Karl Rove is allegedly involved in the Valerie Plame outing. But, of course. Here’s how I imagine his conversation with Time magazine reporter, Matthew Cooper, going down.
KR: Did you see that dreck Wilson wrote in yesterday’s Times? Give me a break. Wilson’s just cranked cause his old lady has a better gig than he at the CIA.
Cooper: Are you saying his wife is a CIA operative?
KR: Yeah, she’s some kind of “secret” (using his fingers to make quotation marks) agent. But she — and Wilson — don’t know dick about WMD.
The cocky Rove seems to have no problem picturing himself as untouchable. After all, he’s the mastermind of the 2004 presidential election. No steenkin’ reporter can touch him, let alone a federal grand jury. But heck, that doesn’t even seem to be an issue for him so all this talk about firing the culprit is really just a load of hooey.
Normally, loose lips can sink ships, but in the Bush White House when the enemy (namely the press) strikes clean, it’s simply time to change the rules of the engagement. Today’s Times reports that even if Rove did leak Plame’s name, he’s not a target of the investigation.
Under some circumstances, it can be against the law to disclose the identity of a covert C.I.A. operative. Mr. (Robert D.) Luskin (Rove’s attorney) has said he has been told by the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, that Mr. Rove is not a target of the investigation.
Who is a target of the investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald? A reporter who didn’t even write a story about the incident? You know, the one who is currently sitting in a federal prison?
It seems Fitzgerald isn’t the only one who thinks Rove didn’t commit a crime. First Amendment attorney Bruce S. Sanford who filed a brief on behalf of the reporters in the contempt case, said:
"It is clear that Karl Rove's conversation with Matt Cooper does not fall into that category" of criminal conduct, Mr. Sanford said. "That's not 'knowing.' It doesn't even come close."
And yet both Bush and Press Secretary Scott McClellan made clear a year ago that leaking Plame's identity would be considered a firing offense by the White House. But then again that was over a year ago and, well, when you don’t like the game and the kids are playing at your house, you defiantly proclaim that since it's YOUR house, you'll play any way you decide and you decided that game just changed.
The kicker in all this is that there appears to be some dispute over just how "secret" a secret agent Valerie Plame was.
"She had a desk job in Langley," said Ms. (Victoria) Toensing (chief counsel to the Senate intelligence committee when the law making it a crime to disclose the identities of covert agents was enacted) … "When you want someone in deep cover, they don't go back and forth to Langley."
Then can someone please explain to me why a reporter sits in jail as a result of all this hullabaloo?
Click hereto sign a statement in support of Judith Miller.
Here's the transcript from yesterday's White House briefing.
I'd like to spare you the time and say it's all a lot of nothing, but I think it's important that the public, not simply the press, see the level of stonewalling that occurs on the part of its elected leader.
And Timothy Noah at Slate rather eloquently makes the case that regardless of what crime he did or did not commit, Turd Blossom, er, Rove must go.