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July 14, 2005

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Rider

Silly Josh, for saying what the President *should* have said but didn't. Thanks for pointing out that the President gave himself some weasel-room.

How shabby can you guys get? Now you are arguing about what "is" is.

TexasToast

So your position continues to be, if Bush didn’t say it clearly and unequivocally, it’s not a “pledge” he is ethically, morally or otherwise bound to follow (and, what McClellan says doesn’t count).

My my! We seem to be on a multiple loophole search!

Whether or not you legal eagles can find a loophole (or any hole for Karl to crawl into till the storm blows over), the fact remains that we now know that Karl had a “double super secret background” conversation with Matt Cooper in the context of a deliberate and systematic release the identity of a CIA operative (by “senior administration officials” to at least six reporters) to score debating points against her husband because the husband embarrassed Karl’s boss by raising questions about the “sixteen words”.
That in a nutshell, is your political justification for revealing her identity. Apparently, Karl gets a pass from you guys if he can show any of the following:
(a) he didn’t know she was undercover and its OK to reveal the identity of a person who may be a covert operative if you dont know it;
(b) everybody knew she was with CIA so she was factually not undercover and its OK to reveal the identity of a person who may be covert operative to someone who is, apparently, not "everybody";
(c) the political purpose of discrediting Joe Wilson was a valid reason morally and ethically to reveal the identity of someone who may be a covert operative; or
(d) if one can't prove it was criminal to reveal the identity of a covert operative, its just politics.


Right?

Rider

"The president's been pretty clear: if somebody's broken the law they will be fired."

This is known as "The King's X Defense."

Bill

Oh, I see, it's "shabby" to hold Bush to his own words rather than words he never actually said. Got it.

For the record, I'm pretty sure the President doesn't give a rat's ass what Josh Marshall(or any other absurd DNC hack) thinks he *should* have said.

Try as you guys might, that old back-issue of Vanity Fair is still around, proving with every picture what a non-scandal this is. Technical violations of the law are all you've got, and if you don't have that, you've got nothing.

BumperStickerist

TT -

I guess the Democrats got a hold of 'When Bad Things Happen to Good People' reprints.

Novak said he used the word 'operative' in the 'political operative' sense that he'd used for 30-40 years. I tend to buy that even though Novak is, indeed, the Prince of Darkness.

If your argument about Rove hinges on Novak's misuse of a term in his reportage - "CIA Operative" versus 'CIA Agent' - a term that has a precise distinction to the CIA but not to Novak, then your argument is inoperative, in the technical sense of the word.

Also, the 'but Rove revealed her identity' line of reasoning fails unless you can show a whole 'with malice aforethought' angle to Rove's conversation with Cooper.

On the whole, my hunch is this is going to be a lot worse for Wilson than it will be for Rove.

DW West

If there was confusion about the reasons for the trip to Niger, why didn't the Office of the Vice President just issue a straightforward statement or give an on-the-record interview?

Jeff

TM - The basic question is, if what you're saying is correct, why would the Bush administration need to discredit Wilson. Why couldn't they just say, "He was wrong, we never saw the report, and we're going to find out why." Then start blaming the CIA, like they eventually did. They *should* have seen the report -- so concludes the SSCI report.

There is one news report that you've cited suggesting that at the time the WH's line was that they didn't pay attention to the report because it was set up as a boondoggle by Wilson's wife. That, it seems to me, was the original line on why it mattered that his wife was involved. I note that the line has changed considerably.

I would also add that I suspect that part of the reason the White House couldn't come out and say that Wilson's report should have reached them is that that would have encouraged other skeptics within the government to speak up, and they wanted rather to discourage such skeptics.

Finally, as far as I can tell, TM, it's not quite right to say "the SSCI report from the Senate . . . confirmed Tenet's statement that Wilson's report was *not* conclusive and *not* circulated to the Vice President's office." What Tenet says is that the VP was not briefed on the report, and what the SSCI Report says on p. 46 is that the CIA's briefer did not brief the VP. Do we know that no one in the VP's office either saw the report or heard about it? Am I missing that somewhere in the SSCI report? Or is there somewhere in the media where it is specifically denied that neither the VP nor anyone on his staff ever saw or heard a word of or about that report? Recall too that Tenet also said that the report got a normal and wide distribution. Thanks in advance for the clarification.

J Mann

I don't see how it's dishonest for us righties to prefer that the media and lefties repeat what the President actually said.

With that said, there's a second question, of whether the President should fire Rove. For that, I have a bunch of questions:

1) Back in 2003, did the President ask Rove whether Rove knew who leaked Plame's identity? If so, what did Rove tell him?

1.1) If Rove lied to the President, he should go.

1.2) If Rove told the President the truth and the President didn't fire him then, presumably there's no additional reason to fire him now, but someone should give the public an explanation.

1.3) If the President didn't ask, then why on earth not?

2) What's Rove's story about the leak?

2.1) If Rove's story is fairly innocent - Plame's identity was already common knowledge, and her cover was such a dead letter that no one would suspect she had one; Rove was pushing back against what he saw as a deceptive partisan attack; he was speaking on deep background; Plame and/or Wilson had themselves leaked her identity in the past (all speculation) - no foul.

2.2) If Rove's story is less innocent - Plame's cover was valid and Rove either (a) knew about it or (b) didn't care, then Rove should resign.

Ralph Tacoma

Isn't it interesting that it's widely accepted that various reporters already knew of Plame's CIA connection, Judith Miller for one, yet that doesn't consititute "official outing."

Rove apparently told another report that "Wilson's wife worked for the CIA." (on the same day that Novak's column was availabe on the wire, which the White House gets, so we don't even KNOW that Novak's column was not Rove's source for the information.)

That reporter did not go public with that infomration. If it's okay for other reporters of have known, what's wrong with Cooper knowing, even assuming that he didn't already know it from other sources?

The story might well be overblown even if Rove was one of Novak's sources, but so far we have NO evidence of that.

Thomas W DInsmore

So Washington is aflame about what a Presidential advisor may have said to a reporter about a woman who may or may not be a covert agent who sent a Kerry supporter to some place in Africa that sounds French and who may or may not have learned that Saddam might or might not have purchased material that he could have used in a program he likely had to make bombs he did not have time to build before he was toppled?

Sounds like something from Gilbert and Sullivan.

Jeff

Ralph, Whether it's widely accepted or not, could you provide some substantiation for the view that "various reporters already knew of Plame's CIA connection, Judith Miller for one, yet that doesn't consititute "official outing."" And please don't say it's Clifford May or a third-hand report from Powerline. I mean it: it would be interesting to have this knowledge, and it may be true. But I haven't seen anything to this effect beyond sheer speculation -- especially with regard to Judith Miller.

