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July 11, 2005

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Matt Cooper And Karl Rove:

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» If You Want To Keep Up With the Rove/Plame Story.. from Decision '08
...you simply must put Tom Maguire at the top of your list. His latest is a typically thorough, well-thought-out look at the implications of the Newsweek story, and he covers angles that few others have. A consensus seems to be forming that Rove may ... [Read More]

» The Source of Valerie Plame's Blown Cover... from Generation Why?
...is none other than her husband, Joseph Wilson. [Read More]

» The Source of Valerie Plame's Blown Cover... from Generation Why?
...is none other than her husband, Joseph Wilson. [Read More]

» The Source of Valerie Plame's Blown Cover... from Generation Why?
...is none other than her husband, Joseph Wilson. [Read More]

» The Source of Valerie Plame's Blown Cover... from Generation Why?
...is none other than her husband, Joseph Wilson. [Read More]

» ROVE SCANDAL: LOTS OF SIZZLE, NOT MUCH STEAK from Right Wing Nut House
In this relative calm before the storm of media frenzy hits the Rove-Wilson-Plame story, it’s well to remember two things: 1. It’s going to get worse before (if) it gets better for Rove 2. There’s no “there” there If ... [Read More]

» Disclosure needs to be defined... from ThoughtsOnline
The prohibition on disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent has to be moot once the agent's secret identity has been disclosed.... but how much 'disclosure' is required before people can discuss the matter without fear of prosecution? [Read More]

» Isikoff lies again from Bob's Place
Do any of the following, referenced to back up this statement?: "Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rov... [Read More]

» Newest Rove Revelation: Legally Harmful Smoking Gun? from The Moderate Voice
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A new Newsweek st... [Read More]

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» No Plame Leak, but Left still hopes Rove will resign... from UNCoRRELATED
Newsweek's article on Matt Cooper's "source" for the Valerie Plame affair pretty clear indicates that the left's fantasy that Rove was "trying to get back at Wilson" was actually an effort to rebutt Wilson's lies: In February 2002, I was... [Read More]

» Is Rove the leak? from Just Johnny
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» Is Rove the leak? from Just Johnny
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» Thinking Through The Rove Leak On The Valerie Plame Case from Right Wing News
I'll grant you that Joe Wilson is a lying partisan, publicity hog. I'll also grant you that Valerie Plame's "secret... [Read More]

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» Is Rove the leak? from Just Johnny
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» Is Rove the leak? from Just Johnny
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» Your infrequent Plame saga update from Signifying Nothing
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Comments

SamAm

"There was clearly a lot of work for the White House to do."

No, I think by then they'd done quite enough.

I eagerly await Rove's resignation.

kim

For what? Discussing a political attack? Think again.
===============================

Jason Smith

sorry about the multiple trackbacks... kept getting an error.

Jon H


It's Lewis Libby, not Libby Lewis.

He's also known as "Scooter" Libbby, if that makes it easier to remember.

thad

What people keep losing sight of is that Wilson, in his original NYT op-ed, strongly implied that he had been sent - ultimately - by Vice President Cheney to Africa.

Remove the references to the Vice President from Wilson’s original op-ed and it ceases to be newsworthy. Wilson probably couldn’t have gotten it published.

The intended upshot of Wilson's op-ed was that the White House was ignoring a report they themselves commissioned because it didn't reach the desired conclusions. Without that news hook, the story would never have gotten off the ground.

Link: http://senderfreies.com/?p=35

Thad McArthur

martin

Mr. Maguire-no matter what happens in this case-you are always prepared to show nothing happened.

Although I'm sure your previous sophistry showed Rove could not have been Cooper's source, you accomodate the new reality pretty well. Yes, we're at war with Eurasia this week, and always have been, etc.

So let's lay out some benchmarks please:

1. What do you think actually happened here based on current statements from the White House and your timeline?

2. What information could,just conceivably, be revealed that would convince you you have been lied to?

3. or are you so partisan, e.g. Powerline, that you could in fact NOT be lied to by the White House?

Quilly Mammoth

The biggest problem with this whole mess,and the one that should be focused on, is that Wilson is a habitual liar. He lied in his book about his wife's involvement. He has lied repeatedly to the press. I think it is fair to say he lied to the Senate.

Wilson has spread so much disinformation so wide, and so think that the actual truth will always be obscured.

TexasToast

Seems frog marching has become a much better bet, eh?

TM

He's also known as "Scooter" Libbby, if that makes it easier to remember.

I am *so* blocking on that name, although I am making progress - in some old post, I was sure that "Scooter" was a she.

And me a Phil Rizzuto fan.

So let's lay out some benchmarks please:

1. What do you think actually happened here based on current statements from the White House and your timeline?

2. What information could,just conceivably, be revealed that would convince you you have been lied to?...

Interesting. While I think about that, why don't you tell us what info might convince you that (a) the Admin has been cooperating with an aggressive, fair investigation by the DoJ; and (b) Wilson has been duplicitous on many points.

And feel free to guess at what it would take to convince Josh Marshall of that.

Appalled Moderate

An illustration of the problems Rove now faces:

Q Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

MR. McCLELLAN: Those individuals -- I talked -- I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

MR. McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

Q Can I follow up on that?

Q They were not involved in what?

MR. McCLELLAN: The leaking of classified information.

Q Did you undertake that on your own volition, or were you instructed to go to these --

MR. McCLELLAN: I spoke to those individuals myself.

Link

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Link.

Then, there is this, where we gt all sorts of assurances Rove was not involved.

And, finally:

Q Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?

MR. McCLELLAN: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this, there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.

Q So you're saying -- you're saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you're saying?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct. I've spoken with them.

LINK

ArminTamzarian

$20 bets on whether Rove will be indicted for violating 50 USC 421 still being offered.

richard mcenroe

So what we have here so far is, Rove told a reporter something that we already know from other reporters was common knowledge among the Washington press corps and even the Washington social scene generally.

Yep. Fetch a rope, boys, they's justice t'be done,,,

AJStrata

Nice work, but some holes need filling. For one, Plame's employer was an open secret in the social circles of DC's power elite. This was confirmed yesterday by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and posted on Powerline by Scott. So there is no way this investigation has to do with outing Plame - she was out. Fitzgerald new this early on (if he is worth a dime as Federal Prosecutor). Next we have Plame who was a roque CIA employee against the war in Iraq. She and her husband probably cooked this up to get celebrity status and a key position in the Kerry administration (which was working until the truth came out on Wilson's report). Plame selected Wilson for this, did not say a thing when his obviously flawed and bogus report came back in, and said nothing when he went public in his Op-Ed piece (which is border line release of classified information since Saddam's nuclear intentions are classified, whether Wilson was right or wrong).

Clearly this is the true crime. Use of Federal resources to misinform the government and public on the critical national security issue of Saddam's nuclear intentions. Plus they probably released sensitive or classified information in the Op-Ed piece.

Those are serious crimes. More here.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/258

As for Powell's memo and Hunter's timeline stuff they miss the point. For Plame to send Wilson she would need to coordinate that with State. That is why Powell was called in, to understand who asked for permission to send Wilson (betchya it was Plame). Also, it would bring the entire trip up to the NSC level since CIA and State were coordinating an important fact finding mission. Which is why Rove and many others knew about the trip, the results and the players....

Simple really.

Martin

-"why don't you tell us what info might convince you that (a) the Admin has been cooperating with an aggressive, fair investigation by the DoJ"-

Umm..The fact that the DOJ is in fact aggressively investigating IS proof that the Admin is not cooperating. If the Admin cooperated fully what would be left to investigate?-it would be either indict or close shop as all the facts would be on the table.

What is Fitzgerald doing that Bush could not do better? Fitzgerald is beating up reporters to shake loose their Admin sources; whereas Bush could eliminate the middleman and beat up the sources themselves to reveal all.

IceCold

Yikes, we're so safe and coddled back in CONUS that this non-story is STILL playing out and captivating the elite masses? I don't mean the crushingly dull issues surrounding the Plame covert status stuff -- that'll play out and be of no consequence in the larger picture.

But the underlying "non-story" -- dissed thusly by some of us at the time it "broke" -- has attained a special status: a non-story even its own terms, which terms themselves turn out to be fraudulent. Don't know the word for that, but it's probably some synonym for "b.s.".

The SOTU didn't refer to Niger, the 16 words were validated as accurate the instant the Brits nodded and confirmed them, the assessed Iraqi WMD threat was inherent in the particular facts of the situation and didn't depend to any degree on one specific uranium ore initiative, and on and on. No "there" there.

And then the subsequent investigations showed that Wilson's uninteresting and non-material comments were themselves inconsistent with the inconsequential report he provided to CIA. In other words, a tangential matter about which a less than tangential figure lied.

That the mediocre minds in media and the blogs frequently mentioned here didn't see the essential emptiness of this tempestuous teacup is no surprise. That reasonably competent people at the WH didn't immediately frame things intelligently -- and still haven't -- has always been surprising and disturbing.

robert0

So, I'm sitting there with my wife and some guy I don't really like from down the block. He says to me, "Hey, was that chubby girl blowing you last night in the pool room? Cause she says she was blowing you. And she's teller her firends that she was blowing you. Was she blowing you?"

So I lied. Entirely reasonable.

Ralph

Martin,

"aggressive investigation"

You're still hung up on the concept that the leak MUST have come from the White House. That MAY be the final conclusion, but none of us "on the outside" have data to prove that yet. The fact is that a federal prosecutor has much more in the way of resources to carry on a full investigation, and his charge is to find out IF a leak occurrred (whether from the White House, or some other source), and to determine if a crime has been committed.

