africa." is inaccurate. Plame DID NOT and COULD NOT authorize a trip. She might have suggested her husband, due to his diplomatic familiarity with the region, but she didn't have the power or job description to be able to send him. The Ops chief and station chief agreed that he was the best man for the job.

    Re: Where Did Karl Rove Get the Information on Val (none / 0) (#2)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:08 PM EST
    Besides, Ken Mehlman said on CNN that Rove wasn't the leaker (interview with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon).

    When sharing classified information to a valid person (a person with the proper clearance and, in some cases, a need to know), the person sharing the info has an obligation to make known to the recipient the proper clearance required to share the information. I.e., if Rove knew she worked for the CIA, but didn't know that it was a secret, then somebody broke the security protocol. Here are the possibilities: 1) Rove knew it was a secret and divulged it anyway. 2) Rove didn't know it was a secret because his source did not properly inform him. 3) Rove didn't know because his source didn't know. In case 1, Rove is a traitor. In case 2, his source should have his clearance revoked. In case 3, we have to move to the next node in the trail: where did Rove's source get his/her info. No matter where the trail leads or how many excuses are bandied about, the security protocol was violated and somebody should have their clearance revoked. It should also be noted that it is a violation of protocol to confirm that leaked information is, in fact, correct. Here is where Rove definitely crossed the line and should have his clearance revoked. I'm inclined to think that case 1 is the one that actually applies. Case 2 and 3 both involve multiple players deciding not to find out whether or not her role at the CIA was confidential and/or passing that fact on without informing the recipient. Case 1, Rove is a traitor. Case 2 & 3, serial incompetence in security protocol. The gang that couldn't shoot straight. No wonder they can't catch Osama.

    One more time... with feeling--what about the classified State Dept. memo that Colin Powell took on Air Force One to Africa between July 7th and 12th? Did Rove have access to it or the information in it presumably regarding Plame/Wilson? Could this have been the source of Rove's knowledge? Can we put Rove and that memo together? What specifically did it say? Can it now be declassified for the Grand Jury's review? If it says anything remotely indicating Plame was a "covert" operative and Rove had access to it--bingo.

    Cooper: The notes, and my subsequent e-mails, go on to indicate that Rove told me material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson's mission and his findings. What was it that needed to be declassified? If Rove was not revealing secrets there would be no need to declassify. It must be the document that Colin took to Africa. It all fits doesnít it?