Crank

So, what are the odds that Marshall will:

A. Respond to this piece
B. Correct the errors in the future
C. Stop discussing these points
D. Keep pushing the same deliberate misimpressions

My money's on "D". Marshall long ago stopped being interested in fairly or accurately presenting the facts, in dialogue with other bloggers, or anything else but getting a "W" for his side.

jerry

Darn,
I thought we'd be arguing about how KKKarl is an innocent whistleblower, distracted from cultivating flowers in the WH Rose Garden, and smeared in a damaging and irresponsible fit of political vengence by our nations highest minority party officials -- an act which caused people to have died, put many more in danger, and trashed years of dangerous work defending our national security; that we'd protest dissimulation, and demand responsiblity and accountability, from those despicable miscreants.

But no, we're being distracted by an exegesis of the marginalia.

J Mann

The point of the "whistleblower" story isn't that Karl is a saint (many whistleblowers aren't), but that the left normally considers it a good thing to expose government secrets in order to detect lies, etc.

spongeworthy

It's by ignoring the "marginalia" which consists in this case of the facts and the law, that the President's political opponents reveal how little they care whether Plame was actually "exposed", by whom really and why.

It's "Get Rove" time and they don't care who knows it. They have to know there's no way they can really get him. He's like Jason, man, he'll be in their nightmares for years.

Martin

Psst...guys we're not at war with Eurasia anymore.

The new enemy is Mmatt Cooper:

"By facilitating Cooper's testimony, Rove has helped ensure the special prosecutor has access to all relevant information from every source," Luskin said. "Cooper's truthful testimony today will not call into question the accuracy or completeness of anything Rove has previously said to the prosecutor or grand jury."

See-some of his testimony was untruthful...

jukeboxgrad

Thanks to Jeff for reminding us about the "boondoggle" angle, which has sort of gone down the memory hole.

The WaPo used that exact word: "On July 12, two days before Novak's column, a Post reporter was told by an administration official that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction. Plame's name was never mentioned and the purpose of the disclosure did not appear to be to generate an article, but rather to undermine Wilson's report."

Never mind that although Wilson's airfare was paid by the CIA, he was not paid for his time. And Niger is hardly the garden spot of the universe. So apparently one of Rove's gang tried to get the WaPo to think it was something like one of DeLay's luxury golf junkets to Scotland.

This also sort of reminds me of Cheney making it sound like our guests in Gitmo are enjoying a vacation in the "tropics."

Also note the claim that Plame "set up" the trip. This is similar to Rove's remark (in Cooper's email) that Plame "authorized" the trip.

JDM
DR. RICE: The president quoted a British paper. We did not know at the time, no one knew at the time in our circles—maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew—that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery. Of course, it was information that was mistaken.

Yesterday Bush smirkingly told the cameras he was not going to "prejudge based on a media report". But 16 words, SOTU, Rice/Cheney etc. stumping this story everywhere to bolster invasion... was based on a British media report?

We know State Dept. Intel was sceptical of Niger story: we know CIA was as well. We know that Wilson's report was "widely disseminated" at (at least) State and CIA, and we know that Cheney make at least 2 "contentious" visits to CIA during this period because he was "not getting the Intel we wanted". Bolton, after assuming control of State's Intel, said the same thing.

NeoKen

Bush would fire anyone who leaked classified information.

Fortunately, Bush doesn't hire folks like that. Sometimes losers from prior administrations, like Wilson, hang around bring the level of concern for the national interest down.

Rove didn't leak. He gave a reporter information. All of it truthful. None of it private administration information (something you can leak). None of it was classified.

As best I can tell, Wilson himself was the fool who "outed" his wife. What a dope. But people caught up in Bush hatred seem to do dumb things.

NeoKen

exanter

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but hasn't Fitzgerald already said that Rove is NOT the target of his current investigation? And if that is indeed the case, who cares about Rove at this point, as it would seem that if one is not the target of an investigation, having charges brought up appears to be pretty unlikely? I know it's a standard lefty wet dream to be rid of Rove, but it sure isn't going to happen by misrepresenting what the president said and trying to get him to adhere to YOUR standards, especially in the face of documented proof to the contrary (that TM provided above).


Currently, it seems to be a lot of whining and ignoring of reality, with a healthy side of not-knowing-all-the-facts.
Which is par for the course in the blogosphere, I guess. But I guess some people like to keep banging their head into the brick wall

Rider

"So Washington is aflame about what a Presidential advisor may have said to a reporter..."

That part is almost right. Rove did reveal classified information. Maybe someone else did too. Everything else in the statement is what the spinmeisters at the WH would like you to believe it's all about.

It has nothing to do with Niger. It has nothing to do with Joe Wilson.

It has to do with Karl "Can we talk?" Rove.

Would it be asking the President too much to put politics aside for a minute and do something about the security breach that took place in the Oval Office?

Does the President have to wait for indictments, trial, and verdict before he plugs the intelligence leak?

If you were an American intelligence officer, what would you want the President to do?

If you worked for a CIA front company trying to keep WMD out of the hands of terrorists, what would you want the President to do?

If you were one of hundreds of people around the world whose security had been compromised by the outing of Mrs. Wilson, what would you want the President to do?

BumperStickerist

I think Joe Wilson owes Niger and its nascent tourism industry an apology.

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

http://www.ecowas.info/nigatt.htm


-- from the Niger tourism website ---


Outside Niamey is the famous ‘W’ National Park, with its abundant wildlife including buffalos, elephants, lions, hyenas, jackals and baboons. The bird life sanctuary is also prolific.
-------------------------

The 'W' National Park: more fuel for the conspiracy theorists.

vnjagvet

Anyone watching Sen. Schumer's press conference this afternoon with the ever cooperative and non-partisan Mr. Wilson?

I will be particularly interested in choice of words, demeanor and other credibility issues. I doubt if the witness will be under oath, however.

I'll recheck later this afternoon when I return from an out of office/blogging distance meeting.

For what it is worth, my assessment is that little new light has been shed so far this morning on the overall problem. For me it is still a political offalstorm.

jukeboxgrad

Regarding the question of whether or not Cheney ever saw Wilson's report: it's hardly a new idea to realize that it was Cheney's practice to ignore intel he didn't like. On 1/22/04, Cheney said: "we know for example that prior to our going in that he had spent time and effort acquiring mobile biological weapons labs, and we're quite confident he did, in fact, have such a program. We've found a couple of semi trailers at this point which we believe were, in fact, part of that program ... I would deem that _conclusive evidence_, if you will, that he did in fact have programs for weapons of mass destruction" (emphasis added).

This despite the fact that Sen. Levin said: "When I asked Director Tenet about Vice President Cheney's comments, he said he had spoken to him about it, to tell him that was not the view of the Intelligence Community."

This despite the fact that Cheney's statement came more than six months after a group of analysts had overwhelmingly dissented from the original CIA report: "In a review that the administration has not made public, only one of 15 intelligence analysts assembled from three agencies to discuss the issue in June endorsed the white paper conclusion, a former senior intelligence official said in an interview this week" (link).

