Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dems Want Another Watergate at Rove's Expense

Well, I keep trying to figure out exactly what Karl Rove did, and I just can’t seem to come up with it. Neither can the media, but that isn’t stopping them or Democrats from attempting a royal hatchet job on Rove and the President.

Opponents Urge Action on Rove

Democrats, some White House reporters and assorted opponents of President Bush are demanding the ouster of Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove after the revelation that Rove discussed a CIA employee with a member of the press.

Without mentioning a name, that is. A ‘CIA employee’ is not the same as an undercover operative, for those of you who might be curious.

Rove is on the hot seat after his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed over the weekend that in July 2003 Rove spoke to Time magazine's Matt Cooper about a trip former Ambassador Joe Wilson took to the African nation of Niger.

Wilson investigated claims that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium, used for making nuclear weapons, from Niger. Wilson returned without such evidence, and subsequently wrote an op-ed in The New York Times criticizing the administration for manipulating intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq.

Wilson claimed that his trip was authorized by Vice President Dick Cheney and then-CIA Director George Tenet.

According to Luskin, Rove told Cooper that Cheney and Tenet were not involved in planning Wilson's trip but that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, "apparently works" at the CIA and had authorized her husband's trip to Africa, according to a July 11, 2003, e-mail by Cooper obtained by Newsweek magazine.

That makes Joe Wilson the only liar so far out of this story.

"A fair-minded reading of Cooper's e-mail is that Rove was trying to discourage Time magazine from circulating false allegations about Cheney, not trying to encourage them by saying anything about Wilson or his wife."

I doubt we are going to get a fair minded reading of it in any of the major press outlets.

Novak later said that nobody in the Bush administration "called me to leak this" and that "according to a confidential source at the C.I.A., Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative, and not in charge of undercover operatives."

Will someone from the CIA just tell us what the heck she was? Riding a desk does not qualify someone as a spy. Mentioning that an employee of the CIA is an employee of the CIA is not divulging classified information. However, I’m not here to defend Novak or his source, but whomever it is would be the criminal if, in fact, a crime has been committed.

Former Justice Department attorney Lee Casey says Plame was not a covert agent and therefore, no crime was committed.

I think I just said that.

"The fact is, that this prosecution was started during the campaign, it is an artifact of the campaign and frankly, it ought to be ended,"

The bottom line is that Joe Wilson went to Niger with help from his wife, to do damage to Bush during the campaign. His wife was not a spy, but a desk analyst. Joe Wilson lied in the New York Times. Rove’s email to Cooper does not reveal a name, and if there was any leak from Rove, federal prosecutors will uncover it. The odds are that it wasn’t Rove. It would be interesting to know who Robert Novak’s source is, not to mention Judy Miller’s.

But facts will never get in the way of a good scandal, and there may in fact be a scandal here. The question is; who is to blame? Why has Wilson never been held to account for lying about Cheney? The press has never defended the CIA or any spy for that matter in cases such as this. Why has Plame not been hounded by the same media for using her position to help attack the President while an election was in process? It could not be clearer that the media has generated a scandal and Democrats are more than willing to take advantage. Someone did, in fact, do something wrong in this case, but it does not appear that it was Karl Rove.

Point of Interest: Some Democrats are calling for an Independent Council to investingate. The problem is that they got rid of the Independent Council statute after Clinton was busted for lying to a Grand Jury. Now that's hilarious.

Note: I realize that I said I was not going to post tonight, but this story is too much fun. I really need to get a life.