Ouch! The AP gets reeled in after chomping down hard on the GOP bamboozle bait. We join the unfortunate moment in <$NoAd$> progress (emphasis added) ...
Still, Charles Black, a longtime GOP strategist, predicts Rove will survive.
"It's good fodder for a feeding frenzy. And Democrats are pouncing on Karl because they fear and hate him. But, based on what we know that Karl did, there's nothing wrong with that," Black said.
"The question at the time that was put to McClellan in 2003 was did Karl or these other guys intentionally leak the woman's name, which is a criminal offense. He didn't do that," said Black.
A 1982 law prohibits the deliberate leaking of CIA agents' names. Plame is the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, who accused the administration of manipulating intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. Wilson suggests his wife's name was leaked as retaliation.
Black has apparently found black letter law showing that Rove had to use Plame's actual name, which Cooper's email suggests he didn't do. And the AP buys it.
Only the law doesn't say anything remotely like that.
You can read the whole thing here. But here are some examples of the language the law uses ...
identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent ... intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent
Intent is a very important component of the law, as is how the person in question learned the information. And either could be enough to get Rove off the hook. But the idea that the individuals name has to be used is completely ridiculous. But that didn't stop Charlie Black from bagging the AP pretty nicely on this one.