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July 18, 2005

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gt

Tom, you make Clinton seem open and straightforward by comparison.

Is this the new talking point threshold? Only of a crime can be proven?

Sorry, Bush said what he said in June 2004. If he had wanted to clarify it he could have or his spokesman could have. He didn't.

SaveFarris

More goalpost moving ... from our good friends at Media Matters:

In his July 18 nationally syndicated column, U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone accused The New York Times of "outing" a CIA-operated airline in a May 31 article. This accusation is baseless, however, since the Times reportedly submitted the information in the article to the CIA prior to publication, and the CIA raised no objection to the story at the time or after its publication.

You mean as long as you check with a CIA Official beforehand and they don't wave you off, you're in the clear?

Good to know, MM!

gt

Nobody is accusing Novak of breaking any laws AFAIK.

TM

Sorry, Bush said what he said in June 2004.

Yup - he said he stood by his original pledge.

Otherwise, the reporter's question is meaningless - "Do you stand by your pledge" does NOT mean "Will you make a new pledge".

And what the reporter said in June 2004 was clearly *not* what Bush said in 2003.

TexasToast

"No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States. If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates."

Scott McClellan

Scott has nothing to do with setting the goalposts? Does he, as press spokesman not speak for the President in clarifying what the President’s remarks meant? Or does he only speak for the President when moving the goalposts after the fact as cited in this post?

Yep, you are correct that those goal posts are moving. You just have the wrong folks moving them.

me (and TCO)

Is it just me...or does anyone else get the impression that people are starting to repeat points rather than analyze and drill down to finer points of agreement, disagreement, conjecture?

ArminTamzarian

TexasToast:

See any difference between "leaked" and "involved in leaking?"

Might wanna go back to your grade school English exercises.

ArminTamzarian

me:

Sure. The points of disagreement are that one side says the other deliberately committed a felony as political retribution that seriously damaged national security because someone questioned its lying and deceitful rush to war and has been lying about it and attempting to cover it up ever since, with the connivance of the press and Judith Miller.

The other side says it didn't.

I think that's as narrow as it gets.

J Mann

As Rove might say, Tom, I wouldn't get too far out in front of the amicus brief. Yes, the amici argued that if the CIA just used the standard leak form, then they haven't certified the elements of the crime, but:

1) The amici are obviously speculating;

2) Fitzgerald would look awfully foolish if he spent a year and untold millions without asking the CIA if there was basic evidence of a crime, and there's no evidence that he's in the habit of looking foolish; and

3) The amicus brief lost.

So you might be right, but "trounced" is a little strong.

Appalled Moderate

me:

Last Monday, we knew that Karl Rove had lied when he said he was not involved in the leak. The Friday leaks and Cooper's article do not change this fine point, and also do not provide any additional information about wrongdoing. (They provide Karl's alibi from legal wrongdoing)

This Monday, we still know Rove lied. And not much else. The story, in order to live, requires oxygen. Bush "moving the goalposts" is one way to have a story. Cooper's first person tale is another. Since none of these changes the lay of the land, they also don't serve to change minds and achieve that synthesis you hope to find.

I'd love to know Miller's story. That may be the thing that could move. Of course, Novak could also do a public service, and write the column that tewlls all.

ArminTamzarian

For once, can someone please define "involved?"

TM

3) The amicus brief lost.

So you might be right, but "trounced" is a little strong.

Good point. However, I spent the weekend listening to the Yankess play the Red Sox (but *NOT* on Friday night).

Appalled Moderate

Involved, per Merriam-Webster onlie:

2 a : to engage as a participant b : to oblige to take part c : to occupy (as oneself) absorbingly; especially : to commit (as oneself) emotionally

ArminTamzarian

Your lexicographical skills are astounding. Now, perhaps you can do something useful and explain the difference between "leaked" and "involved in leaking," since apparently this makes all the difference in the world to you?

RiverRat

Involved in what?

Blowing the cover of someone one hadn't been under NOC since '97 because the a Russian and the CIA blew her cover?

Nope! They were not involved in blowing her cover.

RiverRat

But you could say they were involved in repeating previously unpublished publically known info about a former NOC agent whose cover was already blown.

BumperStickerist

This is the Press equivalent of asking, Clouseau-like:

'Does your doggie bite?'

Rove saying 'No'

~ dog bites ~

Press; I thought you said your dog does not bite.

