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July 15, 2005



So, the upshot is that Rove didn't leak Plame's identity to any reporter. Rather, a reporter leaked Plame's identity to Rove!?!

Bwahaha! The left-wing moonbats have it precisely backwards... as usual!


Who told Novak to begin with? Who was his 2nd administration source?

TM says That Rove told Fitzgerald he heard about it from reporters, but didn't name any reporters? The old "I forgot" defense? Boy, that would have been some fine effort by the Evil Genius.

Today's Post says "The lawyer, who has knowledge of the conversations between Rove and prosecutors, said President Bush's deputy chief of staff has told investigators that he first learned about the operative from a journalist and that he later learned her name from Novak.

Rove has said he does not recall who the journalist was who first told him that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, or when the conversation occurred, the lawyer said."

So it would appear slective memory is the name of the game.

And it's impossible to jibe the recent Luskin-on-when Rove-learned spin with Novak's quote, from before the heat turned up "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

Doesn't sound like he got it from a journalist.


"Rove didn't leak Plame's identity to any reporter"

Uh, no.

The report says: "When Novak inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA, Rove indicated he had heard something like that."

The key word in that passage is "inquired." This indicates that Novak was asking Rove for verification, and Rove obliged. This means that Rove not only leaked to Cooper, but also leaked to Novak.

It looks more and more like Rove was playing a central role in a little gossip network. Of course this is highly contrary to all the vehement denials coming out of the White House for the last couple of years.

And as I've pointed out elsewhere, it doesn't matter if a bunch of reporters were gossiping about Plame, and it doesn't matter if this is how Rove heard it. Rove's duty was to discourage this gossip, not accelerate it.

And as Sam suggests, I think Rove had a colleague helping out.


This indicates that Novak was asking Rove for verification, and Rove obliged.

Rove "verified" by repeating what another reporter told him! Yeah, some "verification"!

Then again, who knows? These days, when a Newsweek reporter "verifies" a report that a soldier flushed a Koran by getting no comment back from the person supposedly "verifying" the story, our pathetic media may very well have taken that to be a "verification"!

Bottom line: Rove didn't leak Plame's ID to any reporter. They all leaked Plame's ID to Rove.


When Novak inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA, Rove indicated he had heard something like that."

The key word in that passage is "inquired."

"Hey, have you heard that she worked for the CIA?"

"I heard that."

You are way ahead of the information, JukeBox.

And yes, you can write five examples of inquiries that would fit your theory. So what? That does not make your theory true.

On Rove's bad memory, here is the MyWay version:

Rove told the grand jury that by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another reporter but had no recollection of which reporter had told him about it first, the source said.

Well, wait - here is the WaPo:

The lawyer, who has knowledge of the conversations between Rove and prosecutors, said President Bush's deputy chief of staff has told investigators that he first learned about the operative from a journalist and that he later learned her name from Novak.

Rove has said he does not recall who the journalist was who first told him that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, or when the conversation occurred, the lawyer said.

That is pretty clear, and means the same as the AP version.

Wow, that is lame.


Juke-- Ccccooommmee on!

---It looks more and more like Rove was playing a central role in a little gossip network.----

ummm what? name one administration EVER that does not speak to and field press calls???? "crazy stalker" ring any bells???

however it's great that you have now downgraded Rove's role to gossip!



I didn't read the MyWay version, so forgive me for taking Luskin's words in the WaPo at face value. Really out on a limb, I know.

So we've got a 2nd administration leaker, the INR report and AF1, and a mysterious and non-remembered journalist. How, at this point, after Fitzgerald has dragged half of the media elite into the grand jury room, can that statement fly? Surely either Rove's memory, records, or info Fitzgerald turned up would have been able to ferret out who that original Rove source was, right?

Let me put it this way. If the person existed, wouldn't Rove be more specific about it? Isn't that exactly what you'd expect someone to say if the opposite were true?


SamAm-- just because the almighty NYT doesn't know, doesn't mean Fitz has been told


goodnight gracie

A: Federal grand juries conduct investigations into possible violations of federal criminal law. They have the power to subpoena witnesses to appear before them to testify and produce information.

The Department of Justice has special policies when the subpoenaed person is either a “target” or a “subject” of the grand jury investigation. A “target” is someone the prosecutor or grand jury has substantial evidence to link to a crime, and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is likely to be indicted. A “subject” of a grand jury investigation is someone whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.

Due to the potential for unfairness and misunderstanding in making a person who is likely to be indicted testify or produce documents before a grand jury, prosecutors must first attempt to get the target to voluntarily appear. If that doesn’t work, the prosecutor must get the approval of the grand jury and the United States Attorney or the responsible Assistant Attorney General in order to issue a subpoena.

In deciding whether to subpoena a target, prosecutors will consider the importance of the testimony or information sought, whether the prosecutor can get the testimony or information from other witnesses, and whether the answers to the questions the prosecutors and grand jurors intend to ask would be privileged.

If the target of a grand jury investigation is subpoenaed, it’s the policy of the Department of Justice to advise the witness of his or her rights, either by attaching an “advice of rights” form to the subpoena or in a letter than accompanies the subpoena. In the case of a witness who’s the target or subject of the investigation, the following advice is provided: “The grand jury is conducting an investigation of possible violations of Federal criminal laws involving: [the general subject matter of inquiry, for example ‘conducting an illegal gambling business in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1955’]. You may refuse to answer any question if a truthful answer to the question would tend to incriminate you. Anything that you do say may be used against you by the grand jury or in a subsequent legal proceeding. If you have retained counsel, the grand jury will permit you a reasonable opportunity to step outside the grand jury room to consult with counsel if you so desire.”


Well, even if the person exists, and I grant it's possible, how could the special council know who it was but Rove have no idea? Fitz wasn't there when this supposed conversation took place, but Rove sure was. Are you telling me nothing over the past 2 years would have jogged his memory? Nothing would have tipped him off as to who it probably was? The defense these guys have is totally lame, unless they're playing dumb for the media.

