Friday, July 15, 2005

More ROVE REVERSAL

Jay's post just doesn't do justice to the sturm und drang we've had around here the last couple of days since he kicked over the lantern like Mrs. O'Leary's cow (no offense Jay and no harm since this town is electronic).

Let's have a little excerpt from the AP story that greeted me this morning:

WASHINGTON - Chief presidential adviser Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he talked with two journalists before they divulged the identity of an undercover CIA officer but that he originally learned about the operative from the news media and not government sources, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh
Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

Rove testified that Novak originally called him the Tuesday before Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 to discuss another story.

And also this nice bit:

Wilson acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak's column first identified her. "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he said.

The story seems to confirm what some on this blog have suggested, which is that the White House was allowing another firestorm to build only to cut the legs out from under opponents as with the Dan Rather controversy, thus making the MoveOn crowd look like MooreOn's.

It also confirms what Rush Limbaugh has said (yes, the much hated Mr. Limbaugh), which is that Valerie Plame's covert career ended when she married the high profile Mr. Wilson.

UPDATE: Clifford May has a very interesting column up at National Review suggesting that Wilson may himself have been responsible for bringing up Ms. Plame's former undercover status during his interview with David Corn.

25 comments:

KeithM, Indy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KeithM, Indy said...

It's tempting to think of this as vindication, and do a little happy dance...

But I really do want to know the whole truth (or as much as we'll ever know.)

Like who is Miller protecting by going to jail...

Kathy Hutchins said...

I would also like very much to know if David Corn has been before the grand jury. However, I've decided that my very much wanting to know every aspect of this case has become unseemly, since so many of the people who actually know things have been asked by Peter Fitzgerald to keep their mouths shut for awhile. So I am done, done, done with this topic. Given the nothingburger aspect it has acquired overnight, it will disappear from everyone's brain the minute Bush announces his SCOTUS pick anyway. [sigh] Washington in summer -- the old habit of fleeing town until September was surely very sound.

P.S. -- Keithm, indy -- is the indy for independent or Indianapolis? If the latter, I grew up in Westfield.

Hunter Baker said...

It's a good question, Keith. Let's wait and see.

KeithM, Indy said...

Indianapolis... hello hoosier :)

Yes, let's wait and see.

I do suspect that all will be quiet on the Western front today while they digest the latest and search for their talking points.

Locke said...

Do you think it may be a while before we hear from Tlaloc and Mr. Elliott today? It takes time to regenerate all that hot air after the balloon develops such a large LEAK.

James Elliott said...

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm willing to concede when it appears I was wrong about Rove (in this instance; he's still a scumbag). But you don't need to be an Anonymous Internet Asshat about it.

However, how does this explain the CIA's referring the matter to the Justice Department, if no crime occurred?

Of course, the freakish conspiracy voice in my head is shouting "Novak's covering for Rove!" but I try not to listen to him too often.

James Elliott said...

Of course, if the Baylor Crew here can cry "obvious underhanded tactic" on whatsisname at Baylor, I reserve the right to pass judgment on "Someone called someone who called Novak who called Rove who'd already heard the rumor too" as one massive shell-game in Rove's dirty tricks arsenal.

Hunter Baker said...

The Baylor story is simply too ridiculous to be credited. Again, what kind of private investigator hired by "rich and powerful people" makes a general ass of himself and tells everyone he meets that he is "working for rich and powerful people." James Rockford, he ain't.

I'm proud of you for at least being willing to suspend judgment a bit on Rove. I think that much is called for. As Keith M. pointed out, there's more to be discovered.

Locke said...

"Anonymous internet asshat?"

You mean like Tlaloc?

James Elliott said...

No, more like you. Tlaloc is considerably less rude.

Don't get me wrong. I'm an asshat too. I'm just not anonymous. And yes, it is an important distinction.

James Elliott said...

Hunter, your reasoning on the Baylor story follows the same line as Kathy's attempted (and failed) rebuttal of Larry Johnson by saying "Who's Larry Johnson? That sounds like a made up name." It's really kind of weak.

Who does that? Maybe a sad, weak little man with low self-esteem? Someone with a huge ego? The range of stupid human behavior is a rather wide spectrum to cull from.

That's why I'm merely saying that this new twist in the case has the appearance of a shell-game. It may or may not be the case.

Hunter Baker said...

I think you could be right about the shell game. But what we have so far is more than enough to suspend the mighty rush to judgment going on full speed as of yesterday.

Locke said...

Tlaloc makes me look like Emily Post.

James Elliott said...

Hunter, I'll at least give you that.

Kathy Hutchins said...

how does this explain the CIA's referring the matter to the Justice Department, if no crime occurred?

In the climate we have in this silly city today, where there's smoke, there's smoke. That's all you can conclude. There was a time when agencies would have sent a matter like this first to the Inspector General of the agency. But no one trusts agencies to that extent post Infini-gates. There's always conspiracy talk of a coverup. It's easier to send it to an outside entity, especially one with subpoena powers.

Kathy Hutchins said...

your reasoning on the Baylor story follows the same line as Kathy's attempted (and failed) rebuttal of Larry Johnson by saying "Who's Larry Johnson? That sounds like a made up name." It's really kind of weak.

