July 9, 2005 10:54 PM   Subscribe

David Corn is claiming that Newsweek is going to nail Karl Rove tomorrow. Not that anyone's surprised, I'm sure, but nevertheless -- where's that popcorn? (via tpm)
posted by spiderwire (361 comments total)
Sorry for no direct link -- I got a 404 error, so just linked directly to DC's site. Hopefully it'll stay on top for a bit.
posted by spiderwire at 10:54 PM on July 9, 2005

this may be the article in question.

it seems like old news except for this sentence:

The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources [for his article that mentioned Plame as a CIA agent] was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House.

posted by spiderwire at 11:10 PM on July 9, 2005

I dunno about anyone else, but I'm finding this whole "oh man they are gonna nail Rove" buildup that has been occurring over the past few days to be kind of tedious.
You just know, almost for certain, that the end result is going to be extremely anti-climactic.

I bet they name someone else.
posted by nightchrome at 11:11 PM on July 9, 2005

on preview: as long as they name someone, i'll be happy. the issue seemed too important to lie dormant for as long as it did.
posted by spiderwire at 11:12 PM on July 9, 2005

er... of course, by "on preview" i was referencing my accidentally-deleted comment saying that the MSNBC link is probably old despite the date on top.

ok, i'm out.
posted by spiderwire at 11:13 PM on July 9, 2005

fascinating. But Miller is the key to all of this. Here's why.

Rove claimed under grand jury testimony that he only told people about Plame after it hit the media. If coopers' notes indicate that he told Cooper before Novak's column, then he committed perjury.

but to get nailed on perjury, you need two witnesses, ergo you Miller.

Anyway, might Rove not have known that Plame was undercover? It's possible, and he'll certainly claim that. But who told Karl? That's the true guilty party here. Whoever told Rove that Plame was CIA. If the person just mentioned it to Rove, then maybe no crime was commited.

(IE if all Rove knew was that Plame worked for the CIA, then he didn't break the law giving out her name)
posted by delmoi at 11:14 PM on July 9, 2005

I find it unlikely that it's going to be Rove.

The way things are, if it WAS Rove, that's just too juicy and damaging for the media to ignore. Why would they sit on this? "Professional ethics" when going against Bush? Yeah, pull the other one - it's got bells on. The length of time they'd delay would be about long enough to get it in print and on the web, and maybe have a cup of coffee and a doughnut to boot.

My gut feeling is this is simply another big buildup to sell magazines and boost ratings, not anything with any substance.

posted by JB71 at 11:23 PM on July 9, 2005

The guy who wrote Bush's Brain states with conviction that it was Rove in the introduction to the newer edition, and that's without this new evidence.
posted by abcde at 11:34 PM on July 9, 2005

The question is, is the media going to care, do anything about it, or bite the hands that feed and control them?

Or is the population going to be outraged enough to do anything about it?

Is it going to seriously change anything for the better?

I'm just going to assume the answer is no, however much I'd like to believe and hope for the opposite.
posted by loquacious at 11:40 PM on July 9, 2005

Let's see ... the made us internationally hated, toasted our credibility, stole the 2000 election (at the very least), will soon ensured that Roe v Wade WILL be overturned, rolled back domestic freedom with the "terruh" boogeyman, are poised to crush minor debtors whilst lining the pockets of their corporatist fat-cat friends with blood money ... and I'm thinking it's "almost" worth it to see Rove made soap-boy at Leavenworth.

Then I realize that Chimpy McFlightsuit will simply pardon him in the end.
posted by RavinDave at 12:01 AM on July 10, 2005

Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Fitzgerald has been looking for evidence that Rove spoke to other reporters as well. "Karl Rove has shared with Fitzgerald all the information he has about any potentially relevant contacts he has had with any reporters, including Matt Cooper," Luskin told NEWSWEEK.
posted by amberglow at 12:20 AM on July 10, 2005

Who the heck believes anything Newsweek prints?
posted by kjh at 12:27 AM on July 10, 2005

Man I bet Karl Rove gets punished real good.

Like, maybe he won't be able to get seconds at the White House cafeteria dessert line for a whole month.

This is serious business.
posted by wakko at 12:37 AM on July 10, 2005

He eats in the cafeteria!? What the hell good is it being the Co-President, then?
posted by loquacious at 12:51 AM on July 10, 2005

It's a really good cafeteria. They have cherries jubilee.
posted by wakko at 12:58 AM on July 10, 2005

That is a good point, kjh, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if absolutely nothing comes of any of this -- even if it does turn out to be even semi-substantial -- except for more rancour on the internets. Which is nothing new at all.
The republicans are so good at playing the media now that it's just another drop in the very well ventilated bucket.
posted by blacklite at 1:09 AM on July 10, 2005

Anyway, might Rove not have known that Plame was undercover? It's possible, and he'll certainly claim that...

Delmoi: Plame was her maiden name, which she used for her undercover work. Otherwise she was Valerie Wilson, wife of the ambassador. The fact is Rove that gave away the name that she worked under for the CIA. How would he have known that except through direct inteligence channels?

Need more witnesses? I guarantee, once Rove appears to be limping and wimpering and no longer a threat, angry members of the intelligence community and other political victims and enemies of Rove will be happy to find additional witnesses.

Rove, boy, don't bend over to pick up that bar of soap!
posted by zaelic at 1:30 AM on July 10, 2005

Well, it's really all moot, anyway, because shrub will just pardon Rove no matter what happens. Rove might lose his job though, I suppose. And he'll just be hired by Frist and every other nut-job that runs on the republican ticket. A trial probably wouldn't even get started before shrub is out of office, anyway.
posted by delmoi at 1:41 AM on July 10, 2005

are you serious clark?
posted by Satapher at 2:03 AM on July 10, 2005

Folks, we have a situation here and I'm glad you could all make it on short notice. Stryker, call People magazine. Maybe some pics with kittens or he and his wife frolicking on a beach. Johnson, book Oprah and show how he's getting in touch with his inner child. Is Toby Keith touring? I smell a hit. Get one of the speechwriter flacks to squeeze out some lyrics. Call Clear Channel and have it bumped to high rotation as soon as its ready. Now. I want someone to find me a disease. Nothing fatal, of course. And not Shingles like we did with Nixon.

Unless another pretty white female gets in trouble in the next 24 hours, folks, I'm afraid all eyes are going to be on our boy.
posted by hal9k at 3:42 AM on July 10, 2005

how much you wanna bet the sunday morning talk shows will ignore this and instead rehash the london bombings out of fear that they will get the rove scandal wrong even though theyve had a week to prepare for this.
posted by tsarfan at 4:18 AM on July 10, 2005

Thank you, hal9k. That was lovely.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:18 AM on July 10, 2005

tsarfan, You Forgot Florida.
posted by kcm at 5:55 AM on July 10, 2005

This is actually the most significant quote:

Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."

In other words, Rove alluded to Plame in order to dissuade a reporter for a national magazine from digging into the Wilson story, which contained the information that one of the Bush administration's justification to go to war was utterly bogus.

That's the important revelation of this story. Whether or not Rove named Plame by name or not is a minor issue, though I would expect the Rove machine will do everything it can to focus the public debate on that point.
posted by digaman at 6:02 AM on July 10, 2005

This one does not go away, all ye cynics. Bush's top Machiavelli may even have plausible deniability, but he's stuck to this like a mouse to a glue board and it's fun to watch. And if Bush pardons him after an obstruction or perjury (or better) indictment and conviction? That is a disaster for the entire GOP to deal with. I'm sorry, I'm going to gloat and enjoy this for the time being. Did you want your Rove-burger medium or rare, and with or without freedom fries?
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:11 AM on July 10, 2005

Sounds like somebody's due for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2005

... "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background

Greg Marmalard: But Delta's already on probation.
Dean Wormer: They are? Well, as of this moment, they're on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 AM on July 10, 2005

It is sounding more and more like Rove gave Cooper the connection/trip info, and gave Miller the name. Then he let the media grapevine put them together.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:51 AM on July 10, 2005

Mod note: made spiderwire's FPP link go directly to davidcorn's post being discussed
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:21 AM on July 10, 2005

It's sounding like Rove gave Cooper everything BUT her name.

Once again I ask, why the hell is Robert Novak not in the middle of all this? There is only ONE person in this world who can positively say who *actually* leaked Plame's identity, and he's the one the prosecutors have been virtually ignoring since day one.

Here's the problem. Even if Cooper or Miller produce an absolute smoking gun 100% irrefutable document showing that Rove dropped Plame's name, at BEST they might get him on purjury, but that's about it. They would *have* to get Novak's notes and testimony to hope to get anything else.

And the other, even more infuriating thing is that this is beginning to sound like it really WAS just some horrible mistake. (note: THIS IS NOT A DEFENSE) From the notes \ article it sounds like the focus of Rove's leak was not Plame herself at all, but rather an effect to distract the media AWAY from the Nigerian Yellowcake situation.

All it would really take is Rove saying, "I had no idea Plame was undercover. We just wanted to attack Wilson and suggest he was unqualified." and he's pretty much off the hook.

And I'm really not sure which scenario is worse. If this WAS just an accident, then that would basically mean that dozens of careers were destroyed (remember, not JUST Plame, but all her known associates) just because she happened to be an innocent bystander caught in yet another administration smear campaign that simply didn't CARE what happened so long as they accomplished their objective.
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2005

What's with this Presidential pardon bullshit? The President gets to release traitors and convicts back into society? WTF?

That is just a hopelessly wrong thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 AM on July 10, 2005

Please please please please for the love of everything good in the world please please please make this one stick.
posted by fungible at 8:44 AM on July 10, 2005

Novak talked, is why.

The fact that he's still in print and on air is the shame of it, while others are in jail. ...I, for one, have had it with Robert Novak. And if all the journalists who are talking today about "chilling effects" and individual conscience mean what they say, they will, as a matter of conscience and pride, start giving Novak himself the big chill.

That means if you're a Washington columnist maybe you don't go on CNN with him-- until he explains. If you're a newspaper editor you consider suspending his column until he explains. If you're Jonathan Klein, president of CNN/US, you take him off the air until he decides to go on the air and explain. If you're John Barron, editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, you suspend your columnist (with pay, I should think); and if Barron won't do it then publisher John Cruickshank should.

If Novak says he can't talk until the case is over, then he shouldn't be allowed to publish or opine on the air until the case is over....
posted by amberglow at 9:05 AM on July 10, 2005

Pffft. Look at the kerning.
posted by trondant at 9:24 AM on July 10, 2005

That's nonsense! Because journalists fear and condemn a possible "chilling effect", they ought to create just such an environment? Talk about letting your partisan politics get in the way of your principles.
posted by Marquis at 9:25 AM on July 10, 2005

delmoi writes "Rove might lose his job though, I suppose."

If pardoned, he doesn't even need to do that (it's a pardon, and leaves no marks). My bet is that the pardon will be signed by Bush before anyone can say "mission accomplished".
posted by clevershark at 10:05 AM on July 10, 2005

five fresh fish writes "What's with this Presidential pardon bullshit? The President gets to release traitors and convicts back into society? WTF?"

er, yes. You don't remember all the brouhaha about Clinton's last-days pardon of a wealthy Israeli businessman (whose name escapes me just now), or Bush Sr.'s similarly-questionable pardoning of a high-level Pakistani heroin dealer?
posted by clevershark at 10:08 AM on July 10, 2005

What's with this Presidential pardon bullshit? The President gets to release traitors and convicts back into society? WTF?

Working from (eminently fallible) memory:

Back when there were 13 colonies, the king and/or crown-in-parliament would have been able to grant pardons more or less at will and without review. In 1787, they were assigning different pre-existing powers to different branches of the federal government, and the President got the power to grant pardons and reprieves. It looks weird now because it's still in the more-or-less absolute terms that made sense in 1787, and nobody has cared enough to push through a constitutional amendment to limit the power to pardon.

Worth pointing out, the President can only pardon federal offenses. State crimes are dealt with however the state constitution prescribes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:54 AM on July 10, 2005

love the title!
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:55 AM on July 10, 2005

In other words, Rove alluded to Plame in order to dissuade a reporter for a national magazine from digging into the Wilson story, which contained the information that one of the Bush administration's justification to go to war was utterly bogus.

Not even that. Read a little further down the article: "'... was an effort to discourage Time from publishing things that turned out to be false,' the source said, referring to claims in circulation at the time that Cheney and high-level CIA officials arranged for Wilson's trip to Africa." I can just imagine the phone conversation going something like this:

MC: But didn't the Director and Cheney suggest Wilson for Africa?
KR: (laugh) No, it was his wife.

If Cheney and the Director had suggested Wilson originally it would have raised his credability. The evidence seems to support that this is what KR was attacking, not Wilson's wife.

Was what Rove did irresponsible? Yes, but I don't see how it was criminal.
posted by sbutler at 11:03 AM on July 10, 2005

People who are waiting anxiously on this-- any member of the Bush administration could ritually slaughter a disabled orphan at a nationally televised cop convention and nothing would happen to him.

Seriously. Half the population thinks that the president is an emperor and he and his compatriots are only capable of doing good. And the people in the other half with the ability to do anything are either corrupt and bought or ball-less.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:05 AM on July 10, 2005

I'm rather surprised some enterprising Senator (?) hasn't put forward a bill to remove the Presidential Pardon tradition. It is an utterly counter to everything America has traditionally claimed to be. Makes a mockery of all the rule of law stuff.

I read some pundit saying this was all putting a damper on whistle-blowers. I'm not seeing how that follows: the journalists in this case aren't protecting a whistle-blower, but a traitorous criminal. The whistleblower is actually Wilson, not Rove!

I wonder what bad things are being ignored, what with the mainstream media being so focused on this BS. While the cat's distracted, the rats will play.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 PM on July 10, 2005

I'm rather surprised some enterprising Senator (?) hasn't put forward a bill to remove the Presidential Pardon tradition. It is an utterly counter to everything America has traditionally claimed to be. Makes a mockery of all the rule of law stuff.

Well, it would have to be more than a simple bill since the Presidential Pardon comes from the Constitution:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
posted by sbutler at 12:21 PM on July 10, 2005

If you think Karl is going to frog walk your setting up for a severe disappointment. These guys are teflon, it doesnt matter what they do, they have an out. They rule.
posted by stbalbach at 12:47 PM on July 10, 2005

Message to Karl Rove
posted by amberglow at 1:05 PM on July 10, 2005

Yeah, this is all just payback for Kerry losing the election because people hate Bush. Stop crying. You lost. Etc.

....seriously, what can you say in support of the admin? You can't even Ollie North this one.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:20 PM on July 10, 2005

Newsweek today:
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name
Newsday 7/22/03:
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 it."
so if Rove was one of Novak's sources, Rove did name names.

it's nice of Newsweek to cover their ass, but it's not really necessary.
posted by tsarfan at 3:14 PM on July 10, 2005

Rove has a plan to get himself out of blame's way (and probably to undermine the credibility of the "liberal media" in the process). Much as I'd cheer to see one of the dirtiest pols around lose his job, this is just too easy to believe. Once upon a time Rove bugged his own office during a political campaign and successfully blamed his opponent for it despite plenty of evidence that it was an inside job. That sort of man does not quietly hand himself over to the mercy of justice.
posted by rhiannon at 5:23 PM on July 10, 2005

he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States

That was a damn big mistake the founding fathers made.

Any other gaffes in there?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on July 10, 2005

You may have heard of "slavery." Kept a few million people in chains for another hundred years, and then killed another few hundred thousand in an extended argument over it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:17 PM on July 10, 2005

I wish I believed in Hell.
posted by interrobang at 12:50 AM on July 11, 2005

So, why isn't this all over the news this morning?
posted by mkultra at 5:07 AM on July 11, 2005

So, why isn't this all over the news this morning?
posted by mkultra at 5:07 AM PST on July 11

Because it looks like there is nothing there.

If there was something legitimately to be had on Rove, it would be front page news or some wannabe Woodward would be "breaking" a story. The facts, as they exist right now, indicate that there isn't anything there. That isn't to say that some new facts might come out that might blow this story up. But, in its current state, there isn't anything on Rove to nail him on.

It's quite obvious that this story right now is being driven exclusively on the hopes and dreams of lefties who so desperately want something bad to happen to the guy, but the facts just aren't there at this time.

What's unfortunate is that many people here already assume it to be true without the evidence, so even if the evidence suggests Rove didn't violate the statute, the argument will be advanced that the lack of prosecution is based on cover-ups or politicing instead of acknowledging that he isn't prosecuted because there is no evidence he committed a crime.

it's "almost" worth it to see Rove made soap-boy at Leavenworth.

Ok what I learned from Metafilter and about "prisoner rights": So not protecting a religious book (Koran) in prison is apparently a crime of such monumental concern that it requires us to muster all the indignation we can, but multiple suggestions hoping that a guy goes to prison and is raped is to be considered high-fiving edgy liberal analysis and justified.
posted by dios at 7:43 AM on July 11, 2005

Page One, Washington Post today: Rove Told Reporter of Plame's Role But Didn't Name Her, Attorney Says
posted by amberglow at 7:48 AM on July 11, 2005

Interrobang: "I wished I believed in Hell."

My opinion is that most people who do really creepy things on an extended basis actually change themselves in the process, creating a situation that is very similar to most conceptions of hell. Unless you're an affectless sociopath.
posted by craniac at 7:49 AM on July 11, 2005

Because it looks like there is nothing there.

Oh, come on, that's just splitting hairs. Let's take the current "plausible deniability" scenario- Rove didn't actually out Plame by name. Even if that lets him escape prosecution, it doesn't change the fact that he clearly knew what he was doing and where his "hint" to reporters would lead.

It shouldn't take an act of crime to prove yourself unworthy to hold your office.
posted by mkultra at 8:12 AM on July 11, 2005

The predictability of dios' comments leads me to believe that he may be a finite-state transducer or, possibly, a MadLibs booklet.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2005

Because it looks like there is nothing there.

Also known as the "DOJ and the CIA are both full of shit" defense.

posted by Freen at 8:26 AM on July 11, 2005

Ok what I learned from Metafilter and about "prisoner rights": So not protecting a religious book (Koran) in prison is apparently a crime of such monumental concern that it requires us to muster all the indignation we can, but multiple suggestions hoping that a guy goes to prison and is raped is to be considered high-fiving edgy liberal analysis and justified.

Only if you're so incapable of critical thought that any idea that doesn't correspond with your own must be "liberal." Oh, wait...
posted by jperkins at 8:29 AM on July 11, 2005

but multiple suggestions hoping that a guy goes to prison and is raped is to be considered high-fiving edgy liberal analysis and justified.