If Rove doesn't know, there's no reason to think Fitzgerald would.

Furthermore, the details would be pretty important. Whoever it was would be asked specific questions, would be one of the most important witnesses. But it seems...no one. That's freakin amateur.


SamAm, I have modified my comment by about 180 degrees. Sorry for the confusion I caused.


"Someone who has been officially briefed" need not be someone tied to Fitzgerald or the grand jury. The witnesses are discouraged from speaking but are not barred from doing so. For example, McClellan -- in his official capacity as spokesman -- may have finally been briefed by Rove or Luskin or both. If you look at the transcripts of the press gaggles over the course of this story, I think you would notice that McClellan initially had a casual attitude -- "I didn't even have to talk to Karl to know he wasn't involved," etc. And this week it was, "I can't talk about it because of the investigation." McClellan can't flip from the silent position he's been taking all this week, but doesn't want to keep getting hammered at the gaggles. So he has a sit-down with Deputy Chief of Staff Rove in his capacity as a WH spokesman. It's an official briefing of McClellan by Rove (and probably Luskin).

Just an alternate theory before we all jump on the "Fitz's office is losing control" wagon.


And, and, whoever this magic bullet mystery scribe is, who told him? Fitz would want to, you know, find that out. There'd be a whole nother process, source protection and everything

Is there any indication that happened, that there's another reporter out there who got told this info by someone in the admin, had a convo with Karl, got hauled before Fitz, waved the source protection, and testified to both the source and the convo with Karl? It can't be Miller, can it? Wouldn't Rove or someone in the administration wave Miller off to have her vouch to telling him?

Or, if not, Miller, Miller's source and Rove would be in a fierce battle. But that's not happening. Rove doesn't know who it was, so it's probably not Miller.

It's probably no one.


TM, np.


Assume that "np" means "nice post", I agree with SamAm.


What's going on? We're against Rove now? Golly, Tom, I can't keep up with the flip-flopping! Maybe it's time to put it down and walk away for a bit, until actual information comes out. You don't want to be like Josh Marshall, do you?


I still want blockbuster Yellow Cake Forgery revelations. What's the FBI been doing for a couple of years?


The defense these guys have is totally lame, unless they're playing dumb for the media.

Not an impossibility - the Times says Karl got it from journalists, plural; the other seem to say journalist, singular.

Maybe he heard it from several, gave several names, but forgot who was first.

Now, the lawyers familiar with his testimony would (one would think) be on his side, so why leave what seems like a gaping hole in the leak? Unless the plural/singular significance seemed to pale beside the apparent good news about Novak.

Well - if it was meant to be a friendly leak, we will get some clarification, I bet.

(A hole in the leak? My Metaphor Masher needs tweaking).

Maybe it's time to put it down and walk away for a bit, until actual information comes out. You don't want to be like Josh Marshall, do you?

Waiting for info sounds like a great idea (he wrote, as he whistled "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow"), but I figured folks would like an instant reaction.


How about Tenet as Novak's first source, he might qualify as a senior administration official who is "no partisan gunslinger."

After reading Wilson's article he might be the first person Novak would think to call.


What a thought, J. W has already carried out his pledge(the restated one).
There are lots of reasons you may have hit on it, Jerry. I'll think on this one. He would likely not only know P's identity, but was most certainly involved in administration discussions about Yellow Cake, AT THAT TIME. Remember, the resignation was somewhat mysterious. Dunno. This is Dunnogate.



You must really love soap operas, the only other thing more convoluted than this story!

I don't see how Karl confirming Plame's job status, rather than proactively divulding it makes much difference for Karl. At least politically and morally (I'll let Fitzgerald deal with the legal stuff).

Would we think better of a government official that confirmed a national security secret to a foreign spy as opposed to calling the spy directly to give him the information? Wouldn't he be a traitor in both circumstances?


If reporters testified that they knew Valerie Plame,aka Joe Wilson's wife, worked at the CIA and/or recommended her husband for the Niger trip and they knew this info before the Novak column, then Karl Rove's memory cannot be an issue. A secret cannot be a secret if it's not a secret.

I don't see how Karl confirming Plame's job status, rather than proactively divulding it makes much difference for Karl.

Where there's a will, there's a way. Rove's not culpable under the law if he didn't know here identity was a secret. And if she's NOC, it's unlikely that he did know.

The Kid

That Plame was “covert” was not an issue until after Novak’s column was published and Ambassador Wilson raised a stink. Neither Rove nor Cooper knew she was covert – Novak learned after he called the CIA spokesninny.


Neither Rove nor Cooper knew she was covert

Really? And you know this how, exactly?

The Kid

From Novak’s original column:

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me.
No use of the word “covert” there, but after Novak’s column appeared Wilson screamed that his wife was covert and that the Bush administration, through Novak, had outed her.

If you have other info, I’d like to see it.


That Plame was “covert” was not an issue until after Novak’s column was published and Ambassador Wilson raised a stink.

And, as we know from Joe Wilson himself that VP "was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity".

Time to wrap this investigation up, Fitz.


Murray Waas, a journalist/blogger, had a scoop that Novak cooperated".

Novak had claimed to the investigators that the Bush administration officials with whom he spoke did not identify Plame as a covert operative, and that use of the word "operative" was his formulation and not theirs, according to those familiar with Novak's accounts to the investigators.

White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and at least two other Bush administration officials have told federal investigators that they had spoken to reporters about Plame, but that they did not know at the time that she was a covert operative with the CIA, the same sources told me.

...Federal investigators have been skeptical of Novak's assertions that he referred to Plame as a CIA "operative" due to his own error, instead of having been explicitly told that was the case by his sources, according to attorneys familiar with the criminal probe.

That skepticism has been one of several reasons that the special prosecutor has pressed so hard for the testimony of Time magazine's Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

...Lending credence to those suspicions was that a U.S. government official questioned by investigators said Novak specifically asked him whether Plame had some covert status with the CIA. The official told investigators that Novak appeared uncertain whether she was undercover or not. That account, on one hand, might lend credence to the claims by Rove and other Bush administration officials that they did not know Plame was a covert CIA officer. Conversely, however, the fact that Novak asked the question in the first place appeared to indicate that he might have indeed been told Plame was a covert operative, and was seeking confirmation of that fact.