Rove: That is not my dog.

-----------------------

Rove was asked if he *leaked* the information, participated in a leak, et cetera, et cetera.

Well, the answer would appear to be 'no'.

The press's inability to ask non-prejudged questions is certainly a problem here.

As for the issue of Novak being asked not to release Plame's name - the whole issue changes (for me) when I learn that the CIA does not want any publicity that they botched the NOC-status of one of their operatives.

me (and TCO)

Armin1: thanks man.

Jman: good points.

Appalled moderate: Agreed. And there have been some on the right (National Review) that have gigged Rove (and the spokesmodel, can't remember his name). I also agree that we need more facts to get to the bottom of this and breathe some more oxygen into it. FYI: Novak did write a column regarding the "outing issue" that does not go into all the details of analysis that we want, but has some general information...at least says that the story was not being shopped (which would imply a lesser degree of offense--still wrong to let something slip in gossipy conversation...but not same as deliberately or recklessly outing her). Here is the Novak story. Sorry I'm repeating content available:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20031001.shtml

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=194063


me (and TCO)

A bit off topic:

What is the theme of this blog, who runs it, etc.? I can't find an "about page" or FAQ.

Appalled Moderate

Armin:

Since Rove is clearly Novak's second source (based on the Friday leak), there is no way you can say he was not "involved" in the leaks to Novak. Period. Don't go there.
It's like suggesting Clinton did not have sex with that woman.

Whether Rove should be fired for that -- your mileage may vary. Clinton, after all, was not fired for lying about having sex with "that woman", and he did lie under oath -- something nobody yet has accused Rove of having done. Rove's lie, however, probably averted a political firestorm that may have necessitated his resignation. So I'm not real sympathetic to his staying on. Big deal; I didn't vote for his boss the last time anyway.

SamAm

Not only did the media's brief lose, but the judges involved in the case seem to have been taken aback by the specifics of the case and the 8 pages we don't know, Miller is currently sitting in jail, and she's also facing criminal contempt charges. Weightier stuff than a brief that lost.

ArminTamzarian

And now we're back to the question of what Rove actually said to Novak, which kinda matters.

RiverRat

And now we're back to the question of what Rove actually said to Novak, which kinda matters.

See last Friday's Times article. Twas leaked that Noval told Rove about Plame and Rove said "Yeah, I heard that too."

SamAm

Heh, I thought that's what Libby said to Cooper too.

These guys are so on message they've got the exact same word choice.

ArminTamzarian

"I heard SamAm and Martin are gay."

"I heard that too."

Not sure what to make of that.

RiverRat

Either that or it's the same confidential source doing the leaking; or words to that effect.

MaDr

I'm still waiting to hear from Rove's lips, what he said. We've heard speculation and what Cooper says what happened, but alas, there's some inconsistencies in what he's (Cooper) told the public vs what his released email implies (I guess).

gt

Tom,

As TT notes it wasn't just what Bush said.

But the more important point is that this WH is pretty good at getting its message across. If they had wanted to make clear that firing would only happen if and only if a crime had been committed they could have done so.


But they didn't. Between Bush and McClellan they left the impression (actually more than that) that just being involved in the leak would be enough. And that makes sense.

That's probably why only right wing supporters are pushing this idea and not even the WH, AFAIK, is trying to say this directly.

I doubt parsing words is going to help Bush or Rove here, no matter how much you and others try to help them. Most people instinctively understand what's at stake which is why the polls are where they are.

And doesn't it strike you as strange that Bush has to say that criminals will not be allowed to work for the WH? Shouldn't that be obvious? And wouldn't it be redundant? A criminal would be in jail so I don't see how they could work for Bush.

SamAm

MaDr,

Not sure to what you're referring to by that, but I'd like to hear what you mean.

RiverRat

"Between Bush and McClellan they left the impression (actually more than that) that just being involved in the leak would be enough. And that makes sense. "

You're wrong! See the transcript of the 30 Sep 03 Press Conference.

The freaking lying Press left that impression; at the worst the Dubya was ambiguous. See Tom's timeline for the link.

ArminTamzarian

gt:

Please define "involved in the leak."

me (and TCO)

Give me the blog background!

me (and TCO)

darnit.

me (and TCO)

This is getting boring. I want more info even if it is bad for our side. Can't stand not having juicy stuff.