This despite the fact that Cheney's statement came more than six months after an official British investigation stated that the trailers "were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons" (link).

This despite the fact that Kay had already said "We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile BW production effort." So something Kay claims we haven't "yet been able to corroborate" is treated by Cheney as something for which we have "conclusive evidence."

This despite the fact that Duelfer eventually testified: "They have absolutely nothing to do with any biological weapons."

By the way, Cheney's statement went unchallenged by his NPR host (link). That darn liberal media.

Of course it was Bush himself who used these trailers as the sole basis for his bold and hasty announcement "we found the weapons of mass destruction" (link), even though it was already clear that "no pathogens were found in the two trailers " (as if there's no difference between a weapon, and a tool used to make a weapon).

I know this is somewhat off-topic, but it's all part of the same picture, of how "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," and anyone who disagreed was ignored, sidelined, squelched and/or smeared. As JDM pointed out, what we now know about Bolton gives us a clearer picture of how this process worked. And now we understand more clearly the role Rove personally played in this process.

exanter

Rider --


Rove did reveal classified information...


I'll accept that as soon as there is definitive proof that VP was covert, and that her cover wasn't blown years ago. There has yet to be that proof shown, though I daresay that Fitzgerald probably knows. And with that, and the fact that he has stated that Rove is not the target, makes this whole process a smoke-screen.


Rove this, Rove that. None of that matters, really. We need a definitive answer on a) was VP covert? (probably not). and b) Why is Judith Miller still in jail (or more specifically, who is she hiding?). Get the answers to those questions, and this whole affair can come to a conclusion, rather quickly. My guess is that when this does end, the get-Rove lefties will be enraged/depressed to discover that Rove won't be going anywhere...

Rider

Flash: Joe Wilson is not the target of Fitzgerald's investigation.

Who'da thunk it?

Rider

exanter -

a) If Mrs. Wilson was not covert - i.e., if that information was still classified - why did the CIA alert the Justice Dept. that there had been a possible violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act here?

b) Miller's source may be someone else in the WH, maybe even Bush's other "other brain." My advice, don't even go there.

You're whistlin' Dixie, boys. Let's get real. Reality check: Fitzgerald doesn't give a fig about Niger.

jukeboxgrad

Rider said: "If you were an American intelligence officer, what would you want the President to do?"

Dubya's dad might have an opinion about that, since he once said this: "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."

Speaking of GHWB, he also said this about Wilson: "Your courageous leadership during this period of great danger for American interests and American citizens has my admiration and respect. I salute, too, your skillful conduct of our tense dealings with the government of Iraq....The courage and tenacity you have exhibited throughout this ordeal prove that you are the right person for the job."

exanter is looking for "definitive proof that VP was covert"

This Newsday report would be a good place to start: "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."

njz

Rider:
Great question! I tell you just what I would *have done*...I'd have canned Wilson and Plame long ago. These two clearly had anti-W political motives behind their boondoggle plan, as evidenced by basically *every damned thing they've done since*. If the press and the rest of the Left were as concerned about national security as they seem to be by feigning concern for Plame's identity, they'd be calling for the heads of CIA employees and former ambassadors who let their own partisain interests cloud their responsibilities to find facts and defend their nation.

JDM

njz @Q July 14, 2005 10:53 AM

they'd be calling for the heads of CIA employees and former ambassadors who let their own partisain interests cloud their responsibilities to find facts and defend their nation.

1 word: CHALABI.

next question...

exanter

rider --

per a), I'd say the answer like somewhere amongst:


1) Bad record keeping (one never knows...)


2) Who at the CIA initiated the alert to the JD? I don't really know the SOP for situations such as these, but I'm guessing someone had to initate it. The conspiracy theorist in me may even say it was initiated to start some kerfluffle like this. :)
3) investigations of "possible" violations doesn't prove that she was covert, unfortunately. Hence the use of the word "possible".


as for b), Why shouldn't we go there. If a crime was truly committed, bring the bastard(s) down, no matter who they are. For all the talk that it *may* be someone else in the WH, it could just as easily be one of VP herself, Joe wilson, or Judith Miller herself.
My thoughts on this are one of the 3 latter choices are it, as I don't see Miller squatting in jail to cover some higher-ups (higher than rove) in the WH, as that would be a HUGE story.

jerry

Just thought I'd post a link to the GOP anti-Wilson smeersheet, for those of you who don't have it...:

http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=5630

jukeboxgrad

exanter said "hasn't Fitzgerald already said that Rove is NOT the target of his current investigation?"

"Target" and "subject" are very specific legal terms. The fact that Rove is currently "only" in the latter category doesn't mean his status won't change in the next few nanoseconds. Note that Rove was called by the grand jury on three occasions. This is unusual, and it means they are very, very interested in him.

Neo said: "Rove didn't leak. He gave a reporter information. All of it truthful."

Please indicate the basis for your claim that Rove was telling the truth when he told Cooper that Plame "authorized" the trip. I don't think any of us have seen any evidence to support that claim. On the contrary.

By the way, the WSJ is trying to pretend that Rove said "recommended," not "authorized." This is a pretty good indication that Rove's gang knows that "authorized" has no basis in reality.

By the way, even if everything Rove said was true, outing an agent is still wrong.

By the way, if Rove was only telling the truth, and not doing anything improper, why did he go to great lengths to keep his role secret ("double super secret background"), and then lie about it after-the-fact?

njz said "they'd be calling for the heads of CIA employees and former ambassadors who let their own partisain interests cloud their responsibilities to find facts and defend their nation."

English translation: "they'd be calling for the heads of CIA employees and former ambassadors who dared to contradict the party line, even though folks like Cheney and Bolton were running around making sure analysts understood exactly what the White House wanted to hear from them."

fritz

Why was Wilson, of all people, sent to Niger in the first place? Here's a guy sent to ask sensitive, potentially embarrassing questions, during a run-up to war. Why would the CIA send a person who's married to a (possibly) covert agent?
This guy, fumbling around for information about uranium, will certainly draw some interests from foreign entities. They'd have to ask, "Who is this guy? What's his bio? What're his creds?"
Seems silly to send someone, married to a CIA agent, who's necessarily going to be subjected to scrutiny by people who are not our friends. Wouldn't there be too much risk of exposing the agent's identity?

TexasToast

I'll accept that as soon as there is definitive proof that VP was covert, and that her cover wasn't blown years ago.

Thanks Exanter - you prove my point! Until it can be shown that laws were broken, talking to reporters about the identity of potential covert operatives is A-OK. No need to check!

The covert status of political opponents is just not something we should be worrying about. If they really cared about national security, they wouldn’t be our opponents! Even though the CIA seems to think she was covert (as shown by the criminal referral to Justice) that’s all some inside the government turf war.

I repeat- it appears you guys (and our President) won’t think this was wrong unless it’s criminal.


