Plame memo made it clear it shouldn't be leaked

The Wall Street Journal says notations on a State Department memo should have put readers on notice that they shouldn't share its contents.

Published July 19, 2005 4:46PM (EDT)

There's more news out today on that State Department memo on Valerie Plame -- the one Ari Fleischer and other White House officials may have been studying as they flew to Africa on Air Force One on July 7, 2003.

The memo may have been the basis for the leaks of Plame's identity to Robert Novak, Matthew Cooper and other reporters. But as the Wall Street Journal is reporting today, anyone reading the memo should have understood that its contents were meant to be confidential. The Journal says that, according to a source familiar with the document, the paragraph of the memo containing information about Plame's job was marked "with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn't be shared."

As the Journal explains, the designation on the memo "will make it harder for officials who saw the document to claim that they didn't realize the identity of the CIA officer was a sensitive matter."

As Roll Call is reporting today, approximately 50 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have signed on to a resolution demanding that the State Department provide Congress a copy of the Plame memo as well as any other documents it may have related to the case.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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