You see, the reason I want him to go to jail is that he has made it significantly more likely that someone could plant a nuke in some major metropolis. Someone in the White House told Robert Novak that Plame was an NOC. That's treasonous. It might not have been Rove, but Rove knew something about it, and was willing to participate in smearing Wilson through Plame.

Plame was an undercover, in the middle east, working on nuclear non-proliferation. Can you imagine what that means? Have you even begun to think about the fact that all of her contacts, all of her network has been totally blown? Was attempting to discrediting Wilson worth risking a nuke in your backyard?

That's why I want him in jail.
posted by Freen at 8:40 AM on July 11, 2005

I want him in jail, but I never find prison rape jokes funny. I am really disgusted when they are dropped into casual conversation and that rape is such a widely accepted part of prison life.
posted by trey at 8:42 AM on July 11, 2005

Trey, I agree.

I hope Rove never ever gets raped by anyone ever.

But then again, I also hope that some publicity about prison rape from certain high profile Republicans might do the issue some good.
posted by Freen at 8:45 AM on July 11, 2005

Public Might Never See Results of CIA Leak Probe (GOP wishful thinking, or real? The NYSun's a Repub paper)
posted by amberglow at 9:12 AM on July 11, 2005

rove should get a taste of his own medicine
posted by specialk420 at 9:17 AM on July 11, 2005

Well, if he is innocent of the charges, then there is nothing inconsistent with those comments, is there amberglow?
posted by dios at 9:39 AM on July 11, 2005

Ok what I learned from Metafilter and about "prisoner rights"...

... is that RavinDave is representative of all MeFi?

Don't be such a twit. Painting the entire community, as you so often do, with a broad brush based on a single user's comment is unbecoming. It's one the the things you do that has so many folk annoyed at you, and it certainly is not helping you gain any amount of respect for your opinions.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 AM on July 11, 2005

FFF, the idea is offered at least twice in this thread and is made by other posters in other threads on this. I didn't say "everyone" from Metafilter. But the idea has been presented several times. And, I appear to be the first one to condemn it. So perhaps you should direct your outrage to the source of the comments instead of me for pointing out their impropriety.
posted by dios at 9:45 AM on July 11, 2005

He's not innocent at all--he gave the info to Cooper, and Miller, and others. He wasn't supposed to even know about her existence, as he wasn't supposed to have security clearance to know, not being a WH Staffer then.
posted by amberglow at 9:52 AM on July 11, 2005

...White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified as a covert agent in a newspaper column two years ago, but Rove's lawyer said yesterday that his client did not identify her by name.

Oh, right. So when you said that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent, but you didn't mention her name, you figured that, what, you weren't outing her? Uh huh. Because in America men have, like, 80 wives.

Then there's this:

Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin... said yesterday that Rove did not know Plame's name and was not actively trying to push the information into the public realm.

Instead, Luskin said, Rove discussed the matter -- under the cloak of secrecy -- with Cooper at the tail end of a conversation about a different issue. Cooper had called Rove to discuss other matters on a Friday before deadline, and the topic of Wilson came up briefly. Luskin said Cooper raised the question.

"Rove did not mention her name to Cooper," Luskin said. "This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren't true."

Ah, right. So Rove outed Wilson's wife as a CIA agent to a reporter, without attribution, in order that TIME magazine NOT use the information he was secretly slipping them. Because, as we all know, the best way to get a reporter NOT to use secret information is to ACTUALLY GIVE THE SECRET INFORMATION TO THE REPORTER.

posted by amberglow at 9:57 AM on July 11, 2005

He's not innocent at all--he gave the info to Cooper, and Miller, and others. He wasn't supposed to even know about her existence, as he wasn't supposed to have security clearance to know, not being a WH Staffer then.

Glad to see you have all this unreported evidence, amberglow.

Here is all the evidence I have seen:
(1) Rove mentioned to Cooper on X day that Wilson has a wife in a the CIA.
(2) Novack's story that identifed Plame by name and that that she was a covert agent hit the wires on X day before Rove made those comments (as a story takes multiple days before it hit the wires, its safe to say that Novack had the story written days before).

Perhaps you are privy to special evidence that proves he gave it her identify to Cooper. The rest of your comment "Miller and others(???)" is complete fabrication at this point on your part.

But that's my point. Nobody knows at this point and this whole discussion is nothing more than wishful bullshit such as what you just spouted. Your comment is completely unsubstantiated.

So maybe you ought to go with the whole "innocent till proven guilty" thing and reserve judgment to see what the federal prosecutor does. That way you don't get so overly emotionally invested in this and we don't have to see you spew this stuff for weeks only to find out later you were wrong.
posted by dios at 9:59 AM on July 11, 2005

Well, not speaking for most edgy liberal mefites, but I wouldn't mind seeing Rove get raped. Repeatedly. By the thorn-covered thirty-inch cock of Satan, in the fiery pits of hell. Sorry if that offends your delicate sensibilities.

It ain't going to happen, though. The republicans are already busy splitting hairs and smearing both Wilson and Plame. (Liars! They had an agenda! Was she really "undercover"?)
posted by fungible at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2005

Apparently, neither dios nor this administration really gives a flying fuck about nuclear proliferation in the middle east.

Someone in the administration has placed our nation in jeopardy, destroyed a unknown number of valuable assets in the war against terror, and Dios, great keyboarding defender of Dubya, isn't too worried.
posted by Freen at 11:36 AM on July 11, 2005

Karl Rove: Soft on terror (Keith Olbermann)
"Karl Rove is a liability in the war on terror.

Rove -- Newsweek’s new article quotes the very emails -- told a Time reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson’s trip to investigate of the Niger uranium claim was at the behest of Wilson’s CIA wife.

To paraphrase Mr. Rove, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers; conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared to ruin the career of one of the country’s spies tracking terrorist efforts to gain weapons of mass destruction -- for political gain.

Politics first, counter-terrorism second -- it’s as simple as that.

In his ‘story guidance’ to Matthew Cooper of Time, Rove did more damage to your safety than the most thumb-sucking liberal or guard at Abu Ghraib. He destroyed an intelligence asset like Valerie Plame merely to deflect criticism of a politician. We have all the damned politicians, of every stripe, that we need. The best of them isn’t worth half a Valerie Plame. And if the particular politician for whom Rove was deflecting, President Bush, is more than just all hat and no cattle on terrorism, he needs to banish Rove -- and loudly."
posted by ericb at 11:41 AM on July 11, 2005

"Red Rover, Red Rover, send Karl right over"
posted by ericb at 11:55 AM on July 11, 2005

Citizens for Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) demand that President Bush pull Karl Rove's security clearance.

Press savage White House over Rove; 'You're in a bad place here, Scott...'
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2005

The white house press briefings are fun to read, but no news ever comes out of them.
posted by smackfu at 12:18 PM on July 11, 2005

This one, however, was particularly fun. Thanks, ericb.
posted by nobody at 12:49 PM on July 11, 2005

Wow, that press briefing was hilarious. Apparently, even the "White House Correspondent" from Fox News was getting some digs in, which you know is baaaaaaaaad news for Bush.
posted by mkultra at 1:57 PM on July 11, 2005

What is it? McClellan's twang comes out more when he's nervous? (Ari was a much much better liar)
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on July 11, 2005

mclellan is a miserable public speaker. good thing he had mom to get him a job, although i kind of like CKS.

on the off chance that anyone makes it over to this thread, at the very least you should get a chance to see the video. most of the links i've run into today have been broken.
posted by spiderwire at 3:37 PM on July 11, 2005

the other one was deleted, i think, spider.
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on July 11, 2005

CIA Leak Quotes
posted by spock at 3:51 PM on July 11, 2005

i know, that's why i wanted to pull the video over here, i thought it was useful and i didn't want anyone to miss it.

("the off chance" was in reference to the fact that while the other thread passed 70 comments, this one has had 4 on the press conference besides yours and mine. ok, done on the blue)
posted by spiderwire at 3:58 PM on July 11, 2005

Here's a complete transcript of today's press briefing. (The good parts were included in ericb's earlier link).
posted by nobody at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2005

One weak point in Scott McClellan's refusal to comment because it's an ongoing criminal investigation: he's said several times before that anyone from the White House was "involved" in the leak, they'd be fired. Regardless of whether or not he commited a criminal act, Rove was clearly involved in the leak and should be fired.

Which is a bigger lie? "I will be glad to go to your questions," or "no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:06 PM on July 11, 2005

Rove Comes Under New Scrutiny in C.I.A. Disclosure Case (The NYT spinning it as Democrats increasing the pressure--ugh)
posted by amberglow at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2005

Someone keeps harshly bumming my jones for new Karl Rove trashing threads, so we have to keep this one going for a while!
posted by Balisong at 6:13 PM on July 11, 2005

Why Karl Rove must go
"There are still plenty of questions about Karl Rove's involvement in the Valerie Plame case, and we trust that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will eventually get to the bottom of them. But given what we know today, the very best that anyone can say of Karl Rove is that, on July 11, 2003, he broke the cover of a CIA analyst in order to discredit criticism of the way George W. Bush used intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.

That's not partisan hyperbole; incredibly, it is Karl Rove's defense....

It's one thing to orchestrate nasty whispering campaigns about your political opponents when you're working as a private political consultant. There's plenty of evidence that Rove engaged in those kinds of tactics for Bush back in Texas and again for Bush during the South Carolina primary in 2000. We might not like it, but as Bush told John McCain during the 2000 campaign, 'It's politics.' This is different. Rove isn't a private political consultant anymore; he's a federal employee and the president's deputy chief of staff. And outing a CIA agent isn't just political hardball, or 'fair game' as Rove once told Chris Matthews. As Bush himself said of the Plame case last February, 'Leaks of classified information are bad things.' How bad? So bad that Bush's press secretary said back in September 2003 that, 'if anyone in this administration was involved' in the outing of Valerie Plame, that person would 'no longer be in this administration.' ...

Now is a time for action. Karl Rove traded away the identity of a CIA agent and, arguably, some portion of the nation's security in order to discredit one of the president's critics on the question of war. Thus, whatever comes of the criminal investigation that keeps [Bush's press secretary, Scott] McClellan from answering questions, we know at a minimum that Rove has breached the trust of his office and failed to live up to the standards that Bush has set for his own administration. It is time for Rove to go. And if he can't see that yet, it is time for the president to tell him." [Salon - requires free day pass | July 11, 2005]
posted by ericb at 6:44 PM on July 11, 2005

From the other thread:

Why does the press suddenly have some balls? And on the one story that's really probably moot (considering he'll get a pardon)?

I think you answered your own question ...
posted by mrgrimm at 6:46 PM on July 11, 2005

Someone keeps harshly bumming my jones for new Karl Rove trashing threads, so we have to keep this one going for a while!

Amberglow, we helped keep the Jeff Gannon/Jeff Guckert thread going for quite some time. Are you (and others) up for "tag-teaming" on keeping this Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove thread alive for a while?
posted by ericb at 6:54 PM on July 11, 2005

Jeff Guckert James Guckert.
posted by ericb at 6:58 PM on July 11, 2005

Some are claiming that it's possible Rove found out what he knew from Novak's column, which, although it was printed a few days after Cooper's e-mail, hit the wires the same day, on the 11th. So Rove could have read it and then tried to further push the story around.

However, this theory of the timing is refuted in an interesting analysis on Daily Kos, which suggests that Rove knew about Plame's status at the time of Wilson's trip in 2002, and that he leaked info that wasn't in Novak's column around the time it was published.

To all the cynics out there: remember that Nixon was re-elected during the Watergate investigation. That story took a long time to really break open to the point where it looked like anyone important was going to jail. At this point I believe that, at minimum, this story will damage the credibility of the President and his party if bloggers and journalists keep hammering at it.
posted by mai at 7:23 PM on July 11, 2005

fafblog: secret agent, shmecret shmagent

I dunno what the big deal is with the whole Karl Rove CIA thing. Back in my ol neighborhood EVERYBODY knew who our local covert CIA agent was. His name was CIA Bob an he lived next door to Sammy the Milkman!

You'd be out walkin the dog or throwin a frisbee or buyin an ice cream cone an there'd be good ol CIA Bob, mowin his lawn or buggin the Kremlin or stranglin a Latin American leader with a piece a piano wire. "Whatcha up to, CIA Bob?" I'd go. "Oh I'm just assassinatin Castro," he'd say. Silly CIA Bob! That trick never works! ...

posted by amberglow at 7:47 PM on July 11, 2005

Aberglow, great. This should be fun - no matter the outcome.

At least I've heard that Michelin has cancelled the "fat fuck's" sponsorship for their tires.

posted by ericb at 7:54 PM on July 11, 2005

White House Leaks: A serious security matter
...The president would bring credit to himself and his administration by firing Rove immediately. Whether or not Rove violated the law, his actions on behalf of the administration broke trust with the American people and with the president's own stated view of the matter. Minimally, enough is known that the president must suspend Rove and cease all contacts with Rove until the investigation is complete. Rove, it appears, cannot be trusted with the United States' secrets. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on July 11, 2005

thinkprogress is on fire: ...A careful reading of McClellan’s talking point demonstrates that he was under no specific orders not to speak by the prosecutor. McClellan’s word games were deliberately chosen to create the impression that his hands were tied and he simply couldn’t comment on an “ongoing investigation.” But a closer inspection of his language shows that McClellan was admitting that he was opting not to answer questions that he most certainly could have answered. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:19 PM on July 11, 2005

Dude, when Rove goes down in flames over this, we should totally have a party in NYC.

And by that, I mean a REAL party.
posted by afroblanca at 8:57 PM on July 11, 2005

sure, afro! our pleasure!

Top 20 Rove Questions for Scottie's Next Gaggle :
...4 Since the President has not yet fired a known leaker of national security information, is the CIA reluctant to disclose national security information to the President and his staff?

5 Robert Novak claimed that two senior administration officials confirmed Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. Scott, besides Karl Rove, which senior administration officials told you in 2003 that they had nothing to do with the leaking of Plame's status?

6 Has Karl Rove or his attorney asked the President for a pardon?

7 Is the FBI monitoring Karl Rove's telephone and e-mail communications?

8 Scott, does the President believe that personal friendship is more important than the nation's national security?


posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on July 11, 2005

Q: Scott, at this point, are we to consider what you've said previously, when you were talking about this, that you're still standing by that, or are those all inoperative at this point?

+50 points for the ron ziegler reference! i wonder if scott even got it?
posted by quonsar at 9:26 PM on July 11, 2005

I think what would be most satisfying if heads are chopped for this debacle, is that it would affirm my faith in a idea that keeps me from going insane:

What goes around, comes around.

Rove's obviously been a right nasty bit of work all these years. I so do hope that it comes around to bite him hard on the ass.

Go, Karma, Go!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:44 PM on July 11, 2005

I suggest that folks that want to see something actually come of all this, contact the press agencies and in particular attempt to contact the whitehouse press reporters, encouraging them to continue hammering at this.

These days, the press operates solely to sell you to their advertisers. Make it known that you really want to read more hard-hitting investigative reports on what the administration is up to, and they'll eventually understand that fewer stories on Paris Hilton, and more stories on putting Rove up against the wall, will sell more papers.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on July 11, 2005

Cooper's supposed unambiguous waiver?:

"If Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source," Mr. Luskin [Rove's lawyer] told The Journal, "it's not Karl he's protecting."

That provided an opening, Mr. Cooper said. "I was not looking for a waiver," he said, "but on Wednesday morning my lawyer called and said, 'Look at The Wall Street Journal. I think we should take a shot.' And I said, 'Yes, it's an invitation.' "

In court shortly after 2, he told Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the Federal District Court in Washington that he had received "an express personal release from my source."

NYT, July 11, 2005 via Talking Points Memo

Did Luskin's abuse of Cooper's silence lead to this revelation? It almost looks like Cooper, facing several months of jail, sees this practical lie from the Rove camp then gets pissed and decides fine, if that is the way they want to play it then consider this an unambiguous waiver.
posted by caddis at 9:53 PM on July 11, 2005

Rove Shamed, In Flames; Claims Framed in 'Who Named Plame' Blame Game
posted by MonkeyMeat at 9:58 PM on July 11, 2005

There's also another Senior Administration Official, according to Novak, to be named later i guess.
posted by amberglow at 10:04 PM on July 11, 2005

oh, and i read you need 2 witnesses to get someone for perjury --Cooper makes 2.
posted by amberglow at 10:05 PM on July 11, 2005

I don't think the two witness rule applies. See this article about brother Bill.
posted by caddis at 10:19 PM on July 11, 2005

then Rove's going to be indicted for perjury if nothing else.
posted by amberglow at 10:58 PM on July 11, 2005

I like it MonkeyM
posted by edgeways at 11:24 PM on July 11, 2005

Is it too much to hope that the other Senior Admin Official is Bush himself?

That would certainly explain the reporters deep, deep reluctance to reveal the finks.

ROU_X: hey, re: the slavery bit you mentioned -- is support for slavery actually written into the original constitution? Are there yet more shameful parts to that document?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:52 AM on July 12, 2005

Rove Shamed, In Flames; Claims Framed in 'Who Named Plame' Blame Game

Ladies and Gentlemen! MC MonkeyMeat is in da house!
posted by kahboom at 2:52 AM on July 12, 2005

I don't want to spoil the party, but, er, with as calculating and plotting as Rove is, are we sure this isn't another hat trick? I Would be very concerned of other stuff coming up very soon that this will be distracting our attention away from.

Not tin foil hat filter, just regarding the man for the cunning and the talent he has. Unless Cooper sold out based on Luskin's Wall Street Journal statement, in which case I will buy drinks in every bar from here to..
posted by cavalier at 5:59 AM on July 12, 2005

Amber: you don't need two witnesses for perjury. That's an ye olde England common law concept that was true for a long time, but is not required under modern criminal statutes.

For instance, if I testify that I did not go near a certain bank on a certain day, but a video camera says otherwise, I'm gonna get hit with a perjury charge regardless of the number of witnesses.
posted by Mid at 6:07 AM on July 12, 2005

Okay, okay... no more Rove posts! I didn't know this three day-old-thread was still active and the place to go, but I'll put the video of the press conference here instead.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:02 AM on July 12, 2005

"The sudden barrage of questions from the White House press corps came after bloggers pointed out that journalists neglected at least four opportunities to question Mr. McClellan about the episode last week, after reports of Mr. Rove's role began to emerge." (NY Sun)
posted by xowie at 7:02 AM on July 12, 2005

Just to point something out...
MetaFilter choked when linking to the media file at C-SPAN:

... so I created a one-line .ram metafile that points to C-SPAN's video and hosted the metafilter on my site. So no, it's not a self-link. It's more of a forwarding service.