Gerry

"Give me the blog background"

Patrick Henry, you are not.

me (and TCO)

or give me...

ArminTamzarian

What really worries me (and I don't know if I said it here before or not), is that the last time we had a summer with the press fixated on nothing was when we had shark attacks and Chandra Levy.

RiverRat

The louder the MSM screams it is more likely they'll live to regret it.

This smells more and more like a Rove-a-dope with the MSM as the target.

If some of us are right on the Miller role in this we've got RatherGate (tm) redux.

Toby Petzold

Since the CIA confirmed to Novak that Plame was with the Company, is it possible that Fitzgerald is actually looking into that? That certainly sounds like a leak to me. Tenet referred the one thing to the FBI because he was statutorily obligated to, but Fitzgerald might be going further afield to find out more.

ArminTamzarian

Ooooh, nice catch Toby. If she was covert, the CIA guy is definitely criminally liable.

fixed

To quote The President: "The best place for the facts to be done is by somebody who's spending time investigating it."

ArminTamzarian

"I work for the CIA. I am a spy. I don't just read books!"

--Valerie Plame Wilson

fixed

forgot to source it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/07/20050718-1.html#

RiverRat

Good evaluation at The Corner

Miller is going to be the key.

Toby Petzold

It's true, Armin. Novak has said that a "spokesman" at the CIA said plenty about her.

Why isn't that guy catching hell?

RiverRat

Toby

"Tenet referred the one thing to the FBI because he was statutorily obligated to, but Fitzgerald might be going further afield to find out more."

Do you have evidence it was Tenet? I thought he was gone by the time of the filing. I know he was lame-ducking it while this whole scandle-in-a-bottle was bobbing around the beltway.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'explain the difference between "leaked" and "involved in leaking," '

Very good point, but it'll forever be lost on GT.

What we seem to have is McClellan going to Rove and Libby and asking; 'Did you leak Wilson's wife's CIA job to Novak?'

They each answer, 'no.'

Later a journalist asks if Libby and Rove are the leakers, and McClellan answers; 'They weren't involved in it'

Those are simply the vagaries of the English language, gents. These aren't questions and answers in a discovery procedure, but in a press briefing.

But, given what happened to Martha Stewart, a vindictive and ambitious prosecutor might try to make something out of it.

RiverRat

Well said, Patrick.

richard mcenroe

Slightly off topic, but on the matter of integrity...

today is the 36th anniversary of Ted Kennedy killing Mary Jo Kopechne in an act of drunken philandery, when he drove her off the Chappaquiddick Bridge and left her to drown.

If you want to congratulate the Senator on this milestone...

http://kennedy.senate.gov

Seven Machos

Karl Rove will not be indicted here. Scooter Libby will not be indicted here. No one remotely close to Bush or even on his side will be prosecuted. This is because no one remotely close to Bush or even on his side did anything legally or ethically wrong.

If anyone is to be indicted, it will be Joe Wilson or a mid-level nobody at State or CIA who leaked to the press. Or Valerie Plame herself.

Note that Fitzgerald is continually called a "Republican prosecutor." This is so that Big Media and the Left can start caterwauling about out-of-control, right-wing prosecutors when anyone who is NOT a Republican is indicted.

However, in the event that Rove or some Republican were to be indicted (which won't happen), well, the bastard simply got what was coming to him.

It's all quite sickening.

ArminTamzarian

richard mcenroe:

Thanks for the reminder.

I sent this:

"Congratulations on 36 years of escaping punishment for your homicide of Mary Jo Kopechne. May God have mercy on your soul, provided you ask for it."

I can send another message on her 65th birthday next week.

Toby Petzold

Rat:

Do you have evidence it was Tenet?

Well, he resigned in June 2004.

And in this NYT story from September 2003, comes the following:

[...]officials confirmed that Mr. Tenet had asked the Justice Department to look into whether one or more administration officials had leaked information to the news media disclosing the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent. Mr. Tenet's request was first reported by NBC News.
Anyway, I still don't understand why the Administration won't defend Bush's "16 words." What he said is almost certainly true.
TM

What is the theme of this blog, who runs it, etc.? I can't find an "about page" or FAQ.

Performance art. Purely experiential.