Well, Novak talked to a CIA spokesman, so he may well have asked about her status. And he got a vague reply.


Seems to me the key is Miller. Why is she in jail and who is she protecting? Can't be Rove or she'd have done the same as Cooper. Can't be her source; they've waived confidentiality. But it was her paper that published Wilson's hit piece on the Bush administration. Note, too, that it was Wilson who first claimed that the Bush administration had outed a covert agent, as "The Kid" notes. Did Miller know Plame and/or Wilson personally? Is she protecting one of them?


I don't find it at all unconvincing that Rove didn't remember who told him first. It's pretty obvious the guy runs a fair bit of data into the media from his office and it appears to be de riguer to run news past Rove for his spin on it. That's going to add up to a lot of reporters.

But the fact that Miller's still in jail has become the real X (dxm) to solving this fun little puzzle. I'm betting she gave Plame up to Rove and does not want to testify that she did so or, perhaps, who gave Plame up to her.

After all, Rove is only one way to get at who told Rove. The other is to ask a bunch of reporters, right?


Hasn't it dawned on anyone that when Wilson's op-ed first hit the pages of the NYT, had Plame been covert the first thing the CIA would have done is inform the Bush Administration that Wilson's wife is a covert agent and to tread carefully on any sort of rebuttal. This would have been a straightforward and Occam's Razor-friendly thing to do, and it would have been a piece of (yellow) cake to rebut Wilson's claim that Cheney's office didn't send him without mentioning Plame by name or by association.

Had Karl been apprised of this information by the CIA, you can imagine his response to Cooper and Novak as "I'm sorry, I have no comment on that." Instead, again simple logic leads us through to a very definite possiblity that the Washington Press Corps were possitively a-buzz with Plame's name and role in sending Wilson and after the being straigh-out told this by a reporter, saying "Yeah, I heard that from a reporter" isn't leaking.

Add to this the admission (finally) by Wilson and backed up by his own friggin' book that Plame was not covert and hadn't been since at least 1997, we can now safely assume that the CIA had no reason to warn the Bush Administration off mentioning Plame's role, and if anything some Bush-friendly folks in the CIA could easily have briefed them on this in order to thwart the "rogue" group of Democrat-friendly CIA agents who were busy undermining our war effort in Iraq.

Anyway, the Democrats, Wilson, and their MSM friends have been massively duplicitous all these months. And it's looking more and more like it's all going to blow up right in their widdle faces.


It's clear, I think, that the Left's strategy since the election has been to go after the administration by hawking one scandal after another. The fact that none of the scandals has paid off or has resulted in the desired effect little matters. What's most upsetting, however, if the mainstream media's willingness to go along for the ride.

This was, as I predicted, another political minefield the Left couldn't wait to walk into. There will be others - and the media will further discredit itself.

John Burgess

I think one could usefullly narrow the pool of potential media sources by seeing which foreign correpsondents were working in countries to which Wilson/Plame were assigned, even if those reporters were regional.

It is not at all uncommon for a reporter to figure out who in an embassy might be working under diplomatic cover. Sometimes it's pretty obvious, particularly in smaller embassies. There's lots of hemming-and-hawing on the part of embassy officials to not confirm (or deny) such liaisons, but we're not talking about stupid people here.



@ TM

"Oh my goodness - we are going with the "I Forgot" defense. Oh, boy. Look, the question of how Karl learned this is important. Think, Karl! Be the genius we know you are!"

I think you need to re-read those two paragraphs. The key phrase is:

"... but had no recollection of which reporter had told him about it first ..."


"... Rove has said he does not recall who the journalist was who first told him that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA ..."

Does not necessarily mean:

"Oh my goodness - we are going with the "I Forgot" defense. ..."

If you read it as it is written, it clearly states that Rove cannot remember which journalist, I assume out of many, that first spoke to him about Plame. It does not say that he doesn't remember who he talked to. What it does say that he cannot remember the order of journalists that he talked to.

So it's entirely probable that he can't remember which journalist came first, but it doesn't state that he can't remember the names of all journalists that he talked to about this subject.

So if Miller is in that list of journalists that Rove talked to about Plame, then she is the potential source for Rove. Since Rove hasn't stated that there is a complete loss of memory and that he cannot recall the names of journalists he talked to about Plame, other than Cooper of course, then it's entirely probable that he provided a list of names of all journalists to the prosecutor.

Who has spent the past months winnowing through that list and eliminating each name, one by one. Which leaves us at this point with Miller. Does it seem now that Miller might be Rove's source through the process of elimination?

Not to shill or anything but I know my memory isn't perfect. I'm lucky if I can remember actually speaking to a specific person a week later, let alone in which order I spoke to them. And I'm not the kind of person with a phone glued to my ear like Rove must be.

Thomas W DInsmore

QT writes:

"I don't see how Karl confirming Plame's job status, rather than proactively divulding it makes much difference for Karl. At least politically and morally..."

First, it's pretty obvious that there is a difference between providing reporters with original information and confirming what is already in the public domain.

Second, MSM reports and Wilson's own account when the story broke emphasized the idea that the Bush administration was "shopping" this story to reporters -- so clearly the folks flogging this story think the distinction is important. Making that connection is essential to fit the "evil administration" meme.

Although it may turn out that the administration was shopping the story, there is no evidence to suggest that Rove was the perp.


Rove can't remember? That's what has you nuts proclaiming victory!

Ok major anti-Rove combat operations are over.

You people are pitiful. This thing has just started.

Bat One

Pat has it right. The only logical explanation for Miller remaining in jail, is that she is protecting Wilson. She knows that no crime was committed, but she's stuck with her pledge of confidentiality to her source, Plame's husband.

