July 2, 2005


Latest Twists in Miller/Cooper Case--In Court and In Congress (Editor & Publisher, July 01, 2005)

Time magazine and New York Times reporters, held in contempt for refusing to name sources, tried Friday to stay out of jail by arguing for home detention instead after Time Inc. surrendered its reporter's notes to a prosecutor.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said Friday that several unidentified Senate Republicans had placed a hold on a proposed resolution declaring support for Miller and Cooper.

``Cowards!'' Lautenberg said of the Republicans. ``Under the rules, they have a right to refuse to reveal who they are. Sound familiar?'' [...]

[In another development, senior MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell said Friday night on the TV talk show The McLaughlin Group that he had learned that the Cooper documents reveal White House aide Karl Rove as the source.]

How delightful--the press gins up a fake controversy and its own members get sent to prison while Karl Rove skates.

Criminal or Just Plain Stupid? (Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball-Terror Watch, Oct. 8, 2003, Newsweek)

[M]ore than 10 days after the story exploded, an alternative theory is emerging among those who are directly involved in the leak case: that the “senior administration official” quoted in the Washington Post piece simply got it wrong. There were indeed White House phone calls to reporters about Wilson’s wife. But most, if not all, of these phone calls, were made after the Novak column appeared, some government officials now believe. They were placed as part of a blundering effort to persuade journalists to concentrate on Wilson’s presumed lack of credentials as a critic of pre-Iraq war intelligence rather than the substance of his critique.

New evidence for this view emerged today from a surprising source: Wilson himself. The former ambassador, who originally called for Bush’s top political director Karl Rove to be “frog-marched” out of the White House, acknowledged to NEWSWEEK that he got no calls from any reporters asking about his wife until he heard from Novak. If he had, he said, he would have vividly remembered it. One reporter, he said, did call him and say “watch out, they’re coming after you”—but that journalist is uncertain whether any reference was made to Wilson’s wife’s employment at the CIA.

But after the Novak column ran, Wilson says, he got plenty of calls. As NEWSWEEK reported in this week’s issue, Andrea Mitchell called him on Sunday, July 20, and told him that she “heard in the White House that people were touting the Novak column and that was the real story.” The next day, July 21, Wilson got a call from MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, who told him that “I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game.” (A source familiar with Rove’s conversation acknowledged the call but insisted that Rove put it differently: that it was “reasonable to discuss who sent Wilson to Niger.”) The efforts by Rove and perhaps others to fan the flames after the Novak column has been seized on by critics as evidence enough that the White House was directly involved in a trash-and-burn attempt to slime a critic. Rep. John Conyers, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, yesterday wrote Rove a letter asking for his resignation, saying that Rove’s comments as reported by NEWSWEEK were “morally indefensible” and an indication that he was part of “an orchestrated campaign to smear and intimidate truth-telling critics.” (White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has repeatedly refused to answer direct questions about Rove’s conversation with Matthews.) But even Conyers acknowledges that pointing reporters to an already published newspaper column is hardly a federal crime. And if all the White House attempts to promote stories about Wilson’s wife took place after July 14, most of the records being turned over to Justice Department investigators may lead to nothing but a prosecutorial dry hole.

That still leaves open the question of Novak’s original source—and at this point, White House statements are more carefully hedged than most of the public probably realizes.

Of course, it did discredit Mr. Palme.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 2, 2005 8:22 AM

The A-Team slogan. It's nice when a plan comes together.

Posted by: erp at July 2, 2005 8:32 AM

And who's to say that the Cooper "documents" aren't fakes? Norman Pearlstine? Frank Lautenberg? Dan Rather?

Does Plame still draw a paycheck at CIA?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 2, 2005 10:39 AM

O'Donnell, who has become a leftist moonbat, flatly declares that Rove is the source based on unknown documents and gets away with it?

Posted by: AWW at July 2, 2005 12:14 PM

Can't be true about Rove: Miller and Cooper would have given him up on day #1.

Posted by: Steve White at July 2, 2005 1:33 PM

O'Donnell is just jealous because Bob Novak knows and he doesn't.

Posted by: ratbert at July 2, 2005 3:22 PM