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July 13, 2005

Comments

dmbeater,

"Hilzoy makes a point taking issue with Rove stating that Plame worked at the CIA.

So you want proof that Rove outed Plame, but then acknowledge that Hilzoy made a good point about Rove outing Plame."

You can't see the diference between the two? Stating that you know someone works at the CIA doesn't mean that you are outing them as an undercover agent.

My only point above is that she seems to have shared confidential information with her husband which could have been illegal.

Watergate Timeline

Saturday Night Massacre:Oct 20,73

SCOTUS rules that Nixon must deliver tapes:Jul 24 1974...so 9 months of legalism

But: July 27,1974: House votes out 1st article of impeachment. (Without hearing the tapes)

Are you asserting that Karl Rove doesn't serve at the pleasure of the President, Slarti?

In fun, perhaps, and only to prompt someone to admit that he does.

Thanks, by the way.

Oh, and...on the flipside of pretty much everything I've posted here, what evidence to we have other than the words of Luskin that this waiver was in fact signed about eighteen months ago, and given to someone who could do something about it? I mean, Fitzgerald would cry BS on something like that if it weren't true, wouldn't he?

Of what use is that? If Rove doesn't waive, Cooper doesn't testify, and the game is up. Are you saying there's some leverage that vanishes if Fitzgerald's not standing behind Rove's shoulder?

What if Cooper's testimony merely duplicates the e-mails already in evidence (which seems pretty likely)? What purpose is served by NOT waiving confidentiality in that case? And the potential downside to holding out is if Cooper goes to jail to protect information that has already been released by his publisher, and this information ends up becoming public down the road, the damage could be much, much worse. Miller might be a gamble worth taking, if her testimony could do more damage. But maybe shutting Cooper up was already a lost cause.

blogme: "My only point above is that she seems to have shared confidential information with her husband which could have been illegal."

Er, what information would that be?

(And I wouldn't be surprised if he still has a security clearance.)

Slartibartfast: In fun, perhaps, and only to prompt someone to admit that he does.

All you had to do was ask. I'm sure the President could fire Karl Rove if he wanted to. I suspect it will be tough for him to bring himself to do it, but as important as Rove is, he's still a subordinate.

Slart, I realize that was a facetious question, but it's an interesting one anyway.

Considering how the Bush Admin has consistantly evaded, defied, and ignored the legal system so far, I imagine shutting down Fitzgerald is something they believe they could get away with.

On a related note: Mark A R Kleiman notes that, although most everyone is focusing on whether Rove violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, another law at issue is the Espionage Act.

It's the IIPA that requires foreknowledge that the disclosed agent was covert, or had been covert within the last 5 years.

The Espionage Act (quoting from Kleiman) is violated if Rove had: 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.

And LeftCoaster has a handy smackdown of the current GOP talking points:

LeftCoaster

Do I have to say "in fun" again? Or maybe bolded?

And I wouldn't be surprised if he still has a security clearance.

As I've said many, many, MANY times, clearance is only a necessary condition. It's not a sufficient condition. It could be that Wilson was authorized, but it was only the fifth date or so.

Slarti: no need to worry that I'll forget about Rove serving at the pleasure of the President. As I see it, it's all fairly simple:

(1) You don't out CIA agents. Rove did.

(2) If you're President, and someone in your administration outs a CIA agent, you fire them. Bush hasn't.

We could spend ages speculating about all sorts of stuff, but these points alone pretty much tell me what I think I need to know.

blogme: I don't really wish anyone to be led of in handcuffs unless their are proven guilty of a crime. No matter what my meaner side my feel. Sue me for being an American.

I think I'd like to use you as a witness in a lawsuit I've got going . . .


I'm not sure the espionage act ought to apply. As I understand it, the IIPA was drawn up and passed because outing agents was not covered by another law such as the espionage act.

I think there's a definitions clause in the espionage act, which defines "relating to the national defense" in a way which covers troop movements, weapons, bases, etc, but does not include CIA agent identities.

