Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wall Street Journal on Rove

The WSJ thinks Rove is going to easily survive and explains why.

Here's a bit:

In short, Joe Wilson hadn't told the truth about what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission. The media and the Kerry campaign promptly abandoned him, though the former never did give as much prominence to his debunking as they did to his original accusations. But if anyone can remember another public figure so entirely and thoroughly discredited, let us know.

If there's any scandal at all here, it is that this entire episode has been allowed to waste so much government time and media attention, not to mention inspire a "special counsel" probe. The Bush Administration is also guilty on this count, since it went along with the appointment of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in an election year in order to punt the issue down the road. But now Mr. Fitzgerald has become an unguided missile, holding reporters in contempt for not disclosing their sources even as it becomes clearer all the time that no underlying crime was at issue.


As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth.

28 comments:

James Elliott said...

And now we come to the full realization of the "faith-based" community. Don't like reality? Construct a new one!

As Salon puts it:

"Along the way to the beatification, the Journal skips through an inconvenient fact or two and makes up at least one of its own. The Journal says "36 major newspaper organizations that filed a legal brief in March aimed at keeping Mr. Cooper and the New York Times's Judith Miller out of jail" agree that there's no evidence that a crime has been committed in the Plame case. But of course, a legal brief filed "in March" is necessarily one that was written before it was revealed that Karl Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

"And the Journal says that Rove can't be convicted under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act unless he "deliberately and maliciously exposed" Plame as an undercover operative. But that's not what the law says, and it's not what the law requires. While the legal standard for a conviction under the 1982 act is high, the prosecution needs to show that the leak was made "intentionally," not "maliciously."

"But who needs facts when there's a hero to worship? "If there's any scandal at all here, it is that this entire episode has been allowed to waste so much government time and media attention, not to mention inspire a 'special counsel' probe," the Journal says. "As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth.""

CRIMESTOP!

Tlaloc said...

"In short, Joe Wilson hadn't told the truth about what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission."

These are old lies that were disproven back in 2003 when the issue first came up.



" As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth."

And grateful he compromised our national security in order to score political points with a slime campaign.

I know thw WSJ lies a lot but this is beyond the pale.

Locke said...

Are you just sure Mr. Rove isn't just the target of your great desire for payback?

Tlaloc said...

"Are you just sure Mr. Rove isn't just the target of your great desire for payback?"

After all the people he's defamed over the years (on both the right and the left) I'd love to see him go down. But at the same time there is a claer trail of evidence and his own attourney's addmission that he was a source for plame's identity. That's not in dispute by anyone.

What is in dispute is whether he did it in a way that was criminal or merely unethical. And of course some like the WSJ will say that the unethical was really ethical.

There is no question however that he violated national security.

"The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.

The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken". I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC. They have set a precendent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate."
http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/7/13/04720/9340

by an ex-CIA who knew Plame personally.

The Liberal Anonymous said...

The first line of the article:

"Democrats and most of the Beltway press corps are baying for Karl Rove's head over his role in exposing a case of CIA nepotism involving Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. "

Actually folks are baying for Karl Rove's head over his role in exposing the identity of a CIA agent. The first line of the article, and they're already lying. Amazing.

KeithM, Indy said...

Again, it's still not clear that Karl Rove leak was based on any classified information. If he heard that she was with the CIA from another reporter, and repeated that to someone else, he did not commit an illegal act.

It is also not clear that Plame was currently a covert CIA operative.

Jump to all the conclusions you want, but you are using the same tactics you accuse Rove of using.

So I guess you aren't any better then him.

\Flamesuit on

James Elliott said...

Keith,

Um, what?

Here's the learner's version:

There are two types of CIA agents (not referring to analysts or admin personnel here). The first is your everyday agent, including case officers, whose cover involves ostensibly working for other branches of the U.S. government. These people have diplomatic (the so-called "black") passports, granting them diplomatic immunity. These people are safe from prosecution or persecution because of them. This is why it is called "official cover."

The second kind of agent lacks the "black" passport. Their cover is not diplomatic/governmental in nature. They work for front companies. This is known as "Non-Official Cover" or, as Hollywood has mythologized it, the "NOC" (pronounced "knock"). NOCs, if caught conducting intelligence or espionage in a foreign country, do not have any kind of diplomatic or official recourse. They may be tried, convicted, executed, etc.

These latter agents, since they lack such protection, are whom the statute is designed to protect.

Plame was, from 1985 until her "outing," a NOC working out of a CIA front company. Her job was to run an informant ring on WMD proliferation. While largely managerial by 2003, her job was still "unofficial."

As a NOC, her identity is ostensibly protected by the statute, whether she is in the field or not. Ergo, it is a CRIME to reveal her true employer.

Class dismissed.

Locke said...

James, give us a footnote for her NOC status. That will be important to the point you are making.

Tlaloc said...

"Jump to all the conclusions you want, but you are using the same tactics you accuse Rove of using."

No because both issues you raise are irrelevent.


"Again, it's still not clear that Karl Rove leak was based on any classified information."

