Saturday, July 16, 2005

This Is More Like It: Back to NadaGate

The latest addition to the NYT op-ed stable is John Tierney and he's got a piece out that's got to have Karl "the MSM-slayer" Rove feeling his oats:

Karl Rove's version of events now looks less like a smear and more like the truth: Mr. Wilson's investigation, far from being requested and then suppressed by a White House afraid of its contents, was a low-level report of not much interest to anyone outside the Wilson household.

So what exactly is this scandal about? Why are the villagers still screaming to burn the witch? Well, there's always the chance that the prosecutor will turn up evidence of perjury or obstruction of justice during the investigation, which would just prove once again that the easiest way to uncover corruption in Washington is to create it yourself by investigating nonexistent crimes.

For now, though, it looks as if this scandal is about a spy who was not endangered, a whistle-blower who did not blow the whistle and was not smeared, and a White House official who has not been fired for a felony that he did not commit. And so far the only victim is a reporter who did not write a story about it.

It would be logical to name it the Not-a-gate scandal, but I prefer a bilingual variation. It may someday make a good trivia question:

What do you call a scandal that's not scandalous?

Nadagate.

18 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

I love this guy. Bravo to the New York Times for some real diversity of thought.

Hunter Baker said...

I agree. They'd have to line up Ann Coulter to have somebody as far right as Paul Krugman is to the left, but Tierney is a nice addition.

Kristof is willing to throw us a bone every once in a while, but Krugman and Dowd are not exactly dispassionate like Broder and Will.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Nadagate is pretty good, but I also like a suggestion made on NRO Corner: Tempest in a Teapot Dome.

Hunter Baker said...

I have a hunch it's going to come back with accusations about Cheney's office.

Tlaloc said...

"Karl Rove's version of events now looks less like a smear and more like the truth: Mr. Wilson's investigation, far from being requested and then suppressed by a White House afraid of its contents, was a low-level report of not much interest to anyone outside the Wilson household."

Wow who would have thought a grand jury would be called to investigate the Wilson families private dramas?



"So what exactly is this scandal about? Why are the villagers still screaming to burn the witch? Well, there's always the chance that the prosecutor will turn up evidence of perjury or obstruction of justice during the investigation, which would just prove once again that the easiest way to uncover corruption in Washington is to create it yourself by investigating nonexistent crimes."

No the scandal is about an administration that has consistently denied any reports that disagreed with their preferred view and went so far as to endanger national security to slander a naysayer. Regardless of what you think of Plame or Wilson the Whitehouse compromised national security to score political points. Period.



"For now, though, it looks as if this scandal is about a spy who was not endangered, a whistle-blower who did not blow the whistle and was not smeared, and a White House official who has not been fired for a felony that he did not commit."

Her operation is compromised. He did in fact blow the whistle by publishing an op-ed piece about the administration lies. Rove hasn't been fired (so much for presidential integrity) and may be guilty of a couple different felonies. Grand Juries take a while, but the fact that he's havng to sit before one doesn't look very good for him.

How much is keeping real WMD out of the hands of real terrorists worth to republicans? Apparently not enough to distance themselves from kingmaker Rove.

KeithM, Indy said...

It has not been proven that Rove has broken the law. So the Presidents promise to take care of anyone who broke the law, is not broken or met.

If Plame was working a desk job, and had not been assigned covertly overseas in the 5 years prior to the printing of her name by Novak, then NO CRIME was committed.

And according to an ex-CIA agent, her status and future job opportunities within the agency are unharmed.

And yet again, we should wait to pass judgement on anyone until the actual facts are known (not just what the media reports are facts,) and investigations are concluded.

So much for intellectual honesty, and a desire for the truth...

Tlaloc said...

"It has not been proven that Rove has broken the law. So the Presidents promise to take care of anyone who broke the law, is not broken or met."

He promised to fire any leakers and it's most assuredly proven that rove leaked.


"If Plame was working a desk job, and had not been assigned covertly overseas in the 5 years prior to the printing of her name by Novak, then NO CRIME was committed."

That depends. Classified information was still revealed. It may not match the criteria of the IIPA but there are other laws about secrets including the espionage act.



"And according to an ex-CIA agent, her status and future job opportunities within the agency are unharmed."

Neat. But according to her and plenty of others they were in fact harmed and the dummy corp she worked for was compromised and her contacts may very well have gotten burned (i.e. dead).



"And yet again, we should wait to pass judgement on anyone until the actual facts are known (not just what the media reports are facts,) and investigations are concluded."

That Karl Rove disclosed the identity of a clandestine agent to a reporter is a fact. It's black and white on the email for you to read right above Rove's won name. Whether he knew she was covert is in question. Why he did is in question though of course anyone who knows his history knows why. That he compromised a national security resource isn't even remotely in question. He did.

KeithM, Indy said...

Despite your assertion, the President has promised repeatedly to fire anyone who leaked classified information in violation of the law.

Such has not been proven.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/7/18/224504.shtml

The press is claiming that President Bush has changed his pledge to fire anyone in his administration involved in leaking Valerie Plame's name - saying he's now added the qualifier "if someone committed a crime."

But that's exactly what Bush said when he was first asked about the Plame case on Sept. 30, 2003.

Story Continues Below




"If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," the president told reporters back then. "And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."
Dozens of news organizations quoted Bush's Sept. 2003 proviso, "if the person has violated law", including USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN.

On Monday, Bush made it clear his position hadn't changed one bit. Asked about the Plame case, he explained: "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

Still, that didn't stop the Associated Press from charging: "On Monday, however,[Bush] added the qualifier that it would have [to] be shown that a crime was committed."