Even if the leak is from the White House, the Administration would be in no credible position to determine whether or not a crime has been committed. They would still have to refer the matter to the DOJ for that determination.

The only credible way for the case to be investigated and the TRUTH (not just what one side or the other politically wants it to be) to be determined is by the investigation by a Federal Prosecutor, who does have te power to indict.

Appalled Moderate

Beyond the simple question of there being any laws violated -- we have a lot of assurances back in 2003 that Rove was not involved in the leaking. Now it's still possible he was not Novak's source, and it was in this context all the bs was being dished in 2003. But let's just say that the statements made in September, October 2003 about Rove's involvement in leaking are hard to harmonize with what we know today with respect to Cooper.

Martin

Ralph (and Mr. Maguire)-note from todays NYT:

"Ms. Miller has been jailed for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena directing her to testify about "a specified executive branch official" whose identity is known to the special prosecutor in the case, according to court papers. But Ms. Miller refuses to rely on the waiver the source signed or the sort of assurances that have satisfied other reporters."

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

ArminTamzarian

Martin:

There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

SCSIwuzzy

Martin,
She could also be protecting her other sources. If she admits she asked question B, and got answer C, a decent investigator would ask about A, the thing that led to asking B.
So if she asked her source if Plame was behind Wilson's trip, and the answer was yes, how did Miller know about it to get confirmation?
And if Fitzgerald knows who the source is, and the source has waivered Miller, why hasn't he asked the source? He may have, but the NYT article you lovingly quote does not tell us either way.
Independent investigations go not imply guilt. If the WH did its own investigation, many people would not believe the answers (I suspect you are one of them), even if they were damning. And an aggressive investigation does not mean there is resistance at the White House, either. It just mean Fitzgerald takes his job seriously, and wants a thorough and timely investigation.

ArminTamzarian

SCSIwuzzy:

You, on the other hand, are thinking too much. It's not that complicated.

Prosecutor: Mrs. W, for the 34th time, what did Mr. D tell you?

Mr. D: Oh, Mr. Prosecutor, that won't be necessary. I just talked to her about the Mets and her daughter's graduation. Nothing incriminating, I assure you.

Prosecutor: I see, well that clears everything up entirely. Mrs. W, I don't need you any more. You're free to go.

vnjagvet

OK, Apalled Moderate and Martin. Based on the Cooper email, and any other evidence to which you want to direct the assembeled masses here, specifically what "classified information" was leaked on or around July 10, 2003 by Karl Rove?

David Walser

[W]e have a lot of assurances back in 2003 that Rove was not involved in the leaking. ... But let's just say that the statements made in September, October 2003 about Rove's involvement in leaking are hard to harmonize with what we know today with respect to Cooper." - Appalled Moderate

Hard to harmonize? Not really. So far, we know that Rove, without naming Plame, told one or more reporters that Wilson had been sent to Niger on the recommendation of his wife. Since Novak used Plame's name, it would not be unreasonable for Rove to conclude that he was NOT Novak's source.

TM

If the Admin cooperated fully what would be left to investigate?

Well, the prosecutor seems to be trying to verify their statements by chatting with uncooperative reporters.

Anyway, I mocked the notion that Bush should investigate this years ago - in short, how many Dems would take it seriously if Bush announced that he had interviewed his staff, looked them in the eye, and was sacking two unknowns? Wouldn't Chuck Schumer, Marshall, et al scream "cover-up"? Of course they would, and they would demand an independent counsel to investigate. Which we have.

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

Is there any reason th think they have not? If we believe all the WaPo reporting (whiuch they don't seem to be trumpeting today),Miller was subpoenaed along with four others to testify about Libby. The other four have spoken, as has Libby; Ms. Miller does not take at face value the general waivers Cooper accepted.

Very principled, but not a strong hint that Libby has not cooperated.


TM

Appalled - it sure look like McClellan was not in on the spin and parsing.

Someone has dragged up an old Rove comment to CNN where he denies giving Ms. Plame's name to anyone. Cute. But somone should have tipped Scott.

And there are at least three hints that Rove did not leak to Novak:

(1) Novak said source was not a partisan gun-slinger. Not real credible, but there it is.

(2) Luskin, Rove's attorney, says Rove only had one conversation, which apparently was with Cooper.

(3) In his e-mail, Cooper says that Rove said Ms. Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip.

But Novak reported that sr. admin officials told him "Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger".

Suggested, authorized - who knows?

cathyf

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

Well if Fitzgerald wants testimony under oath from all parties to all of the conversations, then the testimony of the people who talked to Miller only does part of the job.

The other piece of this that is interesting is to wonder whether Miller had any discussions with the NYT op-ed staff as to Joe Wilson's credibility. I don't think that it's a crime to knowingly publish lies, so Miller can't take the 5th if Fitzgerald asks her. And this is a grand jury hearing, not a courtroom, so there is no defense attorney to object that the question is immaterial and no judge to rule that she doesn't have to answer it.

So imagine that Fitzgerald gets Miller under oath. He finds out what the "administration sources" told her about Wilson. He then pursues the question of who else Miller discussed the info with. It turns out that Miller talked about it with her NYT bosses. Fitzgerald includes a full discussion of this non-crime in his final report. What's left of the NYT's credibility goes down the toilet.

Or Miller holds out, gamely, if bizziarely, claiming that she is "protecting her source" even though the person who is claimed to be the source has released her from all agreements. Fitzgerald eventually gives in, using Martin's logic that he's heard everything he needs to hear from the sources. Miller goes free, and the NYT escapes the humiliation.

Alternative theory is that Miller has multiple sources. All but one of those sources have cooperated with Fitzgerald, released her from confidentiality agreements, etc. Then there is one more source, who Fitzgerald doesn't know anything about, who really did break the law and out Plame. Imagine that Miller has a source who is another member of the CIA Iraq/WMD team. Who is intimately knowledgeable about the circumstances of Joe Wilson's sedition and appalled by it. Who has fed Miller massive amounts of valuable intelligence info over a period of years. Yeah, that would be a source willing to go to jail for...

cathy :-)

David Walser

It's helpful to try to keep this in the proper perspective. The original controversy was based on Wilson's allegation that the White House leaked classified information in an attempt to PUNISH him by putting his wife in danger. Instead, it appears (from the Cooper emails and other sources) the motive for the leak was to DISCREDIT Wilson. Absent any legal violations, which even the NY Times now admits most likely did not occur, how much controversy would there have been over the Administration's attempts to defend itself from Wilson's misleading and politically motivated charges? Wilson's claims got play because he asserted the White House was so reckless and so bent on revenge that they were willing to endanger a CIA agent. If, as now appears to be the case, there was no attempt at revenge nor any intent to endanger Plame, would we have cared who Novak's source was? I doubt it.

Ralph

Martin,

"If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?"

This has been addressed TM and others, but I want to add my two cents worth.

In your apparent determination to fit the facts to your conclusion, you're ignoring the fact that the prosecutor is INVESTIGATING. Let's assume that the White House employee in question (and even that is an assumption, since we don't KNOW Miller's source, we're only assuming that it is the same as Cooper's) has, indeed, testified and told the grand jury "the truth." The prosecutor needs to find out if what the person who testified is the TRUTH, or only his/her version of it. It's elementary investigative procedure to get the testimony of the person on the other side of the conversation. Fitzgerald is professional, and doing his job.

Even you should notice that there have been no claims of "executive privilege" or other ploys to restrict the people at the White House from testifying. IF Fitzgerald felt he was being obstructed that would at least have come out from actions he'd have had to file in court.

Fitzgerald is, by all accounts, very PROFESSIONAL. He MUST to gather ALL of the facts, and seek to corroborate all testimony, or rather at least all CRITICAL testimony, if his investigation is to be done to professional standards.

Given the bent of your arguments, I doubt that this will convince you, but it is a FACT that you have produced NO proof of any unwillingness of the White House to fully cooperate. It's only reporters that have been the subject of contempt of court rulings.

In contrast, the Clinton White House, was frequently the subject of significant "comtempt of court" penalties. One might argue that they were only the result of "misunderstandings," but the FACT that those penalties were assessed at least provides an argument for an attempt by the White House to obstruct those investigations.

Appalled Moderate

The problem here is that there were repeated assertions coming out of the White House in 2003 that Rove was "not involved". My guess is that if Rove had come semi-clean at that time, he would have been forced to go by the outcry.

Now that a year and a half hase gone by, Rove will probably be able to remain, as long as there is no continued drip drip drip of stories. I don't know where any qadditional drips will come from, as long as Miller hangs tough.

I dislike this. It illustrates that sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself in Washington is flat-out lie to the Public (but not to investigators). It saved Clinton (who salvaged himself in early '98 by denying relations with "that woman" and only coming clean later, when folks had gotten used to the idea of having an adulterer in chief. Now it's saving Rove.

Martin

Well just one more question and I'll let you guys get back to your Kool-Aid.

When did President Bush first learn Rove told Cooper about Mrs. Wilson?

TexasToast

AM

As we are seeing here, “cover ups” (and I’m using the term loosely) work more often than people care to admit – that’s why they remain so enduringly popular. It’s actually quite entertaining to see a guy who calls his political opponents “traitors” sweat a bit on a potential espionage rap. It’s downright poetic – or, at least, worthy of a Clancy plot line. It’s also entertaining to see our friends on the right defend the deep cover mole in the White House – especially on a charge like this one. Can you imaging the histrionics if this were some Democratic political strategist leaking the name of a covert operative for political purposes – or, using Karl’s apparent defense, not her name, but her husband’s name? “Traitor” would be mild.