Steve Carr

Brent, Rove says he learned the information about Wilson's wife from another reporter, but that he can't remember who the reporter was. "Uhhh . . . I forget." Does that actually sound plausible to you? Or does it not sound like something you'd say if you were trying to hide the fact that you'd screwed up?


I wouldn't conclude that it's Wilson, just that it's a source that hasn't waived confidentiality.


I'm aghast (like he uptread commenter) that journalists will take an offhand conversational remark like: "Yeah, I've heard that, too." as CONFIRMATION that some rumor or another is sufficiently near gospel truth to warrent publication.


From the Wapo story:

"I don't think that he has a clear recollection," the lawyer said. "He's told them that he believes he may have heard it from a journalist." Asked who it was, the lawyer said, "I don't think he's able to identify that, or to identify precisely when he may have heard it."

Obviously that's Rove's attorney talking.

This is literally the dog ate my homework. pathetic.


Searing rebuttal, Martin.


Umm Slarti look at the searing lapdogs upthread.

How does all this square with Novaks original statement:

"I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

Do tell.


How many sources did Novak claim he had?

Yes, Martin, I know counting that high is hard for you. Just remember, the fire truck is red.


Right, Armin. "Sources".

Two. From the Administration.



Ed, on the "I Forgot" - Well, as SamAm and a few other early birds can attest, my first reaction to the WaPo and AP accounts was that Rove was being vague on who was first, but meant that they were multidinous.

Then, on a second try, I came to "He knew one, but forgot".

Third time lucky, maybe.

Anyway, nothing wrong with me that a cup of coffee and some DayQuil can't set right - I put in an UPDATE on Tenet - he is a GREAT candidate for Novak's primary source, Pincus' source, and Miller's source.

CAVEAT - "GREAT" may not mean "highly plausibe", but there are some interesting straws, and all three of those reporters do national security and would talk to him.

Good job ny Jerry for suggesting that.


Here's what Noval actually said:

BLITZER: All right, the other issue that's come out is this article that appeared in Newsday, the newspaper on Long Island, July 22 after your July 14 column. The reporters said this. They were following up on your story. "Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. `I didn't dig it out. It was given to me,' he said. `They thought it was significant, they gave me the name, and I used.' "

NOVAK: Now, these reporters made a bad mistake. They said they came to me with the information. I never told them that. And that's not in quotes, is it?

BLITZER: They said that the sources said they -- your sources had come to you...

NOVAK: Yes, but that's not in quotes.

BLITZER: That's not in quotes.

NOVAK: So then they made that up. I never said that. I said I didn't dig it out in the sense I went through the files of the CIA. It was given to me, as I just told you. There's no inconsistency there at all. But that is -- you have to be very careful, Wolf, with these things because they say that the idea that -- they're saying they came to me. They did not come to me.

Martin, this thing is falling apart on you guys and you're grasping at straws. Granted, it's funny as hell to for us to watch, but think of your dignity, man.

Appalled Moderate

To those gloating:

If all is easily explained, then how come Rove allowed it to said that he was "not involved" in the leak back in September, October 2003? Seems to me there was a administration policy to get the hounds away from Rove in October 2003, and the press secretary either told, or relayed a lie to accomplish that objective. It's not an impeachable offense, but it's not good for an administration that has credibility problems on this whole Iraq war runup business.

Just a thought for you guys to chew on.

A thought for Martin:

You have to cope with the fact that Rove's current story is plausible, right down to the fact he can't remember who he heard the gossip from.

One last observation:

Still enshrouded in secrecy: Novak's first source, and the mysterious WaPo leaker.


There is a report that Cheney learned of Wilson's wife on July 6 2003 from a CIA person giving the President's Daily Brief, Cheney then reportedly told Rove who began working on a response.

This is from the following link but I don't know how reliable it is:



Actually Spongeworthy this is going to be more like the Schiavo memo.


What did the wise guy say to the muscle?

Unlesso me, Dunno!


Short Daily News article. good stuff:


Friday, July 15th, 2005

WASHINGTON - The special prosecutor probing the outing of a CIA spy is looking beyond who leaked Valerie Plame's identity, seeking whether White House aides tried to cover their tracks after her name went public, sources told the Daily News.

Along with Bush political guru Karl Rove, the grand jury is investigating what role, if any, ex-White House mouthpiece Ari Fleischer may have played in the revelation that the former covert operative Plame was married to former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

"Ari's name keeps popping up," said one source familiar with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's probe.

Another source close to the probe added there is renewed interest in Fleischer, "based on Fitzgerald's questions."

A State Department memo that included background on Wilson - and who in the White House had access to it - appears to be a key to revealing who gave conservative columnist Robert Novak Plame's name, both sources said.

Another person of interest in the case is Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Lewis (Scooter) Libby, who was described as "totally obsessed with Wilson," the sources said.

Wilson traveled to Africa at the CIA's behest to assess Bush administration suspicions - later debunked - that deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein tried to buy nuclear weapons-grade uranium from Niger. The outing of his wife was payback for his later criticism of Iraq policy, Wilson asserts.

A grinning Bush, meanwhile, tried to show support for Rove by walking with him yesterday at the White House while TV cameras rolled.

On the sidelines, Democrats and the GOP traded barbs, press statements and Senate amendments to embarrass Rove, Wilson and their allies.

Wilson appeared at a press conference with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who wants Rove's security clearance yanked. "Even a child knows that if a person can't keep a secret, stop telling them secrets," Schumer said.

But Wilson wants Rove's head.

"The President [should] honor his word that he would fire anybody who was involved in the leak," Wilson said.

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) said it was a blunder for Schumer to appear with Wilson. "I can't believe that Democratic senators would ally themselves with someone like Joe Wilson, who is a proven liar," King said. "They are shamelessly politicizing this."


And Spongeworthy, in your CNN transcript Novak expressly states (again):
"It was given to me, as I just told you."

Who gave it to him? Please do tell.

Appalled-is it plausible? Perhaps. Is it probable? I don't think so.


I like Tenet, if only 'cuz it increases the chances there is yellow cake residua in the effluent.

Crumbs in the scum.


Frosting in the Froth.