RiverRat

It is absolutely amazing how the threads here go increasingly silent as the earth rotates east between GMT-5 to GMT-8 on or about 1700 hours local in each time zone.

I've been retired from raping and pillaging the American financial community for several years now but if I were still trying to run a business with a wide area network and internet access virtually every Asshat and Wingnut participating in this thread would be looking for work at Abdula's Hubcap Emporium in Baghdad in a New York or LA minute.

If I'm right, and I think I am, you're primarily thieves and have no moral authority to judge even the diameter of your own anuses.

Martin

if only Bush was half the boss you are riverrat.

Martin

Meanwhile Mr. Maguire I see the shrieky priss Ponnurru sent you a link from the Corner this morning for your Plame coverage.

A double-edged sword that. The Corner is pretty silent about all this. No doubt, they don't want to leave a record on Plamegate that would exose them to ridicule later (well, additional ridicule) as so many on the right are.

So they let you do the dirty work whle they stay clean. NRO bagman-you must be so proud.

Meanwhile-isn't attacking Wilson what created this whole brouhaha in the first place? Isn't there some saying about digging a hole...

RiverRat

Martin,

If you choose to steal your employer's time you might wish to use it on spelling and grammar education in lieu of bloviating blather.

spongeworthy

They don't have lunch hour at your shop, RR?

I always like following JBG's links. They almost always contradict the point he's trying to make. It's like someone else read the piece and told him what it said and let him go make a fool of himself.

For instance, he claims Bush cited the trucks as WMD's though the CIA had said definitively they were not. But here's what his link actually says:

U.S. authorities have to date made no claim of a confirmed finding of an actual nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. In the interview, Bush said weapons had been found, but in elaborating, he mentioned only the trailers, which the CIA has concluded were likely used for production of biological weapons.

The agency reported that no pathogens were found in the two trailers and added that civilian use of the heavy transports, such as water purification or pharmaceutical production, was "unlikely" because of the effort and expense required to make the equipment mobile. Production of biological warfare agents "is the only consistent, logical purpose for these vehicles," the CIA report concluded.

And Bush is quoted in the piece making it quite clear he knows the difference between a WMD and the pieces of a program.

It is to laugh. HaHa!

Jeff Hauser

Tom -- you're really scarificing your credibility here, as on Social Security. Consider the following comment on an earlier thread that you have not responded to (and this point has been made in many outlets):

From a press conference last june:

Q: Given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President [Dick] Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

BUSH: That's up to --

Q: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

BUSH: Yes.

So, yes, he did say he'd fire anyone who leaked the name.

That press conference is here: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/rm/33463.htm

Fresh Air

Martin--

Wilson himself started all this with his anti-Bush publicity tour featuring his untruthful NYT op-ed. His conduct was disgraceful. He's the one who dug the hole, and evidently even today he's still digging.

When the dam of silence ultimately breaks, he will stand revealed as the biggest con man since Charles Ponzi.

al sharpton

In lying about the Administration, using information he does not have access to(his wife does) he undermined US crediblity.

In reducing international support, the ambassador has extended this conflict, reduced international involvement.
In the case of prolonging the conflict-more of our soldier will die.
In the case of reducing international involvement-more of our soldiers will die.

By misrepresenting the Administration, using information he does not have access to-there needs to be some serious investigation into this matter.

At the conclusion of the Grand Jury, and if it does not include information about who Ambassador Wilson told of his wife's occupation, or who the ambassador's sources were, I would like to see a seprate investigation.

Article 3, sect 3

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

In lying about the Adminsistration, reducing international support Joe Wilson, and possibly his wife have committed such acts.

Thomas W DInsmore

For those who believe it is a settled matter that "Rove leaked classified information" consider what we actually know:

-- Newsweek has published a story about what it says is the text of an email message from Cooper. (The email in question does not appear on the website, and is authenticated by anonymous sources).

-- The email itself includes Cooper's report of a conversation with Rove, which may or may not be an accurate transcript of their conversation.

-- Newsweek's report about Cooper's report about the conversation says that Rove discussed matters that may or may not be classified

Even if we stipulate that Newsweek's thrice-removed story provides an accurate account of the conversation between Rove and Cooper, it is not a settled matter that the information disclosed by Rove is classified.

Fresh Air

Really nice round-up of Joe Wilson's "Top 10 lies" here.

Crank

JDM - I believe "British paper" refers to a British intelligence report, not a newspaper report. Such a thing might commonly be referred to as a "White Paper." There are other references, if you look around, to the sourcing.

spongeworthy

Jeff Hauser, you Dowd-ified that Bush quote. He finished a sentence there and you are only guessing the "yes" applied to the question you want to believe he was answering.

I don't care if you believe that, but you had to actively delete the rest of Bush's sentence, which places a great deal of doubt that he even answered the question about firing anybody.

You silly silly Lefties. If it doesn't fit your beliefs, you just cheat until it does! You know, if you really really thought for a minute you had Rove dead to rights, you guys wouldn't be doing that stuff.

Fresh Air

For those seeking more delicious irony, go to Hugh Hewitt's site and download the amici brief filed by 36 news organizations (including all the biggies) in support of Judith Miller.

Excerpt (PDF Page 26): "For the press (and the public), "leaks" are an often indispensable way to ascertain the truth of what is going on in government."

Do tell.

Here's another (Page 27): "But the circumstances necessary to prove that crime seem not to be present here, and they should be carefully examined before contempt sanctions are upheld."

Okay. One more (Page 29): "The statute was specifically 'crafted with care' to be used in limited circumstances, because Congress wanted to 'exclude the possibility that casual discussion, political debate, the journalistic pursuit of a story on intelligence, or the disclosure of illegality or impropriety in government will be chilled by the enactment of the bill.'"

This is too much fun (Page 30): "Plame was not given the 'deep cover' required of a covert agent."

There's lots more where these came from.

RiverRat

Martin,

They don't have lunch hour at your shop, RR?

I suggest that you look back at the times of your posts over the last two days. I would estimate that your lunch hour averages 6.5 hours per day.

What does your supervisor think?

Now, I'll give you a break; if you're a code jockey that sleeps 4 hours a night and works from 1700 to 0100 you may be an honest man...I doubt it.

peapies

yes Fresh Air...

May 6, Kristoff:
"...The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade..."

I have yet to see someone capably square Wilson's egregious misuse of classified information. No one too outraged Kristoff would gamble Wilson's credibility by intentionally printing "misquotes and misattributions" or are they comfortable with Wilson's silly habit of fabricating info for our entertainment (i.e. Literary Flair!) I would assume that one scandalized by Rove outing a covert CIA agent would be equally scandalized by a former Ambassador publishing flat out lies about matters of national security, no?

Guy

Why was Wilson, of all people, sent to Niger in the first place? Here's a guy sent to ask sensitive, potentially embarrassing questions, during a run-up to war. Why would the CIA send a person who's married to a (possibly) covert agent??