I actually am considering proposing a new axiom (similar to Godwin’s Law) for JOM posts. The longer the post, the more parsing and jivin’, the shakier Tom’s position. This one, when you put it together with the last several on the very same topic, must be some sort of record.

I guess, like Scott M, Tom isn’t on the memo list for the, apparently evolving, “facts”.

TM

I dislike this. It illustrates that sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself in Washington is flat-out lie to the Public (but not to investigators).

I think it was in Woodward's book "Shadow" that he describes how the tactic of hiding everything with the grand jury investigation until the storms blows past has been an evolving.

In Iran-Contra, remember, Congress held hearings were quite informative, but ruined the prosecutions. So now, COngress doesn't even have hearings.

Except that sometimes, the behavior is bad, but not criminal, and hearings are the way to go.

Well, maybe the Dems could never have gotten a Rep chairman to look at this anyway.

Cecil Turner

"The problem here is that there were repeated assertions coming out of the White House in 2003 that Rove was "not involved"."

ISTM the subject in each case was: "The leaking of classified information." (Though Luskin has now apparently qualified that with "knowingly.") If he got the information from the INR memo, and it wasn't marked as classified . . .

"Novak said source was not a partisan gun-slinger."

That was the main reason I didn't think Rove was the leaker, since a bald-faced lie would destroy Novak's credibility forever . . . but I'm starting to waver. He'd probably feel justified in putting in a bit of disinformation to mask his source (a la Woodward's "heavy smoker" misdirection concerning Felt). Occam's Razor would suggest no second leaker (or one connected with Rove).

"Plame's employer was an open secret in the social circles of DC's power elite."

That doesn't appear to meet the standard:

It is a defense to a prosecution under section 421 of this title that before the commission of the offense with which the defendant is charged, the United States had publicly acknowledged or revealed the intelligence relationship to the United States of the individual the disclosure of whose intelligence relationship to the United States is the basis for the prosecution. [emphasis added]

vnjagvet

AM and Martin:

"not involved" = "not involved in leaking classified information". My question to you guys still stands. Specifically what "classified information" was leaked by Rove or anyone else in the White House?

mark

If anyone is being sought for prosecution, would it not be the source at the CIA?

Rove is at the tailend of any liability, whereas the co-worker(?) who gave out the info, should be at the center of the investigation.

mark

If anyone is being sought for prosecution, would it not be the source at the CIA?

Rove is at the tailend of any liability, whereas the co-worker(?) who gave out the info, should be at the center of the investigation.

Appalled Moderate

vnjagvet:

Ever hear of the phrase "close enough for government work"?

It applies here. I don't care if Rove's defenders committed perjury or not. I do care if they intentionally misled me.

So, in answer to your question, I certainly do not know whether Rove knowingly passed on classified info. I do know he allowed others to leave the impression he had nothing to do with any of this.

Thought we left existential questions about the meaning of "is" with the end of the last administration.

Cooper

Pejman and John H. of Powerline are bolder in asserting that Karl is in the clear.

I think if Rove admitted that he knew about Plame's covert status, John Hinderaker would still say Rove was in the clear. Pejman might as well. Those two are complete hacks. . . .

Martin

Hey Appalled Moderate-you have to check out today's afternoon press briefing with McClellan.

It's just so embarassing for those of us who still have the capacity for that emotion.

cathyf

I think if Rove admitted that he knew about Plame's covert status, John Hinderaker would still say Rove was in the clear. Pejman might as well. Those two are complete hacks. . . .
So we should consider if Pejman and Hindraker are hacks when we are evaluating their credibility, but no one is allowed to pass along factual, non-secret information when it comes to evaluating Joe Wilson's credibility?

Oh, and by the way, your name-calling is not persuasive. So you'll need to come up with some actual data which supports your accusation of hackery. And when you do, we'll sic a special prosecutor on you for outting spies. And if your defense is that what you said had nothing to do with spies, then we'll claim, "Aha! He had has admitted that he talked! Frog march off with him!"

cathy :-)

mark

Since a lot of people are throwing out the 'covert' label...any sources that she was a 'covert operative' available?

Aside from Larry Johnson's, 'I knew her and she was a covert operative for 3 decades' statement, and of course the 'reputable' Joe Wilson's claim(s)...

Appalled Moderate

Martin:

Thanks for the tip. This was painful. In fairness, the fault is with Rove, who seems to have lied to the President's press secratary.

S.M. Dixon

Karl Rove will not be prosecuted for outing Valerie Plame; the IIPA gives him too much wiggle room.

However, he CAN be prosecuted for giving false information to federal investigators.

July 11, 2003:
Rove talked to Time magazine's Matt Cooper about Plame.

July 14, 2003:
Bob Novak's story ("Mission to Niger") is published, in which he outs Valerie Plame.

October 2003:
Rove told the FBI, which was investigating the leak of Plame's name, that he had not spoken to any reporters about Plame until after Novak's column came out.

The maximum penalty for giving false information to a federal agent is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

And if Rove told the same story to the grand jury, he's guilty of perjury, too.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'The original controversy was based on Wilson's allegation that the White House leaked classified information in an attempt to PUNISH him by putting his wife in danger. Instead, it appears (from the Cooper emails and other sources) the motive for the leak was to DISCREDIT Wilson.'

But, in and of itself, his wife's recommending him doesn't do that. It's perfectly logical that she would say something like, 'Niger? My husband has lots of contacts there, why don't we send him to nose around.' Why would a smart guy like Rove think that would discredit him?

It's only Wilson's odd reaction that suggests he's got something to hide.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Rove told the FBI, which was investigating the leak of Plame's name, that he had not spoken to any reporters about Plame until after Novak's column came out.'

You're not keeping up with the time line. Novak's column was available July 11.

chill winston chill

Slow down Dixon, take the time to read the post. From above "Let me grab a red pen and play editor for a moment. First, for Mike Isikoff of Newsweek, let's get some corporate synergy going - your very own WaPo parent reported last November that Novak's column went out on the wire on Friday, July 11, the same day that Cooper and Rove talked. Editor & Publisher also picked up on this (and both articles appeared in my still-useful timeline). Good job by Hunter at DKos for noting this:

Cooper talked to Rove at 11:07am, according to Newsweek. You can bet Fitzgerald has already determined precisely when Novak's column hit the wires." Really, if you think Rove is dumb enough to lie the FBI and a Grand Jury you oughta take a couple asprins and lay down.

Martin

Of course Rove is dumb. You can see it in his face.

Didn't one of the first guys to leave the administration characterize the whole lot as "Mayberry Machiavellis"?

And although that was way before Plamegate, it perfectly captures this carnival of lies of deceit.

Martin

Ok-I googled. That was former domestic policy adviser John DiIulio. His quotes to Esquire in January 2003 are extremely prophetic:

"There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," DiIulio tells Esquire. "What you've got is everything--and I mean everything--being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

DiIulio: "Karl is enormously powerful, maybe the single most powerful person in the modern, post-Hoover era ever to occupy a political advisor post near the Oval Office."

* DiIulio: "When policy analysis is just backfill, to back up a political maneuver, you'll get a lot of ooops."

Prophetic.

jukeboxgrad

Someone called Hinderaker a "hack." cathyf said "you'll need to come up with some actual data which supports your accusation of hackery."

All the data you need is readily apparent at the Power Line site itself, but since you have some trouble seeing it for what it is, you can get some help here, here, here, here and here.

I'm going to paraphrase various arguments that some have presented in a lame attempt to paint Rove as something other than a dangerous traitor. By the way, I'm not that interested (at the moment) in showing that Rove will be convicted of anything. I'm interested in showing that he did something very wrong.

"She wasn't a covert operative."

It doesn't matter, unless you can show that Rove knew for sure that she wasn't a covert operative (and I haven't seen any indication that Rove is in a position to make such a claim). Before speaking about her to a reporter, Rove had a moral obligation to make sure he wasn't outing an agent.

"Rove didn't know she was a covert operative."

It doesn't matter. Before speaking about her to a reporter, Rove had a moral obligation to make sure he wasn't outing an agent. Rove obviously knew she worked for the CIA. Many (but of course not all) of the people who work at the CIA are covert operatives. Therefore, Rove knew that there was at least a chance that she was a covert operative. At best, therefore, he did something highly reckless and negligent.

"Other people knew, like Andrea Mitchell"

It doesn't matter if other folks in Washington knew, or were saying, that Plame was a covert operative (unless one can show that it was such common knowledge that it had already been published, and obviously that's not the case). Two wrongs don't make a right. What Rove did was still wrong.

"Rove didn't say her name."

That argument is so absurd, that the fact that it is even raised at all is an indication of how much trouble Rove is in. There are many ways to positively identify someone without using their name. If I mentioned the sociopathically cunning pseudo-Texan currently squatting in the White House (link), it's hard to imagine anyone arguing that it made any difference that I didn't use his name.

"The motive was merely to discredit Wilson, not to punish him by endangering his wife."

It doesn't matter what the motive was. It was still wrong.

"It's [merely] a top aide providing truthful information to journalists in response to lies told to embarrass the administration and our government"

(Of course that's not a paraphrase; it's straight from Power Line. And here are some variations on that argument: "Wilson claimed Cheney sent him, and that's not true, Plame sent him ... Saddam really was trying to get uranium from Africa, after all ... Wilson was arguably in bed with a CIA faction that opposed the war.")

It doesn't matter (with regard to Rove's behavior, that is) whether or not Plame and/or Wilson are creeps and/or liars, and it doesn't matter if they were trying "to embarrass the administration and our government." And it doesn't matter (with regard to Rove's behavior, that is) if Wilson was sent by Plame, and if Saddam really was trying to get uranium from Africa, and if "Wilson was arguably in bed with a CIA faction that opposed the war." All of this is nothing but pathetic misdirection.