Metafiles and MetaFilter. Two great tastes that taste good together.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:11 AM on July 12, 2005

er.. "hosted the metafile" on my site. Not the metafilter. For those looking for the MetaFilter, it's right in front of your face. Thank you.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2005

The Karl Rove connection
"The official silence from the White House on Monday was quite disturbing....

New York Times reporter Judith Miller sits in jail today for refusing to reveal the source of the information she received about Plame.

Meanwhile, Karl Rove continues to roam the White House, wielding great power as well as a security clearance.

There is something terribly wrong with this picture. At a minimum, Rove should be put on leave while the evidence that he may have used top-secret information for political purposes is being sorted out." [San Francisco Chronicle | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:18 AM on July 12, 2005

The real Rove scandal
"In the end, though, what Rove's leak and Novak's column really exposed was the depravity of the administration's deliberate use of a false WMD threat and its willingness to go after anyone willing to tell the truth about it.

It's ironic that the expertise of this couple should be turned against them by a White House that has demonstrated nothing but incompetence in dealing with the WMD issue. But clearly truth and competence are virtues easily shed by the Bush administration in the pursuit of political advantage, even when this partisan game jeopardizes national security.

This is the most important issue raised by the Plame scandal. It has been unfortunately obscured by the secondary debate in the case: whether reporters should ever reveal their sources. Yet what the emerging Rove scandal demonstrates is the ease with which a wily top White House official can subvert the Bill of Rights' protection of the free press to serve the tawdriest of political ends." [ L.A. Times | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on July 12, 2005

"Because of the powerful role Mr. Rove plays in shaping policy and deploying Mr. Bush's political support and machinery throughout the party, few Republicans were willing to discuss his situation on the record. Asked for comment, several Republican senators said on Monday that they did not know enough or did not want to venture an opinion.

But in private, several prominent Republicans said they were concerned about the possible effects on Mr. Bush and his agenda, in part because Mr. Rove's stature makes him such a tempting target for Democrats.

'Knowing Rove, he's still having eight different policy meetings and sticking to his game plan,' said one veteran Republican strategist in Washington who often works with the White House. 'But this issue now is looming, and as they peel away another layer of the onion, there's a lot of consternation. Rove needs to be on his A game now, not huddled with lawyers and press people.'

A senior Congressional Republican aide said most members of Congress were still waiting to learn more about Mr. Rove's involvement and to assess whether more disclosures about his role were likely.

'The only fear here is where does this go,' the aide said. 'We can't know.' " [New York Times | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on July 12, 2005

BTW - taking up a collection for new tap-dancing lessons for Scotty!
"The 32-minute pummeling was perhaps the worst McClellan received since he got the job two years ago. His eyes were red and tired. He wiggled his foot nervously behind the lectern and robotically refused to answer no fewer than 35 questions about Rove and the outing of the CIA's Valerie Plame. Twenty-two times McClellan repeated that an 'ongoing' investigation prevented him from explaining the gap between his past statements and the facts....

The spokesman gave a substantive answer to only one question, saying prosecutors asked the White House in 2003 to stop making public comments on the case. But that only made matters worse, because Bush himself continued to talk about the leaks in 2004. When this inconsistency was pointed out, McClellan clammed up, saying: 'You can keep asking [questions], but you have my response.'

This incited the normally mild-mannered Richard Stevenson of the New York Times, who retorted: 'We are going to keep asking them.' ....

McClellan tried for relief from Fox News, but Carl Cameron hit him with a tough one. 'Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?'

McClellan wouldn't say, so a mischievous April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks tried to get McClellan to say something -- anything -- about Rove. 'Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this administration?' she asked.

'I think I've responded," McClellan answered.' ....

Finally, a merciful Steve Holland of Reuters called an end to the interrogation. As McClellan turned to depart, CNN's Bob Franken asked if he could have one more question. McClellan paused, but Franken, reconsidering, waved the spokesman off.

'It's not worth it,' he said." [Washington Post | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2005

Speaking of Luskin, TPM has some great material on what an upstanding and reputable man he is. NOT.

What's with these folks, don't they have even one decent person in the entire group?

Hi insomnia! I was just joking in your deleted thread 'cause I knew it would get flushed anyways. I think some there took me a bit too seriously.
posted by nofundy at 7:51 AM on July 12, 2005

There's also another Senior Administration Official, according to Novak, to be named later i guess.

Clearly, IMO. That's the only reason Miller, who is of no legal use to Luskin now that he's got two corroborating fingers (Miller and, we presume, Novack) pointing to Rove, is still in jail.

She's got another name, and my money is that it's someone so close to Cheney that he can be implicated, if only indirectly- enough to disgrace him out of office.

My guess is that Rove is falling on his sword to protect Cheney. He gets fired, and Bush says "Well, that's that." Everyone forgets about Judith Miller and what she knows.
posted by mkultra at 7:53 AM on July 12, 2005

White House Remains Mum on Rove
"President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove -- in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond.

For the second day, White House press secretary Scott McClellan refused to answer questions about Rove." [Associated Press | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2005

Look how much publicity MoveOn is getting--cool : >
posted by amberglow at 8:56 AM on July 12, 2005

My guess is that Rove is falling on his sword to protect Cheney. He gets fired, and Bush says "Well, that's that." Everyone forgets about Judith Miller and what she knows.

I bet you're right. Libby is not a big target at all, nor is Abrams--the other names mentioned. Altho--Halliburton keeps getting new billion dollar contracts--wouldn't Cheney want to leave? And there's been all this talk about how Bush has to get rid of Cheney so he can install the 08 candidate too.
posted by amberglow at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2005

MSNBC Poll - "What do you think should happen to Karl Rove?" - Vote now!
posted by ericb at 9:24 AM on July 12, 2005

Tim Russert on the Today Show (video):
"As one Republican said to me last night, if this was a Democratic White House we'd have congressional hearings in a second."
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on July 12, 2005

posted by Freen at 9:35 AM on July 12, 2005

ericb, thanks for the link to the poll, right now it stands at 77% saying he should resign. I don't see why they didn't have an option for "Hang him by his thumbs and use him for a pinata." though I would have accepted "Prosecute Rove for treason".

And quite right about how the Resmuglicans would handle this if it were a Democrat caught telling secrets. There would be blood in the water and asshats like Tom DeLay would be shouting for justice.
posted by fenriq at 9:41 AM on July 12, 2005

Also Rove has been accused of leaking to Novak before, in the other Bush administration, and was fired for it.
posted by Freen at 9:41 AM on July 12, 2005

MSNBC Poll - "What do you think should happen to Karl Rove?"

Where's the "rape" option?
posted by fungible at 10:00 AM on July 12, 2005

Press briefing take #2 is on now, live video on the whitehouse.gov site.
posted by smackfu at 10:10 AM on July 12, 2005

amberglow, the front page of the Chicago Trib in your link is hilarious. At first I thought it was a spoof - could there be a better juxtaposition? Looks like some editors had fun with that one.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:14 AM on July 12, 2005

The Greeks realized that hubris often leads to nemesis.
posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on July 12, 2005

Karma Sucks!
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on July 12, 2005

"As Matt Yglesias points out, the extreme parsing of Rove’s comments to Matt Cooper — implying there is a substantive difference between 'Joe Wilson’s wife works for the CIA' and 'Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, works for the CIA' — has become the crux of Rove’s defense.

Now it’s seeping into the media. Here’s CBS’s Hannah Storm this morning: 'Well, he didn’t leak the name. What he said was that his wife worked for the agency. That may be a distinction without a difference for some, but I think legally that probably is a distinction.'

A quick read of the relevant portion of the law shows that’s almost surely not the case. Section 421 specifically states that disclosing 'any information indentifying [a] covert agent' is illegal:
Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identity of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
[Think Progress | July 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on July 12, 2005

Well, it could have been Joe Wilson's other wife...
posted by mkultra at 10:58 AM on July 12, 2005

mkultra yes, exactly. Even without the name, it uniquely identifies the person. It would be the same if he said "the adult woman who lives at 123 WhereEver St".
posted by modernerd at 11:35 AM on July 12, 2005

President Bush should stick to his promise to fire anyone involved with leaking Valerie Plame’s name, and fire Karl Rove. Sign the petition.
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on July 12, 2005

USA Today Poll: Should Rove Be Fired? Vote Now!
posted by ericb at 12:13 PM on July 12, 2005

If you don't like the way the media is twisting facts, ie. that Rove is innocent because he didn't actually say Val's name, LET THEM KNOW IT.

You gotta get on this meme I keep pushing: the only way you will ever regain an honest, accountable, investigative media is to directly demand it of them.

If all 15000ish US American MeFi readers were to:
  • call up the ombudsman or editor
  • in each of the big five newspapers
  • use clear, certain language
  • demand non-partisan investigative reporting
  • or else you'll quit reading their newspaper
    Then you can be sure that there will be a change in attitude.

    The fire is hot and the iron is ready to strike. You just need to make a minimal effort to push the media over the edge.

  • posted by five fresh fish at 12:30 PM on July 12, 2005

    "As one Republican said to me last night, if this was a Democratic White House we'd have congressional hearings in a second."

    Yes. And if it were a Republican White House and a Democratic Congress there would be hearings as well. With a Republican White House and a Republican Congress: no hearings. A Democratic White House and Democratic Congress would also mean no hearings.
    posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:35 PM on July 12, 2005

    And let me add this: if the majority of Americans, who are decent people with compassionate hearts and no desire to hurt anyone, do not get their shit together and start operating as an active movement, the well-organized religious and political right is going to destroy your country.

    You do not need a formal top-down organizational structure.

    You do need to promote the activism meme to all and sundry. I honestly believe that if most Americans were even mildly activist -- ie. called up their government representatives and expressed their desires, and dd the same with the mainstream media -- you'd find the heart of America is actually a fairly freedom-loving, socially liberal, financially conservative, generous, peace-mongering, environmentally-friendly, Dudley-do-right sort of society.

    It's just that it's currently assuming that the autopilot is working, when in fact the autopilot has been hijacked by evil power freaks.
    posted by five fresh fish at 12:39 PM on July 12, 2005

    I had a friend who worked on the letters to the editor page for USA today. This friend's opinion was that letter-writing campaigns in the midst of a big story are often worthless. A few well-written letters do more.

    Of course, writing in to say that we're going to be getting our news online from bloggers doing real investigations and sites like this one, rather than reading their gutless papers and looking at their ads - that might scare them.

    Calling your representatives, on the other hand, is probably worth something, if only because at the moment they don't yet know where their constituents stand on this issue.
    posted by mai at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2005

    Calling your representatives, on the other hand, is probably worth something, if only because at the moment they don't yet know where their constituents stand on this issue.

    mai's right. I just saw a Republican automaton on CNN dutifully following the RNC talking points sent out this morning -- spouting off that the brouhaha regarding Karl Rove is nothing more than a concerted effort by MoveOn.org and Howard Dean to make "political hay" out of nothing ... and that it is only a concern of far-left liberals within the Beltway. He maintained that the story won't take hold in middle America and should fade away soon enough. Hence, ever-more-the-reason that "average Americans" need to counter their strategy of attempting to "talk" this away. FFF is right about folks needing to get their "shit together."
    posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on July 12, 2005

    "Democratic consultant Paul Begala, appearing on ABC’s 'Good Morning America' Tuesday, said Rove has both a legal problem and a political problem.

    He said the legal issue should be resolved by the grand jury. Begala also said the White House has a political problem because 'people are going to look at this crowd and say, Gee, we can’t trust a thing they say after the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) controversy.’ ....

    On Tuesday, Joseph Wilson commented publicly for the first time since the new Cooper e-mail surfaced.

    'I have said all along that Rove was intimately involved in the smear campaign launched after the [Novak] article appeared,' he told NBC News in an off-camera conversation. 'Now to find out he talked to Matt Cooper before then only compounds the outrage at the abuse of power.'

    [The Associated Press | July 12, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 3:52 PM on July 12, 2005

    A key component to successfully bringing America back around is to promote activism amongst your friends and families.

    The power of your voice is exponentially increased when you enlist others to speak up as well as encourage their friends to do the same.

    I'm one voice. You are 15000 voices. If each of you can find ten people to call a newspaper, and each of them get ten others to do the same, we'll have 1 500 000 people speaking out!

    Do the right thing: get off your ass and call your state and federal representatives, your best local newspaper, one national newspaper, and one national broadcaster.

    If you do this, you can change the nation within the month.
    posted by five fresh fish at 4:09 PM on July 12, 2005


    Bush continues to protect Rove

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005 Updated at 8:19 PM EDT
    Associated Press

    Washington — U.S. President Bush supports Karl Rove, the White House said Tuesday, rebuffing Democratic calls for Mr. Bush to fire his top political adviser over his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity.

    Mr. Bush ignored a question about whether he would fire Mr. Rove, and White House spokesman Scott McClellan said later that “any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the President.” Mr. McClellan said that includes Mr. Rove.
    posted by muckster at 6:14 PM on July 12, 2005

    Oh, nevermind, I misread that. It's an odd spin AP is putting on the story--Bush didn't actually say anything.
    posted by muckster at 6:29 PM on July 12, 2005

    Hence, ever-more-the-reason that "average Americans" need to counter their strategy of attempting to "talk" this away. FFF is right about folks needing to get their "shit together."

    What are you, Zagats now?

    Couldn't resist. Carry on.
    posted by soyjoy at 8:37 PM on July 12, 2005

    actually, what it sounds like is that someone asked bush about rove and there was just an awkward silence. creepy.
    posted by spiderwire at 9:38 PM on July 12, 2005

    Previous RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie on MSNBC's Hardball, Sept. 30th, 2003:
    CHRIS MATTHEWS: Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate, when you think about it?

    RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

    GILLESPIE: It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics.
    posted by ericb at 9:40 PM on July 12, 2005

    spiderwire, I think they may know that he's been caught and Bush has already gone on record saying anyone involved would get fired. He is between a rock and a treasonous place.
    posted by fenriq at 7:37 AM on July 13, 2005

    This may have already been posted but the Wiki has a really excellent timeline of the Plame Affair.
    posted by fenriq at 8:04 AM on July 13, 2005

    Freepers turn on Scotty McClellan (but not really on Rove at all--it's a nothing issue to them--what's treason compared to another opportunity to bash Clinton?)
    posted by amberglow at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2005

    Advise to the American People to "keep your eye on the ball" from The Light of Reason blog. Excerpt:
    This is not a partisan issue. Back in October of 2003, shortly after Robert Novak—over CIA protestations—published Plame’s identity, a group of former CIA agents testified before a Senate Democratic Policy Committee on the outing of their colleague. The agents, Larry Johnson, Michael Grimaldi and Brent Cavan, all of whom are Republicans, pulled no punches in their shared statement:

    “We also want to send a clear message to the political ‘operatives’ responsible for ‘outing’ Mrs. Wilson. Such action was treacherous, if not treasonous…Such action has allowed the less attractive aspects of politics to supersede the Government’s responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation and the individuals who serve in difficult, dangerous covert capacities. This has set a sickening precedent. The ‘senior Administration officials’ who did this have warned all U.S. intelligence officers and the intelligence community that any one individual may be compromised if providing information or factual analysis the White House does not like.”
    posted by spock at 8:43 AM on July 13, 2005

    and Newt Gingrich was sent out to defend Rove! hysterical--that ethical paragon himself.

    ...So, Newt was on the Today Show with the most convoluted defense of Karl Rove. Those GOPers are all on their talking points now....Karl didn't say her name....Wilson was the liar....Karl is being smeared.

    Give me a break. First, so much of what Newtie said was wrong. And, I know you'll find this hard to believe, but Katie didn't really have the info. to challenge him. Also, there was, of course, NO ONE representing the other side.

    I want to see some of the former CIA agents debate Newt Gingrich and Ken Mehlman. Let them explain to agents why Karl's actions are okay. If you want to know what an agent thinks, check out former CIA agent Larry Johnson's post over at the TPM Cafe:

    The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.

    For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak. Novak's column was not an isolated attack. It was in fact part of a coordinated, orchestrated smear that we now know includes at least Karl Rove.

    Powerful considering the source. But, don't be surprised if the GOP starts bashing the CIA agents who put their lives on the line.

    Love the GOP, Rove is the victim even though he put the lives of Plame and other agents in danger....and further undermined national security.

    posted by amberglow at 8:44 AM on July 13, 2005

    Why Did Scott McClellan Lie So Poorly?

    A thread often lost in the details of the Plame affair, a news story about as baroque as these things ever get, is the reason Rove -- I guess we no longer have to say "the leaker" -- was peddling information about Joseph Wilson's wife in the first place.

    There were two reasons actually.

    The first was pure vindictiveness. ...

    posted by amberglow at 8:52 AM on July 13, 2005

    GOP on offense in defense of Rove
    "Republicans mounted an aggressive and coordinated defense of Karl Rove yesterday, contending that the White House's top political adviser did nothing improper or illegal when he discussed a covert CIA official with a reporter....

    'The angry left is trying to smear' Rove, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, a Rove protege, said in an interview....

    The emerging GOP strategy -- devised by Mehlman and other Rove loyalists outside of the White House -- is to try to undermine those Democrats calling for Rove's ouster, play down Rove's role and wait for President Bush's forthcoming Supreme Court selection to drown out the controversy, according to several high-level Republicans....

    Mehlman, who said he talked with Rove several times in recent days, instructed GOP legislators, lobbyists and state officials to accuse Democrats of dirty politics and argue Rove was guilty of nothing more than discouraging a reporter from writing an inaccurate story, according to RNC talking points circulated yesterday.

    'Republicans should stop holding back and go on the offense: fire enough bullets the other way until the Supreme Court overtakes events,' said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.)."
    [Washington Post | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:55 AM on July 13, 2005

    They're all pieces of shit--don't they get it? he jeopardized all of us. If the media buys their spin, then politics really is more important than crimes or security or anything.