The more I think about this, the more umm... excited...I become. The people who got indicted during Watergate had their careers and reputations forever destroyed, at least as they would have imagined them. Yeah, Liddy, Colson, and Dean have second minor acts. But history will always remember Haldeman and Mitchell as scum. But Bork, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Haig, Kissinger were rehabilitated and even elevated. Not that I can prove criminality or conspiracy for those guys, but it would have been hard to avoid seeing something wrong in the Nixon Whitehouse.

And Weinberger still has a decent reputation, though still stained by a pardon.

Whatever good stuff Rove might have done for the Party, if he gets indicted that will be the first paragraph of his obituary, and his description in history books for centuries.

Besides, these guys (like most successful people) are about power and the perception of control. They don't like having even the most abstract of restraints.


Imagine if Richard Clarke had, in late 2001, called a bunch of reporters and told them exactly where Cheney's "undisclosed location" was.

He'd have been out on his ass immediately.

"Whatever good stuff Rove might have done for the Party, if he gets indicted that will be the first paragraph of his obituary, and his description in history books for centuries."

I suspect Rove will slither into a sinecure at Heritage or AEI, or else he'll go back to the shadows, running another political direct-mail operation like he used to. Or both.

But I also wouldn't be surprised to see him remain politcally active and visible. Just look at how many Iran-Contra veterans Bush has appointed for positions. The GOP really has no shame.

"Are you asserting that Karl Rove doesn't serve at the pleasure of the President, Slarti?

In fun, perhaps, and only to prompt someone to admit that he does."

Rove is not a mere flunky. There is a high enough level at which loyalty does flow both ways, believe it or not. Nixon really really didn't want to fire Haldeman, because he knew he would be seriously and permanently weakened. Permanently, because having once abandoned a retainer, he could never command such loyalty again. And indeed Haig and Kissinger were not the same.

You gotta have people who go to the wall for you, or you are nothing. The law is just the tool you use to exercise power, power is derived from the people who serve you and whom you serve in return. Bush can't trust Frist or DeLay;Hughes and Rove and Gonzalez are necessary, essential, irreplacable.

I don't really wish anyone to be led of in handcuffs unless their are proven guilty of a crime

If you know any police officers, try arguing that point with them.

"Bush can't trust Frist or DeLay;Hughes and Rove and Gonzalez are necessary, essential, irreplacable."

Hm. This flare up may put the kibosh on Gonzalez being named to the Supreme Court this summer.

He'd probably be far more useful to Bush as Attorney General.

Felix,

That's really good input. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with anything that's been posted here.

And for the record, I really wish police men never felt the need to handcuff anyone either.

Doesn't anyone here want to know who Judith Miller is protecting?

The women is sitting in jail. Doesn't this seem like a really important part of the equation? Or is this something that we should all ignore and just focus on Rove?

Doesn't anyone here want to know who Judith Miller is protecting?

Some say Bolton, some say Cheney. I'd say Miller, which would embrace either of the other choices. (If forced to bet, though, I think I'd go with Tenet.) You have a theory, bm?

That's really good input. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with anything that's been posted here.

Well it has nothing to do with anything that's been posted here except your comment. From which we can deduce what about your comment?

I think there's a definitions clause in the espionage act, which defines "relating to the national defense" in a way which covers troop movements, weapons, bases, etc, but does not include CIA agent identities.

I couldn't find such a clause in the act itself, or in the general provisions for title 18. There is a list in section a of the act, but only sections a-c seem to refer to that list. Section d, which would seem to be the relevant one, does not. IANAL obviously, and the term could be defined somewhere else in the code.

Jon H,

"But I also wouldn't be surprised to see him remain politcally active and visible. Just look at how many Iran-Contra veterans Bush has appointed for positions. The GOP really has no shame."

Exactly. And for Iran-Contra alumni, being indicted, and even being convicted with the conviction thrown out on the type of technicalities R's like to campaign against, wasn't a handicap to later service (e.g., Poindexter, Abrams).

And now, via Qando, I see that an amicus brief has been filed in this matter. Katherine, it'd be interesting to hear your interpretation of what this means. I have to say that if Rove has indeed exposed Plame as hilzoy has confidently asserted, this is just about the last thing I'd expect to see as a result.

Toensing's name was no surprise, but who she's filing on behalf of is. Could be the conservative media bringing their guns to bear, I guess.