RiverRat

Toby,

Actually, The WH made the mistake of not aggressively defending the words early on and the DemPravda jumped on it. The WH pushed back later, this kerfuffle included, but unless you read the Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and watch Fox you'd never know it.

If you look at the Senate Select Report and the Butler Report those words, regardless of how you parse them, are as true today as they were in January of '03.

This is as it's been in this country for the last 40 years. The DemPravda has become increasingly hard left and as professional word mechanics, polemicists, and propagandists they have used their skills to advance their anti-American Transnational Pascifistic Social Fascist agenda. (I use the term Fascist in the original socio-economic sense and not the Nazi sense.)

RiverRat

Toby,

Whenever the NY Slimes says: "officials confirm that Tenet..." my BS alarm goes off. How about yours?

I've asked some media contacts in DC to verify this and publish if it proves, as I think it may well, incorrect.

Walter

The goalposts haven't been moved. They have always refered to "illegal" activity as a grounds for firing.The President and Press Secretary have had the correct wording in their statements from the beginning. They know who leaked, the leakers versions of what was said, and the cover stories. The only thing they didn't count on was Cooper taking the waiver seriously.

jt007

Also, is it just me or is this whole thing getting boring? I don't think a single person has changed his/her mind since the day this "scandal" broke.

Martin

Of course they've also known from the beginning just what Fitzgerald would discover. He still works for the DOJ you know. Ashcroft surely told Bush just why he was recusing himself, right?

So of course they had to set the goalpost at crimes from the very beginning.

If they were all so innocent they'd certainly keep up the bullcrap about "ethical administration." No time for such niceties now.

This is proof positive indictments are imminent.


jt007

Is it just me or is this whold thing getting boring. I don't think a single person has changed his/her mind since the day this "scandal" broke.

ArminTamzarian

I'm sure someone will be indicted.

SteveMG

"Performance art. Purely experiential."

NEA grant, I suppose?

Dammed, I thought Newt was going to shut that damned thing down.

Please, don't tell us where you have the chocolate and bean sprouts on you.

SMG

Martin

"I don't think a single person has changed his/her mind since the day this "scandal" broke."

So true jtoo7-but it's fun to guess which Repubs will be the first to show some integrity. It's not too late to stake a claim pre-indictment.

Post indictment it'll seem a little johnny come lately.

jt007

Ah, but my statement goes both ways. Also, if the new anti-Bush talking point is that he lied about firing the leaker, it's reasonable to give all the information and let each individual make up his or her mind about Bush's credibility. But, as I said, liberals will all reach the conclusion that Bush is a liar and others will see this as just another meaningless aspect of NadaGate.

Also, is McClellan the worst presidential press secretary ever or what?

ArminTamzarian

A performer's only as good as his audience. I doubt the average IQ in that room could buy you a Daily News, let alone a Wall Street Journal or a New York Times.

Martin

Yes McClellan's the worst-but for a good reason-he still has traces of humanity.

I mean the poor guy actually asked (and believed) Rove's lie about whether he was involved. I really don't think mcClellan was so cynical to believe Rove would lie-to him. Endearing, actually.

Fleischer-though more effective-was far scarier in his almost robotic ability to talk at length and say nothing true. Of course, Ari may get indicted, so was it really effective in the end?

Seven Machos

Let's say you are the all-seeing, evil Karl Rove, who runs the Bush presidency along with the staff of fellow puppetmaster Dick Cheney. This is something that the Left has clamored as true since 2000.

So, you are them. Do you allow your attorney general (who works for the administration) to set up a special prosecutor TO COME AFTER YOU FOR CRIMES?

Obviously, you don't. Hence, one bedrock belief about this administration (that Rove and Cheney run the ship) must be false.

Why, then, should we believe the Left when we are assured that Rove and/or members of Cheney's staff will surely be indicted? Further, why would Rove and Libby et. al. ad. naus. participate on three separate occasions in a Grand Jury investigation OF THEMSELVES -- in what would amount to a trial about their own trials? Isn't is more likely that Fitzgerald is investigating others, if he is, in fact, investigating anyone at all?

Martin

Also McClellan was the only one to say anybody with anything to do with the leak would get canned-again putting himself far out in front of the President, e.g. see today's events.

Again, bad press spokemanship, but it sprang from a noble motive.

Martin

nachos-we've been through this before-short story-Ashcroft is an actual Christian-the non-ethically scumbag kind. He thus recused himself rather than quash an investigation. I'm sure this greatly peeved Rove and Bush-so much he didn't return for the second administration.

ArminTamzarian

Seven Machos:

Yeah, it's interesting that liberals accuse Rove and the White House staff of the most vast and complex conspiracies to make them do stupid things to themselves, and yet they think they're dumb enough to foil themselved by locking their keys in the car, or forgetting to pay the water bill.

You could say they like the "stupidity of evil" meme. You could also say they've mastered the art of doublethink. I really don't know.

Martin

Actually I think Rove's reputation for cleverness is far overrated.

Remember Bush was in California the day before election 2000-part of Rove's wacky scheme to "project confidence."

Rove is actually pretty dumb.

What's the most clever thing you ever heard him say?

Seven Machos

Right. Ashcroft didn't return because of Valerie Plame. Are you out of your mind?

Let me ask you a question, Marty: can a junior Dept. of Justice official just up and call for a special prosecutor one day, without anybody's permission? How does that work? You are brilliant, as we have established on numerous occasions, so I hope you will edify me as to this complex appointment process. Maybe your buddy Juke can link me to some obnoxious left-wing websites explaining everything.

Also, is it a new Dem talking point that John Ashcroft was a gentle Christian? That is subtly different from the previous official stance on Ashcroft.

Toby Petzold

Rat:

Whenever the NY Slimes says: "officials confirm that Tenet..." my BS alarm goes off. How about yours?

If Tenet was bound by the letter of the law (i.e., Executive Order 12333), he must have been the one to refer the question to DOJ.

The heads of departments and agencies with organizations in the Intelligence Community or the heads of such organizations, as appropriate, shall:

(a) Report to the Attorney General possible violations of federal criminal laws by employees and of specified federal criminal laws by any other person as provided in procedures agreed upon by the Attorney General and the head of the department or agency concerned, in a manner consistent with the protection of intelligence sources and methods, as specified in those procedures;

(b) In any case involving serious or continuing breaches of security, recommend to the Attorney General that the case be referred to the FBI for further investigation[...]

This is an automatic referral then.

Martin

And really, where, in the annals of political wisdom, shall we rank Bush's 60 cities in 60 days Social Security tour to handpicked audiences?

ArminTamzarian

Ashcroft is a good, ethical Christian. Ashcroft has always been a good, ethical Christian.

Martin

Ashcroft is also a moron and a petty tyrant-but he's not a liar like Bush and Rove.

ArminTamzarian

What? Those are the WRONG TALKING POINTS! Who put them there? Emmanuel Goldstein must have done it! Tear them down!

Dessert Fox

Hey, NBC actually got this right tonight. Of course, being NBC they had to claim that the President "seemed to raise the bar," and generally report the whole thing in as snarky a tone as possible. (They do have a reputation to protect.) But they actually did have the honesty to report Bush's original pledge as well as the 2004 press-conference colloquy, and they even played a clip of the 2004 colloquy so the viewer could judge for himself. Give 'em credit.

richard mcenroe

You have to feel for McLellan... he can't win. Here's what he had to deal with from an Indian journalist after the American press completely ignored the Indian Prime Minister at a joint PM/Presidental press conference to announce the new relationship between our two countries... to ask Bush Plame questions.

Q What I'm -- my question -- comment, also, about when the leaders visit the White House, and they have press availability in the East Room, not only the India today, but any Prime Minister or President. I feel it's kind of insult to that leader, he's standing there, only two questions, but only his own people are asking about his visit or his nation, but other questions are always on different topics. I feel, personally, it's insult to that leader and --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, I didn't get --

Q -- that if it's the Indian leader visiting here, that press availability should be only on India.

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, okay. I think you're opinion is noted. Go ahead.

The American press are not only inaccurate and grossly biased and willfully misinformative, they are, in the end, graceless louts.

Amok92

A Fistful of Heh here

ArminTamzarian

Wow, I didn't even realize Dr. Singh is still in Washington. Yes, the Washinton press corps is parochial and incompetent, but we knew this, and so do they.

Seven Machos

I wish I could be able to change my opinion about someone or something at the drop of a hat, and really beleive passionately that I have been consistent all along.

BEFORE: Karl-Rove-evil-genius. NOW: Karl-Rove-dumb-motor-mouth-traitor.