    Karl Rove and Novak: They've Talked Before

    Rove fired from Bush Sr's '92 campaign over leak to Novak. Karl Rove was fired from the 1992 re-election campaign of Bush Sr. for allegedly leaking a negative story about Bush loyalist/fundraiser Robert Mosbacher to Novak. Novak's piece described a meeting organized by then-Senator Phil Gramm at which Mosbacher was relieved of his duties as state campaign manager because "the president's re-election effort in Texas has been a bust." Rove was fired after Mosbacher fingered him as Novak's source.
    posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on July 13, 2005

    In this complex scandal there's really only one thing to keep in mind: Karl Rove endangered America.
    ... This is not a partisan issue. Back in October of 2003, shortly after Robert Novak -- over CIA protests -- published Plame's identity, a group of former CIA agents testified before a Senate Democratic Policy Committee on the outing of their colleague. The agents, Larry Johnson, Michael Grimaldi and Brent Cavan, all of whom are Republicans, pulled no punches in their shared statement:

    We also want to send a clear message to the political “operatives” responsible for “outing” Mrs. Wilson. Such action was treacherous, if not treasonous. ... Such action has allowed the less attractive aspects of politics to supersede the Government's responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation and the individuals who serve in difficult, dangerous covert capacities. This has set a sickening precedent. The “senior Administration officials” who did this have warned all U.S. intelligence officers and the intelligence community that any one individual may be compromised if providing information or factual analysis the White House does not like.

    We now know that the "senior Administration official" referred to in the above testimony is Karl Rove. ...

    posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on July 13, 2005

    Second thoughts on leak case
    "The response of Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, to recent reports in Newsweek, which somehow got hold of reporter Cooper's subpoenaed memos fingering Rove, is highly instructive. Rove had previously insisted that he had never disclosed Valerie Plame's 'name.' Now his lawyer admits that Rove, in trying to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson, told Cooper that Wilson's 'wife' was a CIA agent but didn't mention her by name.

    So Rove is playing word games. What he said was literally true -- but a lie, since a reporter given this tip could easily identify Wilson's wife. Whether or not he used her name, Rove was deliberately outing Plame. If he played the same word games before the grand jury, he's in trouble.

    The White House spinners also contend that Plame was not really a clandestine and protected CIA agent because she worked at CIA headquarters. This is also nonsense. Plame, a specialist on weapons of mass destruction, was under cover when she undertook sensitive missions. She was not identified as CIA. Blowing her cover harmed her career and put her at risk.

    This all recalls two other famous cases where an administration fell afoul of a special prosecutor. Bill Clinton tried to persuade a grand jury and public opinion that oral sex wasn't sex. He nearly lost the presidency, not for his dumb affair with an intern but for lying. Richard Nixon was disgraced, not for the original Watergate break-in but for the coverup. George Bush, who doesn't know much about history, should take notice."
    posted by ericb at 9:38 AM on July 13, 2005

    Ahh, the semantics defense, since Rove never actually said her name then he's innocent. Sure, that'll fly with the fundie powerbase even though its utter crap.

    Rove appears to be guilty of high treason in leaking Plame's name, high treason is punishable in many ways including execution. He should, at the very least, lose his job and access to classified documents since its apparent that he can't keep a secret (again).
    posted by fenriq at 9:53 AM on July 13, 2005

    Bush Won't Comment on Rove During Probe
    "President Bush said Wednesday he will withhold judgment about top aide Karl Rove's involvement in leaking the identity of a CIA operative until a federal criminal investigation is complete. The lack of an endorsement surprised some Bush advisers who expected the president to speak up....

    Bush's statement was a surprise for some White House advisers and senior Republicans who had expected the president to deliver a vote of confidence for Rove, his deputy chief of staff. Two Bush advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt the president, said shortly before his remarks that the president intended to signal his support of Rove - without prejudging the merits of the case - during that picture-taking session. Indeed, they said, he was prepared to do so a day earlier but the question was not posed in the question-and-answer session Tuesday."
    [Associated Press | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:20 AM on July 13, 2005

    wow. now that's surprising.

    not even one scooby snack?
    posted by spiderwire at 10:23 AM on July 13, 2005

    "Hard to Imagine" Someone Won't Be Indicted
    "Rove has not been asked by senior White House officials whether he did anything illegal or potentially embarrassing to the president and he spent most of the day strategizing on Bush's Supreme Court nomination, aides said.

    'No one has asked him what he told the grand jury. No one has deemed it appropriate,' said a senior White House official, who would discuss the Rove case only on the condition of anonymity. 'What you all need to figure out is, does this amount to a crime? That is a legitimate debate.' Still, some aides said they were concerned about the unknown. 'Is it a communications challenge? Sure,' the official said.

    Privately, even Rove's staunchest supporters said the situation could explode if federal prosecutors accuse Rove or any other high-level official of committing a crime. William Kristol, a conservative commentator with close White House ties, said it would be hard to imagine a prosecutor conducting an investigation that has landed one reporter in jail and challenged the constitutional rights of the journalism profession without indicting someone. Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald 'is the problem for the White House, and we have no idea what he knows,' Kristol said."

    [Washington Post | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:26 AM on July 13, 2005

    Has the Turd Blossom Express Reached the End of the Line?
    "Here's the bottom line: let’s imagine for a moment that Fitzgerald does not indict Rove. Does this in any way mitigate, excuse, or erase what Rove did? Does it take the onus off President Bush's promise to fire the White House leaker? Of course not. Rove leaked -- and he should be fired. The Turd Blossom Express has reached the end of the line."
    [The Huffington Post | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on July 13, 2005

    MoveOn.org plans Rove protest outside White House Thursday
    "If you want to come dressed up in costume as a spy and protest the media will love that," the group wrote [in an e-mail invitation]. "Think: trench coat, sunglasses and a little nametag that says, 'Spy.'"
    posted by ericb at 10:34 AM on July 13, 2005

    John Stewart on the Rove Leak.
    posted by ericb at 10:51 AM on July 13, 2005

    Wonkette: The live White House feed included an engineer calibrating the cameras by holding up a blank sheet of paper. In the movies they call this "foreshadowing."

    this is sort of her natural environment, i guess. have i ever mentioned that ana marie cox has super powers?
    posted by spiderwire at 11:37 AM on July 13, 2005

    this is fascinating to me.
    There are many ways to identify someone other than by name. And if the court gives the "Ostrich Instruction" (deliberate avoidance of knowledge and actual knowledge are the same thing) to the jury, contrary to what Rove's defenders want us to believe, Rove is in serious trouble with his defense of lack of knowledge.
    posted by spiderwire at 11:40 AM on July 13, 2005

    "Short of a criminal indictment, Rove is not going anywhere," said Marshall Wittmann, a former Republican aide who now works for the Democratic Leadership Council.
    "For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen."
    posted by Floydd at 11:59 AM on July 13, 2005

    that's a great line.
    posted by amberglow at 12:01 PM on July 13, 2005

    Operation Ignore the Troll (aka RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman)
    "Don't get distracted. Don't go on the defense. Don't spend hours explaining how Wilson was the hero, not Rove. Use this as a lab experiment in watching the Right's Noise Machine at work. Use this as a window into their tactics and strategies!

    Just keep pounding on Rove, what he did, and why this is important. Rove outed a covert CIA agent working on keeping WMD out of the hands of terrorists. This 'rolled up' her network of contacts, possibly getting some killed. And by exposing her he exposed her cover company, possibly causing damage to other agents and networks as well.

    Rove did this at a time of war against terrorists. His act exposed all of us to increased danger of attack by those WMDs she was trying to keep away from terrorists."
    [Seeing The Forest | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on July 13, 2005

    Oh my... Representative Peter King (R-NY): on 'Scarborough Country':
    "And Joe Wilson has no right to complain. And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove. Listen, maybe Karl Rove was not perfect. We live in an imperfect world. And I give him credit for having the guts."
    posted by ericb at 12:16 PM on July 13, 2005

    Graham: Rove Critics Should “Shut Up”
    "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had these kind words to share last night on Hannity & Colmes:
    'If you can prove a case against Karl Rove, let the legal system do it, otherwise just shut up, because you’re ruining a guy’s reputation before anything has happened.'
    This is how far we’ve come. Rove’s defenders are arguing that, as long as Rove hasn’t been convicted of a crime, he shouldn’t be subject to any criticism. Rove lied to the public when he said he had no involvement or knowledge of the leak. His critics aren’t ruining Rove’s reputation. Rove took care of that himself."
    [Think Progress | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2005

    That Scarborough Country transcript is infuriating. Peter King and the host are claiming (as common knowledge) that Wilson's conclusions about the Niger-Iraq yellowcake deal never happening was a lie?? I had thought the White House had even admitted as much just a few months after the State of the Union.
    posted by nobody at 12:41 PM on July 13, 2005

    They did, but they're hoping no one remembers--and since the media doesn't bring it up in response ever, no one will.
    posted by amberglow at 12:43 PM on July 13, 2005

    Oh, they're both just sticking to the RNC talking points, nobody. That's the spin the White House is trying to put on this.
    posted by Floydd at 12:46 PM on July 13, 2005

    nobody said: Wilson's conclusions about the Niger-Iraq yellowcake deal never happening was a lie?? I had thought the White House had even admitted as much just a few months after the State of the Union.

    I thought that was the case as well. Wikipedia has an entry on the Yellowcake Forgery, but it's sadly lacking in links to reputable sources though this one isn't bad. If anyone has additional links to sources for the Yellowcake forgery, please post them.
    posted by jperkins at 12:48 PM on July 13, 2005

    The Times of London
    The Telegraph
    Financial Times
    Does that help, jperkins?
    posted by Floydd at 1:03 PM on July 13, 2005

    I don't buy the logic, but here is what I understand is the logic of the "truth" in Bush's SOTU claims. This all comes from having seen a fragment of O'Reilly last night

    Bush says that Saddam "sought" yellowcake in Africa. Wilson disputes this buy saying that Saddam never "bought" yellowcake in Africa.

    Now no one is disputing that the document is a forgery. They are disputing the difference between "sought" and "bought".
    posted by aburd at 1:04 PM on July 13, 2005

    Leak? What Leak? [Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post | July 13, 2005]

    Won't Defend? Then Attack! [Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post | July 13, 2005]

    Root of the Rove controversy is the war in Iraq
    U.S. justification for waging war on Saddam still haunts White House. [NBC News | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 1:05 PM on July 13, 2005

    If words have a meaning, Rove will soon be a goner. [Houston Chronicle | July 12, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on July 13, 2005

    That sure does, Floydd. Thanks! It also appears to be extensively covered at TPM.

    aburd: Now no one is disputing that the document is a forgery. They are disputing the difference between "sought" and "bought".

    Where's the evidence that he sought uranium from them? Isn't the forged documents the only source of material on this? And with them thoroughly discredited by all parties...

    Finally, thanks to ericb, amberglow, et al for keeping the posts here current.
    posted by jperkins at 1:16 PM on July 13, 2005

    ...Other matters that the White House is side-stepping: Who is the other leaker? Who lied to whom in order to produce the McClellan 2003 denial of Rove's involvemment? Karl to George? Karl & George to Scott? Karl, George & Scott to the press corps, and by extension the public? Where has Fitgerald been in the past few days, anyway? At what point should we be back to wondering what his intentions are? Is Rove ever going to say anything about this publicly? Put on those dancing shoes, looks like everyone gets a spin. -- FishbowlNY- Rove dances the dance of a thousand hippos, or something
    posted by amberglow at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2005

    thanks to ericb, amberglow, et al for keeping the posts here current.

    Yep, keep it up, guys. Probably more lurkers than jperkins and I are sporadically checking back here, confident you'll have the latest stuff worth knowing. Great job.
    posted by soyjoy at 1:26 PM on July 13, 2005

    ... And get this blind quote: "Rove has not been asked by senior White House officials whether he did anything illegal or potentially embarrassing to the president and he spent most of the day strategizing on Bush's Supreme Court nomination, aides said."

    "'No one has asked him what he told the grand jury. No one has deemed it appropriate,' said a senior White House official, who would discuss the Rove case only on the condition of anonymity. 'What you all need to figure out is, does this amount to a crime? That is a legitimate debate.' Still, some aides said they were concerned about the unknown. "Is it a communications challenge? Sure,' the official said." ...

    posted by amberglow at 1:34 PM on July 13, 2005

    Once more as Devil's Advocate:

    So Rove definitely exposed Plame. She was definitely a covert agent. Is it his responsibility to have known that she was currently working covertly? Or can he get off by saying the didn't know her status? The law looks like his knowledge of her status is required for the offense to have taken place. Isn't there some sort of Due Diligence required on his part if he knows classified information?
    posted by aburd at 1:48 PM on July 13, 2005

    I should also add: thank you all for the links. This is by far the best information I have seen on the subject.
    posted by aburd at 1:51 PM on July 13, 2005

    From a MoveOn action alert: "The White House is really starting to feel the heat, and Republican operatives are engaged in a frantic political cover-up of Karl Rove's leak. We need senators to speak out against Rove. Please call your senators in Washington, DC. Tell the staffer who answers something like: 'I'm a constituent and I'm angry about the news about Karl Rove. Blowing the cover of a CIA agent is serious business that hurts our national security. What is Senator "X" going to do about Karl Rove?'"
    posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on July 13, 2005

    Is it his responsibility to have known that she was currently working covertly? Or can he get off by saying the didn't know her status?

    Interesting and relevant question. I found the following to be of interest on this point.
    "It seems that Karl Rove's defense strategy in the Plame leak case is going to be that he said something like 'Joe Wilson's wife works for the CIA' rather than 'his wife, Valerie Plame, works for the CIA.' I have a hard time imagining that will stand up in court unless the people who drafted the relevant law were really, really dumb, but that's outside my area of competence.

    The much more likely legal out is that Rove may not have known that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in a covert capacity. Maybe somebody else in the office who read the relevant file mentioned to Rove that she worked at the CIA, didn't mention that she was covert, and Rove passed on what he knew to reporters. The contrary evidence is that Bob Novak referred to her as an 'operative,' meaning he somehow knew she was covert. It's possible, however, that someone other than Rove passed that on to him. It's also possible that Novak discovered it independently based on the tip that Plame worked for the CIA."
    posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on July 13, 2005

    Rove should get a medal.
    Why? Because Valerie Plame should have been outed by somebody. And nobody else had the cojones to do it, I'm glad Rove did, if he did do it, and he still says he didn't.

    Why should she have been outed? Well, despite her husband's repeated denials, even in the face of a pile of evidence and conclusions from a joint investigation of Congress, (R5) it appears all evidence points to Joe Wilson's wife, spy Valerie Plame, as the one who recommended him for the job of going to Niger to discover if Saddam was trying to buy nuke bomb materials (R3).

    Why is this important? Because Wilson was opposed to the war in Iraq, opposed Bush policy, and pointedly and loudly said so.

    Consequently, it was of some interest how he got chosen for this sensitive job which people at the time might have thought would be a fulcrum point for a decision about the war.

    You wouldn't send a peacenik to see if we should go to war, if we need to go to war, now would you? That's exactly what happened, as they say in the news biz, inquiring minds now want to know how the heck did this happen? Well, it turns out little wifey did it.

    She touted husband Joe, her CIA bosses bit, and off Wilson went to completely knock down any notion that Saddam wanted Niger's nuke bomb making stuff, which is called yellow cake. Problem is, the report of the Select Committee on Intelligence says the information showed no such thing. That, in fact, it was still a bit of a mystery and Saddam could well have been trying to buy the nuke bomb material.

    So why should Rove get a medal?

    Let's just assume that spy Valerie Plame knew her husband's attitudes about the war in Iraq - she was married to him - and sending him off to Niger could be regarded as an attempt to influence national policies. Where I come from, we want to know who that is. We do not want secret spymasters pulling the puppet strings in the background. That is something that should be out in the open and the person doing it should be identified and should own up to it.

    So, Rove should get a medal even if he did do what he says he didn't do.

    Fox News' John Gibson's My Word segment on Tuesday 7/12/05
    posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2005

    From the transcript of an interview on Tuesday night on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," between host Joe Scarborough and Congressman Peter King, a Republican from New York:

    And Joe Wilson has no right to complain. And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove.
    posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:57 PM on July 13, 2005

    Wow, a long quote from yet another asshat at Fox News trying to remake Rove the Treasonous Bastard into Rove the Hero. Woot, go spin machine, go spin machine.

    There are already suggestions of Justice Rove in the Rehnquist thread. How would that go over on America?

    Treason? Oh no, he's a misunderstood Real American Hero, now let's make him a Justice on the highest court in the land......forever! Wheee.

    Hey, where the hell are my Shrub Brand Happy Pills (now with extra ruphynol)? I still give waaay too much of a damn about this.
    posted by fenriq at 2:58 PM on July 13, 2005

    So far, there's no evidence he has done anything wrong--except, of course, foment the next Metafilter circle jerk over the demise of a great, great President.
    posted by ParisParamus at 3:00 PM on July 13, 2005

    More Intercepted Instant Messaging Between Bush and Blair

    kickass43: could use a stiff one now
    sxybritguy10: u r in trouble man
    kickass43: rove stuff sux
    kickass43: can't play the game with no quarterback
    sxybrityguy10: bad rap
    sxybritguy10: at least u still got condi
    kickass43: she's so hot
    sxybritguy10: way hot
    kickass43: remember her in germany
    kickass43: the domantrix boots
    sxybritguy10: smokin
    kickass43: she rocks way more than colin
    sxybritguy10: kinda missed colin this yr
    kickass43: no way
    sxybritguy10: way
    posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:00 PM on July 13, 2005

    The Jesse Helms: You should give credit where credit is due.

    ParisParamus: Wow. Just wow.
    posted by trey at 3:04 PM on July 13, 2005

    posted by mrs.pants at 3:05 PM on July 13, 2005

    So far, there's no evidence he has done anything wrong

    posted by soyjoy at 3:06 PM on July 13, 2005

    Paris, what makes you say that? You have facts? or links? Or something? I would like to know, because, frankly, I don't think the DOJ or the CIA would spend this much time and energy investigating if, well you know, a crime wasn't committed.
    posted by Freen at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2005

    Paris, so, how's the weather in your hole in the ground where reality cannot penetrate your bizarre little trollish universe?
    posted by fenriq at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2005

    Fenriq, let him speak. He hasn't trolled this thread. No need to pre-emptively pre-troll based on unsubstantiated shoddy intelligence from highly biased sources of ill-repute.

    I mean seriously, do you think he's hiding weapons of mass trolling? I for one, don't believe all those shady anti-ParisParamus activists when they tell us he's got huge stockpiles of WMT.

    I say we let him speak for himself, and see if he's got some sort of factual evidence to back up his statements. I'm genuinely curious.
    posted by Freen at 3:30 PM on July 13, 2005

    ericb: wow that was hilarious. John Stewart always makes me feel like at least someone in media is paying attention. His show is so much more informative than the real news. And people watch him.
    posted by mai at 3:34 PM on July 13, 2005

    Freen, would that I could stop PP from spewing forth his leading and usually trollish comments, I would have long ago.