It's very interesting, Slart, but the question is: if Rove is innocent, why is this brief necessary? If the "Old Media" knows that the evidence will clear him, why do they need to weigh in with something that essentially says "yes, he leaked, but there's nothing to see here, so move along"?

IANAL, but what this tells me is that there /is/ a good chance that there's a "there" there, and that that "there" will damage the interests of those filing this brief.

Fitzgerald would cry BS on something like that if it weren't true, wouldn't he?

Unlike Starr's office, Fitzgerald seems very careful about not making any statements in the media.

Slart, attempting to link to that amicus brief seems to have messed with my computer. I'm most interested in the date of the thing. Was the amicus brief filed before the February decision in the case, the amicus brief filed before the April order denying rehearing en banc, or some other amicus brief?

The fact that media corporations took a position that is manifestly in their interest shouldn't, it seems to me, mean awfully much, at least as to what the law means. I know people like to complain about political biases and agendas of media corporations, but I think it's clear enough that they act as businesses first.

I certainly hope Karl gets the frogmarch he has coming, but I still don't get why Republicans are trying to lawyer him out. If he were a Democrat you all would have been calling for a firing squad 2 years ago. And Democrats would have agreed! How is revealing the entire modern Republican party as totally lacking in integrity serving your cause?

The QandO cite was about a DC Circuit amicus brief, but I see that 3 amicus briefs were filed in the Supreme Court too.

CharleyCarp: March 23, 2005. It's an argument for rehearing the whole thing, since there is evidence on the public record that no crime has been committed under -- well, that narrowly drafted act whose name eludes me. It doesn't, as far as I can tell, so much as consider the possible relevance of any other laws. And by now it has been answered.

And CharleyCarp: this amicus brief is for the DC Circuit court of appeals.

OK, from the url of the brief -- and I suppose I can't get it because hordes of others are trying to get it -- it's clear enough that it's the March 23 amicus. The one that didn't sway the Circuit's April 19 http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/docs/common/opinions/200504/04-3138b.pdf>denial (pdf) of rehearing en banc.

Judge Tatel, who wrote the only opinion, did not address the underlying legal claim from the amici, but showed, again, that the non-governmental parties do not have all the facts.

The right-wing spin is moving far beyond parody. Today on the Diane Rehm show David Keene of the American Conservative Union made the point that Scott McClellan never said in 2003 that Rove wasn't involved -- McClellan said that it was ridiculous to suggest that Rover was involved. Seriously, that was Keene's argument.

Thanks, h. My cross this time.

You know how when you start looking up one thing you always end up finding something else? I see that new DC Circuit Judge JR Brown is scheduled to hear some cases in September:

Thursday, September 8, 2005 9:30 AM Judges Ginsburg, Tatel and Brown 04-7181 Jones, Angela R. v. DC Dept Corr 03-7173 Thomas, Gregory L. v. George WA Univ 03-5077 Fund Animals v. Hogan, Matthew J. 03-1403 Consum Engy Co v. FERC

Anyone care to predict wild results?

I'll try again:

Thursday, September 8, 2005 9:30 AM
Judges Ginsburg, Tatel and Brown

04-7181 Jones, Angela R. v. DC Dept Corr

03-7173 Thomas, Gregory L. v. George WA Univ

03-5077 Fund Animals v. Hogan, Matthew J.

03-1403 Consum Engy Co v. FERC

I think the spirit in which Qando offered this is that there's a number of media outlets that feel that there was, in fact, no crime. I wasn't presenting that as evidence, just wondering if anyone had any idea why on earth a brief like this would get filed on behalf of so many, varied parties. I mean...Reuters?

Again, I'm not under the illusion that what these people believe to be true about the case is in fact supported by evidence.

Slart, I understand the QandO point. I just think it completely misses the real issue here: All those parties have the same interest in encouraging government employees to talk to media outlets. And in journalists not having to go to jail as the only way to avoid testifying about who told them something.

Good point. In fact, Dale Franks uses something like that as part of an argument justifying why Rove shouldn't be prosecuted under the Espionage Act, two posts up the main page.