Wilson was probably sent to Niger because of his previous diplomatic postings to Africa:

Ambassador Wilson was a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service from 1976 until 1998. His early assignments included Niamey, Niger, 1976-1978; Lome, Togo, 1978-79; the State Department Brueau of African Affairs, 1979-1981; and Pretoria, South Africa, 1981-1982.

monica

The Vanity Fair article states Joseph Wilson received a call from Robert Novak on or about July 9th requesting confirmation of his wife's employer. Matt Cooper's conversation with Karl Rove appears to have occured on the date of the e-mail, Friday, July 11th. It is conceivable Karl Rove fielded calls from journalists during that two day span who may have conveyed to him that Valerie Plame's employment as an operative on weapons of mass destruction with the Agency was common knowledge within DC circles.

RiverRat

So where was the prestigous Ambassador from '82 when Reagan fired him as as Carter pascifist until '02 when his new sweetie recommended him for the Nijer mission?

Just asking...

Greg D

I find it really amusing to see people claim that it's only a "boondogle" if it cost a lot of money.

The boondogle of Wilson's trip was the huge puff it gave his ego. "Here you go, darling. You're not a washed up, has been, Democrat Party hack, you're an important person who does important work."

So Wilson got the job, went over to Niger and (by his own testimony) did an incredibly half-assed job, then came back to the US and wrote up a worthless report that was (properly) ignored.

He then proceeded to lie to the press and public about what he'd found, and how and why he'd been chosen to go looking. He did this to advance his personal political beliefs, and to try and get himself a job in the Kerry Administration. The Press let him use them because they agreed with his cause.

Americans who don't like being lied to owe Karl Rove a debt of gratitude for blowing the whistle on Wilson's frauds.

They owe him another debt of gratitude for exposing the hollowness and dishonesty of the Democrats, who are so obsessed with winning that they will let no principle or consideration stand in their way.

If the New York Times gave a damn about publishing the truth, about being a newspaper rather than the mouthpiece of the Democrat Party, they would be praising Karl Rove to the sky, as a daring whistleblower who exposed a fraud (Wilson's remarks) being perpetrated on the American people. However, since they were active participants in the fraud, and since Rove's expose harmed their political agenda, no other principle matters to them.

RiverRat

Sorry,

"as a Carter Pascifist"

GreenGiant

I would like to see a poll.

If Rove knowingly revealed classified information should he be forced to resign?

RiverRat

Greg D,

Points well taken and written.

eglider

So where was the prestigous Ambassador from '82 when Reagan fired him as as Carter pascifist until '02 when his new sweetie recommended him for the Nijer mission?

Just asking...

You mean you haven't read of his heroics during the first Iraq war for Geoerge Bush?

The noose episode?

Come on man, catch up!

jukeboxgrad

fritz said "Why was Wilson, of all people, sent to Niger in the first place?"

He was a respected diplomat with a long career and many years of experience in Africa. He had been ambassador to Gabon, which is not far from Niger and is also a uranium-producing country. He had also made a previous trip to Niger on behalf of the CIA.

sponge said: "Bush is quoted in the piece making it quite clear he knows the difference between a WMD and the pieces of a program."

I guess that's why he said "we found the weapons of mass destruction ... we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." I guess your point is that he used the word "weapons" three times in order to be "quite clear" that he wasn't really trying to say "we found the weapons," even though that's exactly what he said. Welcome to BushSpeak.

Kind of like how when Rove told Cooper that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip, he really only meant something like "recommended" (which is exactly how the WSJ is currently trying to revise history).

Jeff said: "he did say he'd fire anyone who leaked the name."

Nice catch. However, it seems Rove didn't use Plame's name. In other words, Bush didn't inhale.

RiverRat said: "So where was the prestigous Ambassador from '82 when Reagan fired him as as Carter pascifist until '02 when his new sweetie recommended him for the Nijer mission?"

For part of that time, he was saving lives in Iraq, which led to Dubya's dad saying this: "Your courageous leadership during this period of great danger for American interests and American citizens has my admiration and respect. I salute, too, your skillful conduct of our tense dealings with the government of Iraq....The courage and tenacity you have exhibited throughout this ordeal prove that you are the right person for the job."

RiverRat

See... It works

Challenge an asshat without pissing on them and they can actually find truth.

Only problem is, it's left truth only

peapies

jukeboxgrad

He was a respected diplomat with a long career and many years of experience in Africa.

Were you profoundly disappointed to learn the respected diplomat flippantly lied about the Niger Forgeries to increase book sales?

eglider

Can you explain those lies? All the back and forth is so noisy I haven't been able to make sense of that argument.

jukeboxgrad

Fresh said "Really nice round-up of Joe Wilson's 'Top 10 lies' here."

That list starts by claiming "Wilson Insisted That The Vice President’s Office Sent Him To Niger." Really? All Wilson said was that Cheney was asking questions about Africa and uranium, and the CIA wanted to be able to answer those questions, and some folks at the CIA sent Wilson to Niger to look into things there. All of that is true.

peaples said: "Were you profoundly disappointed to learn the respected diplomat flippantly lied"

Oddly enough, I'm more interested in considering the credibility of the folks who are currently running our country. I realize you think it's more important to focus attention on one particular retired diplomat. Maybe you'd like to explain your priorities.

RiverRat

eqilder,

Knock of the baiting and read this blog. You're posting on it. All your answers are above the break. Cheesh, what an asshat!

Can you explain those lies? All the back and forth is so noisy I haven't been able to make sense of that argument.

peapies

eglider

just in case you are not baiting here would be the best summary

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/337paflu.asp
jukeboxgrad-

Oddly enough, I'm more interested in considering the credibility of the folks who are currently running our country. I realize you think it's more important to focus attention on one particular retired diplomat. Maybe you'd like to explain your priorities.

silly me! I just thought you were foaming at the mouth to "frog march" Karl Rove. I am humbled by yuor devotion to our fine country.

Lesley

Just like Byron York, "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know." However, one thing I am pretty sure about is that Rove told his boss everything about his (Rove's) involvement in this deal. Those guys are playing on a three-dimensional chess board while the rest of us are struggling to figure out whose got the Old Maid.

I continue to wonder about Wilson's comments regarding those documents that supposedly no one in US intelligence had seen at the time yet Wilson revealed info about the signatures, etc., and then said he "misspoke."

Does that strike anyone else as weird? Somethin's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear...

peapies

Videotape, June 8, 2003):
DR. RICE: The president quoted a British paper. We did not know at the time, no one knew at the time in our circles—maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew—that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery. Of course, it was information that was mistaken.
(End videotape)
MR. RUSSERT: “No one in our circles.” That has proven to be wrong.

Martin

Riverrat-that wasn't me who asked about lunchhour-try to up your reading comprehension.

Personally, I answer to no man. I admit I'm losing income by wasting time posting here, but interacting with witless bucktoothed geeks provides a modicum of amusement.

