So is Karl Rove going down or not?
It's all the talk on the blogosphere, but as usual the supposedly pro-liberal MSM is woefully behind.
A lot of talk has focussed on the fact that Rove's conversation with Matt Cooper took place before Novak's column was printed. But it now seems the Novak column was written earlier and released to the White House (and others) for review. You have to wonder why that happens, eh? But anyway...
The key point could be buried in the fine print of the latest Newsweek article:
"Rove's words on the Plame case have always been carefully chosen. 'I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name,' Rove told CNN last year when asked if he had anything to do with the Plame leak. "OK, maybe Rove didn't reveal her name, but he certainly did identify her and he certainly did reveal that she was a CIA agent:
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."It seems clear that Rove's main motivation was to discredit Wilson's intelligence because it didn't fit the "fixed" version of WMD intelligence that the Bush Gang were working on in their little Office Of Special Plans. It's worth noting that Wilson's wife did NOT, in fact, organise his Feb 2002 trip to Niger "as a boondoggle" (as the White House claimed), nor did she "authorize" it (as Rove told Cooper). So we have lies on multiple levels here.
Also interesting is this Editor and Publisher review of a recent story WP by Dan Balz:
Yesterday The New York Times reported that Cooper’s dramatic reprieve from jail, after his unnamed sourced freed him from their confidentiality agreement, came after he got a personal okay from Rove. At the same time, The Post reported that Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, denied that Rove had called him.You can say that again. It seems increasingly likely that SOMETHING is going to come out of all this soon. But what? This comment via Atrios:
"Yesterday, however," Balz reports, "Luskin declined to comment on a New York Times report that the release came as a result of negotiations involving Rove's and Cooper's attorneys, nor would he speculate that Cooper was released from his pledge in some other fashion than a direct conversation with Rove. 'I'm not going to comment any further,' Luskin said."
Balz also noted that Luskin's previous confirmation that Rove had spoken to Cooper two years ago "appeared at odds with previous White House statements. In retrospect, however, these statements -- which some interpreted as emphatic denials -- were in fact carefully worded."
The only possible issue left is whether Rove knew Plame was a covert agent. The e-mail is silent on the matter -- although the fact that Rove didn't want his name connected to the leak strongly suggests his guilt in that regard.Yeah, kind of ironic seeing anonymous White House insiders being revealed, after these same people jumped all over Newsweek for using anonymous source in their Koran-flushing story.
This passage also illustrates the abuse of anonymous sources...
I'm tipping Rove gets a wrist slap or, if it's anything worse than that, they will tie it up in the courts for the next three years, followed by a Presidential pardon when Bush leaves office. Ain't that the way it normally goes?
UPDATE: This Washington Post article is almost ridiculously tame. In fact, if could almost have been written by Rove's attorneys as a positioning article to establish public support for his legal case. What's going on here?
The reporter acknowledges that Karl Rove told Matt Cooper 100% fabricated lies:
In the conversation, Rove gave Cooper a "big warning" that Wilson's assertions might not be entirely accurate and that it was not the director of the CIA or the vice president who sent Wilson on his trip...Well, guess what? Wilson's assertions were totally accurate, and it was not Wilson's wife who sent him on the trip, as Rove claimed. So here we have evidence of a top White House insider "FIXING THE INTELLIGENCE" - and the Washington Post not only ignores it, they actually struggle to justify it???
Besides which, well... to quote from the TPM cafe:
I'm not one to parse the judicial codes here, but I don't think anyone is going to see a difference between "Valerie Plame" and "Joe Wilson's wife, and here's a phone book if you can't connect the dots."And here are a few other choice quotes courtesy of Think Progress...
From Scotty McLellan:
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?From George W. Bush:
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 –
This is a very serious matter. And our administration takes it seriously… this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action.From George H. W. Bush, a former head of the CIA:
I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.