Thursday, October 13, 2005

WH administration illegally abrogate responsibilities for handling classified information

As the specter as indictments loom over various WHIGsters, I'm starting to hear yet another emphasis on whether Turdblossom, Scooter, Darth Cheney, et al knowingly transmitted classified information to those without the right and clearance to access such information. If peons like you or me had provided classified information (or confirmed the accuracy of classified information obtained from another source), whether we had known that the information was classified would be germane to legality of our actions. The folks in BushCo have an additional component to their legal obligations in the handling of classified information. People at federal agencies, including WH administration officials, have obligations delineated under Executive Order 12598 (and Bush's 2003 amendment to this order) that considers any knowing, willful or negligent dissemination of classified information to be a violation of that order. As I noted back in July, training on what is an impermissible disclosure is mandated and is verified as part of the "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement" (SF-312) signed by all administration officials. Section 3 of the Nondisclosure Agreement states [emphasis mine]:
I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation. I hereby agree that I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized by the United States Government to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization from the United States Government Department or Agency (hereinafter Department or Agency) responsible for the classification of the information or last granting me a security clearance that such disclosure is permitted. I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information, I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it, except to a person as provided in (a) or (b), above. I further understand that I am obligated to comply with laws and regulations that prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Included as part of that training is a notice that
confirming the accuracy of classified information, or calling attention to classified information that has appeared publicly, is considered just as much a violation as an unauthorized leak. Persons with access to classified information need to be informed of this obligation.
In other words, anyone in the administration was required to confirm whether information regarding Plame's status at the CIA was classified to ensure it was not classified prior to so much as acknowledging her status even if it had already appeared in the public domain.

Tags:; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: