Dub Not Dubya
Saturday, August 06, 2005
I sent this to Buzzflash, but I don't think they used it. I doubt anyone else out on the web has seen it, and for that matter it's unlikely that they'll see it here in my blog either, but nonetheless I'm posting it as useful material: Commentary from former holder of top-secret clearance explaining that Rove knew exactly what he was doing. Excerpt:
When I was first granted the clearance, I was made to read and sign several documents that outlined my responsibilities in reference to the information I would be made privy to, and what punishments could/would be visited upon me should I violate the agreements by disseminating the information to unauthorized individuals.
The hard and fast rule in the intelligence community is “Need To Know.” What that means is that the mere fact that I had a top-secret clearance did not mean that I could look at anything classified top secret or below. What it meant was that I was allowed access to such information as was necessary to do my job, and no more.
Essentially, if I had a friend who worked on a different project who also had a top secret clearance and, if I shared information from my project with him, I could have been, and likely would have been, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Just having the same or greater level clearance was/is not enough. To get access to information on a given classified project, the individual must have a valid “Need to Know” in addition to having the necessary clearance.
It is also important to note that simply confirming the veracity of a piece of classified information to an unauthorized individual was considered to be essentially the same as disseminating the information. So not being the first source on a bit of information is no defense if you could be considered a confirming source.