BEFORE: John-Ashcroft-lying-fundamentalist-corrupt-fascist-thug. NOW: John-Ashcroft-truth-telling-ethical-gentle-kind-but-petty-Christian.

Sure, Marty, all along you thought Karl Rove was just a run-of-the-mill consultant. THAT'S WHY YOU CARE ABOUT SCANDALIZING HIM SO MUCH.

M. Simon

"However, the CIA gest trounced on p. 35 of the .pdf file"

What is the meaning of "gest"?

freddie

Simple idea: ask the president to ask his good friend whether he did or did not leak the name...if this can not be done, or will not be done, then why not wait the outcome of the special prosecutor instead of all this self flagellation, aka abuse

Seven Machos

Freddie -- See, that's the thing. Don't you reckon the president has already asked that question, months ago? Don't you reckon they know something that is not publicly known.

The Kid

Please do not cite the Clinton administration as “open and straightforward.” Some folks still remember the Pentagon and one Ken Bacon. From an article entitled “Starr Subpoenas Tripp-Leak Record”by Bill Sammon in the 5/23/98 edition of the Washington Times (no longer available on-line):

The subpoena was served on Judicial Watch, a legal foundation that deposed Assistant Defense Secretary Kenneth Bacon and his principal deputy, Clifford H. Bernath, about their leak to the New Yorker magazine. Mr. Bacon acknowledged under oath that he orchestrated the leak.
[Snip]
Members of Congress called for Mr. Bacon's ouster and questioned the integrity of a probe into the matter by the Pentagon inspector general.

Rep. Gerald B.H. Solomon, New York Republican, said yesterday he doubts Mr. Bacon's claim that the leak was not ordered by the White House

"Bacon has said that he did this on his own, but it just seems the administration has a problem protecting the privacy of American citizens," said Mr. Solomon, chairman of the House Rules Committee. "It's obvious there's just no respect here for privacy. There ought to be an investigation and I would hope the Justice Department would insist on one."

I believe that Mr. Bacon served his president until the bitter end.

kim

So Marty, since you judge Bush and Rove to be liars on pretty thin evidence, what say you of the evidence for Joe Wilson's truthfulness? I'm not lauding you for any extraordinary skill for judging liars, but what is your truthful opinion on Joe Wilson's regard for the truth?
============================

jerry

I wonder if anyone thinks that Cooper was signaling to his friend Judy when he wrote, and talked, about his grand jury testimony?

Isn't this why most WH staff who have been before the grand jury aren't talking, to avoid any potential for conspiracy charges?

Would Cooper be giving Judy a reason to talk or remain silent?

I'll say "talk," he gave her an opening... that Rove was his source about Mrs. Wilson and that Rove knew he was over the line when he did this.

ss

CNN is pushing the same fake story that Bush is "raising the bar" by making any firing contingent on a law being broken. This is supposedly "stonewalling" because an actual violation of law would be difficult and time-consuming to prove.

Transcript:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0507/18/lol.05.html


President Bush today added some nuance to his stance concerning his aide Karl Rove and the criminal investigation into a highly sensitive leak....
Whether Rove committed a crime is open to question, and so is the matter of his future at the White House. Apparently, the two are connected. Joining us now from the White House, CNN's Bob Franken.

Bob, what's changed today?

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ...what is new today is nuance. Now we don't usually deal in nuance. This is television. But this was important. President Bush and his press secretary have said in the past if anybody is involved in this leak, he or she will be dismissed from the White House, but today at his news conference the president raised the bar quite a bit.

[Forehead slap.]

kim

The talking point now will be that he's raising the bar too high to catch Rove. And the heat will be on Bush. Heat just as feeble as that directed at Rove for the last two weeks.
Remember, the villain of the piece is a hypocrite who lied and still thinks the invasion is wrong.

Hello, forehead slap, everywhere a purple finger. Purple, purple, everywhere.
=============================

kim

"Now we don't usually deal in nuance. This is television. But this was important."

