July 14, 2005


Joseph Wilson Calls on Bush to Fire Rove (The Associated Press, July 14, 2005)

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson called on President Bush Thursday to fire deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, saying Bush's top-level aide engaged in an "abuse of power" by discussing Wilson's wife's job with a reporter.

Ms Palme's cover, such as it was, would have been considered permanently blown by intelligence officials at the point where she sent her husband on public CIA business, while Mr. Wilson's attack seems of a piece with that mission--an attempt to undermine the elected government by anti-Iraq-war hacks at the Agency.

CIA 'outing' might fall short of crime (Mark Memmott, 7/14/05, USA TODAY)

The alleged crime at the heart of a controversy that has consumed official Washington — the "outing" of a CIA officer — may not have been a crime at all under federal law, little-noticed details in a book by the agent's husband suggest.

In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.

Six years later, in July 2003, the name of the CIA officer — Valerie Plame — was revealed by columnist Robert Novak.

The column's date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a "covert agent" must have been on an overseas assignment "within the last five years." The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say. Wilson's book makes numerous references to the couple's life in Washington over the six years up to July 2003.

"Unless she was really stationed abroad sometime after their marriage," she wasn't a covert agent protected by the law, says Bruce Sanford, an attorney who helped write the 1982 act that protects covert agents' identities.

It's not a legal matter though, just a political one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2005 6:32 AM

Joe's anniversary:

July 16, 2004
Kerry Dumps Joe Wilson
Remember how John Kerry was just amazed with Joe Wilson? When Joe Wilson was the flavor of the month in the BUSH LIED!!! meme, John Kerry couldn't get enough of Joe Wilson...in fact, John Kerry's campaign paid for a website called RestoreHonesty.com, a website dedicated to Joe Wilson and his theories about President Bush and the reasons for liberating Iraq. At the bottom of the website, you can see this:

Paid for by John Kerry for President, Inc.

Posted by: at July 14, 2005 11:50 AM

Re OJ's title: Kerry was puffing on Wilson, until Wilson flipped the switch and puffed on Kerry. Then their relationship fell apart. How sad. Maybe Joe can hook up with Howard Dean.

Kind of like the giant vacuum in the Mel Brooks classic, "Spaceballs".

Which is on a par with this whole story. But maybe Judith Miller will sit in her cell until October, contemplating Mel Brooks.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 14, 2005 12:34 PM

The amazing thing about this story is how poorly the media is reporting it. Blanket statements of Rove's guilt or that a crime has been committed are being made. Others have dissected the press conference the other day where MSM members were snarling at the WH and making statements that were completely false and at odds with their own previous statements.

I know the MSM is after Rove but they can't be impressing anybody with their very poor fact checking.

Posted by: AWW at July 14, 2005 12:36 PM

The MSM has gone to the well several times too often touting its own importance. Most people are tired of them and see journalists as less trustworthy than politicians and lawyers, and barely more trustworthy than used car salesmen.

Posted by: bart at July 14, 2005 5:42 PM

Is that hubris or chutzpah on old Joe's part?

Posted by: erp at July 14, 2005 6:30 PM

AWW you got that right.

The question to ask Bush is: have you asked whether Plame was a covert agent?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 14, 2005 8:17 PM


The law actually answers that question for him. When they brought her back to Langley and sent her husband on a trip they stopped taking the required actions to keep her covert.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2005 8:28 PM

And then a president's responsibility would be?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 15, 2005 4:20 PM

To shut down the CIA.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 5:24 PM

I would have said prevent a miscarriage of justice, but that's just me.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 15, 2005 8:07 PM


That's what I said. The CIA was running clandestine operations against the Administration. That's why they outed Mr. Palme and then sent in Porter Goss to clean house. But the CIA has never been effective and they should have just shut it down.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 9:35 PM

I agree the CIA has never been effective, but we do have laws. You cannot very well assert that Felt should have followed them but Bush shouldn't.

Not, at least, if you want to pretend to be more moral than me.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 16, 2005 3:40 PM

What law was violated? There was certainly no immorality involved.

And I don't think I'm more moral than you. I simply note that you can only derive your morality from Judeo-Christianity.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2005 4:18 PM

Misfeasance for sure and, possibly, subornation of perjury

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 17, 2005 4:27 PM

Can;'t be misfeasance since there was no crime and perjury is what you charge when you can't find one.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2005 5:00 PM