    I could argue that saying there's no evidence of any wrong doing is trolling. Same thing about the great, great president. Which he knows is akin to tossing a gas filled balloon on a campfire.

    But we'll see. Come on, Paris, I double dog dare you to prove me wrong and actually contribute something substantative to the discussion.
    posted by fenriq at 3:48 PM on July 13, 2005

    I've been hoping PP would show up here. As it is, his first comment sounds a little like trolling with its brevity, but I'd like to see the Republicans' positions laid out intelligently -- because, I have to admit, I'm skeptical of the possibility.
    posted by nobody at 4:05 PM on July 13, 2005

    Here's the head Republican's position--now: Bush Passes on Public Endorsement of Rove

    And Mehlman right now on Hardball is blaming MoveOn and the Democrats. Simply amazing. (Mehlman looks like shit btw. Where's Karen Hughes?)
    posted by amberglow at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2005

    Rove's Role in Spy Inquiry Reverberates Throughout Capital--... Rove is not the only potential subject for Fitzgerald's probe, which already has resulted in the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller for refusing to reveal her sources and Time magazine being forced to turn over notes about confidential sources, including Rove, to a grand jury.

    People familiar with the inquiry say Fitzgerald also is reviewing testimony by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, though it is not clear whether the prosecutor is focusing on him or seeking information about higher-ups. Fleischer last night refused to comment.

    Other Bush aides who have testified to the grand jury or been questioned by prosecutors include McClellan; Rove; former Deputy Press Secretary Adam Levine; Lewis ``Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff; and Dan Bartlett, a Bush communications adviser.

    Bush himself was questioned by Fitzgerald in the Oval Office on June 24, 2004. ...

    That's the first i ever heard about Bush being questioned himself.
    posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2005

    From NBC Nightly News tonight:
    "Joining Democrats Wednesday in calling for Rove to be fired was Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who has criticized the White House over claims that Iraq was pursuing material for a nuclear program.

    He spoke to NBC's Jamie Gangel in an interview to air Thursday morning on NBC’s 'Today' show.

    'What these guys are doing — what this thing has been for the past two years — has been a cover-up,' said Wilson. 'A cover-up of the web of lies that underpinned the justification for going to war in Iraq.' ....

    ...no one disputes that Rove mentioned Plame's work at the CIA in order to cast doubt on her husband's criticism of the administration's pre-war intelligence.

    Jeffrey Smith, the CIA's former general counsel and a Democrat, says even if Rove didn't commit a crime, as a senior official he should have checked Plame’s status before speaking about her at all.

    'Any time a government official learns and works with the CIA,' explains Smith, 'they learn that they need to take actions to protect the identity of individuals.'" (emphasis added)
    posted by ericb at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2005

    This is THE OPPORTUNITY to right the wrongs of the US Administration.

    I believe the polls are showing that the majority of American citizens believe they have been lied to by the POTUS, are not in support of the war in Iraq, do not trust the government, and are upset.

    This is the time to encourage your friends and family to put pressure on your state and federal representatives.

    You can change America. You can bring it back around to the better place it used to be.

    Your representatives are cowed by fear of the Administration at the moment, but the time is right to convince them to return to their core values. I am certain those core values do not include nation-endangering lies.

    But you are going to have to be pro-active.

    Please, please, please: pick up the phone and make the call. It's so easy.
    posted by five fresh fish at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2005

    and please, for the love of mefi, ignore that twit PP. you know full well that he's trolling and you know full well that not one single reader ever takes him seriously. he's useless noise and can be safely ignored.
    posted by five fresh fish at 4:24 PM on July 13, 2005

    Matt Cooper Must Go (fafblog)

    My Senators are already speaking (Schumer, Clinton), and providing fuel for the "it's a partisan attack" spin. People who have Republican Senators need to contact their reps, but it's pissing in the wind.
    posted by amberglow at 4:26 PM on July 13, 2005

    tons of great links about Rove at SourceWatch
    posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM on July 13, 2005

    And Mehlman right now on Hardball is blaming MoveOn and the Democrats.

    That's right out of their talking points playbook to which amberglow linked.

    The Left Coaster's Response to GOP Talking Points (which freen posted) is a great resource to countering the crazy spin of those (trolls included) pretending "there's no evidence he has done anything wrong."
    posted by ericb at 4:38 PM on July 13, 2005

    Editor & Publisher McClellan, in Third Day of Stonewalling, Tells Press They Have Taken a Pound of His Flesh

    Q Scott, you know what, to make a general observation here, in a previous administration, if a press secretary had given the sort of answers you've just given in referring to the fact that everybody who works here enjoys the confidence of the President, Republicans would have hammered them as having a kind of legalistic and sleazy defense. I mean, the reality is that you're parsing words, and you've been doing it for a few days now. So does the President think Karl Rove did something wrong, or doesn't he?

    McCLELLAN: No, David, I'm not at all. I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don't want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And I think we've been round and round on this for two days now.

    Q Even if it wasn't a crime? You know, there are those who believe that even if Karl Rove was trying to debunk bogus information, as Ken Mehlman suggested yesterday -- perhaps speaking on behalf of the White House -- that when you're dealing with a covert operative, that a senior official of the government should be darn well sure that that person is not undercover, is not covert, before speaking about them in any way, shape, or form. Does the President agree with that or not?

    McCLELLAN: Again, we've been round and round on this for a couple of days now. I don't have anything to add to what I've said the previous two days.

    Q That's a different question, and it's not round and round --

    McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier.

    Q It has nothing to do with the investigation, Scott, and you know it.

    McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier today, and the President said he's not --

    Q That's a dodge to my question. It has nothing to do with the investigation. Is it appropriate for a senior official to speak about a covert agent in any way, shape, or form without first finding out whether that person is working as a covert officer.

    McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, you're wrong. This is all relating to questions about an ongoing investigation, and I've been through this.

    Q If I wanted to ask you about an ongoing investigation, I would ask you about the statute, and I'm not doing that.

    McCLELLAN: I think we've exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.

    Q You haven't even scratched the surface.

    Q It hasn't started.

    posted by madamjujujive at 4:38 PM on July 13, 2005


    That is some cold shit to say to a press secretary.
    posted by Freen at 4:42 PM on July 13, 2005

    BTW - what's involved in "foment[ing] the next Metafilter circle jerk over the demise of a great, great President?" Does it involve lube and Santorum?

    We, Bostonians, are likely not invited, as Santorum is persona non grata around here these days.
    posted by ericb at 4:42 PM on July 13, 2005

    McCLELLAN: We can continue to go round and round on all these --

    No shit, Sherlock!
    posted by ericb at 4:50 PM on July 13, 2005

    Having now watched McClellan twisting in the wind for three consecutive press gaggles, I am reminded of 60 Minute interviews with public relations spokespeople attempting to "spin" their company's or industry's "message," especially when there are morally or ethically bankrupt issues involved.

    I react in a mix of pity and disgust for folks who consciously choose a profession where they must be a "mouth piece." At times I do feel sorry for them, but hey, they made their bed!
    posted by ericb at 4:56 PM on July 13, 2005

    Where's C.J. Cregg when you need her?
    posted by ericb at 4:58 PM on July 13, 2005

    “By disclosing Valerie Wilson's relationship to the CIA, Rove was passing classified information to a reporter.

    ‘There is little doubt,’ says Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, that the employment status of an undercover CIA officer, ‘is classified information.’ He notes that the ‘most basic personnel information of the CIA--the number of personnel, the salaries--is classified. Anything more specific--like the identity of a NOC [an officer working under ‘nonofficial cover,’ as was Valerie Wilson] or the numbers and identities of officers working in a particular region of the world--is classified.’

    To sum up, it does not matter if Rove did not mention Valerie Wilson by name, and it is not true that the information he passed to Cooper was not classified.” [The Nation | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 5:16 PM on July 13, 2005

    NBC poll has Bush tanking
    "NBC/Wall Street Journal shows Bush disapproval at 49%, approval at 46%. On Nightly News, Tim Russert was hung up on the fact that Bush has lost serious ground on the issue of whether he was honest and straight-forward. That was always one of Bush's strengths. Not anymore. 41% said he is, but 45% said no.

    I'm sure the Karl Rove scandal is helping with that since the WH is hemorraging credibility."
    posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on July 13, 2005

    Republican members of Congress are avoiding Rove like the plague

    This is key--they need to be reelected next year. IF Rove is jeopardizing that, he's history, no matter what Bush wants.
    posted by amberglow at 5:23 PM on July 13, 2005

    Excellent roundup at Liberal Oasis-- ... RNC Chair Ken Mehlman was the most prominent face of the pushback yesterday, but as someone who was in the White House when The Leak occurred, he proved a poor choice for spokesman. ...
    Were you called before a grand jury?
    MEHLMAN: I'm not going to comment on the specifics of this investigation.
    BLITZER: You were working at the White House at that time.
    MEHLMAN: I think it is not appropriate for me or any else to talk about where we may or may not have been testifying.
    BLITZER: Have you given a waiver to reporters who may have talked to you about whether or not you authorized them to reveal --
    MEHLMAN: I don't recall giving a waiver. I don't recall.
    BLITZER: The White House officials had to sign that statement.
    MEHLMAN: I don't remember the specifics with respect to that.

    Anyone who has to go into “I don’t recall” mode isn’t helping the White House’s cause. It just makes ‘em all look like crooks.

    posted by amberglow at 5:32 PM on July 13, 2005

    Some people just love the turd blossom..

    Perhaps he can run Tom Delay's next campaign. Surely that would be a case where the candidate and his manager truly, truly deserve each other.
    posted by clevershark at 5:51 PM on July 13, 2005

    oh crap...Mehlman was in the mix too?

    MEHLMAN: I don't recall giving a waiver. I don't recall.

    I didn't have to sign the damn paper but even I recall the statements where the president directed everyone to cooperate fully and sign waivers. Jeez...Either he failed to follow the presidents orders or he's a complete moron.

    (more likely he's trying to dodge the questions because he realizes that means it makes him look like the fox guarding the hen house...which he is)
    posted by aaronscool at 5:54 PM on July 13, 2005

    Maintaining Focus: Rove and Iraq War Data
    "Let me remind you, the underlying issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war. And how America was misled into that war.... enough is known to surmise that the leaks of Rove and others deputized by him amounted to an angry act of retaliation against someone who had the temerity to challenge the President of the United States when he was striving to find some plausible reason for invading Iraq.

    The role of Rove and associates added up to a small incident in very large scandal: the effort to delude America into thinking it faced a threat dire enough to justify a war."
    [Daniel Schorr, All Things Considered, NPR | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:01 PM on July 13, 2005

    Karl Rove's Game
    "The White House has painted itself into a corner. More than a year ago, Bush vowed to fire the leaker. Then Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman, repeatedly assured everyone that the leaker was not Rove, on whom the president is so dependent intellectually that he calls Rove "the architect."

    Until this week, the administration had deflected attention onto journalists by producing documents that officials had been compelled to sign to supposedly waive any promise of confidentiality. Our colleague Judith Miller, unjustly jailed for protecting the identity of confidential sources, was right to view these so-called waivers as meaningless.

    Rove could clear all this up quickly. All he has to do is call a press conference and tell everyone what conversations he had and with whom. While we like government officials who are willing to whisper vital information, we like even more government officials who tell the truth in public."
    [New York Times | July 14, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:08 PM on July 13, 2005

    What incredible lies are being told in this thread. May you all stew in your Leftist parallel universe, where everyone who doesn't agree with you is the Devil.

    For some sanity, try THIS!
    posted by ParisParamus at 8:19 PM on July 13, 2005

    The Brad Blog interviews Joe Wilson: "The President should fire Rove"!
    “In a phone discussion early this afternoon, Wilson told The BRAD BLOG in no uncertain terms that ‘the President should fire Rove.’

    He told us that he'd be appearing on NBC's Today Show tomorrow [Thursday, July 14th] morning and would be repeating that call.

    As well, he told The BRAD BLOG that he planned to read a letter on air which he received from Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush shortly after an article of his was printed in the San Jose Mercury News, on October 13, 2002, in which Wilson related his concerns about the pitfalls of the approach to Iraq being taken at the time by both the U.N. and the U.S.

    In reply to that article, Wilson said that the former President wrote that he had ‘read your article and I agree with a lot of it.’

    Additionally, Wilson explained, Bush 41's own National Security Advisor, Brett Scowcroft had contacted him to ask whether he ‘could walk on over to the White House with the letter’ at the time. Which apparently he did.

    Wilson also had sent the article to Bush 41's Secretary of State, James Baker.

    ‘None of them responded saying you’re a Democratic partisan hack and your views suck,’ said Wilson.

    The above points are notable, because armed with those RNC talking point, Rush Limbaugh, Fox ‘News’ and Friends have today kicked into overdrive smearing and lying about Wilson, claiming that he was against the Iraq War from the get-go.

    If fact, Wilson, who was in charge of the Embassy in Iraq during the first Gulf War under Bush 41 (he was the last American to speak personally with Saddam Hussein before the war begain, and was responsible for taking care of some 125 Americans who had sought refuge in the American Embassy there when they were not allowed by Saddam to leave the country just prior to the war), says that it was ‘a full eight months’ after he was sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium there, ‘before I had said anything publicly about what America should consider in regard to a war with Iraq.’

    ‘My real concern was always WMD,’ he told us, ‘not Regime Change.’”
    posted by ericb at 8:27 PM on July 13, 2005

    In response to ParisParamus reference to the WSJ opinion piece
    "This from the AP ...
    Rove ‘was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise,’ said Mehlman. Cooper's e-mail says that Rove warned him away from the idea that Wilson's trip had been authorized by CIA Director George Tenet or Vice President Dick Cheney.
    The argument, as elaborated by others, is that Rove was warning Cooper off Wilson's phoney story because it was about to be debunked by a soon-to-be-released statement by George Tenet.

    A great argument. Only Wilson never said that. He said that the CIA, following up on a query from the vice president, sent him on a fact-finding mission to Niger.

    Here's his account from his New York Times column ...
    In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

    After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government.
    Whatever else you can say about Wilson, no one has ever disputed these points. He never said that Cheney or Tenet authorized his trip. A vice-president would never 'authorize' such a trip. Nor would there be any need for the DCI to 'authorize' it. The whole thing is a dodge and a distraction. It's irrelevant to the question that was under discussion.

    It's just yet another attempt to whip up a phoney cover story after the fact. Or, in other words, more scofflaw Republicanism.

    Late Update: RawStory has just published a copy of RNC anti-Wilson talking points. Item three says that ‘The False Premise [which Rove was trying to knock down] Was Joe Wilson's Allegation That The Vice President Sent Him To Niger.’ This is such a ridiculous up-is-down lie you'll want to keep an eye out for gullible reporters who parrot it. Clear as day it's a lie. But if they think if they repeat it often enough people won't check."
    [Talking Points Memo | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:38 PM on July 13, 2005

    digby on the GOP Spin strategy: ...They also are making a mistake by pounding the fact that the entire leadership of the Democratic party including Kerry and Clinton are calling for Rove to resign. Mehlman even seemed a little gobsmacked by it. The problem is that almost everybody in the country believes that Democrats are the last people on the planet to go out on a limb. Without realizing it, Mehlman is being hoist by his own petard. Somebody just turned to me and said, "Jesus, if they're saying it, he must be toast."

    Calling Democrats wimps for 20 years has its effects. It means that when they actually do say something people automatically assume that they aren't acting out of political courage. They assume that there is no risk involved.

    Mehlman also said that everyone knows that Karl Rove has the highest ethical standards. Hahahahahaha. To quote the Clenis --- that dog won't hunt. Once again, they are hoist by their own petard. You can't go around telling everyone who'll listen that Karl Rove is a cross between Sun Tzu and Machiavelli for years on end and then suddenly portray him as a simple, straight shooting public servant. Only the most ardent neanderthals are going to buy this. Certainly not one member of the press will. ...

    posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on July 13, 2005

    Also ...

    Rove’s Revisionist History
    "Why did Karl Rove leak the covert identy of a CIA agent to a reporter? Here’s what his lawyer wants you to believe:

    Robert Luskin, attorney for Karl Rove: 'This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren’t true.'

    But before getting sucked into that spin, it’s important to remember what a senior administration official told the Washington Post shortly after the leak investigation began.

    '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.'"
    [Think Progress | July 11, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:41 PM on July 13, 2005

    TALKING POINT: Even if Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's identity, it's no big deal and deserves a medal.

    FACT: The GOP's Ed Gillespie and George Bush disagreed (with an emphasis on 'd'). In fact, if it's so not a big deal, why all this intrigue about what the White House can or cannot comment on? Just tell the truth then rather than hiding behind reporters and smears of people who had nothing to do with the expose. (As for medals, it probably deserves a medal in prison, to define the 'role model' for fellow prisoners at Gitmo - while eating rice pilaf in the process). [The Left Coaster | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 8:44 PM on July 13, 2005

    What incredible lies are being told in this thread.

    Lies #1 and #2, told by Bush and McClellan: Q All right. Let me just follow up. You said this morning, “The President knows” that Karl Rove wasn’t involved. How does he know that?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. I saw some comments this morning from the person who made that suggestion, backing away from that. And I said it is simply not true. So, I mean, it’s public knowledge. I’ve said that it’s not true. And I have spoken with Karl Rove —

    They really are incredible and blatant lies--you're right. What was that about restoring "honor and dignity to the oval office" again?
    posted by amberglow at 8:46 PM on July 13, 2005

    Here's Joe Wilson's New York Times account (referenced above and mistakenly not hyperlinked): "What I Didn't Find in Africa," New York Times, July 6, 2003.
    posted by ericb at 8:48 PM on July 13, 2005

    ... What we have here is a failure of leadership from Bush. Collapse might be a better word. Bush should have acted immediately after the issue surfaced in July 2003, when Valerie Plame was identified, first by columnist Robert Novak, as a CIA agent.... (Boston Globe)
    posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on July 13, 2005

    When will yoos lefties learn? Keep spinning your negative wheels.....
    posted by ParisParamus at 9:10 PM on July 13, 2005

    that leftie Boston Globe--how dare they!?!
    posted by amberglow at 9:13 PM on July 13, 2005

    In Canada, the Tory (Conservative) party was completely decimated when Brian Mulroney screwed the country.