I'm not sure I agree; nailing Rove to the wall has got to be tantalizing (not to mention, profitable) to just about any news outlet.

"Feel"? The media outlets have no more access to information in this case than we do. Fitzgerald and the judges do. They seem to think there is a strong possibility that a crime has been committed; you simply can't explain their actions otherwise. The fact that Fitzgerald is actually keeping grand jury testimony confidential like he's required by law to do is not a strike against him.

I'm sorry, but it feels more and more like you're in excuse making mode, and I don't have the patience. Hilzoy did not say Rove had committed a crime, in any case. To believe that the media is more interested in getting Bush than protecting their own prerogatives, shows an utter ignorance of the press. It's a little better than the "is it all a Democratic plot to burn Bush" idiocy seen elsewhere, but, really. As far as whether there's a crime, we'll know when Fitzgerald releases his report. As far as whether Rove's done something wrong, I think hilzoy's right. She's never claimed to know whether he's guilty of a crime. And if McClellan carefully avoided saying Rove wasn't involved, and just said it was "ridiculous" and whatever other assurances that would get him off the hook in a perjury trial--to me that actually makes it WORSE, because it suggests they have been aware of Rove's involvement for a long time and actively were trying to deceive people about it.

(the reference to perjury, to avoid confusion: this sort of technical "it wasn't a lie" parsing is relevant in a perjury trial. However, in any other context, what makes a lie wrong is intent to deceive, and that there's some legalistic way to parse the words to make them "technically true" does nothing to change the intent to deceive.

I'm well aware that a press conference isn't subject to perjury laws. Just to preempt any confusion about that)

I'm not sure I agree; nailing Rove to the wall has got to be tantalizing (not to mention, profitable) to just about any news outlet.

1. I don't know whether the amici all knew it was Rove back in March, and I'm not convinced that Miller is in jail for protecting Rove.

2. It might be tantalizing to nail Rove, but it would be very damaging to the news outlet to try to do so and fail. Thus far, very few have given in to the temptation, which I take as proof of my belief that the primary agenda is always the bottom line, no matter what whiners about media bias have to say.

The media outlets have no more access to information in this case than we do.

Please, Katherine, feel free to read the rest of that post you objected to so vehemently.

I'm sorry, but it feels more and more like you're in excuse making mode

Heh. Ok, then.

I don't know whether the amici all knew it was Rove back in March, and I'm not convinced that Miller is in jail for protecting Rove.

Oh, please. It's been all about Rove the entire time.

It might be tantalizing to nail Rove, but it would be very damaging to the news outlet to try to do so and fail.

Which would be an excellent argument if it were the news outlets doing the nailing. As it is, all they have to do is stay mum and let Fitzgerald do the nailing. No downside, as far as I can see.

Oh, please. It's been all about Rove the entire time.

I guess you've known something I didn't all along. Maybe you can answer a couple more, then:

Why is Miller still in jail? How did Rove know about Plame? What's Cheney's involvement, if any?

As for who is nailing and who is tantalized -- did I misunderstand yours of 10:57?

Cooper and Time knew it was Rove all along, and actively resisted Fitzgerald all the way to the SC. They did so because they think the principles involved -- (a) access to anon. sources in general and (b) access to this WH -- are more important to their bottom line than getting Rove. All major media share the same interests.

How does the confidentiality of grand jury testimony affect Cooper's announced plan to write a story for Time on his own testimony? Is he risking contempt charges to do so? Or is he allowed to do it after Fitzgerald releases a report?

And, how is it in the media's interest to nail Rove? I don't see any benefit to the media in general or to particular media entities.

Oh, please. It's been all about Rove the entire time.

That's funny, I seem to remember far more people thinking it was about Scooter Libby and that it came out of Cheney's office than about Rove. The enticing imagery of Wilson's "frog march" comment nonwithstanding.

I guess you've known something I didn't all along.

Do you read the newspapers, CC? Rove's name has been out there as prime suspect (possibly briefly superceded by that of Lewis Libby) for well over a year.

Maybe you can answer a couple more, then

Maybe not. It's precisely that these questions have so far gone unanswered that I'm less sure of what happened than others seem to be.

