Right-Wing Talking Point Debunked

Yesterday, on CNN’s Inside Politics, right-wing political operative Rich Galen tried to rebut the idea that Karl Rove and others were leaking classified information. In this exchange with host Candy Crowley, Galen attempts to play down a Washington Post story identifying the “secret” State Department memo aboard Air Force One which administration officials may have used to out a covert CIA agent.

CROWLEY: Today there is a new development. The “Washington Post” reports on a classified State Department memo marked “S” for top secret in which Plame’s married name appears. If anyone in the White House saw that and still leaked her identity, that person could be in a world of trouble.

GALEN: I’m not sure it was top secret. It said secret.

CROWLEY: Yeah, right. It didn’t say “TS,” it said “S,” secret.

That talking point had a shelf-life of less than 24 hours. Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the memo was indeed “top secret.”

A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson’s Niger trip was classified “Top Secret,” and the passage about his wife’s CIA role was specially marked “S/NF” — not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video of the Galen segment.