There will always be creeps and liars who are going to try "to embarrass the administration and our government." The administration needs to counter this by speaking openly and truthfully, in plain sight, and there are many opportunities for the government to do so. If Rove wanted to make a case that Wilson was making statements that were wrong, Rove needed to find a way to do that which didn't involve secretly telling a reporter (on "double super secret background") any information about anyone who might even possibly be a covert operative. It's as simple as that. Instead, Rove put politics ahead of national security.

(For example, if Rove wanted to send the message "Cheney didn't send Wilson," Rove should simply have said "Cheney didn't send Wilson." Mentioning Plame as a way to communicate this point proved nothing, and was not necessary.)

The fact that Rove had to resort to such a step in order to defend Bush from those who ostensibly were trying "to embarrass the administration and our government," tends to create the impression that Rove knew the facts were not on his side. If the facts were on his side, that's what he should have used. Instead, he stooped to outing an agent. Scum.

Olbermann summed it all up pretty well a few hours ago: "Rove is a liability in the war on terror" (link).

chill said: "Cooper talked to Rove at 11:07am"

Not exactly. This was an error by Hunter, which he corrected in the comments, I think. 11:07 is not the time of the conversation with Rove. 11:07 is the time Cooper sent the email. Therefore Cooper and Rove spoke some time earlier than 11:07. Cooper needed at least a few minutes (and possibly more) to get off the phone with Rove, collect his thoughts, and compose the email.

At some point I think we're all going to find out exactly what time Novak's story hit the wires. For now, it's still hard for me to understand why Rove said to Cooper the material was "double super secret background," if it was already widely available via the Creators Syndicate newswire. That doesn't add up.

mf

Would Joe Wilson uses his wife's occupation to augment his authority?

Yes. Miller is actually protecting Nick Kristoff. It is certain that Kristoff knew, and who he shared that info with is a lot of the reason the NYT is going along with this. If it was Rove, it would have been leaked.

Cooper's source is Andrea Mitchell. She knew from previous functions that Wilson's wife worked for WMD/CIA.


There are 6-10 other reporters who were blessed with the vocation of VP, by Ambsdr Wilson.

The man is actaully capable of peddling his wife's vocation as a source credibility. He was willing to lie and say that he went at the request of Dick Cheney. Wonderfully credible. What a great guy.

MeTooThen

All,

Sadly, the facts of this case seems to matter little to the partisans here.

The notion that Valerie Plame was "outed" as a way to punish Joseph Charles Wilson IV is a fiction, created from whole cloth as a way to add energy to the now infamous "Bush Lied" meme, which to this day still lives on.

I would advise those on both sides (but especially TT, AM, and Martin, for whom nothing less than impeachment of the POTUS would seem to satisfy there rage and paranoia) to read all of the comments carefully from beginning to end.

What one should be left with it the notion that Novak, Cooper, and Miller, each had different sources, or at least the three shared some sources, others not. And, this is the important thing, some of those sources were other journalists and maybe as yet named CIA or government officials.

This is why Mr. Fitzgerald, to this credit, is painstakingly following the leads as they arise.

Joesph Charles Wilson IV is a serial liar, this is certain.

As to his and his wife's motivations for L'affaire Plame, one can only speculate.

I think cathyf and David Walser seem to be close here. Ms. Miller's testimony would be damaging to the NYT and possibly others within government hostile to Bush (and by extention, given the timing) while sympathetic (to say the least) to John Forbes Kerry.

Mr. Maguire has done yeoman's work and should be credited, no matter what the outcome.

And lastly, quoting Kos?

Puhlease.

vnjagvet

AM and Martin:

As advocates for the party not currently occupying the White House, are you prepared to say (a) that artful denials are not practiced in the ordinary course of the business of politics by both parties in relatively equal proportions; (b) that this has not been so since the beginning of the republic (c) that among the greatest practitioners of the art were not Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and William J. Clinton all of whom were Democrats? (d) that each of these practitioners of high political art did not have operatives that skillfully maneuvered for political advantage using artful deception from time to time; (e) that you are not really that shocked! shocked!! when a political operative of the opposite party displays similar skills?

Also the question of whether Rove leaked "classified" information is at the heart of all of the meaningful charges against him. "Close enough for government work" doesn't cut it for me. Nor will it cut it for Fitzgerald.

All of the rest is partisan sniping, the stock in trade of the unhinged of both parties today, I fear.

There will be no frog marching resulting from this saga, folks. Sorry.

martin

Man you guys are denser than osmium even.

I'll just let the facts themselves refute you in due course, as they have done so far so well.

Just as McClellan went from yesterdays arrogant insouciance to todays melancholy "no comment", so shall ye have your tongue cleave to the roofs of your mouths.

vnjagvet

What have I said, Martin, that shall cause my tongue to cleave to the roof of my mouth?

If Rove is convicted, resigns or is fired for this I will buy you a beer, how about that?

If he is vilified in the Washington Post or the New York Times, I will merely thinks it is "politics as usual".

Jon Sandor

"While Novak's column did not run until Monday, July 14, it could have been seen by people in the White House or the media as early as Friday, July 11, when the Creators Syndicate distributed it over the Associated Press wire."

"One current or former administration official has told Fitzgerald that he or she had a conversation with Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus on Saturday, July 12, Pincus has said publicly. Pincus also has said his source was not Libby. Pincus has previously said that an administration official told him that day that Wilson's trip to Niger was set up as a boondoggle by his CIA-employed wife."

"Time reporter Matthew Cooper has told prosecutors that he talked to Libby on July 12 and mentioned that he had heard that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, a source knowledgeable about his testimony said. Cooper testified that Libby said he had heard the same thing from the media."


See here

ed

Hmmm.

"Man you guys are denser than osmium even."

Oh yeah? Well ... you're denser than quarkium!

hah! :)

Appalled Moderate

vnjaqvet:

You can't get arrested for engaging in artful sophistry before the press corps. I think any thought of frog marching Rove is way premature.

But, you sure can take a beating when the press corps figures out they have been artful sophistried to. And guess what, that's exactly what has happened.

I hope, vn, that your response to the natural reaction of a group that feels lied to is not to complain about "the bias of that awful liberal media."

TM

If I mentioned the sociopathically cunning pseudo-Texan currently squatting in the White House (link), it's hard to imagine anyone arguing that it made any difference that I didn't use his name.

Hmm, aren't Rove and Bush both pseudo-Texans?

Anyway, let's move off the topic of whether Pejman and /or Hinderaker are hacks; I engage in enough hackery right here to keep everyone busy.

Good job by Dixon on the link to the TAP">http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2004/03/waas-m-03-08.html">TAP account by Mr. Waas of Rove chat with the FBI.

However, whether Fitzgerald pursues a "false statement" charge depends on how material he considers the false statement to be - "I forgot" can work as a defense, especially if the specific statements (not available in the article) are suitably hedged.

In any case, a quick reading of the first two paragraphs shows the "false statements" case may not exist. Here we go:

President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter.

But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column. He also told the FBI, the same sources said, that circulating the information was a legitimate means to counter what he claimed was politically motivated criticism of the Bush administration by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

In the first paragraph, Karl admits he discussed Plame with journalists - no date is given for those discussions, so maybe he mentioned Cooper in that contest.

In the second paragraph, Karl denies being Novak's source - may be true, who knows?

And Rove denies "circulating" info - what does that mean?

Early on in the scandal, it had been alleged that Rove had made lots of phone calls. Eventually, folks like Andrea Mitchell and Chris MAtthews realized that they had been called *after* Novak. Maybe that is "circulating".

And maybe telling Cooper on double super-secret background was explained to the FBI as "not circulating".

Now, I don't know. But my point is, based on this account of leaked interview tidbits, Dixon can't know either.

"Other people knew, like Andrea Mitchell"

It doesn't matter if other folks in Washington knew, or were saying, that Plame was a covert operative (unless one can show that it was such common knowledge that it had already been published, and obviously that's not the case).

Maybe. But where did Karl hear it from? What if his source was, pick a name at random, Judy Miller? Libby had heard it from journalists - why not Karl?

At some point I think we're all going to find out exactly what time Novak's story hit the wires. For now, it's still hard for me to understand why Rove said to Cooper the material was "double super secret background," if it was already widely available via the Creators Syndicate newswire. That doesn't add up.

Interesting point. And one might ask, how did Drudge miss it over the weekend?

*MAYBE* Karl was hoping to get Cooper's attention by glamming it up - passing the tip as an inside secret is more exciting than saying, hey, read the darn paper.

Maybe Rove was trying to prevent Cooper from scooping Novak.

Maybe Rove mentioned Novak, but Cooper decided to glam up his source.

Maybe Rove had been advised by his fellow spinners that Novak was going to run a push-back piece, but had not seen it yet.

Well, I am just warming up. And let's not leave out, maybe Rove had not seen the Novak story, but told Cooper anyway.

jukeboxgrad

VN

vn said "artful denials are [not] practiced in the ordinary course of the business of politics by both parties in relatively equal proportions"

It's not a good sign for the quality of your argument that the best you can do is claim that Bush has only done what Dems have done. What happened to Bush's promise to "restore honor, integrity and dignity to the White House?" Maybe that's another question that can't be answered while there's an ongoing criminal investigation.

By the way, you've failed to show that any of the Democratic presidents you mentioned did anything this bad. Power Line attempted to make the same comparison and the best they could come up with was an overcoat and a blowjob (not the one you think).

TM

TM said "aren't Rove and Bush both pseudo-Texans?"

Good point. My mistake. There are so many sociopathically cunning pseudo-Texans currently squatting in the White House that I lost count.