Jeremy: the information belongs to Cooper. He can publish if he wants, because he's the witness. At least, that's what I gathered. But interesting, if Cooper does publish, what that implies for those overarching principles CharleyCarp's mentioned.

Jeremy- Good Question. I imagine a scoop on Rove might seem like it would look good on a resume, but it would be unlikely to be worth the death threats (http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_07_10_atrios_archive.html#112127618015717282)

On the otherhand the MSM has lost all its credibility to a lot of people at this point. Doing their jobs could help them in that regard with some.

Regarding Slarti's question way upthread:

"So, I'm wondering: if Johnson was retired, how does he know Plame's undercover status?"

I quickly thought of one possible reason: If, before Johnson retired, he knew Plame was a NOC with a cover of 'X' and when Plame was outed she was still working under the same cover (i.e. she hadn't stopped being the 'Plame that works(ed) for the Not-A-CIA-Front company'), then Johnson would know her cover was blown.

I know she had been back in the states for 5 or so years and it looks like she was in transition from CIA to the State Dept. but that doesn't mean she was completely removed from that previous 'cover' identity that whole time.

My prediction is that this is classic Bush/Rovian tactics, which the left has been unable to grasp.

So many on the left have hung themselves out over the edge on this issue. I think in the end what we will see is this issue will all come crashing down on their heads putting another nail in the left coffin.

blogme, sounds more like a wish than a prediction, are you typing on your knees? Have you put money under the pillow?

Johnson left the CIA in 1989, according to his bio. So, unless he kept rather close tabs on Plame after he got out of the State Department in 1993, his knowledge is simply too old to matter. To clear up any misperception, I'm not claiming that Plame was NEVER NOC.

Of course, it's possible that BERG is a CIA cover, and that Johnson is still (unofficially) CIA and in a position to know. But more speculation isn't going to help.

I can understand why so many of you passionately hate Rove and wish bad things for him. I mean he's been whipping the Dem's butts for the last 5 years.

But, why do you support Wilson so strongly when he is on public record saying one thing but the 2004 Senate Intelligence report says another.

Why support someone who has obviously lied about the facts of his mission and how he received it?

posit,

I don't really care about Rove one way or another. It's not a wish. It's an observation about past behavior and how events have turned out in the end.

Blogme, liars are a dime a dozen. Blowing an agent's cover is something else entirely.

And I'm not accusing Rove of anything illegal. It's not about Rove. It's about burning an agent's cover. Whoever did that, be it Rove, Joe Wilson, or John Kerry, should be sent to prison.

Of course, it's possible that BERG is a CIA cover, and that Johnson is still (unofficially) CIA and in a position to know. But more speculation isn't going to help.

Bothers me too, Slarti, & I'm embarrassed now that I trumpeted Johnson w/o checking dates.

If he is/were still undercover, then professing to know in 2003 who was covert & who wasn't would be very bad on his part.

but the 2004 Senate Intelligence report says another

Actually I think you are refering to the Addendum to the Senate report authoured and signed exclusively by Roberts Bond and Hatch, which tried to establish that Wilson had lied. The addendum was not signed by any but the 3 which makes it a clumsy partisan attempt to politicize the issue, no surprises there. As far as I can tell, steno Sue Schmidt (GOP correspondent for the Wapo) is the only person to have publicised the addendum in a hit piece she did back in 2004.

I'm embarrassed now that I trumpeted Johnson w/o checking dates.

As I said upthread (or on another thread, I forget), you're not alone in getting one or more facts wrong; I've had to reexamine why I think I know something about this case, myself, and more than once. Hopefully the investigation is doing a much better job of documenting the facts than we spectators are.

If he is/were still undercover, then professing to know in 2003 who was covert & who wasn't would be very bad on his part.

Yah. Even if he professed to know as of, say, 1997.

but the 2004 Senate Intelligence report says another

Actually I think you are refering to the Addendum to the Senate report authoured and signed exclusively by Roberts Bond and Hatch, which tried to establish that Wilson had lied. The addendum was not signed by any but the 3 which makes it a clumsy partisan attempt to politicize the issue, no surprises there. As far as I can tell, steno Sue Schmidt (GOP correspondent for the Wapo) is the only person to have publicised the addendum in a hit piece she did back in 2004.