    In the subsequent election, the Tories -- and remember, they were one of two parties that has led Canada since its confederation -- was reduced to something like three sitting members. It has been something like a decade since, and they are still in tatters.

    There is opportunity here for the Republican party to clean up its ranks, eliminating the cheaters, liars, and scum from its ranks.

    Give them the push they need: contact your representatives.
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:20 PM on July 13, 2005

    and those lefties at Fox News are piping up too: Can Bush Survive Without Rove? ...With ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, at least one Supreme Court vacancy and a looming Social Security crisis, a second-term scandal is probably the last thing Bush needs. But having to fire Rove may actually dispel distortions about Bush's command of his office.

    "[The late French President] Charles de Gaulle said, 'The graveyards are full of indispensable men.' The world will go on," Cannon said of a Rove departure. ...

    posted by amberglow at 9:54 PM on July 13, 2005

    Sidney Blumenthal on the Rove Affair
    “Mehlman's farrago of lies and distortions may be a fair representation of Rove's fears. Is it ‘the fact’ that Rove didn't leak classified information? Plame's identity of course was classified. That is why the CIA referred the matter to the Department of Justice for investigation. But is Mehlman disclosing yet another Rove worry? The prosecutor can indict under any statute, including simply leaking classified information. Is Rove afraid of being indicted under that law, not just the one that makes it a crime to identify Plame? Mehlman raises a further Rove anxiety. No, Rove didn't ‘reveal the name.’ But the law doesn't cite that as a felony; it only specifies revealing the ‘identity’ as a crime. It says nothing about a ‘name.’ Rove revealed ‘Joe Wilson's wife.’ That qualifies as an ‘identity.’ By the way, Plame did not go by the name of Plame, but Wilson -- in other words, Mrs. Wilson, or ‘Joe Wilson's wife.’ Rove seemed to know that much -- her identity.”
    [Salon - requires free day pass | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:10 PM on July 13, 2005

    WSJ Woes
    "It's always amusing when the RNC says jump, to see how high the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page will elevate. This morning's lead editorial, typed right from RNC talking points, rushes to Karl Rove's defense. Turns out he was not acting as a partisan when spreading classified gossip about Joseph Wilson's wife. Instead, he was a hero for speaking the truth, the real 'whistleblower' in this saga. It's a classic example of the Journal leaping on demand."
    [Eric Boehlert, The Huffington Post | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:15 PM on July 13, 2005

    House Democrats to Introduce Resolution of Inquiry on Rove tomorrow [Thursday, July 14] morning....
    “House Democrats tomorrow [Thursday, July 14] morning will introduce a formal resolution of inquiry demanding that the Bush administration turn over information and documents relating to Karl Rove and the Valerie Plame affair, according to congressional sources.

    Among the members who will be calling for the inquiry are such prominent Democrats Representatives as Henry Waxman, the ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee; Tom Lantos, of California; Leonard Boswell, of Iowa; Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland; and Silvestre Reyes, of Texas.

    The resolution effort was spearheaded by Rep. Rush Holt, of New Jersey, who is a senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

    Most importantly, according to one key congressional source, the effort ‘has the blessing of the Democratic leadership.’ House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has signed on to support the effort, sources said.

    The resolution of inquiry will seek documents related to the Plame matter from the State, Defense, and Justice Departments, as well as other executive branch agencies. A spokesman for the White House did not return a telephone call tonight seeking comment.”
    [ Murray Haas | July 13, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:19 PM on July 13, 2005

    Was Ari the Other Leaker?
    "Bloomberg News raised eyebrows today with this vague mention of former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer:
    People familiar with the inquiry say Fitzgerald also is reviewing testimony by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, though it is not clear whether the prosecutor is focusing on him or seeking information about higher-ups. Fleischer last night refused to comment.
    This actually isn’t the first time Fleischer has been mentioned in connection to Plamegate — a Los Angeles Times report from last October noted that Fleischer has denied he was one of the leakers.

    But we know he has been interviewed by the FBI in relation to the leak. And it’s worth noting that Fleischer was among the very first Bush officials to go on the record criticizing Wilson. From March ‘04 :
    In the subpoenaed July 12 [2003] transcript of a briefing in Nigeria, then-press secretary Ari Fleischer called Wilson a 'lower-level official' and said Wilson had made flawed and incomplete statements. Fleischer did not return calls Friday.
    So what about Fleischer piqued the Special Prosecutor’s interest? Details are still uncertain, but news reports suggest one theory for what might have occurred. In the days after Wilson’s NYT column was published but before Novak’s article appeared, Ari Fleischer was among the White House officials aboard Air Force One on a presidential trip to Africa, where he might have had access to the classified State Department document brought aboard by Secretary of State Colin Powell that likely tipped administration officials off to Plame’s true identity."
    [Think Progress | July 13, 2005]

    Read more ...
    posted by ericb at 10:27 PM on July 13, 2005

    Dear Karl Rove:

    I just wanted to tell you that no matter how much indisputable evidence those fact-obsessed intellectual reporters release about you betraying America, I join the President in not caring diddly-squat about so-called national security when the only war that matters is the one we're waging against Democrats. So that makes you TOPS in my book! Anyway, however it happened, that bimbo Valerie Plame got what she deserved for marrying a moron who spouted crazy talk about Saddam bin Laden not having all those Nukepox Laser Deathrays you made President Bush promise we'd find. Heck, she should be happy that you only assassinated his CHARACTER! ...

    posted by amberglow at 10:29 PM on July 13, 2005

    From one of the links provided by Floydd regarding the Nigerian yellowcake forgery:
    The man, identified by an Italian news agency as Rocco Martino, was the subject of a Telegraph article earlier this month in which he was referred to by his intelligence codename, "Giacomo".

    His admission to investigating magistrates in Rome on Friday apparently confirms suggestions that - by commissioning "Giacomo" to procure and circulate documents - France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq.

    Italian diplomats have claimed that, by disseminating bogus documents stating that Iraq was trying to buy low-grade "yellowcake" uranium from Niger, France was trying to "set up" Britain and America in the hope that when the mistake was revealed it would undermine the case for war, which it wanted to prevent.
    So, Wilson debunks bogus information ultimately supplied by the French (!) in an attempt on their part to "setup" Britain and the U.S. The Bush administration finds the information too good to pass up (despite Wilson's report that it's all BS) and runs with it and when Wilson goes public with the fact that the info is bogus, they attack Wilson and his wife.

    Did I miss anything?
    posted by jperkins at 5:17 AM on July 14, 2005

    Who told Rove that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA undercover agent? It seems like the answer to that question would be a major story.
    posted by tizzie at 5:52 AM on July 14, 2005

    Did I miss anything?

    Something enormous: that by attacking and outing Wilson's Wife, they also exposed the front firm, Brewster Jennings, and everyone associated with it (other covert agents), and all their international contacts.

    -- ...Not only was Plame's cover blown, so was that of her cover company, Brewster, Jennings & Associates. With the public exposure of Plame, intelligence agencies all over the world started searching data bases for any references to her (TIME Magazine). Damage control was immediate, as the CIA asserted that her mission had been connected to weapons of mass destruction.

    However, it was not long before stories from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal tied Brewster, Jennings & Associates to energy, oil and the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil Company, or ARAMCO. Brewster Jennings had been a founder of Mobil Oil company, one of Aramco's principal founders.
    According to additional sources interviewed by Wayne Madsen, Brewster Jennings was, in fact, a well-established CIA proprietary company, linked for many years to ARAMCO. The demise of Brewster Jennings was also guaranteed the moment Plame was outed. ...

    posted by amberglow at 5:58 AM on July 14, 2005

    Washington Post article from 2003 on Brewster Jennings: Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm: ... The inadvertent disclosure of the name of a business affiliated with the CIA underscores the potential damage to the agency and its operatives caused by the leak of Plame's identity. Intelligence officials have said that once Plame's job as an undercover operative was revealed, other agency secrets could be unraveled and her sources might be compromised or endangered.

    A former diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said yesterday that every foreign intelligence service would run Plame's name through its databases within hours of its publication to determine if she had visited their country and to reconstruct her activities.

    "That's why the agency is so sensitive about just publishing her name," the former diplomat said.

    posted by amberglow at 6:18 AM on July 14, 2005

    Amberglow: "Something enormous: that by attacking and outing Wilson's Wife, they also exposed the front firm, Brewster Jennings, and everyone associated with it (other covert agents), and all their international contacts. "

    I wasn't looking to summarize the entirety of the outting of Plame and the resulting damage to the US intelligence gathering capabilities, just the portion where the French were the source of forged documents that the Bush administration fell for, in spite of Wilson's report that they were bogus.

    ParisParamus: "...foment the next Metafilter circle jerk over the demise of a great, great President."

    Paris stop! You're killling me with these humorous posts. After all, this is the same President that you said you'd support the impeachment of if WMD weren't found in Iraq, right?
    posted by jperkins at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2005

    oh. : >

    Where the forged stuff originated is kinda moot now that it's proven it was fake, i think.

    Guess who's back? Jeff, I thought you quit turning tricks.
    posted by amberglow at 7:21 AM on July 14, 2005

    I'd almost forgotten about the Gannon/Guckert link,
    From the Dec. 26, 2003 Washington Post:
    Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it.

    CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.

    "It has been circulated around," one official said. CIA and State Department officials have refused to discuss the document.
    On Oct. 28, Talon News, a news company tied to a group called GOP USA, posted on the Internet an interview with Wilson in which the Talon News questioner asks: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

    posted by Floydd at 7:35 AM on July 14, 2005

    Joe Wilson talks with NBC's Jamie Gangel (transcript and video).
    posted by ericb at 7:37 AM on July 14, 2005

    "I don't know how far the Rovians plan to take this mirror image building campaign. But I won't be too surprised if we wake up tomorrow to find Bill O'Reilly claiming that Karl Rove used to be an undercover CIA operative (a kind of fat, ugly version of Keifer Sutherland) until he was outed by Valerie Plame -- all as part of a left-wing dirty tricks operation masterminded by Jim Carville.

    What Rove is doing here is an example, albeit an extremely weird one, of his standard tactic of attacking his enemy's strength with his most outrageous lies -- the kind that are simply too big and too brazen for most media chicken shits to call him on."[This Modern World | July 14, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on July 14, 2005

    Wilson: Bush needs to prove he's a man of his word
    "Joseph Wilson attacked Bush on his perceived strength...Bush claims to be a straight talker, so Wilson said: Prove it. Going after Bush on his perceived strength, that's so Rovian.
    'I think the president should call in his senior advisers and say, "Enough is enough, I want you to step forward and cooperate,"' he said.

    'The president has said repeatedly, "I am a man of my word,"' Wilson added. 'He should stand up and prove that his word is his bond and fire Karl Rove.'"
    [AMERICAblog | July 14, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 7:47 AM on July 14, 2005

    It gets worse.

    How likely is it that Rove could be proven to have known that the United States was still taking "affirmative measures" to conceal Plame's identity? Not very, I'd say.

    But Rove's conduct certainly meets the far less demanding elements of the Espionage Act: (1) possession of (2) information (3) relating to the national defense (4) which the person possessing it has reason to know could be used to damage the United States or aid a foreign nation and (5) wilful communication of that information to (6) a person not entitled to receive it.

    Under the Espionage Act, the person doing the communicating need not actually know that revelation could be damaging; he needs only "reason to know." Classification is generally reason to know, and a security-clearance holder is responsible for knowing what information is classified.

    Nor is it necessary that the discloser intend public distribution; if Rove told Cooper -- which he did -- and Cooper didn't have a security clearance -- which he didn't -- the crime would have been complete.

    And to be a crime the disclosure need not be intended to damage the national security; it is only the act of communication itself that must be wilful.

    It's also a crime to "cause" such information to be communicated, for example by asking someone else to do so.

    posted by beth at 7:50 AM on July 14, 2005

    Today’s Pile of Steaming Turd Blossom
    "Sportscasters love to say that a good offense is the best defense. But, as we’re seeing, in politics, an offensive offense can be a lousy defense. I mean, if Karl Rove’s future -- both political and legal -- depends on the offensive that the White House and its smear machine are frantically mounting, then ol’ Karl is in even bigger trouble than we thought. Their method seems to be a shock-and-awe operation where they bombard us with any and every defense they can, hoping that something sticks. So far, nothing has.

    The attack on Rove’s critics and the renewed assault on Joe Wilson are also comically accompanied by calls for civility. You know when Republican start issuing calls for people to 'cool the rhetoric' and 'focus on the business of the people,' that they’re in full panic mode. And they’re right to be. Try as they might, they just can’t come up with a plausible defense that takes the stink away from what everyone -- including all non-self-deluded Republicans -- knows Turd Blossom was really doing…" [more]
    posted by ericb at 7:54 AM on July 14, 2005

    Bob Barr, CNN's political analyst and an ex-Congressman, is on my morning news show right now saying the Republicans are trying to make this out to be alot less serious than it really is.

    This isn't a political issue, this is a senior official who knew better than to discuss a CIA agent with the press and did it anyway. This is about loose lips and willfull disregard for law as well as unravelling alot more than just one agent's cover.

    Rove acted improperly and he should be punished for it. And not by being nominated to the Supreme Court. What these charges amount to is treason, from Wiki "In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation." Outing secret agents seems pretty disloyal to me.
    posted by fenriq at 7:58 AM on July 14, 2005

    That's why they're so trying to make it a partisan thing--because it totally isn't. It shows what their priorities are too--certainly not our national security--That should be shouted to the rooftops.
    posted by amberglow at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2005

    Could someone explain to me why it's worth referring to Rove as Turdblossom? I thought it was just a few isolated posters, but one of the bloggers on thismodenworld is using it now, too.

    It seems to me that it can only feed into the appearance of this whole affair as being nothing more than a partisan attack (to those who are already prone to believe such a thing).

    Why bother with the sily slur? He's going to fall just fine on his own.
    posted by nobody at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2005

    Excellent article on Salon with the most thorough coverage of Wilson's trip to Niger that I've seen:
    When the Italian report on Niger uranium surfaced, Vice President Cheney's office contacted the CIA's counter-proliferation office to look into it. Such a request is called a "tasker." It was hardly the first query the task force had received from the White House, and such requests were not made through the CIA director's office, but directly. Plame's colleagues asked her if she would invite her husband out to CIA headquarters at Langley, Va., for a meeting with them, to assess the question.

    It was unsurprising that the CIA would seek out Wilson. He had already performed one secret mission to Niger for the agency, in 1999, and was trusted. Wilson had also had a distinguished and storied career as a Foreign Service officer. He served as acting ambassador in Iraq during the Gulf War and was hailed by the first President Bush as a "hero." Wilson was an important part of the team and highly regarded by Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Wilson was also an Africa specialist. He had been a diplomat in Niger, ambassador to Gabon and senior director for Africa on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. (I first encountered Wilson then, and we have since become friends.) No other professional had such an ideal background for this CIA mission.

    Plame's superiors asked her to cable the field in Africa for routine approval of an investigation of the Niger claim. At Langley, Wilson met with about a dozen officers to discuss the situation. Plame was not at the meeting. Afterward, Wilson informed his wife that he would be traveling to Niger for about 10 days. She was not particularly enthusiastic, having recently given birth to twins, but she understood the importance of the mission. She had no authority to commission him. She was simply not the responsible senior officer. Nor, if she had been, could she have done so unilaterally. There was nothing of value to be gained personally from the mission by either Joe or Valerie Wilson. He undertook the trip out of a long-ingrained sense of government service.

    CIA officers debriefed Wilson the night of his return at his home. His wife greeted the other operatives, but excused herself. She later read a copy of his debriefing report, but she made no changes in it. The next they spoke of Niger uranium was when they heard President Bush's mention of it in his 2003 State of the Union address.

    Attributing Wilson's trip to his wife's supposed authority became the predicate for a smear campaign against his credibility. Seven months after the appointment of the special counsel, in July 2004, the Republican-dominated Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued its report on flawed intelligence leading to the Iraq war. The blame for failure was squarely put on the CIA for "groupthink." (The Republicans quashed a promised second report on political pressure on the intelligence process.) The three-page addendum by the ranking Republicans followed the now well-worn attack lines: "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife, a CIA employee."

    The CIA subsequently issued a statement, as reported by New York Newsday and CNN, that the Republican senators' conclusion about Plame's role was wholly inaccurate. But the Washington Post's Susan Schmidt reported only the Republican senators' version, writing that Wilson was "specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly," in a memo she wrote. Schmidt quoted a CIA official in the senators' account saying that Plame had "offered up" Wilson's name. Plame's memo, in fact, was written at the express directive of her superiors two days before Wilson was to come to Langley for his meeting to describe his qualifications in a standard protocol to receive "country clearance." Unfortunately, Schmidt's article did not reflect this understanding of routine CIA procedure. The CIA officer who wrote the memo that originally recommended Wilson for the mission -- who was cited anonymously by the senators as the only source who said that Plame was responsible -- was deeply upset at the twisting of his testimony, which was not public, and told Plame he had said no such thing. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told Wilson that the Republican Senate staff never contacted him for the agency's information on the matter.

    Curiously, the only document cited as the basis for Plame's role was a State Department memo that was later debunked by the CIA. The Washington Post, on Dec. 26, 2003, reported: "CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the ... document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting. 'It has been circulated around,' one official said." Even more curious, one of the outlets where the document was circulated was Talon News Service and its star correspondent, Jeff Gannon (aka Guckert). (Talon was revealed to be a partisan front for a Texas-based operation called GOPUSA and Gannon was exposed as a male prostitute, without previous journalistic credentials yet with easy and unexplained access to the White House.) According to the Post, "the CIA believes that people in the administration continue to release classified information to damage the figures at the center of the controversy."
    posted by jperkins at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2005

    nobody, Turdblossom is what George Bush calls Karl Rove. It's the presidents' own pet name for him.
    posted by Floydd at 8:33 AM on July 14, 2005

    nobody: Because the whole crux of this scandal is the Bush administration's unchecked, arrogant behavior coming back to bite them in the voluminous ass. Therefore "Turd Blossom," Bush's own nickname for Rove, is a thematically approrpriate and satisfying moniker. I don't think any public policy or indictments will be affected by how bloggers refer to Rove.

    on preview: Yeah.
    posted by soyjoy at 8:34 AM on July 14, 2005

    Nature of the original offense:
    Watergate: fairly minor
    PlameGate: pretty darn major

    Cover-up and conspiracy to commit cover-up?
    Watergate: A coverup and a conspiracy to commit coverup
    PlameGate: Definitely a coverup. I think the conspiracy-to-cover-up part is one of the big things that the Special Prosecutor is putting together.