"let's move off the topic of whether Pejman and /or Hinderaker are hacks; I engage in enough hackery right here to keep everyone busy."

Definitely true, but you're funnier and more personable than those other hacks.

By the way (as long as I'm complimenting you), I would probably never rip you to shreds elsewhere (as I did to Hinderaker on Kos), because unlike Hinderaker you at least have the guts to provide a comments area where folks can rip you to shreds.

"What if his source was, pick a name at random, Judy Miller?"

Keep in mind I don't care (primarily, at the moment) about the legal perspective. I care more (at the moment) about the moral and political perspective.

It doesn't matter if his source was Judy Miller, unless if you mean that he read it in a Judy Miller piece in the Times (and obviously you don't mean that). He still had a responsibility to do whatever he could to protect the identity of a covert operative, as long as there was even a chance that the person might be a covert operative. In my opinion, there are only two possible defenses (in the moral realm, not the legal realm). One defense would be that he had actively, positively determined, before he said anything to anyone about Plame, that she was definitely not a covert operative. I think we would agree that he is not in a position to make this defense. (I think it would certainly be a bombshell if new information on this point suddenly appeared. And I don't mean new information to suggest that she was not a covert op. I mean new information to suggest that Rove actively and positively determined that she was not a covert op, before he said anything about her to anyone.)

The only other possible defense is for him to claim that before he said anything to anyone about her, her identity was already openly available to the general public. In other words, I think there's a very important distinction to be drawn between the information being the subject of cocktail party whispers (including, as you speculate, a whisper by Miller into Rove's ear), as compared with the information appearing on pages of major publications.

That's why I think it would be very interesting to know what time Novak's story hit the wires. However, my guess is that it was not early. This guess is influenced by the fact that Rove's lawyer has not been encouraging us to bark up this tree.

By the way, if Miller outed Plame to Rove, the proper moral response by Rove is not to say, "thanks, now I feel free to pass that along." The proper moral response by Rove would be to tell Miller to stop.

"how did Drudge miss it over the weekend?"

Very good point. I asssume you must know this to be true (that Drudge missed it).

"*MAYBE* Karl was hoping to get Cooper's attention by glamming it up - passing the tip as an inside secret is more exciting than saying, hey, read the darn paper."

This is a reasonable question, which I thought about. I think it doesn't add up, though. This would create a situation where Cooper would end up feeling tricked and burned by Rove. "Hey Karl, you made such a big deal about it, but it was already on the wire, and the kids at the water cooler were already talking about it. You made me feel like a fool when I ran in there jumping up and down about my big new scoop. You must have known it was on the wire already, and you were just trying to play me."

So I don't think Rove would want to abuse Cooper's trust, in this manner. Rove needs Cooper for the future.

"Maybe Rove was trying to prevent Cooper from scooping Novak."

On the contrary. Rove had every reason to expect ("double super secret background" notwithstanding) that reporters are in the business of printing what they get, as quickly as possible. So who knows if Rove knew that Novak's story was coming. But it does seem clear that Rove was trying to get Cooper to write a story, and most likely right away.

"Maybe Rove mentioned Novak, but Cooper decided to glam up his source."

I can't see this, because this amounts to Cooper trying to trick his boss (similar to what I described above about Rove trying to trick Cooper). Cooper's boss would know, or would eventually find out, that Cooper was trying to "glam up" something that wasn't a scoop.

"Maybe Rove had been advised by his fellow spinners that Novak was going to run a push-back piece, but had not seen it yet."

That seems possible, but I think it's not enough to let Rove off the hook. I think there is no moral cover for Rove unless the information was already publicly available at the moment he spoke with Cooper.

"maybe Rove had not seen the Novak story, but told Cooper anyway."

Frankly I think that's the most likely option (and not just that Rove hadn't yet seen the Novak story, but that the Novak story was not yet publicly available; I think the latter is the more important consideration). As I said, if this were the case (that the Novak story indeed hit the wires early Friday morning), Rove's lawyer would now be dropping lots of hints in this direction. Note that many, many recent news reports (including WSJ and WaPo) are citing Monday as the date of Novak's article, without bothering to explain the business about earlier release via wire service. I think Rove's lawyer would currently be screaming bloody murder about this, if this was the angle that was going to save Karl's bacon.

kim

With what was all going on whether or not their conversation pre or post dated the wire release of Novak's piece probably does not matter.
Is it Rove's job to be up to the minute with all wire releases? So why does the moral coverage only apply if the conversation was afterwards. Rove is morally in the clear if he didn't know or believe that she was in 'cover'. And, speaking of 'moral', Rove was counterattacking a dreadful and dangerous lie.

One thing lost in all this minutia is that underlying all this is the assumption that we should not have gone to Iraq. Well, hello; there are a lot of grateful Iraqis today.
============================
=================================

Ralph Tacoma
Ralph Tacoma

Well, that didn't work too well.

Here's the link broken into multiple lines:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/
casecode/uscodes/50/
chapters/15/subchapters/
iv/sections/
section_421.html

You can past each line follwing the ending slash on the former line to get the complete code.

vnjagvet

Juke:

I guess the electorate kinda ignored all of the BS surrounding this affair last November, didn't they? There is not much of substance that has changed since then.

I am merely making observations about the realities of hard ball politics in Washington. From my perspective as a citizen a bit north of 65 years, I truly don't think things have changed all that much. I think there might be a bit more sanctimonious whining now, though.

BTW, I have supported many more Democrats than Republicans over the past 45 years, and campaigned for John F. Kennedy in 1960 while studying political science in D.C.

My prediction as a matter of history: this will be a footnote, and will merit little attention 20 years from now.

All I said above was no frogmarching for Rove. After all, I don't have to love the guy to come to that conclusion.

justasking

jukeboxgrad-

a lot of work there. Can you explain how Rove 'knew' she was a covert agent?

Without the prior knowledge/or belief, Rove is free to say what he believes. Who Rove's source is a way of tracking the release of information to the person who may posssess knowledge that Plame was indeed a 'covert' agent.

That's the problem. That's one of the many reasons the Kerry Website removed its 'reference' from Wilson.

Miller's sources may very well be the editors of the Times,and their source is the Ambassador, as Wilson may have advised them of his 'special knowledge' in this matter. There would be a certain irony in tracing the source of this leak back to Wilson. That is why Miller won't speak.

jukeboxgrad

KIM

"why does the moral coverage only apply if the conversation was afterwards"

If Plame's identity was already generally available to the public, then Rove would not have any responsibility to protect her identity. Conversely, if Plame's identity was not not already generally available to the public, then Rove had a responsibility to speak carefully.

"Rove is morally in the clear if he didn't know or believe that she was in 'cover'."

No. If someone is a CIA employee, that at least raises the possibility, simply as a matter of common sense, that the person might be a covert operative. Before saying anything to anyone about her, Rove had a responsibility to positively determine that she was not covert. As far as we can tell, he didn't lift a finger to do so.

"Rove was counterattacking a dreadful and dangerous lie."

Even if that's true (and that's a separate discussion), it doesn't matter. Rove was free to say "Cheney didn't send Wilson." He was free to say "Wilson is a creep and a liar." He was even free to say "some low-level Kerry-loving traitor at the CIA sent Wilson." He was not free to say (paraphrase) "Wilson's wife works for the CIA." Any efforts made by Rove for the purpose of "counterattacking a dreadful and dangerous lie" needed to be made without raising the possibility of outing a covert agent.

VN

"I guess the electorate kinda ignored all of the BS surrounding this affair last November"

I guess the electorate kinda took Scottie's words at face value when he said Rove wasn't involved. Live and learn.

"There is not much of substance that has changed since [the election]."

That's a matter of opinion. One example: some people might find it substantive to notice that the White House has been lying about Plame and Rove for a couple of years.

"I truly don't think things have changed all that much [over many years in Washington]"

Thanks for pointing out what many have known for a long time: when Bush promised to "restore honor, integrity and dignity to the White House," he was full of shit.

JUST

"Can you explain how Rove 'knew' she was a covert agent?"

I already addressed this. It's not necessary to prove that "Rove 'knew' she was a covert agent." Before speaking about her to a reporter, Rove had a moral obligation to make sure he wasn't outing an agent. Rove obviously knew she worked for the CIA. Many (but of course not all) of the people who work at the CIA are covert operatives. Therefore, Rove knew that there was at least a chance that she was a covert operative. At best, therefore, he did something highly reckless and negligent, regarding a matter of national security, at a time of war, and for political purposes.

"Who Rove's source is a way of tracking the release of information to the person who may posssess knowledge that Plame was indeed a 'covert' agent."

In my opinion, this distinction you raise is relevant legally but not morally or politically. Saying Rove did not break the law is far from the equivalent of saying that Rove behaved properly.

"Miller's sources may very well be the editors of the Times"

As I've said, even if Rove heard about Plame from Miller (and even if MIller heard directly or indirectly from Wilson himself), that doesn't relieve Rove of his obvious moral obligation to do whatever he can to protect the status of someone who is even just possibly a covert operative.

Even if Wilson himself had acted improperly by outing his wife to anyone, that does not give Rove a free pass to aid and abet in that outing.

Harry Arthur

In my opinion, this distinction you raise is relevant legally but not morally or politically. Saying Rove did not break the law is far from the equivalent of saying that Rove behaved properly. I'd certainly have to agree with that. Depending on where the rest of the investigation leads, I'd have to also agree that if Rove acted unethically or improperly regarding national security (and that's arguably the real issue here) that he should resign. I'm also of the opinion that the republicans would join in the "resignation chorus" as they have done in the past, e.g., Nixon, Packwood. In that regard it is entirely reasonable to hold the Bush administration accountable to its prior rhetoric on the subject of honesty, dignity and integrity.