Oops, sorry for the double post.

Should we really credit a "sorry for the double post" from someone named POSTIT? I think not!

Come on, confess: you know you love it & you just can't control yourself.

Ashamed I am, indeed.

Slarti writes: "So, unless he kept rather close tabs on Plame after he got out of the State Department in 1993, his knowledge is simply too old to matter."

It would not be unusual for certain members of a given training class to keep in touch with each other through their careers.

It'd be like making friends during college orientation, or pledging at a frat, and keeping them through college and beyond. It doesn't exactly stretch the limits of credibility.

The odds of Johnson having continual contact with a mutual classmate of Plame's who is still in the CIA are quite good.

I mean, good lord, George Bush keeps plenty of Yale and Harvard pals around. Some get jobs, others are big donors. Why should it be unusual for Larry Johnson to be in touch with the people he entered the CIA with?

Why should it be unusual for Larry Johnson to be in touch with the people he entered the CIA with?

"Being in touch" and "knowing whether they're covert" are 2 different things. Humanly speaking, you're right; professionally speaking, once Johnson was out, Plame would've had no business letting him know a damn thing.

Which would all be decent points, Jon, if Johnson were granted an ongoing need to know. It's not quite the same as remembering the old fraternity handshake.

"his knowledge is simply too old to matter"
-Slarti

I don't know. I mean *if* Plame had been under the same cover from '89 or '93 up until the Novac article, then his knowledge isn't too old.

But that is further speculation and you are right, Slarti, speculation on how Johnson knew Plame was currently undercover isn't going to help.

I'm trying to think of what sort of public domain evidence there could be that would answer your question. The only ones I can think of would be, well, secret. So, to me, the question invited speculation.


And now, thanks to preview:

Anderson & Slarti,

Woah, yeah, if Johnson is still an agent I don't think he *really* should be commenting on this. For more than one reason.

postit,

I think you should go back and take a look at the original document. I think your assessment is inaccurate.

The reason Novak isn't going to jail for outing Plame is because the statute only applies to someone who reveals the agent's identity AND found out about her identity while working for the government (I can't recall the exact wording). That's why Rove is the criminal and not Novak. Sorry, blogme

that's why Rove is the criminal and not Novak

Didn't Fitzgerald say at some point recently that Rove was not a target of the investigation? I'm having a hard time reconciling that with some of the other facts & assertions being made.

How does the confidentiality of grand jury testimony affect Cooper's announced plan to write a story for Time on his own testimony?

The witness is free to say whatever he wants about what was said during his appearance before the grand jury. It is the Justice Department and court officials who are supposed to keep mum.

Didn't Fitzgerald say at some point recently that Rove was not a target of the investigation?

Actually, Rove's lawyer indicated that Fitzgerald has not formally declared Rove a "target." This is a term of art -- it is a formal notification required to insure fairness in certain circumstances. Fitzgerald can at any time issue a notice that Rove is a "target" whenever his investigation reaches the point that he has built that case.

Rove's lawyer is spinning the lack of a "target" notice as some sort of implied vindication. Its not, although the longer the investigation proceeds without a target notice, the stronger the inference.

kenb: also, while (according to Rove's lawyer) Rove is not a target, he is a "subject" of the investigation, which apparently means something like: you're one of the people they're looking at, but things haven't advanced to the formal notification with a letter stage. (I'll leave it to people who, unlike me, are lawyers to explain this better. But being a subject is better than being a target, but worse than not being anything at all, or being a mere witness. You have become interesting to the investigation, in a way you wouldn't want to be.)

Warren,

"(I can't recall the exact wording)."

Obviously, which is why your post is irrelevant and your comment is just plain wrong.

Thanks, dmbeaster & hilzoy. When I first read that, I assumed that if Rove wasn't a target, that implied that someone else was, but it sounds like that's not necessarily true.

I have a question about this matter that I have not seen discussed anywhere.

What is the reaction of friendly foreign intelligence services? No doubt our covert agents cooperate occasionally with other services. If I were "M" I would be very disconcerted at the idea that an American agent had been identified publicly by an advisor to the President. I wouldn't care at all about the legal technicalities or what the agent's spouse did or said or any of that.

