Karl Rove called Matt Cooper and told him about Valerie Plame.
One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, says he first learned the agent’s name from President Bush’s top political advisor, Karl Rove.
Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with “Good Morning America,” that the vice president’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative.
“There is no question. I first learned about Valerie Plame working at the CIA from Karl Rove,” Cooper said.
Libby has since claimed that he heard the Plame rumors from other reporters. Cooper disputed that version of events. “I don’t remember it happening that way,” he said. “I was taking notes at the time and I feel confident.”
Question 19: If information that a signer of the SF 312 knows to have been classified appears in a public source, for example, in a newspaper article, may the signer assume that the information has been declassified and disseminate it elsewhere?
Answer: No. Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified. Its disclosure in a public source does not declassify the information. Of course, merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure. However, before disseminating the information elsewhere or confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.
Maybe, just maybe Gonzo will step in and enforce this particular bit of bureaucratic paperwork. In which case, thanks to Cooper, the case for disciplining Rove and almost certainly relieving him of his clearance looks pretty cut-and-dried. And just maybe, winged monkeys will fly out of my butt.
Did Cooper misspeak? Was he misquoted, or was the original article wrong? We won’t know until somebody coughs up a tape. Odds are good that Crooks and Liars will have it first.