I guess my problem so far is whether the facts as of this point take us to that conclusion. I suppose we'll soon see. So far I'm neutral - just don't see the moral or legal case for a firm conclusion either way at this point. Some of you who have followed this more closely might reasonably disagree. Fine. I just don't see the "smoking gun" or anything like it yet.

I do have a question about one of JBG's assumptions regarding the relative potential that Ms. Wilson was a CIA "covert operative." I'm just not sure it's a valid conclusion that other than a very small percentage of people who work for the CIA are covert operatives. I'll freely admit I know next to nothing about the CIA's structure but my guess is that the preponderance (maybe 90+ percent or more?) of people who work for the CIA are neither covert nor operatives. If I'm correct there, then perhaps it's not realistic to expect anyone to anticipate that was the case with Ms. Wilson. That's the one problem I have with the suggestion that Rove should have either known or assumed the probability or even possibility that Wilson's wife was in the covert operative category. I'm not trying to split hairs here, just don't quite see the explicit connections just yet, though they may become visible at some point.

What I would very much like to see is for Karl Rove to detail his activities and his perceptions to the public in some public or quasi-public forum sooner rather than later. If it's bad news, it won't get better with age and if his actions were legal and ethical then we can make that judgement and get back to work doing more important things and arguing about more important things.

TM

you at least have the guts to provide a comments area where folks can rip you to shreds.?

I'm still standing! (Also bobbing and weaving...)

As to the moral dimension of Karl's perfidy - if Harry is with you, how can I stand against you?

In a follow-up post, I cited my view from Oct. 2003:

And how about "common-sense" exoneration? Well, these guys shouldn't have been taking a chance with national security for so little purpose. (Would any purpose be OK? Well, how about the Saudi leaks?) The "Ooops" theory leads to a "stupid, but not evil" conclusion, which may be better than the alternatives the Reps are contemplating.

Well, now I have a chance to demonstrate some ethical flexibility. I agree that a senior WH aide should not be gossiping about CIA employees unless he affirmatively knows that are *not* covert, not unless he is affirmatively ignorant as to their status.

OTOH, folks who undertook classified missions for the CIA should not be making up lies about those missions and vexing the Administration after the fact.

In a better world, Rove would have focused exclusively on Wilson's credibility.

In a slighlty slyer world, Rove would have said, "look, I don't know why Wilson is pushing the CIA line so hard - it's like he is IN BED with the CIA. Well, when there is a mystery, there are only two rules - follow the money, and CHERCHEZ LA FEMME. And I don't see any money."

Well, these guys have no sense of fun.

Anyway, I have no big problem with Rove's legal status. But I don't like being stuck in a lesser of two evils position.

Bonus side issue - is there the least chance that the Washington reaction is driven by a sense that Rove's "the wife is involved" attack strikes at the heart of the Washington power couple myth, which is that no one discusses work with their spouse?

Andrea Mitchell blathers about Fed policy, and there is no scroll reminding us that she is married to Greenspan.

or, closer to home, the press reports (recently) hat Matt Cooper is married to Mandy Grunwald, Dem strategist of Primary Colors fame, and daughter of the late, great editor of TIME magazine.

And we are supposed to pretend that it doesn't matter.

Anyway, the sociologically inclined might tackle that.

vnjagvet

Juke:

I think you will be disappointed with the outcome of this little episode.

"Restoring honor and dignity to the White House" will never be totally accomplished so long as both sides continue to play hardball.

I am confident that so far as you are concerned, Bush could never have accomplished that, especially after the Florida situation in 2000. So far as you are concerned his mere presence in the White House desecrates its rugs, floors and walls, and nothing could ever change that fact short of his resignation or impeachment.

True believers on the Republican side of the aisle felt the same way from January, 1993-January, 2001, of course.

I still say, as scandals go, this one is small change and your heavy breathing won't change it.

It is likely that the folks that will be ultimately the most embarrassed will be, in no particular order, the New York Times, Judy Miller, Joseph Wilson and the White House Press Corps.

Let's have a reunion in a few months on Just One Minute and debrief this.

What I like about this blog is not everyone needs to be a "heavy breather" to enjoy it. Check ya tomorrow. It's past my bedtime.

ed

Hmmm.

1. Interesting. Ok. Not that interesting, but better than completely boring.

But here's a question. Since Cooper explicitly states that:

A. Cooper called Rove.
B. They talked for 2 minutes since Rove was going on vacation.
C. Cooper first asked about something else, I forget what, and then Cooper asked Rove about Wilson.

How is all this Rove's plot?

2. "Thanks for pointing out what many have known for a long time: when Bush promised to "restore honor, integrity and dignity to the White House," he was full of shit."

Really? When has Bush called Hillary a monkey? When has Bush called Kerry a liar? When has Bush called Ted Kennedy a fat alcoholic has-been twit?

All that has happened has been a number of allegations, by known partisans, with nothing to back them up. In addition the left has constantly been abusive, insulting and frankly less than impressive.

Now you're trying to say that Rove, talking to a reporter who called him, is somehow proof that Bush hasn't been trying to "restore honor, integrity and dignity to the White House,"?

I think the shit you see is in the mirror.

3. "He was not free to say (paraphrase) "Wilson's wife works for the CIA.""

Actually that is not correct at all. The law stipulates that the person must be undercover and in another country OR had been in the previous 5 years. There is no law that prevents you from stating that someone works at the CIA if they do not fall into the above category.

And Plame doesn't fall into that category.

So either:

A. Prove that Plame does fall into that category. And actually prove it, don't dance around it.

or

B. Prove that there is a law that states you cannot state someone works for the CIA under any circumstance. Again, prove it.

or else you, again, are full of ..... you know. The mirror thing.

4. "By the way, you've failed to show that any of the Democratic presidents you mentioned did anything this bad."

Lyndon Johnson, "Tonkin Gulf".

You know. When Johnson rigged a fake "attack" in order to escalate the Vietnam War?

JFK, "Bay of Pigs"

You know. When JFK ordered the secret invasion of Cuba? Did that have the approval of Congress? Did they pass a resolution approving of declaring war on Cuba? Did Congress approve of the decision to invade Cuba?

And what about those expatriates? You know, the ones JFK left to die on the beaches when he got cold feet and realised he couldn't maintain the cover story?

You know. The 1,300 Cuban expatriates. How many died on the beaches. Or were executed shortly after they were taken prisoner. Or were tortured to death. Or are still alive in Castro's prisons.

Do you know?

Shall I continue?

5. "Rove had a moral obligation to make sure he wasn't outing an agent. Rove obviously knew she worked for the CIA. Many (but of course not all) of the people who work at the CIA are covert operatives. Therefore, Rove knew that there was at least a chance that she was a covert operative."

Complete nonsense.

Rove is an campaign advisor to the President, he has very limited clearances and would not have the necessary clearances to be able to determine whether or not a specific person was, or was not, a covert operative. Do you really think the CIA would tell Rove if Plame was a covert operative?

If you do, then prove it. And no mucking about.

And shall I point out that Plame worked at Langley? There are many covert operatives in the CIA, but they generally don't work out at Langely. Frankly I wouldn't expect *any* covert operative of the CIA to work out of Langley. How is that "covert" then?

Nice try, but that's just nonsense. The attempt at logically stringing together a series of arguments is cute, but ineffective because it breaks down in the middle.

You know. When you didn't include the Langley bit. Well unless you can make the case that covert CIA operatives regularly commute to Langley.

jukeboxgrad

HARRY

"just don't see the moral or legal case for a firm conclusion either way at this point"

A couple of years ago the White House told us very emphatically that Rove wasn't involved. Cooper's email tells us otherwise. In my opinion, that's more than enough to indicate that something stinks.

"my guess is that the preponderance (maybe 90+ percent or more?) of people who work for the CIA are neither covert nor operatives"

I'm sure the CIA has lots of janitors and typists who are not covert operatives. However, Plame was ostensibly at a high enough level to be able to "authorize" Wilson's trip. In my opinion, this raises (or should have raised, in Rove's mind) more than a trivial possibility that she has status as a covert operative.

Also, according to Cooper's email, Rove said Plame "apparently works at the agency on wmd issues." This (working on WMD issues) is another clue that perhaps Plame was more than just another cubicle-dwelling data-entry clerk.

"What I would very much like to see is for Karl Rove to detail his activities"

He should have done this a long time ago, right at the beginning. Of course now we're being told he was only trying to help a reporter convey accurate information. If it's all as simple as that, then why didn't he tell us that, at the time? The fact that he didn't helps us to understand that this ex post facto alibi is baloney.

TM

"if Harry is with you, how can I stand against you?"

It's two against one. You don't stand a chance. It's to your credit that you figured that out so quickly.

"In a follow-up post"

You have so many articles on this subject (not that there's anything wrong with that) it's hard to know where to post.

"these guys shouldn't have been taking a chance with national security for so little purpose"

Exactly my point, more concisely put than my version, as well as much earlier. By the way, it's interesting to notice, especially in retrospect (Bolton, DSM etc.), how motivated they were to push back against anyone who dared to undermine the party line on WMD intel.

"stupid, but not evil"

I mentioned Olbermann, who said something sort of along those lines: "I damn well don’t want political morons in positions where they can deliberately screw up counter-terrorism measures. I know we already have to live with the idea that they’ll do it accidentally."

By the way, the "stupid but not evil" scenario would make more sense if Rove had come clean in 2003. His crowd never learned the power of the words "I'm sorry."

"folks who undertook classified missions for the CIA should not be making up lies about those missions"

I explained earlier why it doesn't matter if Wilson is a liar.