If that weren't so side-spittingly funny I'd be angry at the condescending son of a bitch, but it does give you a little insight into why so much of MSM has gotten sloppy and arrogant. That's a bad combination, by the way, and describes many of them elegantly. No respect for themselves or us.
=======================

Beldar

As I wrote way back in October 2003 — in a post that gave me a damn good reason to include a sexy photo of Jennifer Garner — the most likely reason that Ashcroft disqualified himself from personal involvement in the investigation or prosecution of this matter is that from the beginning, Karl Rove's name has been prominently mentioned, and Rove was a hired consultant for one of Ashcroft's Senate campaigns. This creates at least an appearance of a personal stake that, in turn, would create an appearance of impropriety. But Martin is not correct that Ashcroft certainly told Dubya, or even that he very likely told Dubya, the reasons for his self-recusal. Normal protocol for such decisions is in fact not to comment because of the possibility that would make the conflict worse.

Selection of a "special counsel" (not a "special prosecutor," and definitely not an "independent counsel") was in turn made by DoJ's number two guy — not because of actual or perceived personal conflicts, but because he "conclude[d] that extraordinary circumstances exist such that the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for a matter from the Department of Justice."

kim

Side-spittingly: Jocosity drools.
==============================

TCO

Have I waffled enough to reserve a RINO spot on the escape vessel in case TB gets flushed?

Martin

Well Beldar-I have no idea-but considering where we are now-I feel confident they asked him to bury this thing.

I did read your post btw. Love the last line: "And it could be that Ashcroft is hoping that an early vindication of Rove would solve the problem anyway."

Robert I. Eachus

This is stupid. I know, I know, the Demagogs^H^H^H^Hocrats are being deliberately obtuse, but there is no reason we have to play their game. Karl Rove's DID NOT reveal Valerie Plame's name, there is no indication that he even knew it. Revealing that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in a non-covert position was neither illegal or nasty. Even if you take all of the words imputed to the President, and what he actually did say on several occasions, Rove's job is still not at risk. He did not leak Palme's name, and he did not leak classified information.

A technical issue here. Rove did indicated that he probably went too far in saying that some information relevant to Wilson's trip was about to be declassified. That is not leaking classified information. So how had he gone too far? That was not a leak, but it could have been used by an enterprising reporter to get someone else in the White House to talk about what was about to be declassified--put enough such sources together and you have a leak. If the document were declassified before the reporter could piece together a story though--no harm done. And that definitely seems to have been the case here.

The part of the Valerie Plame leak that included her name and that she had previously worked as a covert agent may or may not have been illegal. It was probably immoral--but it has been clear since 2003 that that information did not come from Karl Rove or any source in the White House.

A lot of focus is on a classified document--that did include Plame's name--that was given to Secretary of State Colin Powell and apparently carried by him aboard Air Force One. If that report was leaked, that was definitely illegal. If some of the information in the report was leaked, that may or may not have been illegal. (In a classified document each paragraph is marked with its classification level, and most are usually unclassified.) In any case, if Powell did leak Plame's identity--and I have seen no indication that he did--he is already gone, so President Bush can't fire him again.

AST

You've done yeoman's work, Tom.

This is as big a non-scandal as any the blogosphere has tackled (or scandal, depending on how you look at it). The scandal is like Rathergate, reporting a scandal where there isn't one.

If my basement is already flooded because the sewer has backed up, is a dripping faucet really the problem, especially when the smell is half the problem?

I can't believe that anybody still thinks there was a crime committed, even if somebody thought he was committing one. This, more than anything else, makes me wonder if the White House press corps are really this stupid, or should I just chalk this up to malice. Either way, they don't come out looking very good. The details of how Plame's employer became common knowledge, when anybody could have have dug up that morsel by going to Joe Wilson's house and asking a neighbor, don't strike me as being of more than academic (and journalistic) interest.

kim

Martin: You got Wilson, now defend him. Is it wasting my time to ask you to talk about him?

And you are confident they asked Fitzgerald to bury the whole matter? You tell us a lot about yourself with that one.
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kim

Fitzgerald, no doubt, has been amazed at the confidence of the journalists in the power of the word to manipulate public belief and they will be amazed at his disbelief in that word's ability to change past events.

When this is done, the villains will fry. Wilson, and any involved in a conspiracy with him, though frankly, I think he made it all up himself, and the press and the Democrats thought they'd caught a wave.
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moptop

This dialog with the deaf, who call themselves, laughably, the "reality-based community" is beyond tiresome. As is the appellation "appalled moderate" for someone who can ignore some facts and cite other interpretations in a way that would make Sid Blumenthal proud.

If this is what the Left want to go into the next election with, that's their business.

Jor

Daily Show, has great coverage.

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