Monday, April 17, 2006

The Reporter Who Simply Could Not Take a Hint 

From our distinguished colleague Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker: A New York Sun story, by Josh Gerstein, published under the headline "No Hint Seen in Memo that Plame's Role Was Secret":
Contrary to published reports, a State Department memorandum at the center of the investigation into the leak of the name of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, appears to offer no particular indication that Ms. Plame's role at the agency was classified or covert.

The memo, drafted by the then head of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and addressed to the then secretary of state, Colin Powell, was carried aboard Air Force One as President Bush departed for Africa in July 2003. A declassified version of the document was obtained by The New York Sun on Saturday.
The designation at the top and bottom of every page of the document, which was also published by the New York Sun:


UPDATE: Ex-counterterrorism analyst Larry Johnson gets to the root of the problem:
When a paragraph is labeled S/NF (Secret/No Forn) that means the information is SECRET and not to be shared with foreigners. The mere mention of Valerie Wilson's name required that the paragraph be classified. If she was not undercover, the paragraph could have (and should have) been classified as LOU or FOUO. The New York Sun editors are morons. They don't even understand this basic point.

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