July 14, 2005


Karl Rove and CIA Leak; Joe Wilson Interview (Wolf Blitzer Reports, July 14, 2005, CNN)


BLITZER: You saw this RNC, Republican National Committee, briefing paper that has been released today: Joe Wilson's top worst inaccuracies and misstatements. Basically, they accuse you of lying on a bunch of various issues related to this case. We're going to go through some of them.

But what do you make of the effort to smear you right now?

WILSON: Well, it strikes me that it's typical of a Rove-type operation. "Slime and defend" is what it's been called in the past.

But the fact of the matter is, of course, that this is not a Joe Wilson or Valerie Wilson issue. This is an issue of whether or not somebody leaked classified information to the press, who then published it, thereby putting covert operations and a covert officer at some risk. [...]

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

BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about.

The Democrats have to figure out a way to shut this egomaniac up, he's wrecking their case against Rove.

Rove Reportedly Held Phone Talk on C.I.A. Officer (DAVID JOHNSTON and RICHARD W. STEVENSON, 7/15/05, NY times)

Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said Thursday.

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."

So Novak is one of Rove's sources, not vice versa.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2005 11:21 PM

The way Wilson's going, he's probably going to be seen next with Chuck Schumer and a cell phone on board an Amtrak train blabbing about their upcoming strategic moves.

Posted by: John at July 15, 2005 12:14 AM

Chain of custody: Wilson/Plame to Miller to Novak to Rove.

Fitzgerald smells a serious breach of national security, and it ain't Rove.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 15, 2005 12:57 AM

Like I said: have faith, OJ.

Even if there was something to pin on Rove--which apparently there is not--Bush hatred inevitably blows back on the haters. They simply can't resist the temptation to overplay their hand.


Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at July 15, 2005 1:43 AM


Rove doesn't have to go because anything he did was wrong, just because the White House said whoever did it was gone.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 7:54 AM

There's precedence - Bush's old man fired Rove for leaking something to a reporter that irritated the GOP establishment.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 15, 2005 8:16 AM

gc has it right.

Miller had to have been shopping Plame's employement around in hopes that the evidence of nepotism would become ammunition in the PR war with Wilson, so the she could write the inevitable 'realist CIA attacked by political WH' article.

She couldn't get anybody in the administration to go 'on record' before Novak wrote his squib, the hounds took off after Novak in hopes of rehabilitating Wilson/Plame, and the rest is (almost) history.

Posted by: Chris B at July 15, 2005 8:28 AM

Actually, via Just One Minute, what President Bush said was

And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

...If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.

It sounds like Bush did say, explicitly, that breaking a law was a key point.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 15, 2005 9:01 AM

This 'scandal' isn't even Inside-the-Beltway. I doubt it has any trenchance once you get 3 blocks away from Langley.

The constant MSM and Democrat whining about this utter trivia merely serves as a reminder to millions and millions of ordinary Americans trying to pay for gasoline, health care and education that however bad the GOP might be, the Democrats are no better and likely worse.

Posted by: bart at July 15, 2005 9:06 AM

AOG: I think that's right. My only concern is whether Rove lied to, or misled, the President. If so, he's out.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 15, 2005 9:17 AM

Ah, nuance--that always quells political scandals....

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 9:37 AM

Nuance does nothing to quell a scandal that people care about. Is there any evidence that people know about this "scandal", let alone that anyone cares?

Posted by: David Cohen at July 15, 2005 10:03 AM

On this topic caught a few minutes of a show on MSNBC last night with Gregory (the NBC WH reporter), a heavy partisan Dem, and a lightweight GOPer. Gregory kept saying that Rove outed a covert agent on purpose which is a felony and that Rove should be locked up. Even the Dem didn't go that far and based his argument that Rove should go because Bush said anyone involved should go. The media are distorting facts to keep this going.

I'm looking forward to Fitzgerald finishing his probe by announcing that he is going after Plame/Wilson instead of Rove as the MSM expects.

Posted by: AWW at July 15, 2005 10:31 AM

poll numbers

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 12:58 PM

"Slime and defend" Is that something like the Clinton doctrine of deny, delay and demonize?

After all the negative publicity about unnamed sources and memoes from editors sternly admonishing reporters from using them, out pops another one. Why are you all assuming that this time the media are telling the truth and there really is an anonymous lawyer close to the prosecutor's office who's risking his/her career by revealing secrets of the grand jury proceedings to them.

What kind of a fool would do such a thing and for what? To save the posterior regions of Mandy Grunwald's husband, crack Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper, or NYT ace character assassin, Judith Miller?

We're paying someone to investigate these charges. Let's wait to hear from him.

Posted by: erp at July 15, 2005 2:31 PM