    How high did it go?
    Watergate: The President of the U.S.
    PlameGate: So far as we currently know, The President's "Brain", Senior Advisor Karl Rove. Missing (so far) is potential involvement of former Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and Former Press Secretary, Ari Fleisher. Anybody else leave inexplicably since this broke to "spend more time with their family"? Might be worth a 2nd look. "Who told Rove" is still a big question.

    Did a reporter ever go to jail?
    Watergate: No
    PlameGate: Yes

    War instigated on phony premises?
    Watergate: No
    PlameGate: Yes

    The most basic lesson of Watergate (lost on this administration): the cover-up is worse than the crime. The only thing we don't have, that forced Nixon into resignation was the existence of White House audio tapes proving the President's involvment. The press and the Special Prosecutor need to go at this one the "old-fashioned" way.
    posted by spock at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2005

    To follow-up:
    "Several years ago when (Rove) started getting accolades from political writers as the mastermind behind Bush, the president is known to have bristled.

    He once told a journalist that he did not like his aides getting 'star treatment. So he started calling Rove 'Turd Blossom,' which refers to the so-called cowpie splat made by bovine waste when it hits the ground." [Helen Thomas]

    posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on July 14, 2005

    Ah. I had read or heard something funny about turdblossom being Bush's nickname for Rove, but thought it was just a joke. Thanks for the clarification.
    posted by nobody at 9:08 AM on July 14, 2005

    I'm thinking it just can't be a good idea to piss off the CIA.

    I'm very disappointed not a single MeFite has posted a message that they've contacted their representatives and/or the mainstream media.

    You guys gotta quit assuming things will go okay without your participation.
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 AM on July 14, 2005

    I'm very disappointed not a single MeFite has posted a message that they've contacted their representatives and/or the mainstream media.

    I've contacted Senator Kennedy's and Kerry's D.C. offices. As above, please call your senators.
    posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2005

    From the Washington Post today:
    "A number of legal experts, some of whom are involved in the case, said evidence that has emerged publicly suggests Rove or other administration officials face potential legal threats on at least three fronts.

    The first is the unmasking of CIA official Valerie Plame, the original focus of special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's probe. But legal sources say there are indications the prosecutor is looking at two other areas related to the administration's handling of his investigation. One possible legal vulnerability is perjury, if officials did not testify truthfully to a federal grand jury, and another is obstructing justice, if they tried to coordinate cover stories to obscure facts.

    Legal experts said the evidence that has emerged in recent days -- including confirmation that Rove and Cooper spoke about Plame's role at the CIA as a way of knocking down a damaging story about the administration's Iraq policy -- does not by itself necessarily indicate a crime was committed. Even so, White House officials acknowledged privately that they are concerned that the investigation will lead to an indictment of someone in the administration later this year."
    posted by ericb at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2005

    Dick Armey’s Hypocrisy on CIA Leak Case
    "Appearing on Fox this morning, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey said the following in regards to his assessment of the growing leak scandal:
    We’ve got Karl Rove, who is under this constant attack of political malarkey, who has probably the most documented case of his evidence of anyone in the the whole story. So quite frankly, I think the American people are seeing it for what it is right now. More than anything else it’s a political farce not a matter of national security interests. [Fox News, 7/14/05]

    Here’s what Dick Armey said about the case back in October 2003 when we had no idea who may have been involved:
    Now, there was no reason to tell the world about the ambassador’s wife. It was just a short-sighted, self-centered, simple-minded cowardly act of revenge, and who’s paying the cost? The Bush White House…If they ever find [the leakers], they ought to just — they ought to just kick them out of the White House and prosecute them, because…the greater the pretension, the greater the hypocrisy. [CNN, 10/19/03]
    Indeed, Mr. Armey, hypocrisy is an easily understood story.
    posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on July 14, 2005

    From the Raw Story interview:
    "Raw Story: How many people would have known or would have actually had access to the knowledge of your wife’s NOC status outside of the CIA, including the Justice Department, Department of Defense and so forth? What would be the number, for example, of people “in the know?”

    Wilson: I have no idea, but the number would be very restricted. It would be restricted to those who had the appropriate security clearances, have a need to know, and were actually involved in working on issues with her.

    Raw Story: What type of clearances would Karl Rove have?

    Wilson: I don’t know the type of clearances Rove has, but Scooter in the context of his NSA status, would have very high level clearances."
    posted by ericb at 10:29 AM on July 14, 2005

    Senators called.
    posted by ursus_comiter at 10:35 AM on July 14, 2005

    fff- I am sure many Mefites have been doing their patriotic duty and calling their senators and congresspersons. If they haven't, here is the list of their senators and representatives.

    While I understand that the investigation is ongoing, I am calling Senator Domenici to ask the president to fire Karl Rove regardless of the criminality of the act of leaking the undercover operative's identity.
    The President has promised to fire the person responsible for leaking the CIA's operative's identity. Simply from what I read in the papers and see on TV it is obvious that Karl Rove is the leaker. Regardless of any laws that have been broken, the President must keep his word and fire Karl Rove.
    posted by pointilist at 10:36 AM on July 14, 2005

    Senator Reid offering an amendment today about security clearances and traitors
    "Senator Reid will offer the following amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (On the floor right now) on behalf of Senator Levin:
    No federal employee who discloses or has disclosed classified information, including the identity of a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, to a person not authorized to receive such information shall be entitled to hold a security clearance for access to such information.
    A vote is expected today."
    posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on July 14, 2005

    I think it's just Colin Powell, Ari Fleischer, and Karen Hughes who have left "to spend time with family". Ari is definitely involved--Colin must be as well.

    If the GOP kills that amendment to protect Rove and the WH, they're in gigantic trouble come 2006.
    posted by amberglow at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2005

    The Democrats are finally growing a backbone. That new amendment is a brilliant idea. Who is ever going to vote against it?
    posted by bshort at 10:42 AM on July 14, 2005

    That's my question, ericb. Rove isn't in the CIA - he's a political hack with a (political) "advisory" job.

    There must have a been a conversation where several people were sitting at a table discussing how they could get back at Wilson (or just discredit him) for his NYT article. Someone at that table had to have a high enough security clearance (and enough inside information) to say, "Hey! Isn't he married to Valerie WIlson? And isn't she CIA? We could say that she sent him on this errand!"

    Cheney? Libby? Bolton?
    posted by tizzie at 10:42 AM on July 14, 2005

    GOP Watches Rove During CIA Leak Probe
    "Republicans are nervously watching the fight over Karl Rove's involvement in a news leak that exposed a CIA officer's identity, fearing that President Bush's chief political adviser is creating a credibility problem at the White House.

    ....several top GOP officials — including some White House advisers — said the fight was becoming a distraction to Bush's agenda. The GOP officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of Bush's friendship with Rove, said the president may face a credibility problem because his spokesman said in September that anybody involved in the leak would be fired.

    These Republicans, all admirers of Rove, said they were surprised and disappointed when Bush stopped short of publicly backing his longtime aide.

    Their concerns were reflected in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that showed a plurality of voters rate Bush negatively on ‘being honest and straightforward’ for the first time in his presidency. The focus on Rove comes as Bush publicly wrestles with a Supreme Court vacancy and growing voter unease with his policies on Iraq and Social Security.

    A survey of Republicans outside Washington revealed similar concerns, though few officials were willing to go on record.

    ‘I think he should resign,’ said Jim Holt, a GOP state senator from Arkansas who is running for lieutenant governor. He joked, ‘I hope Karl Rove doesn't come gunning for me.’”
    [The Associated Press | July 14, 2005]
    posted by ericb at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2005

    tizzie - That's an excellent point.

    So maybe it's not that they're looking for the second source but that they're trying to find out who told Rove so that they can bring them both on charges.
    posted by bshort at 10:49 AM on July 14, 2005

    Hot dog, now the Democrats are starting to play ball with that amendment. Voting against it means voting against safeguarding the nation against just these sorts of loose lips incidents.

    I would like to see it expaned to beyond the CIA but this is a one heck of a good start. Even though it seems like something that should have been in place years ago.
    posted by fenriq at 10:51 AM on July 14, 2005

    Now ... this is interesting (and worth posting-in-full):
    "Project Missing Dick

    It seems now in this most current variation of reality, one surpassing anything even Baudrillard could have imagined, criminal activity is simply up for interpretation. The rule of law is but a passé little concept meant for small minds and the unenlightened masses.

    As always, in this reality, when the most criminal offenses occur at the highest level of government, our resident Dick goes missing.

    Downing Street Minutes? $8.8 Billion missing from Iraq? Faux war?

    I am Cheney’s medulla oblongata

    Given this administration’s love for partial-truth-abortions (PTA, oddly enough) -- the most notable of course is the Rathergate scenario -- it is interesting to find Rove front and center and Cheney all covert-like.

    A quick walk through a simple PTA procedure is as follows: discredit the carrier and/or mechanism of delivery while simultaneously aborting all discussion of the actual subject of what is being delivered, regardless of fact.

    So in watching the mechanism, and seeing Rove, over-visibly pimped about town as the criminal de jour (not that this is untrue, just the de jour part), is it so un-reasonable to ask where the actual subject is?

    After all, Rove may have had his sticky fingers inside all sorts of files, but it is highly doubtful that he would have the ability to know the status of a CIA NOC. It is also highly unlikely that “Bush’s brain” would have and/or command any real ability outside of “fixing” lessons and creating “talking” lies. Well, we really should include the wire-tapping of his own office too (a man of many trades).

    Rove is, in short, capable of many things as his Nixon- protégé resume shows, but he is not remotely in any way more than a front-end leaker in this case.

    I am Cheney’s Cold Sweat

    How then, did Rove both acquire and validate the status of a NOC asset, a high level officer at that? Did he ring up Ollie North at his uber-journalistic headquarters at Fox news to inquire? Or maybe he Googled around until the NOC came knocking?

    No, I think that Mr. Rove, was supplied the information in order to fulfill his job, namely, to deliver the “package” via the front end.

    Dick, however, paid a great many visits to the CIA, sent Joe Wilson abroad, and used his office and his Scooter to source this very same story. In fact, Veep even had the forged uranium yellowcake documents.

    I Am Larisa's Complete Lack of Surprise

    Let’s all sit around the camp fire and toast some nuggets of possibility. Granted, this is a theory and may be entirely and absolutely a ridiculous attempt at logic on my part (and the part of others). But let us proceed anyway, just for poops and giggles, as it were.

    Who is Fredrick Fleitz?


    Well, Freddy is a CIA asset on “loan” to John Bolton.

    On loan for what you ask?

    Good question! It seems that Fred, and he even says so in his own words, served at least one purpose: acting as “…liaison… for the agency and Mr. Bolton.”

    Okay, but what is Fred on loan from in the CIA: typing, running errands, what? Mr. Fleitz, it appears, is, on loan from the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC).

    Oops, would that put Fred anywhere near looking into uranium yellowcake, WMD, and maybe, a high level CIA NOC?

    Considering I am not the only one under the influence of this thing called logic and that others have written far more extensively about this Fred to Bolton to Dick trifecta, or given the most recent Rove circumstances, quadrifecta, let me simply provide you with a few pieces for your reading pleasure:
    Washington Notes

    Ray McGovern
    I am Rove’s Wasted Life

    So why is the MSM press busy scurrying around Rove, all honest-like, and not asking the more important questions about the far more egregious leak and the reason for that leak?

    If the DSM (collectively) validated a 'fixing' of intelligence around a policy to create a war and if Joe Wilson put a wrench in that 'fix,' what would someone like Bolton do on the behest of his master? Anyone?"
    posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on July 14, 2005

    The problem with that amendment, however, is that we're dealing with an administration that is willing to convert almost any document into "classified information."

    I suppose it means that a future whistle-blower (revealing information that the whitehouse has classified in an attempt to cover up its misdeeds), if outed, will no longer be able to hold security clearance, even if what they are revealing are misdeeds, and even if they are invited to hold an important position by a future administration.
    posted by nobody at 11:10 AM on July 14, 2005

    This is the most fun I've had reading about our government in years.
    posted by fungible at 11:12 AM on July 14, 2005

    Is there a good webpage summarizing how Rove came to be in such a position of power? I mean George, he's just the latest King in the legacy of Bush royalty: he was born into the job. But Rove? Where the hell did he come from, and how did he come to be an evil mastermind?
    This bit of conjecture about the Cheney/Bolton/etc stuff should, and I shall ride my hobbyhorse again, be the subject of a phonecall to one's representatives and media.

    We are in a time where ordinary citizens, informed via the web, are able to hold their politician's feet to the fire. We are in a position to make the media change its ways by force of our will.
    I am very hopeful at this point that the slow-grinding machinery of checks and balances has worked up the momentum to carry this investigation through, and perhaps even to the point of forcing one of the two main parties to scourge itself of bad politicians.

    I'm beginning to feel that perhaps the USA is about to join the rest of the world in being a good global citizen.

    The good-citizen nations are those that are pretty active in trying to make it possible to have a peaceful, equitable, moderate world. Countries that do far more good than harm, and whose harm is generally benign or the result of inaction instead of direct action.

    Given its history of undermining democratically-elected governments (see: South America), exporting wars (see: Vietnam, Korea, Iraq), fucking-over its trading partners (see: Canada), and generally acting like a bully, it's difficult to consider the USA to be a "good citizen," even in the face of the amount of good that it has done. It has been, over the past fifty years, at best a Chaotic force, to use the icky D&D-style description.

    In my guesstimation, nations like Norway, Sweden, Canada, and New Zealand are nations that are good citizens. They don't overthrow other nations' governments. They don't wage wars. They give charitably to nations in need, even if they don't give enough. They act as peacekeepers and negotiators and exert a calming influence. There are undoubtedly a bunch of mainland European nations that act as good global citizens.

    I look forward to the day when the USA is a good global citizen. I think it'll mark the start of real progress in making this planet a good place to live.
    posted by five fresh fish at 11:41 AM on July 14, 2005

    From one of the links:
    Wilson: The good thing about our system is that we are a nation of laws and it is hard to subvert those laws for an extended period of time. The difference between us and say, fascism in either Italy or Spain, is that we have a settled Constitution and a settled history and there have been challenges that have been beaten back. We also have institutions which have withstood the buffeting of the political winds. We have demonstrated that during the Civil War, during the McCarthy era, during Vietnam, and so forth. There is every reason to expect the pendulum to swing back, but it will not swing back on its own. Which is why it is so important for the citizens, the press, and the Congress to begin to speak up more loudly and begin to push the pendulum back.
    posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 AM on July 14, 2005

    five fresh fish: Is there a good webpage summarizing how Rove came to be in such a position of power? I mean George, he's just the latest King in the legacy of Bush royalty: he was born into the job. But Rove? Where the hell did he come from, and how did he come to be an evil mastermind?

    Wikipedia entry for Rove
    posted by jperkins at 11:48 AM on July 14, 2005

    ericb, that "missing dick" piece is fascinating - thanks.
    posted by tizzie at 11:58 AM on July 14, 2005

    that "missing dick" piece is fascinating

    Please forgive me. I can't resist.

    I woke up this morning with a bad hangover
    And my penis was missing again.
    This happens all the time.
    It's detachable.

    posted by jperkins at 12:49 PM on July 14, 2005

    Senators and Congressmen called.

    I suggest you all do the same. This is about nuclear non-proliferation people. It's about the bomb in your backyard.
    posted by Freen at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2005

    BTW - some valuable "background" resources:
    A Primer for the Karl Rove / Valerie Plame Scandal

    Clearing The Cobwebs
    posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on July 14, 2005

    Rove expert James Moore:
    "The hallmarks of a Rove smear job are always the same: leak, lie, defame, obfuscate, and deny. He did it when he began a whisper campaign about Gov. Ann Richards' sexuality. He did it when he used surrogates in South Carolina to suggest that Sen. John McCain was mentally unstable and may have fathered a black child out of wedlock and he did it in the last election when he used the Swift Boat Veterans as a front group to proffer lies about John Kerry's time in Vietnam."
    posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on July 14, 2005

    In reading the background pieces (cited above) I came across this biography of Patrick J. Fitzgerald. A tenacious prosecutor!
    posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on July 14, 2005

    Amberglow wrote: I think it's just Colin Powell, Ari Fleischer, and Karen Hughes who have left "to spend time with family". Ari is definitely involved--Colin must be as well.

    George Tenet also resigned for "family/personal reasons". This from an official CIA statement of Tenet's from July 11, 2003:

    There was fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002 on the allegations of Saddam’s efforts to obtain additional raw uranium from Africa, beyond the 550 metric tons already in Iraq. In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA’s counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger’s processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all.

    "On their own initiative" is screaming for clarification as is "former official". I, for one, hope Tenet is brought up in front of a grand jury. If it's comes out that Wilson was sent by the administration, can Tenet be charged with perjury and/or conspiracy for making the above statement/press release? Can he make a deal with the Special Prosecutor if he give names and or documents??

    Here is a brief, but interesting timeline of events:

    -Wilson's NYT op-ed piece comes out July 6, 2003 (Ari Fleisher resigns May 20th, 2003 and is replaced by McClellan by July of that year after 21 years of gov service leaving a president whom he "loves")

    -Tenet makes the above CIA Statement on July 11, 2003.

    -Novak outs Plame as a CIA operative on July 14, 2003.

    (July 2003 was a very busy month methinks...)

    -Bush names Patrick Fitzgerald as Special Prosecutor Dec. 31, 2003 after critics pressured him to remove Ashcroft from that role.

    -Nothing is heard from the special proscecutors office for most of 2004 (before the pres. election) except for the fact that Cooper and Miller refuse to give up their sources and are facing jail time. (Imagine current developments had hit before the election).

    -Tenet resigns July 11, 2004. A very curious thing so close before an election (according to Wikipedia).

    Can anyone think of other important events/dates that might reveal a pattern of some sort.

    Anyhow, fascinating stuff, somebody microwave some more popcorn please.
    posted by Skygazer at 2:20 PM on July 14, 2005

    Blitzer of the CNNNovak Network is clearly on Rove's side in all this--he's grilling Wilson using all the GOP talking points.
    posted by amberglow at 2:25 PM on July 14, 2005

    oh, Chris Matthews was called by Rove too, Wilson just now said. I wonder if he and Andrea Mitchell squealed too?
    posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on July 14, 2005

    Today's press briefing aboard Air Force One (which means non-televised--watch--they'll be doing this more and more) --
    Q Will Karl come back and talk to us at the event?

    MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't expect that today.

    Q Why not?