I would expect the American government to take the harshest possible action against the blabbermouth, no matter who it was, and if that didn't happen I would cut back sharply on cooperative efforts,for fear that my operations and agents might be compromised by US political games.

If that's an accurate supposition on my part then this incident certainly hurts our anti-terror efforts.

Bernard, the Bush Admin has been burning intel operations left and right.
Plame is hardly the first or only agent they've blown.

They screwed up Pakistan's efforts to penetrate the A Q Khan network, and they screwed up Italy's investigation of Hassan.

The Bush Admin has also established itself as an uncooperative "partner" with other countries' intelligence/law enforcement agencies, in that it doesn't share intelligence with anyone else yet demands to know what they know.

If I were running an intel op, or had a network, the last thing I'd want is for the Bush Admin to know about it, or be in on it.

They screwed up Pakistan's efforts to penetrate the A Q Khan network

How sincere were Pakistan's efforts there? Do you have a link?

Bernard, that's nuthin. What CaseyL said, plus consider for a moment the implications of this little revelation, courtesy of Americablog.

At what point will some of the stalwarts start to wonder whether these people place their own political interests above national security and the interests of the nation?

Radish answers my question, I think.

So I'll answer his:

At what point will some of the stalwarts start to wonder whether these people place their own political interests above national security and the interests of the nation?

Never. It will always be Somebody Else's Fault, no matter how many Americans die. Rush, Coulter, Hinderaker, etc., will ALWAYS blame the Democrats, even if NYC were a smoking crater in the earth and there were video footage of Bush dropping off the nuke. "The liberal media drove him to it," they'd say.

Depressing, but true.

Radish, the answer is "Never."

The stalwarts identify with "these people." They've let too much go by unquestioned already, starting long before 9/11. 9/11 unhinged a lot of them altogether, and the Iraq war was the finishing touch.

There is no way they can step outside themselves and take a clear look at the Bush Administration. If they were ever to do that, they'd have to admit not only that they've been played for fools, but that the Bush Admin has done real, serious, long-lasting damage to our country; and that they enabled it at every step along the way.

They're going to be like old people in the South who participated in lynchings, murders and burnings, and who to this day refuse to acknowledge what happened.

Anderson - Here's a link to a report on the A Q Khan imbroglio, and what short-circuiting the investigation meant:

Khan network investigation

"Presidential confidant Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he learned the identity of a CIA operative originally from journalists, then informally discussed the information with a Time magazine reporter days before the story broke, according to a person briefed on the testimony."

Looks like the wind just got let out of the sails for all of you waiting for Rove's head to be lopped off.

It's looking more like Wilson opened his big mouth, made some misleading statements and the reporters did some research on him and why he went to Niger.

How much of an idiot can Wilson be? His big mouth outs his own wife and then today he calls for Rove's resignation.

This guys a joke! So many of you are going to be so unhappy when you wake up in the morning.

A link or two substantiating the above claim: so, according to Rove, the investigation still needs to be searching for the unknown "senior administration official" who leaked to Robert Novak, because Rove wasn't the guy: Novak told him what he had learned from this unknown.

It's really hard to see what else Rove could have said, short of declaring himself guilty immediately.

The second link (I swear it was there and just vanished!)

To sum up: "WiseOnes", I think you're mistaken if you feel that it is sufficient for Karl Rove to declare by his own testimony that he is innocent. If that were so, we wouldn't need courts. ;-)

Aren't you confusing two different men named Khan, CaseyL? A. Q. Khan is the Pakistani nuclear scientist who sold secrets on the black market, and Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan is the captured Al Qaeda leader, right?

Or am I the one who is confused?

Rove testified he told Miller that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, but never used her name, the AP reported.

I haven't followed this all that closely. Has anyone figured out how he described this nameless wife? Maybe: "Judy, this guy's wife, whose name I'm not at liberty to divulge, works for the CIA."

Or maybe "her name" refers to Miller: "Listen, lady, whatever your name is, this Plame dame is a spook."

Jes, wouldn't that be two senior admin officials now, in addition to Rove? here's what Novak wrote:

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me.