Her employment as an undercover agent was indeed classified, as before Rove may have sidestepped leaking the information in a criminal way but he did leak it (his attourney admits it as well as the cooper emails).



"It is also not clear that Plame was currently a covert CIA operative."

Yes it is clear. Multiple CIA agents have come forward saying so (I believe it was five at last count). I linked you to the article in the other thread. Feel free to read it before repeating the two year old fabrications that her identity was a commonly known thing.

Ed Darrell said...

The news organizations who filed briefs argued that neither Miller nor Cooper had committed a crime. They did not argue that there was no crime committed by Rove, nor that there was no crime committed.

Rove betrayed America. To claim, as his lawyer did, that he didn't realize what he was doing, adds insult to injury.

He should resign out of honor. If he doesn't resign, Bush should fire him.

Keith, Indy said...

yawn... you guys still haven't proven anything...

You are trying and convicting the guy without evidence.

36 major news organizations think there is enough on record that a crime wasn't committed...

Hmm, some of the same ones trying to make hay out of the strawman they created. How interesting. I'm sure they'll make some excuse, and wish they had never filed that brief.

http://www.bakerlaw.com/files/tbl_s10News/FileUpload44/10159/Amici%20Brief%20032305%20(Final).PDF

"In this case, there exists ample evidence in the public record to cast serious doubt as to whether a crime has even been committed under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (the "Act") in the investigation underlying the attempts to secure testimony from Miller and Cooper. If in fact no crime under the Act has been committed, then any need to compel Miller and Cooper to reveal their confidential sources should evaporate."

"Plame was not given 'deep cover' required of a covert agent...She worked at a desk job at CIA headquarters, where she could be seen traveling to and from, and active at, Langley. She had been residing in Washington -- not stationed abroad-- for a number of years. As discussed below, the CIA failed to take even its usual steps to prevent publication of her name."

"an article in the Washington Times indicated that Plame's identity was compromised twice prior to Novak's publication. If this information is accurate --another fact a court should explore-- there is an absolute defense to prosecution."

KeithM, Indy said...

Is everyone out getting their marching orders from the DailyKos or what???

Kathy Hutchins said...

Is everyone out getting their marching orders from the DailyKos or what???

Actually, Tlaloc seems to be getting his from Josh Marshall. And he's got the cojones to accuse other people of using biased unreliable sources? Having a position is one thing, but Mr. Talking Points Memo has got a track record of going out on a limb and having it sawn off behind him that stretches back years.

Oh, and Tlaloc, baby -- if you're going to provide a link in attempt to back up your argument, could you give one that actually works?

Like this one?

Then we could assess for ourselves if we think a semi-anonymous guy (Larry Johnson? Why didn't he just use John Smith, for crying out loud?) who claims he used to work at the CIA, but apparently does no longer, is a credible source on Ms. Plame's status.

Kathy Hutchins said...

The news organizations who filed briefs argued that neither Miller nor Cooper had committed a crime. They did not argue that there was no crime committed by Rove, nor that there was no crime committed.

Well, yes they did argue there had been no crime committed. And a good thing, too, for otherwise it would have meant they were represented by Lionel Hutz. No other lawyer would try to argue you're not obligated to obey a subpoena just because you're not the one who committed the crime.

But of course, a legal brief filed "in March" is necessarily one that was written before it was revealed that Karl Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

So Salon's claiming that it was a crime if Rove leaked, but not a crime if someone else did it? Because in March we certainly knew that Ms. Plame's identity had been revealed to Bob Novak and he had published it.

Tlaloc said...

"Is everyone out getting their marching orders from the DailyKos or what???"

I don't read KOS. Not that I have anything against them but I already have a slew of news and blogs to read.

Tlaloc said...

"Oh, and Tlaloc, baby -- if you're going to provide a link in attempt to back up your argument, could you give one that actually works?"

Sure if you'd like to provide how to tag it. This site inconveniently doesn't happen to explain which method they use.



"Then we could assess for ourselves if we think a semi-anonymous guy (Larry Johnson? Why didn't he just use John Smith, for crying out loud?) who claims he used to work at the CIA, but apparently does no longer, is a credible source on Ms. Plame's status."

I'm happy to make the link work but really if you can't be troubled to copy and paste a URL I doubt you can be troubled to click a link and read.

Tlaloc said...

"Actually, Tlaloc seems to be getting his from Josh Marshall. And he's got the cojones to accuse other people of using biased unreliable sources?"

I read a lot of sources Kathy darling. TPM is a decent one. Yes Josh Marshal is partisan but I've never to date found him stating an outright lie. However given that you use sources without even a cursory examination of their honesty (see your post above where you completely mangle what the magazines said- hint ed darrell is right, you are wrong)then it doesn't surprise me that you have an aversion to sources that would expose some of the lies you willing chug.

Kathy Hutchins said...

see your post above where you completely mangle what the magazines said- hint ed darrell is right, you are wrong

Keith, Indy already provided a usable link, which I now make clickable:

Amicus Brief

(Yes I'm being really snotty about it since I got it wrong once and worked it out.)