And actually Appalled-isn't plausibility a prerequisite to any defense?

Remember the guy who tried to blame the fact he kiled his wife on th efact that the additives in Twinkies made him temporarily insane.

Well, it's plausible...

Don't lose your fire now AM-the White House lied- at a mimimum.


Appalled Moderate -

The issue of Rove's involvement in 'the leak' sort of gets into

1) whether there was a leak at all by the administration. It looks like the answer to that is 'no'.

Rove was *not* asked about his role in L'affaire Plame in some manner .

If the administration does not consider this to be their leak, then that would explain everything.

Rove could tell Bush -

"I was asked a question about Plame, Wilson's wife, by a couple of reporters - they came to me - the CIA doesn't think it's a big deal, there'll be some heat but I did nothing wrong.'

Rove may have added: "Besides, let them come at me, it'll be fun"

Because Rove is evil that way.

I'm waiting for the lead from Reuters regardng Bush's handling of Rove through this type of story:

President Bush, a man comfortable living with the lies he's established since his questionable service in the Texas Air National Guard, has extended that comfort with lying to include the lies of one of his key political advisers, Karl Rove.

Karl Rove, who's actions alerted the heads of foreign, possibly hostile governments to CIA covert activities during a time of war, has failed to acknowledge his role in compromising the safety of the very people who face the most risk during this War on Terror, the covert operative.

Unlike the United States soldier who is fortunate to have proper body armor and, possibly, an uparmored vehichle, the covert operative faces a unique set of challenges to accomplish their mission. A mission made more difficult when the pasty faced architect of a regime of unilateral hegemony decides to shine klieglights on our nation's darkest secrets.

.. and so forth.


Jon Stewart says it best:

It seems to me that whether or not this is a crime is a moot point. It seems to me that whether or not what Karl Rove was doing is a moot point. What seems like the real issue to this is simple: when it first came out that her name was released and people started wondering, 'was that a leak of a CIA operative?' the White House pretended they didn't know anything about it. And Karl Rove pretended he didn't know anything about it. To me that is so far, the only issue.
Patrick R. Sullivan

'I don't see how Karl confirming Plame's job status, rather than proactively divulding it makes much difference for Karl.'

That's because the requirement for a degree in economics to include a class in logic was apparently rescinded before you enrolled. Otherwise you'd recognize that statement as circular reasoning.


The one point that always seems to get lost in this story is that Joe Wilson had postings as ambassador, etc. for both Democrats and Republicans. It wouldn't be a stretch to believe that some former Bush 41 (or Clinton) official knew that Joe Wilson's wife as CIA.

The unanswered question is .. who in Washington (or elsewhere) woke up to read that Joe Wilson Op-Ed piece in the NY Times and wondered if his wife had anything to do with it ?

The list of suspects in rather large as most of the Wilson's neighbors knew his wife worked for the CIA.


Rove didn't know what you claim he should have known.

Remember, this is all a figment of Joe Wilson's conscience stricken imagination or his paranoia.


qt, I like the way you guys let a newsgoof move the goal lines for you and just trudge along behind, nodding and completely ignoring how much you had invested in the old goal lines. It takes a very special and irrational hatred to do that--just gloss over past failures and the ridicule.


What's really getting me is that these guys really are Mayberry Machiavellis.

I was hoping well Iraq, Social Security, at least they must have a plan since they are, like everyone says, evil geniuses.

But turns out they're not geniuses. They're bumbling fools-who have had two years to cover up a crime and this is the best they can do? Terrifying.



Who gave it to him? Please do tell.

I suspect if I knew that I'd be laughing at you even harder, like Bush and Rove were yukking it up yesterday. Probably for the same reason.

Brace for impact, Martin.


Someone please ask me if Patrick Sullivan is an idiot.


Nobody's going to read something at the bottom of so many comments, but for the record.

The original source is Wilson. He told someone on the NYT's op-ed staff, either at the time he was interviewed by Kristoff or when he submitted his own op-ed. In either of these cases; this question is obvious: "Joe, how did someone so opposed to this war as you get this assignment?" From there the story about Plame's personnel coup spread through the MSM cognoscenti. The irony was just too delicious not to share. Eventually, someone even clued in Rove, Libby and Novak. The rest is history...as farce.


Please don't forget that Joe Wilson argued strongly against the war because he thought Saddam would use chemical and biological WMD on our troops.
LATimes, February 6, 2003 op-ed.

Ah, the duplicity of that 'man'.

Fresh Air

Jerry's idea sounds highly plausible. Tenet was certainly "no partisan gunslinger," surely Novak knew him, and he could have been the CIA briefer to Cheney that moonbat Wayne Madsen wrote about.

Tenet as source #1. Rove as "confirming" source #2.


The source of the NYT story ("someone who has been officially briefed" LOL!) as well as the mirror story in the WP is obviously Mr. Luskin, Rove's hapless attorney, again trying his best to save Rove's sorry ass. Rove is trying desperately to get out ahead of the revelations that he was the source for both Cooper and Novak. They could have told us this last year, btw.

The articles say nothing (correct me) about Novak's subsequent article in which he outed the CIA cover firm in which Plame worked with other agents tracking people who were attempting to obtain WMD. So, did Rove source that article too? Wow, looks like the damage in the first article was enough, so Rove hit the Wilsons again. Intent? You bet.

Whether's Rove's meet the guidelines of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act in terms of "intent" is up to the prosecutor and the judge. It's is more than clear, though, that he revealed classified information or sensitive information. If you think sensitive information is only something that liberal pansies get upset about, better read this:

"It appears that Karl Rove is in serious trouble" by John Dean


Aside from the legal aspects of what he did and how he fares in the judicial system, Karl "Can We Talk?" Rove is a traitor who obviously puts politics above his country. Anybody who covers up for him or defends him is on the same moral level. Is he your man? You're welcome to him.


Okay, Rove's a traitor. Let's round up everybody who comes up to that standard. There's going to be some empty seats on the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress.

