Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dick Morris on Karl Rove

Read it here. (Hat tip to Southern Appeal)

An excerpt:

Rove did not call Time magazine’s Matt Cooper. Cooper called him. He did not mention Valerie Plame’s name. He may not have even known it. He had no intent to reveal her identity. The context of the conversation was that Rove was trying to disabuse Cooper of the impression that CIA Director George Tenet had been the moving force in choosing former Ambassador Joe Wilson to investigate the nuclear dealings reported to be going on in Niger.

Rove said that it was not Tenet who pushed the appointment but that it likely stemmed from the fact that Wilson’s wife “apparently works” at the CIA.

To call that conversation a deliberate revelation of an agent’s identity designed to blow her cover is a far, far stretch of the statute’s wording and intent.

11 comments:

Tlaloc said...

A bunch of lies are easier to swallow than one, huh?


"Rove did not call Time magazine’s Matt Cooper. Cooper called him."

Possibly, but we know that two white house staffers called six reporters and revealed Plame's identity. Was Rove a third staffer? Or was he one of the two?


"He did not mention Valerie Plame’s name."

Irrelevent. He identified her. He gave clear information exposing who she was. Had photographed her drivers liense he also wouldn't have mentioned her name but clearly he exposed her. This is a very clintonian argument that even Rove's lawyer has said wouldn't fly.



"He had no intent to reveal her identity."

Speculation and not very plausable given that otherwise he had no reason to bring her up in the conversation at all.



"The context of the conversation was that Rove was trying to disabuse Cooper of the impression that CIA Director George Tenet had been the moving force in choosing former Ambassador Joe Wilson to investigate the nuclear dealings reported to be going on in Niger."

Wilson never said Tenet had chosen him. That was one of a thousand republican canards on the topic. Obviously the "context of the conversation" was a cover for Rove outing a CIA operation.


"Rove said that it was not Tenet who pushed the appointment but that it likely stemmed from the fact that Wilson’s wife “apparently works” at the CIA.
To call that conversation a deliberate revelation of an agent’s identity designed to blow her cover is a far, far stretch of the statute’s wording and intent."

No it's not because it's what rove ALWAYS does. He is famous for his whisper campaigns where he starts rumors that he knows aren't true but does it in a way that can't be linked back to him.

He had Method, Motive, and Opportunity. Cooper's email shows his fingerprints at the scene of the crime.

He may get off the IIPA because of the degree of intent it requires one to show. The Espionage Act looks a lot more likely to get him. Good riddance.

Tlaloc said...

"The biggest problem with this argument is that Wilson never said that Dick Cheney personally chose him to fly to Niger to check out rumors that Iraq was buying yellowcake uranium. To hear the GOP tell it, you'd think Wilson's story had Cheney punching his speed dial and asking, "How's that golf game going, you old so-and-so? What are you doing next Saturday? How'd you like to do me a little favor? Love to Val and the kids." What Wilson claimed in his July 2003 New York Times op-ed piece—the document whose purported falsity Rove was trying to expose—is as follows:

I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

All true. I don't know what verbal shorthand Wilson used when discussing this matter "on the airwaves," but to the extent he emphasized this trip was instigated by Cheney, his point would have been not to indicate Cheney hand-picked him for the trip but rather to emphasize that the trip itself never would have happened had Cheney not ordered the CIA to assign it. Because the CIA had already concluded, correctly, it turns out, that the Iraqis had purchased no yellowcake.

But let's suppose that Wilson did indeed claim, falsely, that Cheney personally selected him to go to Niger ("Go get 'em, tiger!"). To blow the whistle on this lie, Rove still would have no logical need to expose Wilson's wife as a CIA employee. He could merely tell Time's Cooper, "Cheney did not select Wilson for the trip. Cheney has never met or spoken to Wilson in his life. Some faceless bureaucrat at the CIA picked Wilson." For Rove to add (falsely) that Wilson's wife authorized Wilson, or even to add (correctly) that Wilson's wife recommended Wilson to her superiors, would serve merely to castrate Wilson (at least in Rove's overheatedly macho imagination)."

There's plenty more .

Tlaloc said...

oh and this:
"But this is not what Rove told Cooper. What Rove told Cooper was that Joe Wilson was married to a woman who worked for the CIA. He said this apparently without checking—as any minimally responsible person would do—whether this was information that needed to be kept secret. And that's the generous interpretation; it's possible (though doubtful, I think) that he passed along this information knowing that he was blowing Plame's cover and pretty much destroying her CIA career. (There has been some dispute about whether Plame was technically undercover when she was exposed. I apply a simple test: Did her friends and neighbors know she worked for the CIA? They did not. Ergo, she was undercover.)

Rove behaved in a way that was unacceptably heedless of national security concerns. He revealed a secret not to expose the truth, but to smear a political enemy. And, if Cooper's e-mail is precisely accurate, the smear wasn't even true. Some whistle-blower."

same link.
Whether Rove violated a law remains to be seen. That he violated National Security is settled: he did.

The irony of course being he sabotaged our ability to find real weapons of mass destruction in order to get support for his manufactured war based on a pretense of those same weapons.

KeithM, Indy said...

Course, we still don't know if any crime was committed...

So why don't you step back from the tar and feathers and take a breather...

KeithM, Indy said...

Intersting how the Independent Commission came to the conclusion that Wilson exagerrated and misspoke in his editorials and public statements, and Wilson admitted he used some "literary flair"

But we are to take Wilsons word on everything.

KeithM, Indy said...

And not to let the truth get in the way, but the Cooper/Rove exchange was about both Tenet and Cheney.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/page/2/

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 ... "

KeithM, Indy said...

Tenets statement of July 11 2003

The one Karl Rove was giving notice to Cooper about...

This establishes

1) That neither Tenet or Cheney had anything to do with Wilson going to Niger

2) The report back from Wilson did not resolve anything

3) The report was given normal distributions, and Cheney, the President and others were not given a special briefing.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/news/2003/intell-030711-cia01.htm

There was fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002 on the allegations of Saddam's efforts to obtain additional raw uranium from Africa, beyond the 550 metric tons already in Iraq. In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger's processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all.

Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other senior Administration officials. We also had to consider that the former Nigerien officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said.

Tlaloc said...

"Course, we still don't know if any crime was committed..."

I said as much explicitly:
"Whether Rove violated a law remains to be seen. That he violated National Security is settled: he did."

Aren't conservatives supposed to be the ones all gung ho on national security? There's absolutely no doubt he exposed a clandestine operation. The CIA asked the Justice department to get involved. Where is the outrage?

Tlaloc said...

"Intersting how the Independent Commission came to the conclusion that Wilson exagerrated and misspoke in his editorials and public statements, and Wilson admitted he used some "literary flair"

But we are to take Wilsons word on everything."

A) the independent commision wqas anything but independent. The commisssion played up the discrepencies but they also said that just about everything Wilson claimed was true (whereas just about everything the administration claimed was false).

B) More importantly it doesn't matter whether you believe Wilson or not. Wilson didn't finger Rove. Cooper has fingered Rove. He has the emails.

Tlaloc said...

"And not to let the truth get in the way, but the Cooper/Rove exchange was about both Tenet and Cheney."

None of which is even remotely relevent.



"Tenets statement of July 11 2003..."

Also irrelevent. No matter how much you really really want to make this about Joe Wilson it's not. Wilson may be the motive but he is neither the victim nor the perpetrator. Plame and the CIA (and the US in general) are the victims. Rove is one of the perps. All the smoke screening in the world won't change that.

Jay D. Homnick said...

If the facts are as Dick Morris posits, then I believe that his conclusion is well-founded.