"In a better world ... "

You could say it that way. Or you could say in a world where the White House remotely embodies the "honor and dignity" Bush promised us. In other words, a world where a very senior presidential aide doesn't carelessly and/or maliciously out a covert operative, during wartime, for relatively trivial political purposes, and then lie about it, and then still be on the job years later.

"the Washington power couple myth"

Interesting subject. If you write an article about it, I'm sure you don't need me to remind you to mention Carville/Matlin in the first paragraph.

VN

"'Restoring honor and dignity to the White House' will never be totally accomplished so long as both sides continue to play hardball."

Nice job trying to create the impression that Bush's very serious problems with personal integrity are anyone's fault but his own. "Mom, I really didn't want to lie, but the liberals made me do it!"

"Bush could never have accomplished that, especially after the Florida situation in 2000."

Nice job not bothering to explain why "the Florida situation" prevented him from fulfilling his campaign promise regarding "honor and dignity." Anyway, even if we assume this connection you don't bother to explain, why didn't he tell us? "Ladies and gentlemen, you recall I promised honor and dignity. However, I regret to inform you that 'the Florida situation' has rendered that promise inoperative."

"his mere presence in the White House desecrates its rugs"

Uh, no. It's not his "mere presence" there. It's his behavior there. Details available upon request.

"nothing could ever change that fact short of his resignation"

Uh, no. He's free to become an honest man, and clean up after himself, at any time. Some people think of that as a form of recovery. Others call it "born again."

ED

Speaking of people who lack the integrity to clean up after themselves, you're a good example, and a complete waste of time. This became clear enough here (6/18, 2:52 pm).

ed

Hmmm.

"Speaking of people who lack the integrity to clean up after themselves, you're a good example, and a complete waste of time. This became clear enough here (6/18, 2:52 pm)."

Still working on that "fixed" thing huh? Even though I demolished that nonsense too.

And I noticed you didn't dare respond to my post.

Yeah. Still laughing at you.

kim

Rove had a moral responsibility not to lie about Valerie Plame's involvement in the case.
===============================

kim

Every citizen should emulate him. Any of you with knowledge of important information that the public should know must tell the most effective reporter what you know immediately.

And a Presidential Medal for Citizen Rove for blowing open the pack of lies wrapped in the Yellow Cake Mystery.
==========================
============================

ed

Hmmm.

1. "I'm sure the CIA has lots of janitors and typists who are not covert operatives. However, Plame was ostensibly at a high enough level to be able to "authorize" Wilson's trip. In my opinion, this raises (or should have raised, in Rove's mind) more than a trivial possibility that she has status as a covert operative."

You show your ignorance even more. The vast number of people who work for the CIA are **analysts**. I.e. they analyse data. They are not covert operatives.

The actual number of covert operatives is classified. But the CIA has shifted from HUMINT, i.e. covert operatives, to electionic means of gaining information, i.e. fewer covert operatives. Frankly I'd be surprised if there were more than a few hundred covert CIA operatives in the world.

The CIA has made an attempt at increasing the number, but the sad fact is that one avenue to gaining promotion is to recruit large numbers of informants, whether they are of any value or not. It's something the Mossad and MI5 have occasion to laugh at the CIA for.

And still, even though I brought this up in a prior post, you have not addressed the fact that Plame works at Langley.

2. And then there's the issue of Plame "authorizing" Wilson's trip, which is again another indication of ignorance since this has been addressed endlessly. Plame is an analyst and does not have the authority to make such things happen. This is why the 9/11 Commission had a memo, written by Plame, extolling the virtues of Wilson to Plame's superiors, who did have the authority to hire Wilson.

I.e. Plame no got authority.

3. "Nice job trying to create the impression that Bush's very serious problems with personal integrity are anyone's fault but his own. "Mom, I really didn't want to lie, but the liberals made me do it!""

Pity you haven't identified one single instance where Bush has violated any ethical standard. Certainly not a liberal or democratic ethic standard, which quite frankly is rather weak.

All in all, frankly unimpressive.

I'd suggest you start reading, it'll help.

kim

The Naked Truth may yet pop out of the Big Yellow Cake. At the surprise party for the Left.
================================

mark

http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=5623

I think a majority of voting Americans would agree.

Ambassador Wilson either had only the knowledge of his trip to Africa, or he had 'special insight'. During a lead up to War he lied, to such an extent that Kerry had to remove him from his website.

EVEN IF Wilson's assertations were true, it would indicate that his wife was sharing information, suggesting criminal behavior.

Since his assertations have been shown to be false, his credibility is in the crapper.

Do I need direct anyone to the Senate report? I agree with jstaskng...Wilson is undoubtably the source of the leak of his wife's occupation, and he revealed a 'covert agent'. The truth is that she wasn't a covert agent. Rove's behavior does seem devious, but as the Presdient's representative he is entitled to mount a zealous defense. No one is looking for harm done, they are pursuing who knew, and who told who.

The sixteen words-edited by some to fourteen words-was far more critical to our Nation than this witch hunt.

Bottom line, a majority support Bush, and will continue to do so, and a minority will attempt to discredit him. Life goes on. Given the results of the senate findings on Wilson, I really think that there are some that need to hold their horses until the final report. How many more times does Wilson need to be revealed as a political hack? Another one is about to fall on him again.

There may have been some truth in his op-ed, but it was obscured by the lies he told.

kim

The perp appears to be him(Wilson) or his. Fitzgerald was pretty quiet for a year, giving the FBI time to investigate Yellow Cake. I think his latest maneuvering is to establish Rove's innocence of criminality. He may or may not indict. Who? Quien sabe.
=============================

ed

Hmmm.

I'm still intrigued by the comments Wilson made about the forged documents. The fact that he talked about them, and identified the specific points that proved they were forgies, months prior to their being used. And yet Wilson later on claims he never saw those documents.

Does this slipup go some way to proving that Wilson was a conduit of information coming out of the CIA?

Anybody has a summary of the timeline associated with these forged documents and Wilson's interviews with the press? I think it was Nichols.

I can't remember if Wilson divuled the details of those forged documents prior to them being handed in, or if it was afterwards. If prior, then he must have had prior knowledge which indicates a domestic conspiracy in the creation of the forged documents. If it was afterwards then it's fairly apparent that his wife, Plame, probably told him about them since it would be logical for Plame to have inspected those documents.

Curious.

kim

I devoutly hope that Fitzgerald has been pursuing exactly these angles. There is enough smoke there that he is obligated to look for fire.
===============================

mf

Ed and Kim are dead on.

Wilson's previous expertise includes being an ambassador, and going to investigate the yellowcake in Africa for a week. His op-ed presents information that he did/should not have access to. The only way the editors of the NYT let him put out his opinion, is with the comfort of knowing his wife's occupation. IF Miller answered the subpoenae, she would reveal her source, and the editors of the Times cannot/will not wish to testify that they were told of Plame's identity by her husband.

His other intelligence experience? Marrying a 'covert' agent? Indictments should follow this completion into the link case. There may be enough evidence gathered by the special prosecutor by the end of the inquiry, that it will be all too apparent that criminal actions were committed by Plame and Wilson.

His article appearred during conflict, while the US was solidifying its coaliton. Undermining the President's credibility thru misrepresentation is treasonous.

If the dems knew that a terrorist attack, killing thousands, would drive Bush from office, they would welcome it.

kim

mf: It is just about that bad. Madness, it's madness.
===============================

Harry Arthur

JBG, though I'm in concert with more than a few of your observations, I believe you might have gone logically astray on the following:

However, Plame was ostensibly at a high enough level to be able to "authorize" Wilson's trip. In my opinion, this raises (or should have raised, in Rove's mind) more than a trivial possibility that she has status as a covert operative. This actually seems to me to mitigate against the idea that she was a covert operative in that it suggests a supervisory level of responsibility likely outside the purvue of a typical operative.

Also, according to Cooper's email, Rove said Plame "apparently works at the agency on wmd issues." This (working on WMD issues) is another clue that perhaps Plame was more than just another cubicle-dwelling data-entry clerk.As I believe someone already mentioned, this also suggests to me not someone who is covert but more likely an analyst.

That she was an operative at some point in the past is apparently true, but the "job description" and level of authorization apparently suggested by Rove suggests to me someone who is in a supervisory analyst or some other management position whose name and duties might very well be fair game in such a discussion.

On the other hand it's also entirely possible that she was a covert operative in between assignments who was posted to Langley HQ for the purpose of career development, education, parental leave, or some other undisclosed reason. In that particular case, even though she might not be currently in a covert status, one could reasonably suggest that it would still not be in the interest of the country, her safety, or the safety of those with whom she previously "operated" that her name appear in public discussions of the research done in the leadup to the war.

Therefore, to suggest that caution should be the order of the day when discussing the inner workings of the CIA and its personnel, still seems entirely reasonable to me. I still remain neutral as to whether there was intent to do harm, some level of laziness on Rove's part, bad judgement, or some combination. I'd like to hear from Rove and I'd ultimately like to hear from Fitzgerald. I did read today that Rove has been asked by Fitgerald not to discuss the case. Also don't know whether that's true or a dodge.

kim

If Rove claims it it is probably true, because Fitzgerald would know the truth of it. If the source is not Rove, who knows?
============================

jukeboxgrad

ED

Ed, everything I need to know about you is documented here (6/18, 2:52 pm).

By the way, are you forgetting which side you're on? You said: "there's the issue of Plame 'authorizing' Wilson's trip ... Plame is an analyst and does not have the authority to make such things happen."

Funny you should say that, since according to Cooper's email, Rove told Cooper that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip. Are you calling Rove a liar?