I refer you, and Ed, to page 28 of the PDF file, which is Section B. of the amicus curiae brief. It is entitled There is Ample Evidence in the Public Record to Cast Considerable Doubt That a Crime Has Been Committed. It goes on to list, in detail, the relevant parts of the statute which are necessary to trigger criminality, and which appear not to have been met in this case, and further argues that in addition the CIA apparently failed to actively protect Plame's identity.

Why do you and James think you can get away with your wild assertions when the primary record is available for anyone to examine?

I also find it extremely curious that Victoria Toensing is being savaged over at TPM and Kos for being a partisan hack, when in fact her role in this is lead counsel for the news organizations, the ones that are supposedly the white hats to the lefties.

Tlaloc said...

"There is Ample Evidence in the Public Record to Cast Considerable Doubt That a Crime Has Been Committed."

Oh for god sake, you now want to morph "doubt a crime has been committed" into "no crime was committed"? Are you really incapable of parsing the difference between doubt and certainty?

Tlaloc said...

"I also find it extremely curious that Victoria Toensing is being savaged over at TPM and Kos for being a partisan hack, when in fact her role in this is lead counsel for the news organizations, the ones that are supposedly the white hats to the lefties."

That's because you fall into the typical conservative mode of thinking only in binary terms. Everyone is either a white hat or a black hat. Things aren't that simple. For instance I have no love for the CIA. They do a lot of mean evil things. And they often are incompetent. But at the same time I think that outing them to score political points is pretty vile. It's not "White hat = CIA, Black hat = Rove."

You need to learn nuance, among other things.

James Elliott said...

Some more public record to refute y'all:

1. Rove's own lawyer acknowledges that not using Plame's name is no defense:

"More to the point, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, concedes that Rove informed Cooper that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. And Luskin has apparently abandoned the distinction-without-a-difference argument that Rove is somehow off the hook because he referred to Wilson's wife as Wilson's wife and not by her name, Valerie Plame. When the National Review's Byron York asked Tuesday if that defense weren't a little legalistic -- another interviewer might have called it "Clintonian" -- Luskin said, "I agree with you. I think it's a detail.""

2. A CIA official says that the CIA would never have referred the case to the Department of Justice if an undercover agent had not been revealed and a crime committed.

Some dark liberal crusade, no. Government agency looking to bust a criminal, yes.

Also, here's a question: If no real crime was committed, then why is Miller sitting in jail? Why was it necessary for George W. Bush to appoint a special prosecutor and a judge to hold Miller and Cooper in contempt if this was all just a bunch of partisan nonsense? Riddle me that.

And if Plame was just some sort of glorified busybody within the Agency, then how did she have the power to hire her husband and send him to Niger if this whole thing is indeed about nepotism. She wasn't, didn't, and couldn't. No nepotism, no Rove as whistle-blowing hero. Play again next time.

KeithM, Indy said...

I do believe the MSM is getting all the rope it can from Rove and company...

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the investigation is.

But I know in my heart that a New York Times reporter would not sit in jail to protect Karl Rove. So the question remains, who is she and the New York Times protecting?

Tlaloc said...

Here's an interesting blog that suggests violating the IIPA may be the least of Rove's worries.


http://www.markarkleiman.com/archives/valerie_plame_/2005/07/the_plame_game_no_its_not_all_about_the_intelligence_identities_protection_act.php

I'm still happy to make these links if anyone wants to explain how the tags work here.

James Elliott said...

I don't know, Keith. I think it's an interesting idea, and one that merits further investigation. People following your line of thought seem to feel that it leads to someone who could be impeached.

It does seem that the MSM has chosen this matter - and Miller - as some sort of strange, absolutist principle on which to make their stand. Now, I'm all for freedom of the press and the use of anonymous, whistleblowing sources. But really, the problem with taking a stand on this issue is that there's too many problems with it.

1) Miller never wrote a freaking story on the subject.

2) Since the prosecutor is saying that the very act of leaking the information was the crime, at what point does a reporter stop being a cover for her source and start being an enabler of a crime?

3) When your source has used you not to reveal perfidy but to engage in an active smear campaign, violating your trust as a reporter, are you still bound to that person?

4) By remaining silent, doesn't Miller risk telling future whistleblowers and naysayers of the Administration that the MSM will not only be complicit in any active smear campaigns against them, but will actively shield those in the administration who sling the mud?

James Elliott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Elliott said...

Bummer. Ok, how to do this...

More info here.

Most of the basic, basic stuff, like bold, italics, and links, will work in here.

Tlaloc said...

Geez I didn't even think to try the old school form of markup. Blogger must be operating a pretty old system. Well at least it isn't Textile :)

Here's the above link about other laws Rove likely violated:

Espionage? Whoops!.

James Elliott said...

Oh, and Kathy, here's who Larry Johnson is:

Far from being some made up person, Larry Johnson was a CIA agent, graduate of "The Farm" in 1985 (same class as Plame). He later became an analyst there and is of late a counterterrorism official in the State Department. He is also a registered Republican.