As for you Freshair-yes the press briefs are comical, but maybe you stop and think about the implications of the courts rejecting 36 briefs saying no crime was committed here before you guffaw too loudly. Remember-it's the last laugh that counts.

TexasToast

So, RiverRat, expressing a political opinion is strictly an after-hours privilege? I’m still rapin’ and pilligin’, but I tend to think that political debate is a civic responsibility (even if it can be entertaining). I still manage to get the hours in and the work done, and my clients don’t seem to be complaining about the service.

While you seem very concerned about folks ripping off their bosses on the Internet, you appear to agree with Greg D and approve heartily of doing whatever it takes to discredit Joe Wilson and “ … expos[e] the hollowness and dishonesty of the Democrats” – up to and including participating in a political push back against Wilson without regard to the covert status of his wife. Since you approve of Karl’s reasons, you approve of his actions. They are not only justified, but commendable! The ends justify the means, right?

Problem is, I doubt Karl thinks much about these moral “fine points.” Do you really think that Karl gave much thought to Wilson’s wife’s status with the CIA before revealing her identity to Cooper? One of his defenses is that he didn’t think about it at all! On this, I agree with him. In Karl’s world view, since she was married to a political enemy, so she deserved whatever she got. Since her husband dared to embarrass the President, Karl was entirely justified, and we are all now entirely justified in throwing up as much muck as possible at Wilson. This thread is a perfect example of the old rule that its hard to tell who threw the first mud if everybody is dirty. It does not follow that the muddiest kid started it – but folks on this thread seem to want to make darn sure that Wilson is the muddiest based on this very premise. Since Wilson “lied”, Karl is justified, even a hero, for identifying his wife.

With your approval of this sort of moral compass (it ain’t wrong if I have a valid political reason to do it), I’d get off my high horse about folk’s “moral authority” to post blog comments.

TM

If there was confusion about the reasons for the trip to Niger, why didn't the Office of the Vice President just issue a straightforward statement or give an on-the-record interview? Doug, 8:40

And the next query:

TM - The basic question is, if what you're saying is correct, why would the Bush administration need to discredit Wilson. Why couldn't they just say, "He was wrong, we never saw the report, and we're going to find out why."

I guess it depends on what "discredit" means. Reading Matt Cooper's "The War on Wilson" is actually pretty funny - TIME's idea of a "war" is my idea of a rebuttal. The opening salvo:

Has the Bush Administration declared war on a former ambassador who conducted a fact-finding mission to probe possible Iraqi interest in African uranium? Perhaps.

Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson raised the Administration's ire with an op-ed piece in The New York Times on July 6 saying that the Administration had "twisted" intelligence to "exaggerate" the Iraqi threat. Since then Administration officials have taken public and private whacks at Wilson, charging that his 2002 report, made at the behest of U.S. intelligence, was faulty and that his mission was a scheme cooked up by mid-level operatives. George Tenet, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took a shot at Wilson last week as did ex-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Both contended that Wilson's report on an alleged Iraqi effort to purchase uranium from Niger, far from undermining the president's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq sought uranium in Africa, as Wilson had said, actually strengthened it. And some government officials have noted to TIME in interviews, (as well as to syndicated columnist Robert Novak) that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These officials have suggested that she was involved in her husband's being dispatched Niger to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein's government had sought to purchase large quantities of uranium ore, sometimes referred to as yellow cake, which is used to build nuclear devices.

Lewis Libby was on the record with TIME there.

Tenet and Fleischer were also on the record.

And Condi Rice was on national television with a similar message on July 13.

The question is not, why didn't the Administration say it, publicly and on the record; the question is, why didn't anyone listen?

(and part of the reason was in-house confusion - obviously, we had not found major, compelling evidence of WMDs as of July 2003; the Admin was scrambling to figure out who Wilson was and what was in his report; and confusion reigned.

Anyway, I think TIME called a "War" was an attempt to "discredit" Wilson by pointing out that he was wrong on many key details.

If this had been a real war, what would the Republican Attck Machine have done? C'mon, don't Ialways hear that Rove passed rumors about McCain's illegitmate child during the South Carolin primary?

Wilson was on his third marriage, and must have had a Foreign Service personnel record. And the best they could come up with ass, his report was inconclusive and his wife played a role in arranging the trip?

Some war. Well, they did better with Kerry.

peapies

Lesley---

yes, and I suspect that is the key to all of this...it is a leak investigation, just not the one were are inclined to think

loose lips Judy Miller!

Lesley

Ah, Peapies, thanks, glad to know there is at least one person in the universe with whom I am tracking.

Loose Lips Judy or The Man Who Knew Too Much (Wilson) and, in his over-eagerness, "slipped."

RiverRat

Unless I'm missing something, Joe Wilson has disproved his own accusation that someone in the Bush administration violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, USA Today reports:

The alleged crime at the heart of a controversy that has consumed official Washington--the "outing" of a CIA officer--may not have been a crime at all under federal law, little-noticed details in a book by the agent's husband suggest.

In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.

This meant that Plame would have been stationed in the U.S. for six years before Bob Novak published his column citing her two years ago today. As USA Today notes:

The column's date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a "covert agent" must have been on an overseas assignment "within the last five years." The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say.

All the Democrats who are braying for Karl Rove's head can't be very confident that he's committed a crime. If they were, they would wait for an indictment, which would be a genuine embarrassment to the administration.

Game, set, and match. See my earlier question which has now been answered by Wilson himself.

Go home asshats, the party s'over

peapies

Lesley---

I am thinking Mrss. Wilson shared some info that was not street clear (ie only someone "covert-ish" or down in the "bowels"would be privy to) and Judy let some of those details slip to Libby, thereby she screwed Wilson and Plame--the timeline on Wilson's "outrage" (far after the Novak article)

TM

Tom -- you're really scarificing your credibility here, as on Social Security. Consider the following comment on an earlier thread that you have not responded to (and this point has been made in many outlets): Jeff H, 11:53

Jeff, buddy, you have to follow the links a bit - I noted that press conference in my original post, excerpted from it (dropped the ellipsis) and explained it away - the President is standing by HIS pledge, not the pledge as restated by the reporter.

I also make that point in this post. Now, you may not like that answer, but I have presented it twice.

Jukbox - very interesting point that Pincus had a mistake similar to the "authorized" from Cooper's email.

Since Cooper and Novak were back to something like "suggested" by the time they went to print, one wonders why.

Martin - occasionally, you have some good points, and we are (sort of) delighted to have you stop by). However, it would be better if you could restrain yourself by diluting those with unnecessary derogatory comments.

In fact, I have an idea - DON'T push to see where I draw the line - I redraw it all the time anyway.

Salt Lick

"This thread is a perfect example of the old rule that its hard to tell who threw the first mud if everybody is dirty... Since Wilson 'lied', Karl is justified, even a hero, for identifying his wife."