I think the thing that disturbs me most about this story (and others like it) is my total despair at ever getting a real Democratic opposition again. Martin, where are the Dem policies on SS (don't change a thing is not a policy, especially when they were the ones pointing out the problems only a few years ago. I'm guessing their policy is a massive SS tax increase, but they're silent.) and Iraq (not whatever Bush wants is also not a policy.)

This apparent inability to comprehend the normal meaning of words is disturbing. The arguments made here for Rove being in trouble are like taking a picture of your ugly, maiden aunt and insisting it looks just like the Mona Lisa, "If you just turn it sideways, and turn the lights way down, and close your left eye, and squinch your right pretty much closed, and ..."

I thought the rightwing nutters who kept trying to tie Hillary to Vince Foster's suicide were loons, but this appears to be most of the Democratic party.


And Wilson's yours? Easy choice.

Thomas W DInsmore

Luskin isn't "officially briefed".

Nobody cares what John Dean thinks about anything.


Obviously Wilson himself suspects that his house of cards could come crashing down and he himself would be fingered as the "ultimate source". So he did a little proactive butt-covering by stating in his book that Valerie came back to the USA in 1997. Therefore, if his back is against the wall, he simply gets Valerie to state publicly that she was no longer covert and Wilson knew that all along so he couldn't have committed a crime. However, as he spread her name around he knew that eventually the administration would have to at the very least attempt to correct his lie that Cheney sent him. Toss in a few willing reporters to call Karl and a few other folks in the administration and bring up the wife angle, it's positively transparent. All one has to do is read Cooper's leaked email, where he contacts Rove, changes the subject, and Rove tells him what he's heard from probably five other reporters over the last day or two, and then read his subsequent article where he claims administration officials were "shopping this story" to punish Plame/Wilson ...

do I really need to go on?


1. Though Tenet seem like a good candidate for Pincus' X-person, can we rule out Ari Fleischer? Just a thought.

2. The Cliff May-Powerline line is altogether weakly supported. Cliff May did not say that Plame's status was well-known, he *inferred* it *merely* from the casual way it was mentioned to him by someone. And we now know that calculated casual-ness was part of the organized effort to get the information out there. For instance, see Novak's characterization of "an offhand revelation." And the Powerline thing may very well be good, but it is ridiculously unreliable until someone gets a trasncript.

3. I'm going to recommend again, in light of this most recent set of facts, the Murray Waas piece from Tuesday on his blog, whateveralready.blogspot.com.

4. I really do think we can't rule out the possibility that when Rove said, "Yeah, I heard that too," he really might have meant, "I heard it when it came out of my mouth."

5. I've not yet seen any notice taken of the fact that the WaPo is now reporting that Rove DID in fact know Plame's name, which he learned from Novak. So much for that.

6. The other news (from the AP) is that Luskin's repeated assertion that he's been told that Rove is not a target appears to date from way back in October 2004.


I realize you don't care what Dean thinks. If you'll read the article, the statue he is talking about was invoked in another case by the Bush administration.

The Plamegate investigation is widening. It's going to involve a lot more than Karl Rove and the leaking of a covert identity.

I am not aware (correct me) of anyone on the Democratic side of the aisle who leaked the name of a covert agent or the connection of a covert agent to a CIA cover firm and thereby outed an entire network of agents. I must have missed that in the news.

As I said, whatever his legal situation, Rove sold out - by confirming, if you will, to a reporter - an American secret agent. He did it to score cheap political points. He hurt America, OK? It stinks.


Rider: Sens Leahy and Kerry. Outed an agent while going after Bolton. Let's hand-cuff them and frog-march them out of the Senate Building.


Oh, and, yeah, they did it to score cheap political points, it stinks, and the MSM didn't cover it much at all, which is why you missed it. Odd, isn't it? The difference between how the MSM treats stories so much alike?


Do you suppose Goss has investigated this?

Les Nessman

Which senators Outed the secret CIA airline operation recently? (And that was a Real secret operation; as opposed to the pretend 'secret' agent Plame.)

Should those senators be frog marched?


Has Karl dodged the bullet? We will see - another day in the leak wars.

The problem with this latest Save Karl! "leak" is the fact that it is so good (made to order?). It ties up most of the loose ends. The timing is well nigh perfect! It meshes perfectly with the required elements of the “crime” – as we currently understand it in public.

If real life were this neat and tidy – I’d have 2.3 children.

It is entirely believable that it is a lawyer “product”. Rove’s lawyer? Naaaaaah!

Just a few questions.
a) Why let McClellan lie to reporters?
b) Why “double super secret background” to Cooper ?
c) How could Karl “confirm” what he didn’t know?
d) Why didn’t he tell Cooper he got it from a reporter?
e) We already knew there was more than one “leaker” as part of a plan to discredit Wilson. We are supposed to believe that Karl first heard about it from Novak and not his fellow Wilson haters?


Every 2-bit counter-espionage official from every fea-bitten country assumes that the ambassador and his family is CIA. Even Jetho Bodine, with his fift-grade edukation, could recognize a double-naught spy when he goes on the Op-Ed pages of the NY Times and admits he went on an adventure for the CIA. This alone would have compromised Ms. Wilson's ability to field ops.


Quick question for anyone knowledgeable about Grand Jury investigations: if a Grand Jury is tasked with discovering information about one supposed crime and discovers that another has been committed, what happens?

Tom, if the original source turns out to be Tenet, oh boy, just IMAGINE the caterwauling about that Presidential Medal of Freedom he recently received. Hee hee. This tale has more legs than a centipede.


I must be late to the party (as usual) as I just noticed that Martin is our old friend Creepy Dude, yes? After awhile, all Bush-bashing arguments sound alike. Don't let the spittle jam your keyboard!



"Aside from the legal aspects of what he did and how he fares in the judicial system, Karl "Can We Talk?" Rove is a traitor who obviously puts politics above his country. "

This seems to be the latest talking point from the left, as it begins to dawn on them that it is unlikely that Rove will be convicted of a crime.

But this is equally specious. If Rove was contacted by reporters who disclosed to him that Plame worked for the CIA, how does this make Rove morally guilty?

