Getting Real About Rove: More From Marshall
More great reality checks at Talking Points Memo today.
Those trying to discredit Joe Wilson have always claimed that his trip to Niger was set up as a "boondoggle" by his wife. But Wilson is on record saying that the real impetus for his trip came from VP Dick Cheney himself!
They asked essentially that we follow up on this report -- that the agency follow up on the report. So it was a question that went to the CIA briefer from the Office of the Vice President. The CIA, at the operational level, made a determination that the best way to answer this serious question was to send somebody out there who knew something about both the uranium business and those Niger officials that were in office at the time these reported documents were executed.And as the NYT says:
Why a mission to Niger would be such a plum assignment is still a mystery...Of course, this whole line of argument is really just a distraction anyway. I mean, what would it matter if Wilson's wife had set up his trip to Niger? The fact remains that Wilson came back with claims that the Niger yellowcake intelligence was unreliable (which is was) and yet it went into Bush's State of the Union speech anyway. This was just one more brick in the wall of disinformation engineered by the White House to promote their pre-determined invasion of Iraq. That is they key to this whole miss, and that is where our focus should remain.
Also today at the TPM Cafe, a fellow CIA agent responds to the smear campaign against Plame:
Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover--in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover. That means we had a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card.As Olbermann puts it:
A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed...
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.Exactly. Which makes tame reports like the following NYT analysis seem more than a little flakey:
The entire contretemps at the White House this week centers on whether Mr. Rove tried to discredit Mr. Wilson by suggesting that his mission to Niger was the product of nepotism, and that Ms. Wilson had arranged for it.No, you dummies, that's just a small part of the contretemps. As Bush continues to waffle and the White House Press Corps hammers Scotty McLellan for a third day running, the Carpetbagger looks at the best case scenario from a Bush point of view:
Under the best case scenario, if Rove's conversations about Joseph Wilson's wife were not technically illegal, we still have the president's top political aide covering up a White House lie by smearing an opponent, going after his wife, and in the process 'accidentally' exposing an undercover CIA agent. For the White House, that's the best case scenario.Wonder what's going through Karl Rove's evil mind these days...?
And just to close this post on an appropriate note, this Wall Street Journal editorial should be enough to make you lose your breakfast, lunch and dinner:
In short, Mr. Rove provided important background so Americans could understand that Mr. Wilson wasn't a whistleblower but was a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign. Thank you, Mr. Rove.No, thank you, Wall Street Journal wankers.
UPDATE: A Kos reader compares the WSJ editorial with recently leaked GOP talking points on Rove-Plame and finds the WSJ has just re-hashed the GOP lies (which are presumably coming from Rove himself!)
CONCLUSION: They've got NOTHING folks!