Tex -- Inasmuch as Matt Cooper has never said Rove gave him the name of Wilson's wife, it appears this thread is a perfect example of how some folks hear what they want to.

TM

However, one thing I am pretty sure about is that Rove told his boss everything about his (Rove's) involvement in this deal. Lesley

Uncanny - you should get a blog, or take mine.

I have spent the afternoon puzzling over that very question.

RiverRat

In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.

This meant that Plame would have been stationed in the U.S. for six years before Bob Novak published his column citing her two years ago today. As USA Today notes:

The column's date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a "covert agent" must have been on an overseas assignment "within the last five years." The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say.

All the Democrats who are braying for Karl Rove's head can't be very confident that he's committed a crime. If they were, they would wait for an indictment, which would be a genuine embarrassment to the administration.

To repeat: The party 'sover. Rove can't "out" someone who was already out. BTW, Rove was in Texas, not the Whitehouse, when Plame left her "covert" job in '97.

Schadenfreunde asshats, schadenfreunde!

Bwaahahahahaaa!

:hattip BTOW

Martin

I too agree that Rove told Bush everything. This is what's called killing two birds with one shot.

TM-I apologize for any salty language, but good lord man, don't you watch zombie movies?

Don't the heros always curse like sailors when they're hacking away at dangerous brain dead zombies?

Well that's what being on these threads is like for me.

Hubris

This January 2005 WaPo article (by two people involved in drafting the Intelligence Identities Protection Act) was helpful to me in understanding the "covert" issue:

At the threshold, the agent must truly be covert. Her status as undercover must be classified, and she must have been assigned to duty outside the United States currently or in the past five years. This requirement does not mean jetting to Berlin or Taipei for a week's work.

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

The law also requires that the disclosure be made intentionally, with the knowledge that the government is taking "affirmative measures to conceal [the agent's] relationship" to the United States. Merely knowing that Plame works for the CIA does not provide the knowledge that the government is keeping her relationship secret. In fact, just the opposite is the case.

RiverRat

Hubris,

Absolutely correct!

BTW, where did the asshats go? Bhawhahahaaa!

Lesley

Tom, it just makes sense to me. Rove is one smart political operator. If he'd done something to truly damage the President, he'd have taken the hit, left long ago, continued to work behind the scenes, and the fallout might have been rather short lived. However, something stunk to high heaven as far as the WH was concerned.

No, Rove ain't the Old Maid and the WH knows it. The demand for DOJ to investigate played right into the administration's hands.

Long ago, you postulated that Plame and Wilson were being used as part of a Great Game to which those willing dupes were unaware. I thought EUREKA, Tom's on to the real story.

jukeboxgrad

"TIME's idea of a 'war' is my idea of a rebuttal"

You refer to various public statements by Bush's people, as if that's all that happened. Trouble is, there's this: "a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife ... 'Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,' the senior official said of the alleged leak."

And this: "'It was unsolicited,' the source said. 'They were pushing back. They used everything they had.'"

Well, I guess "revenge" and "rebuttal" both start with R, so you think they mean the same thing.

"his wife played a role in arranging the trip?"

You're doing the same slippery revisionism as the WSJ, when they reformulate Rove's "authorized" as "recommended." Now your version is "played a role." This is commonly known as backpedaling.

Speaking of "authorized," note this report, where apparently the Rove message was Plame "set up" the trip.

By the way, 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."

So please tell us again how this aspect (a very exaggerated version of Plame's role), which was apparently circulated extensively via "double super secret background," had a proper place in any reasonable idea of a "rebuttal."

TM

Anyway, if I can turn Lesley's question into a post, it will be "Karl's Game".

The questions - is there any chance Karl has not talked to Bush about what happened? I find that hard to believe (and it may explain Bush's not-so-strong words for Karl yesterday, if they are greasing the skids).

That said, remember, Karl may *not* know if he has committed a crime - Ms. Plame's actual covert status, with the 5 yr clause, may have him as in the dark as anyone (although wouldn't he now by now?)

That said, if he walks on a technicality, I can still see him resigning in disgrace after Fitzgerald issues a report explaining the non-indictment.

OTOH, Karl may know not only that there is no crime, but that there is not even that much embarassment - suppose he told Fitzgerald that yes, I heard about Plame from Judy Miller and passed it on to Cooper half an hour later.

That MAY BE COUNTERFACTUAL - there are phone logs, and I think Luskin said Rove only talked to one reporter - but *if* it is so, I doubt Rove is in much trouble - all he did was pass Cooper a tip other reporters had, and urged him to check it; Cooper only published after Novak, when the damage was already done. Cooper would not have published if Novak had not - no harm.

Or, middle ground - Rove heard it from Libby, who got it from Miller. That might easily pass the smell test (depends on how one feels about sorority gossip).

So - Rove and Bush might be highly confident this is headed nowhere, and are just riding it out.

OR, Rove may try to lead one big Supreme Court fight, get a new judge by Oct 1, then resign in disgrace when Fitzgerald's grand jury lapses in October and Fitzgerald indicts him or kills him in a special report. That seems wildly gutsy - it means Bush kept the guy around for a few years in ludicrous circumstances - but some may rate that as a good possibility.

A key point, and an answer to the "Rove leaked, he should resign" crowd - I do think the circumstances matter - if Rove leaked gossip sourced to a reporter, that is not the same as leaking, for example, the insights from a conversation with an NSC staffer who had previously worked with Plame at the CIA.

And if Rove got second hand news from the INR memo, that is, hmm, not good (the memo was,we hope, not clearly "classified"). But not as bad as a chat with someone who knew Plame.

peapies

Lesley

Bingo. Of course I can't find the direct quote, but on ABC Radio audio of the Presidents comments on not commenting, don't pre-judge blah, blah, blah... his last sentence was something to effect of '...of course I want to know if someone was leaking classified information"

it is no accident Rove it was conspicuously seated for the photo-op.

Patrick R. Sullivan

At least we're making progress with Kevin Drum. His latest contribution is that Joe Wilson is just as big a liar as John F. Kennedy (though he decries that W isn't the laydown guy that Richard Nixon was)

As a bonus Kevin even slams Al Gore for not having the class Nixon had in not contesting the 1960 election.

peapies

think of this...Novak writes the article and a MONTH later Wilson is wigging out about the "out" but a month earlier the WH is looking into "classified" details Judith Miller slipped...who is the only one in jail...but never wrote a word!

Meanwhile Novak is not in jail or seem to be involved at all at this point!

Guy

A key point, and an answer to the "Rove leaked, he should resign" crowd - I do think the circumstances matter - if Rove leaked gossip sourced to a reporter, that is not the same as leaking, for example, the insights from a conversation with an NSC staffer who had previously worked with Plame at the CIA..

Agreed. However, if Rove really did get his information from another reporter (and is thus off the hook legally), wouldn't you expect his lawyer to be publicly making this argument?