The AP cited a June 10, 2004, news conference, where, according to the wire service, a reporter simply asked if Bush stood by his earlier pledge to fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name. Bush answered, "Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts."

But the full June 10, 2004 exchange was somewhat more complicated:

REPORTER: Given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, suggesting that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leak the agent's name? And do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

BUSH: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts. [End of Excerpt]

Any honest reading of that exchange would acknowledge that when Bush answered, "Yes" - he meant he was standing by his earlier statement, not the reporter's distorted version: "Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?"

Bush hadn't offered any such pledge.

But what he had said several months previous was that if the leaker had "violated the law," he'd be "taken care of."

Tlaloc said...

"Despite your assertion, the President has promised repeatedly to fire anyone who leaked classified information in violation of the law."

Dude, I've twice linked to the state department transcript in which bush personally said he'd fire anyone who leaked the name, not who committed a crime, leaked the name. Furthermore McClellan (his spokesman and hence authorized to speak on his behalf) has said the same numerous times.



"QUESTION: Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

QUESTION: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts."

Still trying to deny it?

KeithM, Indy said...

So what was said "several months ago"

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/09/20030930-9.html

Q Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. 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.

And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.

Yes, let's see, Kemper -- he's from Chicago. Where are you? Are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? (Laughter.) Wait a minute. That doesn't seem fair, does it? (Laughter.)

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

KeithM, Indy said...

And it still is not yet proven that Mrs Plames CIA position was classified information, or that Karl Rove learned about her through classified information.

So, nope, still not convinced there was a crime, not convinced that there was a "leak" of classified information regarding this case.

Tlaloc said...

"And it still is not yet proven that Mrs Plames CIA position was classified information,"

Even though the CIA says otherwise? I give up, you obviously have no interest in looking at the facts of the matter and wish to contiune singing loudly with your fingers in your ears. Fortunately it appears not all republicans are so willing to ignore these transgressions (looking at the ABC news poll).

KeithM, Indy said...

Must have missed the official statement from the CIA where they say that she was a covert agent at the time of her "outing."

I guess Joe Wilsons recent assertion that she was not, should be discounted, since he is a serial exaggerator...

If you have an actual source for such a statement from the CIA (not an anonymous source or ex-CIA employee) please, let's have it. But in my research of this story I've yet to see such a statement linked to.

Tlaloc said...

"Must have missed the official statement from the CIA where they say that she was a covert agent at the time of her "outing.""

They referred it to the Justice department. In other words they believe a crime has been committed and they want it investigated.


"I guess Joe Wilsons recent assertion that she was not, should be discounted, since he is a serial exaggerator..."

You are misconstruing what he said. He said she was no longer a covert agent precisely because they compromised her cover.

Furthermore here's a letter from 11 Intelligence agents (CIA and DIA) saying that she was indeed undercover:

letter

KeithM, Indy said...

Former intel agents... Not the CIA...

And the fact that an investigation is on going is not evidence of a crime. It is evidence that an investigation is going on. But it does not prove anyones guilt or innocence.

Or are we no longer operating under "innocent until proven guilty."

Or did you believe Clinton was guilty of all charges until the investigation was at an end... (at which time it was proven that he did perjure himself in front of the Grand Jury.)

My contention has always been that a crime has not been proven. I'm willing to let the facts prove me right or wrong. If wrong I will want to see the wrong-doers locked up, whomever they are.

Tlaloc said...

"Former intel agents... Not the CIA..."

In case you didn't notice Bush has pulled a purge of the CIA carreer officers in favor of white house loyalists.


"And the fact that an investigation is on going is not evidence of a crime. It is evidence that an investigation is going on. But it does not prove anyones guilt or innocence."

Of course not, but for you to claim Plame wasn't undercover forces us to ask why the CIA would call for an investigation at all? The move makes no sense if they (in a position to know) knew her identity was not classified. It's an untenable line of reasoning in the face of the evidence that the CIA did indeed consider it a criminal matter.



"Or are we no longer operating under "innocent until proven guilty.""

strawman. Since the discussion at hand is whether rove leaked a classified agent's identity and not whether he is guilty of a crime your statement has no bearing.


"My contention has always been that a crime has not been proven. I'm willing to let the facts prove me right or wrong. If wrong I will want to see the wrong-doers locked up, whomever they are."

You've also contended that she's wasn't undercover and that bush didn't say he'd fire a leaker. You were wrong as I've show in both those contentions. As far as a crime I agree it's too early to say. I'm happy to let the justice system work on that. In the meantime he should be fired because regardless of if he committed a crime he absolutely has been proven to show negligence (at least) with regards to national security and Bush promised to do so many time (personally and through McClellen). It's perfectly appropriate to fire an incompetent employee even if they've committed no crimes.

KeithM, Indy said...

If you haven't noticed CIA leaks all seem to damage Republican administrations...

And if you haven't noticed bearacracies tend to look out for themselves first. So there's a big to do in the media, people calling for investigations, special prosecutors, suspects to be frog-walked... After any internal investigation they would likely send the matter elsewhere, just so they can say, we did what was asked of us.

No, my statement of innocent until proven guilty is the crux of the thing.

If Plame wasn't a covert agent at or during the 5 years previous then no crime was committed.

If Rove wasn't the source of Plames name or status, then he didn't commit the crime of identifying her as a covert agent.

Either a crime was committed or not. Nothing in the public domain really proves it one way or another.

Trying to solve this like it's some who-done-it mystery film is unbecoming of the seriousness of the possible crime. Using it as political bait during press confrences is also unbecoming of the media.

KeithM, Indy said...

And no I was not wrong, President Bush stated at the start, that he would fire anyone involved in a crime. The press narrowed that pledge in subsequent questions, not the President.