If Rove put out accurate information which could have counteracted Wilsons lies, how does this make Rove a bad person?

Every single lefty poster makes the same assumptions; that Plame was a "covert agent", and that Rove knowingly outed her. These are precisely the points under discussion. If neither of them is true than not only is Rove not guilty of a crime, but he is also not guilty of a moral transgression. Unless someone can explain how telling the truth and poining out falshoods is now to be defined as a sin?

The Kid

Neo et al.

Wilson divorced his previous (second?) wife in 1998; he and Plame got married no earlier than 1998, ruling out anyone in Bush 41 from knowing her employer or employment status (covert (NOC) or not). Per Nick Kristoff, Plame was brought back from overseas covert status in 1997 because of fears that Aldrich Ames had disclosed her undercover. She got a desk job at Langley, married Wilson (who retired in 1998 or 1999), became a working mother of two twins, and enjoyed the society scene that her husband’s background brought to her.

In mid 2003, it’s likely that no one in the administration and few even at the CIA knew that at one time Plame had been a covert agent. As I wrote earlier, the possibility of a “crime” (that of outing a covert agent) being committed did not surface until after Novak’s column appeared and Joe Wilson made a big deal about his wife being outed as a CIA covert agent. Novak wasn’t sure either. All the administration’s disclosures were most probably aimed at dismissing the importance of Wilson’s trip by simply saying, “Oh, his wife, who works at the CIA, sent him.”

Let’s mind the chronology.

stupid thinker...

Just a theory: Is it possible that Porter Goss could fit this description?

"Secondly, what source would be 'officially briefed'?

Since the agency he runs made the original referral, I imagine that there may be some kind of reporting requirement or tradition back to the people who originally referred the investigation to the DOJ in the first place.

Two things to know about me: I'd love to see people go down for this, and I am not at all accusing Goss of any wrongdoing. But, he may be the person "officially briefed."

Appalled Moderate

Since creepy dude has been absent lately, I guess I am going to have to borrow his role for a moment...If disturbing imagery disturbs you, you might want to bounce on to the next comment...

Imagine for a moment, if you will, a 40s night club. And there's karl Rove, in a red wig, with long flowing hair, and a very tight fitting dress. Yes, maybe you don't want to imagine it, but karl is singing something like Rita Hayworth's song from Gilda, Put the Blame on Mame:

When they had yellowcake - in old Niger-land-back in 0-2
They said that old Saddam Hussein – had no need for that goo.
That's the story that went around, but here's the real lowdown-
Put the blame on Plame boys, put the blame on Plame
One night she found a husband to send-
that sent Cheney round the bend
So you can, Put the blame on Plame boys,
put the blame on Plame.
They once had a lynchin’ -up in the Press Room when they got Scotty Mac
Folks were puttin' the blame on – screamin he’s a hack
that's the story that went around, but here's the real lowdown-
Put the blame on Plame boys,
put the blame on Plame
Plame did a dance called the NOC
Her fame wasn’t supposed to be
But who cares, Put the blame on Plame boys

Now. The question is. Who were the reporters watching this appalling display?

The Kid

Aha! Finally, truth in names!

Porter Goss was serving in the US House of Representatives when this kerfluffle started.

The CIA made the referral to the DOJ because a crime may have been committed. Referrals are common and good practice in any bureaucratic organization when something may stink. It does not mean that there is proof positive that a crime was committed, only that a criminal investigation is warranted.


i said the general point about "covert" referring to my dad...but cliff may makes the point too...

URIED LEDE [Cliff May]
Rather deep in the Washington Times story today by Stephen Dinan and Joseph Curl is this revelation:
A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times.

"Her neighbors knew this, her friends knew this, his friends knew this.”
If her neighbors knew she worked for the CIA, if her friends new she worked for the CIA, no crime was committed by anyone passing such information along to a reporter--as long as they didn’t know and tell that she had once been undercover, and as long as the source of their knowledge was not classified documents.

It bears repetition: Knowing Plame worked at the CIA does not mean knowing she had ever been a covert agent.

Bob Novak did not know she had been undercover--until The Nation’s David Corn suggested that, based on information that clearly came from Joe Wilson himself. And Corn was the first to raise the suggestion that Plame was a secret agent--one who had been exposed by the Bush administration to punish Wilson. (My piece on this is elsewhere on NRO today.)

Also, while I hate say I told you so, I did write on NRO back on Sept. 29, 2003:
It’s the top story in the Washington Post this morning as well as in many other media outlets. Who leaked the fact that the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV worked for the CIA?

What also might be worth asking: "Who didn't know?"

stupid thinker

To the kid....

"Porter Goss was serving in the US House of Representatives when this kerfluffle started."

You misunderstood what I was saying and that may have been might fault for the way the post was constructed. The NYT article cites someone who was "officially briefed." Whomever that was discussed the story with the NYTimes so quite recently (probably yesterday.)

I'm not at all accusing Goss of doing anything wrong whatsover. But the pool of people who could be or would be "officially briefed" on this subject should be quite small indeed, with Goss (or someone else at Langley with some connection, as CIA was the referring agency) as possible people who could fit the term "officially briefed." That phrase presumably may cover someone at DOJ as well.

stupid thinker1

I can't write today:

My suggestion is that Goss (or one of his underlings) could have been the source for yesterday's story. It would make sense that someone at the referring agency would be someone who fits the description of "offically briefed" which is how today's Times characterizes the source.

Thomas W DInsmore

Rider scribbles:

"The Plamegate investigation is widening. It's going to involve a lot more than Karl Rove and the leaking of a covert identity."

Actually, it's collapsing.


"As I said, whatever his legal situation, Rove sold out - by confirming, if you will, to a reporter - an American secret agent. He did it to score cheap political points. He hurt America, OK? It stinks."

Again, for the record

(1) It has not been established that Plame was covert. Wilson says she wasn't.

(2)Since Rove is the president's top political advisor, it is not shocking if he is motivated by politics

(3) There is no documentation that the disclosure of Plame's occupation has in any way damaged US security interests.