TexasToast

A key point, and an answer to the "Rove leaked, he should resign" crowd - I do think the circumstances matter - if Rove leaked gossip sourced to a reporter, that is not the same as leaking, for example, the insights from a conversation with an NSC staffer who had previously worked with Plame at the CIA. And if Rove got second hand news from the INR memo, that is, hmm, not good (the memo was, we hope, not clearly "classified"). But not as bad as a chat with someone who knew Plame.

I agree with you on this one – but I’m wondering how this particular theory jives with the six reporter leak. Should Rove get a pass because he wasn’t the only one leaking? Does it make sense that Rove heard “gossip” from one of the six reporters or does it make more sense that he got the info from the leaker to the other five reporters – assuming he wasn’t that leaker as well?
I also agree that Bush knows the whole story – which is why a non-criminal disgrace will probably not be enough to result in a firing. IIRC, GWB opposed his dad’s firing of Rove back in the day.

richard mcenroe

Jeff — Andrea Mitchell admitted Plame's CIA role was common knowledge on the DC journo circuit, on national television. I believe the show was Meet the Press...

Fresh Air

RiverRat--

Putting it altogether:

1. There was no crime committed by Rove.

2. Joe Wilson, in all probability, was Novak's source.

ArminTamzarian

blah
blah

Martin

Yes-GWB Sr. fired Rove. Need to repeat that more often.

And Wilson said today on RawStory that after Novak's column came out, GWB Sr. sent him a handritten note in which "He expressed his outrage at what had happened and his understanding of the seriousness of it."

This is looking more like a Republican versus Republican battle all the time.

Lesley

Peapie:

I just hit the Google Image search engine and typed: Smiling Red Herring. Wouldn't ya know, came up with that pic of Rove sitting behind Bush.

Just having alittle fun with y'all.

Martin

Richard McEnroe-that Andrea Mitchell is a flat out lie propagated by Powerline.

Maguire himself gave up looking for a cite. You have one let's see it now, you contemptible peon.

TallDave

The most likely explanation is that Rove is Cooper's source, but not the leaker. Rove probably heard about Plame from a reporter, and merely passed the information on to Cooper, another reporter, in making the case that Wilson was lying (which was later confirmed by the Senate report). He should not even have had access to the original information based on his position at the time. Note Rove's phrasing regarding Wilson's wife using the caveat "apparently." That, too, suggests second-hand information.

That is why Bush has not fired him, and will not: passing information gleaned from one reporter on to another reporter is not "leaking." Yesterday on TV, Bush looked almost smug in telling reporters he was confident in Rove; he had a little "I know something you don't" twinkle in his eye. The admin clearly believes they will be vindicated when all the facts come out.

It follows that Judith Miller may actually have received the original information from her source, probably an adminstration-friendly source in the CIA, which is why as an investigative journalist she will go to jail to protect that source. If she doesn't, her career is over; you can't burn a source like that and expect anyone to trust you in the future.

Martin

The Andrea Mitchell story you're peddling I meant

TallDave

It's also been acknowledged by several reporters that Plame's identity wasn't much of a secret. For Rove not to know what was common public knowledge in the press corps would be unusual.

jukeboxgrad

RIVER

River said: "within the last five years"

The five-year loophole! I guess that means Rove is merely a slimy weasel, and not an actual felon. And Bush didn't inhale. But at least he restored "honor and dignity" to the White House.

By the way, I don't know anyone who thinks Fitzgerald is a dope. He wouldn't have spent two years on this, and sent a reporter to jail, if he didn't have reason to think a crime was committed. Likewise for the various court rulings (one or more judges have taken this matter very seriously). Maybe the crime was outing Plame. Then again, it's also possible the crime was leaking classified documents, such as the INR memo/report that Gannon referred to coyly on several occasions.

TM

TM said "I noted that press conference in my original post, excerpted from it (dropped the ellipsis) and explained it away"

You "excerpted from it" by quoting exactly one word: "yes." Here's the rest:

"Q Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes."

Bush's "yes" is plainly referring to "fire anyone found to have done so." And "done so" is plainly referring to "leaked the agent's name."

Bush was free to say "by the way, I don't fire weasels unless they're also convicted felons, and please don't confuse me by changing what my pledge was, especially if you're making the mistake of giving me too much credit by assuming that I am moral rather than merely legalistic." But he didn't. And it's lame of you to make excuses for him by saying the press conference was "hectic." Haven't you heard that being Preznit is hard work? You're actually expected to say what you mean and mean what you say, even when things get "hectic," and even if someone might be (accidentally or not) putting words in your mouth.

"very interesting point that Pincus had a mistake similar to the 'authorized' from Cooper's email."

I think you're being overly generous calling it a "mistake." I think the more simpler and more obvious perspective is that Rove et al were intentionally exaggerating.

"since Cooper and Novak were back to something like 'suggested' by the time they went to print, one wonders why"

Good question. My wild guess is that they took Rove with a grain of salt and figured he was exaggerating. Sort of protected him from himself, in a way. While he was telling them not to go too far out on a limb for Wilson, they understood they needed to not go too far out on a limb for Rove.

"Martin ... it would be better if you could restrain yourself by diluting those with unnecessary derogatory comments."

I know Martin can take care of himself very well without any help from me, but I want to remind you that you're doing that one-sided civility thing again (let me know if you have amnesia and you want me to hold up the mirror for you in more detail). As far as I can tell, the cat got your tongue earlier when Martin was hit with the charming and factual "bloviating blather" epithet.

"suppose he told Fitzgerald that yes, I heard about Plame from Judy Miller and passed it on to Cooper half an hour later ... if Rove leaked gossip sourced to a reporter, that is not the same as leaking, for example, the insights from a conversation with an NSC staffer who had previously worked with Plame at the CIA."

I don't see any basis for this. I've explained elsewhere that this is not moral cover for Rove (unless he "heard about Plame from Judy Miller" via an article Miller wrote in the paper). The proper moral response from Rove in this situation would be for Rove to tell Miller to stop endangering national security with her gossip.

"That seems wildly gutsy - it means Bush kept the guy around for a few years in ludicrous circumstances"

Bush never ever fires his pals, no matter what kind of crap they pull. It could be we will get to see Bush learn his lesson regarding this particular leadership weakness of his.

"the memo was,we hope, not clearly 'classified'"

Obviously there are different degrees of "classified," but I think it's reasonable to guess this memo was classified, in some form. One clue is that we haven't seen it yet.

SALT LICK

"Matt Cooper has never said Rove gave him the name of Wilson's wife"

If you're the sort who thinks there's any material difference between "Wilson's wife" and "Valerie Plame," I bet you were impressed when Clinton said he didn't inhale.

TallDave

Also, in Novak's follow-up column, he appears to indicate he didn't even know Plame's identity was supposed to be secret. That's pretty indicative that Rove could have (should have, in fact) known her identity from media sources, and committed no wrongdoing whatsoever by passing the information along.

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Wilson/Plame