July 10, 2005


Matt Cooper's Source: What Karl Rove told Time magazine's reporter. (Michael Isikoff, 7/18/05, Newsweek)

It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA. [...]

In a brief conversation with Rove, Cooper asked what to make of the flap over Wilson's criticisms. NEWSWEEK obtained a copy of the e-mail that Cooper sent his bureau chief after speaking to Rove. (The e-mail was authenticated by a source intimately familiar with Time's editorial handling of the Wilson story, but who has asked not to be identified because of the magazine's corporate decision not to disclose its contents.) Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." 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." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger ... "

Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative.

And that's all that matters. Indeed, there's no reason to believe she was a covert oiperative as defined by the law.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 10, 2005 10:09 AM

How can they be covert if they work at Langley?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 10, 2005 1:47 PM

This whole thing has been ridiculous. Anyone in the WH's shoes would think to say same thing. Not only wasn't it illegal, it wasn't even unreasonable.

Posted by: RC at July 10, 2005 2:40 PM

Plame and Wilson conspired to use Plame's position at the CIA to subvert the American government. Once Plame was outed, it is likely she lied in order to instigate the leak investigation. She's the target of Fitzgerald's investigation now.

Posted by: carter at July 10, 2005 2:55 PM

Doesn't matter. The MSM will splash it big. The MSM has repeatedly said the 9/11 Commission reported there was no connection between Saddam and Al Queda. That the Commission did conclude such a connection existed, and did so on page 1, does not matter. The MSM zeroed in on a paragraph further inside that said there was no provable collaboration on 9/11 itself. But all the MSM reported was "no connection! no connection!"

Watch for the MSM to trumpet to the heavens that Karl Rove 'leaked' the fact that Plame worked for the CIA. That is was not a leak and that he never actually said she was a covert agent will be glossed over.

Posted by: Gideon at July 10, 2005 2:56 PM

Gideon's right. Just went to Boston.com to check the sports posting and the top heading is "Rove leaked CIA agent name". Only if you read the fine print do you see that Rove was "one of several people involved in the investigation".

Posted by: AWW at July 10, 2005 7:25 PM

If Plame or Wilson is indicted for perjury, the media will turn on them, with fury. Indeed, that would be the most satisfactory ending to this tale - Joe and Valerie being frog-marched into D.C. District Court. Vanity Fair could put the picture on the cover. And Bob Novak will have the last laugh, while Al Hunt and Larry O'Donnell sputter.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 10, 2005 7:42 PM

If she truly were an "undercover operative" she wouldn't be seen within 100 miles of Langley.

Posted by: The Third Man at July 10, 2005 8:49 PM

What was she 'undercover' for? Trying to seduce Arab diplomats? Or just those from Niger? :>)

Posted by: ratbert at July 11, 2005 3:45 PM
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