"If Rove was contacted by reporters who disclosed to him that Plame worked for the CIA, how does this make Rove morally guilty?"

The claim is that Novak called Rove to confirm the story. Rove confirmed it. Rove is the one with the security clearance; not Novak. In so doing, he outed an American agent. May not meet the legal test; it does meet the smell test.

No, I'm not asking that Rove be strung up or locked up before he is indicted or tried or convicted. What I want is for him to either be fired or lose his security clearance and kept the hell away from classified information. Duh.

If you were a CEO and evidence came to your desk that an employee had been selling software that your company had developed to a competitor, what would you do? Would you wait until he was tried and convicted? Would you fire him immediately? Or would you at least get him the hell away from your software and reassign him to the mail room pending outcome of the trial? Looks like a no-brainer to me, but hey I'm just a Democrat and don't know nothin bout nothin.

Now, here's the point of the two stories (NYT and WP) this is crap the prosecutor knew about at least one year ago. That being the case, it means the investigation is widening not winding down. The prosecutor had to meet certain guidelines to subpoena the reporters' sources. The appeals court backed up the contempt citations. Somebody is in serious trouble. (Flash: it's not Joe Wilson.) It may be Rove; maybe not. One thing is sure. Fitzgerald was not put off by the lame-ass, weak bullsh*t excuses we are reading in the papers today.


Dream on, Rider.

And this piece today from the Times is the Memo to Moonbats to climb off that limb, like, yesterday. When you see a story like this just about the time everybody's slipped the surly bonds of reality, that's your cue. Slink away and live to fight another day.



The CIA seems to think Plame was covert. I'll take their word for it. That's what this is all about, in case you didn't realize it. That's the basis for the referral to the FBI and the appointing of a independent counsel and grand jury.

Somebody disclosed classified information about Plame about her company about her network. If that were not so, this thing would have gone away a year or more ago and the appeals court would not have backed up the subpoena's for the reporters' testimony.

I can't imagine what you think the prosecutor is doing here if there was not a breach of classified information. Let's get real here. Somebody with a very high security clearance in the White House - it appears - revealed some very highly classified information. As you are no doubt aware by now, this may also involve espionage and foreign agents. It's serious.

Whatever happens, Rove and Bush are both going to end up looking more crooked than a dog's hind leg. Eeeeew. What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

Thomas W DInsmore

Lame analogy. Rove didn't "sell" anything and Plame's occupation wasn't a secret.

If you were the CEO of a company and a bunch of left wing jerks with axes to grind started flogging accusations about one of your top lieutenants, would you fire him? Or would you kiss them off with a platitude and let 'em hang themselves?


Rider: "The claim is that Novak called Rove to confirm the story. Rove confirmed it. "

Pouncer sez: "Yeah, yeah yeah. I've heard that all before."

Now, does that mean Pouncer has "confirmed" Rider?

Apparently if one is a big time professional journalist, it does.



The first and most basic problem with your reasoning is that the CIA believes that a crime has been committed based on the revelation of classified information. The FBI believes there is sufficient evidence of that to warrant an investigation. The Justice Department believes there is sufficient evidence of that to appoint an independent counsel and to summon a grand jury to hear the evidence. The prosecutor believes he is uncovering evidence of that or he would have stopped last year. The appeals court believes there is evidence of that or they would not have upheld the subpoenas and contempt citations. Dinsmore you apparently know better than the CIA, the FBI, the Justice Dept., the prosecutor, the judge, and the appeals court. Let's hear your explanation.


A few things that tend to get overlooked.

1) It doesn't matter (at least morally and politically) how Rove heard (e.g., via a government source, via the famous INR memo, or via a reporter). Whoever brought this information to Rove ("Plame works for the CIA"), Rove had a duty as a citizen (not to mention a public servant) to show regard for the importance of protecting information that was possibly classified.

The first element of showing this regard would be to tell the person conveying the information to stop: "since you're making a statement about someone who ostensibly works at the CIA, I'm concerned that this might be a discussion about classified information. Are you really sure it's proper for you to be telling me this? I'm concerned that probably it's not."

The second element of showing this regard would be to make sure not to pass the information along to anyone else. At the very least, Rove had a duty to inquire, and verify her status (as covert or not) before passing along any information about her to a reporter.

2) This point is closely related to the first point. It doesn't matter (at least morally and politically) whether or not Rove was told, or whether or not Rove knew, that she was covert. It's sufficient to know that she worked for the CIA. This at least raises the possibility that she was covert, and Rove had a moral responsibility to respect this possibility.

3) This point is closely related to the first two. It doesn't even matter (at least morally and politically) if she was or was not covert (although there's ample evidence that she was). It's sufficient to know that she worked for the CIA. This at least raises the possibility that she was covert, and Rove had a moral responsibility to respect this possibility.

4) As qt pointed out, morally and politically (and probably also legally), there's scant difference between "confirming Plame's job status" as compared with "proactively divulging it."

When Novak called and "inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA" (link), the proper response by Rove (merely as a citizen, let alone as a public servant) would be to say "I can't discuss that until after I have a chance to verify whether or not this is a question of classified information." Instead, Rove said "he had heard something like that." Wrong answer.

5) It doesn't matter if certain people already knew. It doesn't matter if there was cocktail party talk about Plame's identity. Rove still had no right to say what he did about Plame (to both Novak and Cooper, as we now understand). There's a very important distinction to be drawn between the information being the subject of cocktail party whispers as compared with the information appearing on pages of major publications.

6) As several people have mentioned, if Rove didn't do anything wrong, why the big coverup?

Something else. I don't agree with the Tenet speculation. One reason is this: "At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday."



Let's don't get silly here.

Reporters call to confirm the details of their stories; not to read stories to someone in the WH.

If a reporter calls you and asks you to confirm classified information which you have by virtue of holding a security clearance, you are in trouble.

If Fitzgerald believed one word of what we are reading in the papers today, this case would have been over last year. It's not.

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