KIM

"Every citizen should emulate him. Any of you with knowledge of important information that the public should know must tell the most effective reporter what you know immediately."

If, as you claim, Rove's behavior was proper, why did he hide behind a curtain (both at the time he spoke to Cooper, as well as since then)? Why didn't he just speak up openly? Instead, he made a hidden statement ("double super secret background") to a reporter, and has been lying about it ever since. Why?

MARK

The WSJ article you cited said "[Rove] told the press ... that Mr. Wilson had been _recommended_ for the CIA consulting gig by his wife" (emphasis added). Trouble is, Cooper's email says "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd issues who _authorized_ the trip" (emphasis added). Since when did "recommended" and "authorized" mean the same thing? How impressed are you that the WSJ slipped in this sly little substitution? That darn liberal media.

Of course one of the terrific ironies of all this is that a major talking point used to support Rove is to claim that he was only trying to make sure reporters had their facts straight. Meanwhile, his claim (according to Cooper's email) that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip is, at best, highly exaggerated.

And you get the same question as Kim: if Rove is nothing but a medal-worthy whistleblower, why did he have to hide behind a curtain? Why has he covered up his own behavior?

MF

"Wilson's previous expertise includes being an ambassador"

True. It also includes being described by Dubya's dad as "a true American hero."

"His article appearred during conflict, while the US was solidifying its coaliton. Undermining the President's credibility thru misrepresentation is treasonous."

I wonder if you think Tenet was treasonous, then, since just a few days after Wilson's article Tenet said "These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President."

HARRY

"This actually seems to me to mitigate against the idea that she was a covert operative in that it suggests a supervisory level of responsibility likely outside the purvue of a typical operative."

I see your point. Fair enough. On the other hand (as Ed helpfully reminded us), Rove was exaggerating when (according to Cooper's email) he used the word "authorized." In other words, your point is a weak defense for Rove because it wholly relies on Rove's own exaggeration. The reality, as far as we can tell, is that Plame was indeed not at "supervisory level of responsibility likely outside the purvue of a typical operative."

By the way, I think there is good reason to speculate that Rove knew about Plame because he had seen a certain classified memo, discussing a meeting that took place on 2/19/02. This memo is discussed here and here. The meeting is discussed in a Senate report (pdf, see page 40). Also, one article refers to "a department intelligence report" Powell took with him to Africa. It sounds like this "report" might be the same aforementioned memo. Note that this trip to Africa took place around the same time various reporters were being told interesting things about Plame. Also note that Fitzgerald seems interested in phone calls made from Air Force One around that time. All this leads to speculation that Rove knew about Plame's connection to Wilson's trip because Rove was on this plane to Africa and saw this memo (carried onto the plane by Powell) indicating that Plame was involved in setting up the meeting of 2/19/02. Next thing we know Rove et al are making phone calls (although I realize the famous Cooper-Rove phone call was apparently initiated by Cooper, and made to the White House, not Air Force One).

Anyway, my point is that Rove had no business saying anything to a reporter about Plame as long as there was any chance she was covert. The fact that she worked for the CIA is enough to indicate that there is at least some chance she was covert.

"someone who is in a supervisory analyst or some other management position whose name and duties might very well be fair game in such a discussion."

The key word in that sentence is "might." In my opinion, Rove had a burden to know for sure that she was not covert, before he said anything about her to a reporter.

By the way, I think there is probably a case to be made that even the names of management employees at the CIA might be considered "classified" information. Take a look at the CIA web site and you'll find they don't even want to tell you how many employees they have (not just how many "covert" employees they have).

"I still remain neutral as to whether there was intent to do harm, some level of laziness on Rove's part, bad judgement, or some combination."

What I find interesting is that the political value of this point (the exaggerated claim that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip) seems relatively tangential and trivial. The main point in Wilson's article is that for Saddam to get uranium from Niger would be difficult, and had probably not happened recently, and would probably not happen in the near future. This is the real substance, and this substance is corroborated by the words Tenet said just a few days later.

If Bush had been in a position to factually dispute this substance, he would have. But he wasn't, so instead he sent Rove to make a secret remark that Wilson's trip was "authorized" by Plame, as if Plame, rather than Tenet, was ultimately in charge of what the CIA did during that time. This is grasping at straws (because it is such weak and indirect way of disputing the substance of Wilson's claims), and the triviality of it makes the whole scenario that much slimier. It's outrageous that such a small political point justified, for Rove, taking chances with the identity of an agent.

Along these lines, it was a WSJ reporter, oddly enough, who said: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa." Exactly. In other words, Rove had little to gain by making this point. He was scraping the bottom of the barrel. This indicates both that discrediting Wilson was a very high priority, and also that they didn't have much factual information to work with, for this purpose.

In retrospect, we can see more clearly why it was such a high priority (and still is) to discredit Wilson. It is very important for Bush to be able to claim that the blame for bad WMD info rests entirely with the CIA, not with him. Trouble is, Wilson reminds us that many in the CIA had a contrary view, which was squelched. The reality of this contrary view is very bad news for Bush, because it helps us to see the big picture, of how "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Views in support of the policy were highlighted, and views contrary to the policy were sidelined.

By the way, this Newsday report is much overlooked: "A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked 'alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger. But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. 'They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,' he said. 'There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said. 'I can't figure out what it could be ... We paid his [Wilson's] air fare. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you'd have to pay big bucks to go there,' the senior intelligence official said. Wilson said he was reimbursed only for expenses."

jukeboxgrad

This is a better link to that Senate report. This version of the pdf has searchable text.

Harry Arthur

JBG, also fair enough. Actually, I don't think we're very far apart on this given my conclusion: Therefore, to suggest that caution should be the order of the day when discussing the inner workings of the CIA and its personnel, still seems entirely reasonable to me.

I firmly believe that. We've had enough anti-CIA activity in the past which was, it seems to me, always "justified" by the leaker. When it comes to the identities of agents, operatives or whomever, however, it seems to me that your suggestion that we err on the side of non-disclosure is more than reasonable given that the lives of the agents, et al, not to mention their contacts, could be endangered.

I just don't think we conservatives can have this both ways. In my recollection we were extremely angry in the 60's and 70's when "outing" CIA agents, et al, was considered primarily a leftist "sport". How can we now with any amount of consistency flip-flop and suggest that it's OK because it was one of our guys who did it? Whether intentionally or accidentally, aren't we looking for accountability in our government? Didn't we promise the highest possible standards of honesty, integrity and ethical behavior?

My sole remaining disagreement with you and others here is that I'm just not yet quite pursuaded that we have enough of the facts to come to the firm conclusion, beyond some level of doubt, that Karl Rove "outed" Joseph Wilson's wife. I'm thinking that just a little more patience with Counselor Fitzgerald's investigation will resolve that doubt one way or the other.

jukeboxgrad

"caution should be the order of the day when discussing the inner workings of the CIA and its personnel"

Well said. As I mentioned somewhere recently, if you go to their web site, they don't even want to tell you how many employees they have, covert or otherwise.

Obviously Dubya's dad also agrees: "Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."

"Didn't we promise the highest possible standards of honesty, integrity and ethical behavior?"

That's exactly what Bush said when he promised to restore "honor and dignity" to the White House. Currently a large part of the discussion defending Rove consists of pointing out that we haven't yet proven he's a criminal, as if that's the standard we want to use for high office.

"I'm just not yet quite pursuaded that we have enough of the facts to come to the firm conclusion, beyond some level of doubt, that Karl Rove 'outed' Joseph Wilson's wife"

I respect your point. However, I think there is enough to be very, very concerned about various aspects of Rove's behavior. For example, if Cooper's email is to be trusted (and I haven't heard anyone seriously question it), Rove claimed that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip. This seems to be an outright lie.

Also, Rove and the rest of the White House have issued such strong denials. That also now appears to have been lies.

In other words, even if we're not convinced Rove outed Plame, I think it's hard to maintain that Rove is a trustworthy official who deserves to hold high office. I think every day Rove stays in office reflects poorly on Bush.

"a little more patience with Counselor Fitzgerald's investigation"

In my opinion, Fitzgerald will ultimately help us figure out whether or not Rove is a criminal. But I think we already know enough to decide that he's a disgrace to Bush and to the White House.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Ed, everything I need to know about you is documented here (6/18, 2:52 pm)."

You keep right on ahead there in thinking that nosense. If your interpretation was correct, then where't th Kaboom? Where's the Earth-shattering Kaboom?

You know. The Impeachment.

Where is it juke?

The fact that no impeachment, nor even anything like a slap on the wrist, proves that my interpretation was correct and you're just trying to fool yourself. But go right ahead. I've been laughing at you this long, a little more humor isn't undesirable.

2. "By the way, are you forgetting which side you're on?"

I am on my side, and nobody else's. As is everyone on this, and every other, blog.

3. "Funny you should say that, since according to Cooper's email, Rove told Cooper that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip. Are you calling Rove a liar?""

I'm not calling Rove anything, particularly not late for dinner. So what if he got a detail wrong. That actually works in his favor because it shows that his actualy knowledge was extremely limited. If he had provided the correct detail then it would have given more impetus to those that want to prove it was all planned in advance.

Look at Cooper's email again, I keep having to repeat myself on this, and read what he wrote. He interrupted Rove a few minutes before Rove was going on vacation.

How many times have YOU gotten a detail wrong when you've been interrupted from another task?

Again it's all assertions, no proof.

But hey, keep on trying. And let me know how that impeachment is going.

jukeboxgrad

Ed, I still have a few more copies of this reminder available (I printed up a bunch of them, just for moments like this): everything I need to know about you is documented here (6/18, 2:52 pm).

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