Let's put this in context, shall we? The link to TPM (which was broken, BTW, but I took the time to hunt out the information anyway) was to a guy signing himself Larry Johnson claiming to be a former CIA agent in a comment box on a blog. Anyone can call themselves anything they want in such environs, in case you haven't noticed. There was no indication there that Larry Johnson had identified himself in person to a news organization or gone on the record in any way that would make his claims verifiable. You posted otherwise later, and I'll take your information at face value (although you did not, to my recollection, provide a link to where the information came from.)

If you want dueling CIA agents on the subject of Plame's status, BTW, there's yet another one in this morning's WashTimes telling a story directly contradictory of Johnson.

God, I got sucked into this thing again. I'm really, really quitting now.

James Elliott said...

The Washington Times? Isn't it like a sin or something for a Catholic to read a Moonie paper? And you people attack US for using "biased" sources.

James Elliott said...

Oh, BTW, I don't know where Tlaloc found Larry Johnson, but I heard him on news radio.

KeithM, Indy said...

Karl Rove is no angel. I certainly wont dispute that. And I think it's funny when some complain about his "good name" being dragged through the mud. He's a political advisor, and he's willing to use dirty (although not neccessarily illegal) tricks to get his boss elected. Sounds like a description that also fits James Carville.

Wouldn't the CIA hand ANY investigation over to the Justice Dept? They can't operate an investigation in the US after all.

OK, so who would have been satisfied, if the Department of Justice looked into it and said, no crime was committed here?

Nobody that's currently barking up a storm about this. They were barking up a storm back then too.

So a special investigator is appointed, because that's what was asked for. The administration cooperates fully, and keeps quiet, because it was asked to (and I posit because it was also politically benefitial to do so.) And the press and Democrats continue to harp and bark, because that's what they do to damage their political opponents.

Politics as usual, unfortunately.

Kathy Hutchins said...

The Washington Times? Isn't it like a sin or something for a Catholic to read a Moonie paper? And you people attack US for using "biased" sources.

I realize that the Moonie mouthpiece trope is popular, but falling back on it is either lazy or worse. The Washington Times's editor-at-large is Arnaud de Borchgrave and Wes Pruden is the editor-in-chief. They have both been mainstream journalists for decades. De Borchgrave was at Newsweek for 30 years. Bill Gertz and Bill Sammon are two of the best respected and best connected reporters in the country. Yes, the Washtimes editiorial page does lean right. There was a time in this country when two-paper towns with differing editioral stances were the norm. And frankly, I think the WashPost can thank the competition from the "Moonies" for keeping them from becoming as useless and stupid as the NYTimes has become.

I don't know much about the Unification Church from a theological standpoint, but I have a Christian Scientist in the immediate family and can say from experience that if the Moonies are any kookier than CSers, they have to work at it pretty hard. But no one calls The Christian Science Monitor a mouthpiece, even though their organizational ties are much, much closer.

James Elliott said...

You'll have to explain how your attack on the NY Times is anything other than the same kind of trope you accuse me of using (correctly, I might add).

I'll grant that the NY Times op-ed page is largely useless. I enjoy Krugman, Herbert, and Kristof, but the editors are frankly disappointing. The same is occurring at the LA Times, ever since they were bought out. The only time I enjoy their op-eds is on Fridays, when I get to scream and curse at David Gelertner and cheer on Jonathan Chait.

In terms of sheer journalism, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor are by far the five most superior. Back when I was toying with journalism as a profession, my professors and editors told me to always always always read those five.

Knight Ridder has an excellent Washington Bureau, as well. Worth checking out.

Hunter Baker said...

Something else has occurred to me in the midst of this mess. Why was Joe Wilson ever a great source to determine whether the uranium story was true in the first place. He went on an expensed, but unpaid junket to find out. That's a mission with a pretty strong investment behind it. About as crafty as an international phone call. Yet, he returns to accuse the administration of lying. As if he could with any authority be sure it was so!

Kathy Hutchins said...

In terms of sheer journalism, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor are by far the five most superior.

Here I simply have to disagree with you, and I base my position on the increasingly shoddy, sloppy, blinkered nature of reporting at the NYT. I don't base my assessment of a daily paper on the editorial page. I can get opinion many, many places, and most of them are more convenient and timely than the daily paper. I need a daily paper to deliver news to me, and for at least two years the NYT is has been falling behind the Post in this regard. The NYT's problem is no longer just bias or spin -- their reporters are lazy, and some of them seem to border on illiterate. Their editorial layers have lost the ability to see when they are pursuing matters of no interest to the readership, and no longer exert discipline on the reporters.

You can make fun of the Moonies all you like, but they've never had to apologize publicly for employing a Jayson Blair or a Stephen Glass.

Tlaloc said...

"Wilson acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak's column first identified her. "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he said."

And when this part is pulled out of context it sounds like an admission on his part but he's made it clear since then it was an ACCUSATION. In other words he's saying on the day she was named she was no longer a covert employee BECAUSE THEY NAMED HER IN A FREAKING NEWSPAPER!