If Rove didn't know Plame worked for the CIA, how could he have known she was involved with the Niger trip? Assuming that Rove is telling the truth, and assuming Novak's account is accurate, Rove is in all likelihood not one of the senior administration officials Novak is talking about.

If Rove didn't know Plame worked for the CIA, how could he have known she was involved with the Niger trip?

Assuming Rove didn't know. ;-)

Gromit - Yes, I think you're right. Oops.

Jesurgislac,

I suggest you tie a knot in the end of your rope and hang on till the point of absurdity.

It looks like you and the other who are trying to keep this fire lit are probably going to really hang in there.

"WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

Hope this doesn't burst your little bubble. Notice how nicely Wilson has inserted the word clandestine to confuse the issue.


blogme,

Umm, you might want to reread that quote from Wilson and think about it a little. Do you think he meant "My wife was not a clandestine officer ON the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," or "My wife was not a clandestine officer AS OF the day that Bob Novak blew her identity"? In light of Wilson's other statements, which interpretation do you think is most likely?

Causality and sequence of events. Such trivial things.

Rope-a-dope dope

It's looking more and more like the evil genius Rove is pulling an Ali.

"WASHINGTON (AP) - After mentioning a CIA operative to a reporter, Bush confidant Karl Rove alerted the president's No. 2 security adviser about the interview and said he tried to steer the journalist away from allegations the operative's husband was making about faulty Iraq intelligence."

Larv,

I don't really know what he means. I think that is really Wilson's problem in general. Talking about slicing and dicing, he seems to be a master chef.

blogme,

Yeah, damn that Joe Wilson, spinmaster extraordinaire! It's a shame he's not as direct, honest, and forthright as Karl Rove.

Seriously, what color is the sky in bizarro-world?

Rope-a-dope, or simple stalling?

Right-wingers are similarly arguing in some parts that this is all part of a master plan to snooker the Democrats. But there is a sizable hole in that theory: Scott McClellan's impersonation of a deer in headlights when the press corps raked him over the coals on this issue. Rove and McClellan aren't exactly strangers, and if this administration is competent at one thing, it's message control. So how did McClellan, the voice of the White House, end up so pitifully out of the loop? Did the architects of this master plan somehow forget to include a public relations component?

The more likely explanation is that the White House simply didn't see any of this coming.

Oh, and is the source for that Wilson quote online, blogme? Google is coming up empty.

Gromit,

I agree that it's probably not truly a rope-a-dope. It just looks like it will end up being one anyway. Hence, my facetious comment about the evil genius Karl Rove.

Here's a link to that quote:

http://apnews.myway.com

I can't believe no one at this site is interested in why Wilson's wife said he was taking a trip Niger when she recommened him for the job. It's in the SSIC report. Wouldn't the answer to this question lend credence to the liberal position that Joe Wilson was really a good fit for this job and his wife was just doing her job to the best of her ability?

The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there's this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq. The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region ...


Wouldn't the answer to this question lend credence to the liberal position that Joe Wilson was really a good fit for this job and his wife was just doing her job to the best of her ability?

Even if the apologists for Rove accepted that proposition, what difference would it make? Discussion of Wilson and Plame is merely a diversion. Rove's conduct is the focus of attention for anyone who isn't just messing about.

Blogme, I was referring to the quote:

"WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

Do you have a link for that?

And regarding whether Wilson's trip was dual-purpose, I don't really see how that affects the credibility of his report one way or the other, nor how any of this affects the seriousness of blowing the cover of intelligence operatives.

It's here:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0507/14/wbr.01.html

There's alot of parsing going on. Like everything else with this issue I think we have to wait and see what his words really mean.

Kevin,

"Rove's conduct is the focus of attention for anyone who isn't just messing about."

Actually, I think it is more complex than that. There is the Bush administration leak side of it. Which is important. Leaking undercover agents is wrong and people should be punished for it without a doubt.

But, there is also the political agenda that many agents at the CIA seemed to have. It looks alot like Plame was fixing the data, by having her hubby go and evaluate Niger. According to the reports it turns out the Joe proved Valeria wrong in her assumption about Hussein attempting to purchase yellowcake from Niger.

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