    MR. McCLELLAN: I just don't -- there's no plans for him to do that.

    Q How long is he going to stay on the staff?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think I expressed the President's views yesterday, when it comes to Karl.

    Q Remind me, how long is he going to stay on the staff?

    MR. McCLELLAN: That's a nice try to keep bringing up questions relating to media reports about an ongoing investigation. As the President indicated yesterday, we are not going to prejudge an ongoing investigation based on media reports. The President directed the White House to cooperate fully, and that's what we've been working to do. And we will be more than happy to talk about the investigation after it is completed.

    But the President -- I again made clear yesterday that when it comes to the President's confidence in Karl and his support for him, I made clear our views.

    Q Does the President believe it's appropriate for the RNC to continue to weigh in on this matter? They put out another memo today, with a top-10 Joseph Wilson lies. If indeed it's an ongoing investigation and it's improper for the White House to discuss it, does he think it's proper for the Republican Party to weigh in on it?

    MR. McCLELLAN: You know, Geoff, I appreciate the question, and as you heard me say yesterday, we are not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation based on media reports. And I'm not going to get into --

    Q What about the RNC, though, Scott? ...

    posted by amberglow at 3:25 PM on July 14, 2005

    "Republicans are nervously watching the fight over Karl Rove's involvement in a news leak that exposed a CIA officer's identity, fearing that President Bush's chief political adviser is creating a credibility problem at the White House."

    Ya think?

    I'm sure that the White House has a reason for not burning Rove yet. A good question the press threw at the unresponsive McClellan the other day was "Has Rove tendered his resignation as a courtesy to the President?"

    That is what any good soldier does when they are taking responsibility. But if Rove's job is partly to shield others from responsibility (such as Cheney/Scooter) then the more we focus on Rove, the more their strategy is working.

    The administration is in sort of a lose/lose situation here. If they get rid of Rove and then the Special Prosecutor indicts Cheney they have still more problems. Also, losing his job isn't going to prevent any possible indictments by the Grand Jury, for Rove.
    posted by spock at 3:38 PM on July 14, 2005

    How weak Bush is looking tho--either he needs to keep Rove around, crime or not, because he's not up to the job, or he eventually sticks by his own words and kicks Rove to the curb and is fucked without his turdblossom/architect/brain/etc anyway. I wonder how much of the GOP discomfort over this is disbelief that Bush can function without Rove?
    posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on July 14, 2005

    How To Talk To A Conservative About Karl Rove (If You Must)
    »Everything you need to fight back against the right-wing misinformation campaign.

    And, don't forget The Left Coaster's Response to GOP Talking Points (which freen originally posted) as another great resource.
    posted by ericb at 4:06 PM on July 14, 2005

    "For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen."

    {Cuz it's funnier the second time.}
    posted by Floydd at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2005

    It's funny cuz it's true, Floydd!

    (from GOP.com) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Republicans Quote Those Obedient Reps Who Regurgitated Our Talking Points the Way We Told Them To Defend Karl Rove From Partisan Attacks

    Only 7 Senators and 8 Reps quoted--quite the ringing endorsement there.
    posted by amberglow at 4:22 PM on July 14, 2005

    Rove v. Nixon: ... By contrast, when Karl Rove was faced with a trivial piece of unfriendly spin that had no major consequences for anyone, his first instinct was to systematically call half a dozen reporters and peddle classified information to them even though he didn't need to. With no apparent qualms at all, he did something that even Richard Nixon with an election on the line wasn't willing to do.

    Welcome to the leadership of the modern Republican party. Who would have thought that one day the White House would be run by someone who made Richard Nixon look responsible and forbearing?

    posted by amberglow at 4:30 PM on July 14, 2005

    The New York Times is reporting that Democrats have added an amendment to a spending bill for the Dept of Homeland Security that reads:
    Senate Democrats tried to add to Republican discomfort over the presidential adviser Karl Rove today as they called for legislation to deny security clearances to officials who unmask undercover agents.

    The Democrats hoped to attach the measure to a spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Should the maneuver succeed, and Republicans then resist the overall bill, Democrats could portray them as trying to block legislation vital to national security.
    According to TPM, Republicans have countered:
    "Any federal officeholder who makes reference to a classified Federal Bureau of Investigation report on the floor of the United States Senate, or any federal officeholder that makes a statement based on a FBI agent's comments which is used as propaganda by terrorist organizations thereby putting our servicemen and women at risk, shall not be permitted access to such information or to hold a security clearance for access to such information."

    In other words, the law is targeted at Sen. Durbin, making it against the law to say what he said a month ago.
    Senator Durbin's office phone number is (202) 224-2152. Call and offer support and I'm going to ask that they let the amendments stand as they are. The Republicans amendment will be seen as the bullshit partisanism that it is and the Democrat's amendment will be seen as a sane measure (passed at no small expense to them) to protect our undercover operatives from being revealed as a means of policital payback.

    I'm considering posting this to the other Rove thread here on Mefi since there's some disconnect going on - any objections to doing that?
    posted by jperkins at 4:56 PM on July 14, 2005

    wanna save me the looking, and provide a link to it in the other Rove thread? thx.
    posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on July 14, 2005

    The other Rove thread is here.
    posted by jperkins at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2005

    Put it anywhere you like, jperkins. The counter amendment won't hurt anyone now tho--it's not retroactive--it's actually a very very weak comeback, and unconstitutional to boot.

    Drudge is teasing some NYTimes thing coming tomorrow on his page, with no link.
    posted by amberglow at 5:31 PM on July 14, 2005

    The counter amendment won't hurt anyone now tho--it's not retroactive--it's actually a very very weak comeback, and unconstitutional to boot.

    It being retroactive was my concern. If it's not, then who gives a shit? And I won't bother posting to the other thread.

    Heh - counter-counter amendment calling for censure of any member of congress with an MD making diagnosis on the basis of a videotape, anyone?
    posted by jperkins at 6:12 PM on July 14, 2005

    good idea! : >
    posted by amberglow at 6:59 PM on July 14, 2005

    The New York Times is no longer a credible source of news in this realm. Wake up!

    And who has the last name "Corn." Korn, maybe, which is probably a de-Jewification of Kohn (or Cohen). Stop hiding, man!
    posted by ParisParamus at 8:53 PM on July 14, 2005

    PP is having bad dreams. He may have wet himself.
    posted by pointilist at 9:33 PM on July 14, 2005

    PP, do you still think the president should be impeached?
    posted by bshort at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2005

    bshort: PP, do you still think the president should be impeached?

    The statements that PP made regarding his position that Bush should be impeached if WMD weren't found in Iraq are now "inoperative". Right, PP?

    And accolades to amberglow for spotting the use of the term "inoperative" during the WH briefing on Monday and supplying the historical context.
    posted by jperkins at 6:23 AM on July 15, 2005

    If by "amberglow" you mean "quonsar," then, yeah.
    posted by soyjoy at 7:59 AM on July 15, 2005

    If by "amberglow" you mean "quonsar," then, yeah.

    Oops. Thanks. And good eye, soyjoy.
    posted by jperkins at 10:16 AM on July 15, 2005

    This is smug, dismissive, and downright nauseating. Have these GOPricks gotten away with so much for so long that now they're just this sure of themselves?

    "Mr. Wilson's investigation, far from being requested and then suppressed by a White House afraid of its contents, was a low-level report of not much interest to anyone outside the Wilson household."

    On the contrary - I think the White House was quite iinterested in Wilson's investigation - or they wouldn't have gone to the trouble to smear him!
    posted by tizzie at 7:21 AM on July 16, 2005

    Here here, tizzle. I usually kind of like Tierney (he's supposedly libertarian) but in this case, wow, what an asshole. It's almost worse than the WSJ editorial. Maybe Tierney should ask, if Wilson's investigation is so unimportant, why would the New York Times print his (Wilson's!) opinion?
    posted by fungible at 8:15 AM on July 16, 2005

    The Great D.C. Plame-Out, Or: Novak, Lord of the Journo-Flies(NY Observer) ...Hounding a suit as empty as Mr. McClellan's into submission is far from a ringing vindication of the press' power. Indeed, like virtually everything else in the ghastly, backwards-spooling Plame saga, it exposes the press' sallow, retiring weakness in affairs of state. Just consider the other damning revelations in the e-mail from Mr. Cooper to his editor: the routine deference that a correspondent for one of the nation's largest-circulation weeklies shows in toeing the administration's line as it sets about its routine course of casual character assassination--even to the point of inadvertently compromising national security by exposing the identity of a C.I.A. operative.

    Eliciting comment from President Bush's senior advisor "on double super secret background for about two mins [sic] before he went on vacation," Mr. Cooper sounds, in corresponding with his bureau chief, more like a teenager armed with an Encyclopedia Brown novel and a decoder ring than a reporter determined to uncover the dirt on a brewing White House scandal.
    ... It's hard, at any rate, not to think that, when journalists eagerly adopt each other as surrogate demons and effigies in this fashion, the White House has gotten exactly what it was praying for when it set this whole D.C. morality play in motion: a miniature, gavel-enhanced version of the Grand Guignol conservatives have stage-managed lo these past four decades under the obligingly vague, ever-renewable dispensation of "media bias." ...

    posted by amberglow at 11:09 AM on July 16, 2005

    Taking a Leak-- So suddenly Plamegate -- which no one at the White House will talk about on the record, because it might get them indicted . . . I mean, because it might compromise Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation -- has sprung a whole shitload of leaks.

    And whaddya know! They've all appeared on the same day (document dump Friday, no less), they all help shore up Karl Rove's alibi, and they all seem to have come from either Justice Department officials who've been "briefed" on case, or from attorneys who are very familiar with Karl Rove's defense.

    Funny how that works.

    In terms of the GOP's propaganda offensive, this is what the generals call "committing the reserves." But the leaks have also revealed the White House's line of legal defense -- which appears to be that Rove and his fellow choir boys were led astray by those nasty media whores in their fishnet stockings and pushup bras. They're the ones who outed Valerie Plame, not poor little innocent Karl. ...

    posted by amberglow at 11:58 AM on July 16, 2005

    Cooper in Time Magazine--

    ... I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, "I've already said too much." ...
    posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on July 17, 2005

    Karl canned? (Dallas Morning News)... This tip just in! White House sources reveal that the wife of top presidential adviser Karl Rove has been discovered to pose a serious national security risk because of massive debts that she has run up over the years – some from her penchant for the ponies, some from her long-standing addiction to Oxycontin.

    What Bush administration Deep Throat leaked this juicy bit of raw meat to me? No one. I made it all up.

    To the best of my knowledge, Karl's wife is a perfectly lovely woman. But let us say, just for the sake of argument, that all of the above were true. White House officials would come out swinging, denouncing me for invading the Roves' private life and indulging in character assassination for cheap political purposes.

    They would have a point – and in times past I might have felt a wee bit guilty about such tabloid tactics. But now, I would simply smile virtuously and protest that I had done absolutely nothing wrong because, well, you see, I never actually revealed her name.

    Would such an excuse be pathetic? Intellectually dishonest? Morally indefensible? You bet. But that is precisely the kind of hair-splitting hogwash we are being fed by those currently arguing that Karl Rove himself did nothing wrong when he apparently outed Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA operative.

    After months of denying Mr. Rove's involvement in the Valerie Plame affair – dismissing such accusations as downright ridiculous – the White House can no longer deny Mr. Rove's status as a leaker. But it doesn't matter because, as Mr. Rove's compadres keep reminding us, he never actually uttered the words "Valerie Plame."

    Please. This is the sort of verbal parsing that should make anyone not named Clinton die of shame. Mr. Wilson does have, after all, only one wife, and her identity is a matter of public record. This isn't 19th-century Utah, for God's sake. ...

    posted by amberglow at 10:36 AM on July 17, 2005

    Ooops ... I just posted similar links (to those of amberglow) to the new thread on Rove before checking the older ones. It's getting difficult to keep track of the RoveGate threads. Shall we migrate to the new one?
    posted by ericb at 5:08 PM on July 17, 2005

    I would like to see the three Rove threads combined into one so that there's just a single resource to check in on.

    I like the tone of the article about Rove's wife and her issues with Oxytocin. Especially because it makes Rove's "defense" look as utterly ridiculous as it really is. And even more so in the light of their feeding frenzy over Clinton's attempt to wriggle out on a semantic defense as well.
    posted by fenriq at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2005

    doesn't it tho? And Bush got even more Clintonian today, with his "crime" when it was "leak" before thing.
    posted by amberglow at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2005

    What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?

    Perhaps even more damning are reports that the Top Secret-S/NF document was apparently first delivered to Air Force One when George W. Bush and Colin Powell (who had apparently requested it from analysts within the State Department) were flying to Africa in 2003.

    Somehow - nobody knows at the moment - the information in this Top Secret-S/NF document (the identity of Joe Wilson's wife) then migrated from Air Force One to George W. Bush's assistant, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney's assistant, Scooter Libby. Rove and Libby then immediately began "dialing for dollars" - calling reporters with this juicy bit of Top Secret-N/SF information - in an attempt to politically assassinate Joe Wilson.

    Which raises the question: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

    It's unlikely that Colin Powell would have called Rove and Cheney (to give instructions to Libby) with the information in the memo - that was above his pay grade. Ditto for Ari Fleischer. And it's extremely doubtful that the pilots on the plane even knew about the explosive information they were carrying as they flew across the Atlantic.

    Which leaves George W. Bush, as the only other person on that plane with the means, opportunity, and motive.

    Thus, perhaps, the reports that Patrick Fitzgerald has now subpoenaed the phone logs of Air Force One.

    Those of a certain age among us remember well the shocking moment when Nixon's lawyer, John Dean, confirmed to Congress that Nixon himself was involved in the Watergate scandal.

    posted by caddis at 7:48 AM on July 22, 2005

    Thanks to all who continue to feed this thread. It warms my heart to check in and watch the sh*t storm develop.
    posted by pointilist at 7:56 AM on July 22, 2005

    And yet more...

    Ari Fleischer DID read the memo. John Bolton DID testify about said memo.
    posted by rzklkng at 11:40 AM on July 22, 2005

    This must have stung Bush some. Former Agents Criticize Bush Over CIA Leak.

    Made all the worse because the points they make aren't simply talking points. They talk about how much more difficult the job has become by the Bush administrations message by inaction.

    "What has suffered irreversible damage is the credibility of our case officers when they try to convince an overseas contact that their safety is of primary importance to us," Jim Marcinkowski, a former CIA case officer, said.
    posted by fenriq at 7:06 PM on July 22, 2005

    11 Security Breaches in Plame Case

    CIA Leak Investigation Turns to Possible Perjury, Obstruction (LA Times)--Differences have arisen in witnesses' statements to federal agents and a grand jury about how the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, was leaked to the press two years ago.
    According to lawyers familiar with the case, investigators are comparing statements by two top White House aides, Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, with testimony from reporters who have acknowledged talking to the officials. ...

    And CNN's had not one word about it all morning.
    posted by amberglow at 9:16 AM on July 23, 2005

    filthiest RudePundit ever on Rove, i believe ---
    Karl Rove's leather slave is worried about his master. Down in the basement of the White House, chained across an empty keg of Ulysses Grant's favorite ale, Karl Rove's leather slave sees Rove in the corner, coked out of his mind on a special kind of blow from Uruguay cut with the powdered bones of Sunni children, and Rove's nose is bleeding as he weeps and thrashes about, unable to get a hard-on to save his life, searching for his shining steel strap-on, the one he calls "Steely Ann," tossing aside Chester Arthur's hand-crank mutton chop trimmer and Ike's collection of Philippine shrunken heads, raging at the beams about his seething need to show his leather slave he means business. ...
    posted by amberglow at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2005

    Rove/Libby Talking Points for Republican Activists (Jesus' General)

    Rove and Libby did not betray top secret information to foreigners. They betrayed it to American reporters.

    Betraying Top Secret information for political purposes is one of the most patriotic things an American citizen can do.

    There were too many "non-official cover" agents working on weapons of mass destruction intelligence at the CIA. By betraying Plame, Rove and Libby forced the Agency to become leaner and meaner. ...
    posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2005

    Why Was Rove Editing Intelligence Statements In 2003? (ThinkProgress)--...we learned that Karl Rove in the summer of 2003 was editing George Tenet’s statement about the faulty intelligence and the faulty statement that the President made in his State of the Union address to kind of rush us into the war in Iraq.

    Recall that in 2003 Rove was not yet deputy chief of staff nor was he formally in charge of coordinating with the National Security Council as he is now. He was the senior political director at the White House. Why was he editing intelligence documents? ...

    posted by amberglow at 11:30 AM on July 23, 2005

    What did White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card learn from Alberto Gonzales and when did he learn it...and what did he do with that knowledge? This "whole new can of worms" (to quote CBS News' Bob Schieffer, on Sunday's Face the Nation) is to me the breaking news question of the day. Why? Because on the show, Alberto Gonzales admitted that he called Andrew Card right after he was notified that the Justice Department had opened its investigation of the Plame leak...even though he formally notified The White House staff 12 hours later. -Steven G. Brant

    I remember hearing about this 12 hour gap way back when and then it disappeared with hardly a blip. I think we are in a lovely spiral where all the sh*t that was slipped by is bobbing back up to the surface. A complimentary theory has it that ol Albert was not nominated to the supreames cause of all the nasty questions that could be asked of him on this subject.
    Seems a bit thin but it still makes me smile.
    posted by pointilist at 10:39 PM on July 24, 2005

    posted by pointilist at 10:42 PM on July 24, 2005

    So many foreign policy experts.

    Bush will serve out his term in office. Another president will be elected.

    The losers will start plotting to impeach the winner.

    What else is new?

    I think I'll take a ride on my Harley.
    posted by Shouting at 5:05 AM on July 29, 2005

    Now a 3rd WH official is mentioned--...Mr. Pincus has not identified his source to the public. But a review of Mr. Pincus's own accounts and those of other people with detailed knowledge of the case strongly suggest that his source was neither Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's top political adviser, nor I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and was in fact a third administration official whose identity has not yet been publicly disclosed.

    Mr. Pincus's most recent account, in the current issue of Nieman Reports, a journal of the Nieman Foundation, makes clear that his source had volunteered the information to him, something that people close to both Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have said they did not do in their conversations with reporters.

    Mr. Pincus has said he will not identify his source until the source does so. But his account and those provided by other reporters sought out by Mr. Fitzgerald in connection with the case provide a fresh window into the cast of individuals other than Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby who discussed Ms. Wilson with reporters. ...

    posted by amberglow at 6:38 AM on July 29, 2005

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