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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by STHill, Jul 16, 2005.
I started to say Rove is a snake, but that would be a disservice to snakes.
Big freakin deal...
Here's what the Post says...
July 13, 2005
GOP on Offense in Defense of Rove
By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 13, 2005; A01
Republicans mounted an aggressive and coordinated defense of Karl Rove yesterday, contending that the White House's top political adviser did nothing improper or illegal when he discussed a covert CIA official with a reporter.
With a growing number of Democrats calling for Rove's resignation, the Republican National Committee and congressional Republicans sought to discredit Democratic critics and knock down allegations of possible criminal activity.
"The angry left is trying to smear" Rove, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, a Rove protege, said in an interview.
A federal grand jury is investigating whether anyone in the Bush administration unlawfully leaked the name of a CIA official, Valerie Plame, to the news media. Although the White House has previously said Rove was not involved in the episode, a recently disclosed internal Time magazine e-mail shows that Rove mentioned Plame, albeit not by name, to reporter Matthew Cooper before her name and affiliation became public in July 2003. The grand jury is scheduled to hear from Cooper today.
The emerging GOP strategy -- devised by Mehlman and other Rove loyalists outside of the White House -- is to try to undermine those Democrats calling for Rove's ouster, play down Rove's role and wait for President Bush's forthcoming Supreme Court selection to drown out the controversy, according to several high-level Republicans.
The White House said Bush retains full confidence in Rove, but for a second day officials would not answer a barrage of questions about Rove's role in the leak scandal on the grounds that the investigation is not complete. But the RNC -- effectively Bush's political arm -- weighed into the controversy in a major fashion.
Mehlman, who said he talked with Rove several times in recent days, instructed GOP legislators, lobbyists and state officials to accuse Democrats of dirty politics and argue Rove was guilty of nothing more than discouraging a reporter from writing an inaccurate story, according to RNC talking points circulated yesterday.
"Republicans should stop holding back and go on the offense: fire enough bullets the other way until the Supreme Court overtakes" events, said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.).
Rove has not been asked by senior White House officials whether he did anything illegal or potentially embarrassing to the president and he spent most of the day strategizing on Bush's Supreme Court nomination, aides said.
"No one has asked him what he told the grand jury. No one has deemed it appropriate," said a senior White House official, who would discuss the Rove case only on the condition of anonymity. "What you all need to figure out is, does this amount to a crime? That is a legitimate debate." Still, some aides said they were concerned about the unknown. "Is it a communications challenge? Sure," the official said.
Privately, even Rove's staunchest supporters said the situation could explode if federal prosecutors accuse Rove or any other high-level official of committing a crime. William Kristol, a conservative commentator with close White House ties, said it would be hard to imagine a prosecutor conducting an investigation that has landed one reporter in jail and challenged the constitutional rights of the journalism profession without indicting someone. Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald "is the problem for the White House, and we have no idea what he knows," Kristol said.
Bush has said if any White House officials were involved, they would be fired. The president yesterday twice refused to answer questions on whether Rove should be dismissed.
The controversy involves former U.S. diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had been sent by the CIA in February 2002 to Niger to investigate allegations that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy nuclear material. Wilson subsequently became a critic of administration policy in Iraq and after the invasion in March 2003 questioned whether Bush had exaggerated the threat from Hussein.
After Wilson went public with his concerns, columnist Robert D. Novak reported that he had been told by two administration officials that the Niger trip had been suggested by Wilson's wife, Plame. It is a federal felony to knowingly identify an active undercover CIA officer, but legal experts said such a crime is very difficult to prove.
Whatever the legal considerations in the case, the emerging record suggests that the administration was involved in an effort to discredit Wilson after he went public with his criticism.
According to the Time magazine e-mail, the conversation between Cooper and Rove took place a few days before Novak's column appeared in July 2003. Cooper says Rove raised questions about Wilson's credibility, offering a "big warning" not to "get out too far on Wilson," Newsweek has reported.
The e-mail comports with a previously reported conversation between a Washington Post reporter and an administration official two days before the Novak column ran. The administration official, who has not been identified, described the Wilson trip as a boondoggle that was set up by his wife and was not being taken seriously by the White House.
Rove has maintained he neither knew Plame's name nor leaked it to anyone. In an interview yesterday, Wilson said his wife goes by Mrs. Wilson, so it would be clear who Rove was talking about, and noted how Rove attends the same church as the Wilson family. Wilson said Rove was part of a "smear campaign" designed to discredit him and others who undercut Bush's justification for war.
Wilson was a chief target of the new GOP offensive designed to take some pressure off Rove. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said the White House did not have to discredit Wilson. "Nobody had to do that," he said, adding that "he discredited his own report" by including unfounded allegations. The RNC talking point memo included a list of anti-Wilson lines.
"In all honesty, the facts thus far -- and the e-mail involved -- indicate to me that there is not a problem here," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). "I have always thought this is a tempest in a teapot."
I am thoroughly disgusted with that whole nest of snakes.
This straightens it all out:
July 18, 2005, 11:23 a.m.
Valerieâ€™s No Victim
Plame put herself into a political place.
Let's cut through all the clutter: Almost two years ago, I wrote that Joe Wilson had himself to blame for the publicity surrounding his wife, Valerie Plame. I was wrong. Look to Valerie Plame herself.
Despite all the hype, it appears that Plame works a desk job at the CIA. That's an admirable and important line of work. But it doesn't make her a covert operative, and it didnâ€™t make her a covert operative when Bob Novak mentioned her in his July 14, 2003, column, or the five years preceding the columnâ€™s publication, during which time she hadnâ€™t served overseas as a spy, either. And even if Plame had been a covert operative, as I read the statute, Karl Rove or anyone revealing her identity, would: 1) have had to secure the information from classified information; and 2) intended to use the information to expose her identity. There's no information on the public record to support this, either.
The New York Times now reports that a State Department memorandum identifying Plame was circulated on Air Force One and perhaps other places. Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell was reportedly seen on the plane with the memo in his hand. (Of course, like so much the Times publishes, this had already been reported long ago by both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.) Perhaps the document was classified. Who knows at this point? But if Plame wasn't a covert operative who met the five-year foreign-service requirement, identifying her based on the memo should be of no legal consequence. And there are other reasons to conclude that revealing Plame's identity would not be a crime. In a devastating piece about the media's unconscionable hypocrisy, Andy McCarthy explains that the same media that are speculating about Rove's guilt filed papers in federal court insisting that there can be no underlying crime as Plame's identity was already known thanks to revelations having nothing to do with Rove or anyone else at the White House.
At this point, I have to wonder: What, exactly, is being investigated? The Left acts as if it doesn't much care as long as someone in this administration is made to look like a criminal. The goal is to damage the president. Indeed, even before the investigation's end, Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, and Joe Wilson himself are demanding Rove's head. And to think it all started with Valerie Plame herself.
That's right. Plame started this phony scandal. And so far, sheâ€™s gotten away with it. What do I mean? Plame has shown herself to be an extremely capable bureaucratic insider. In fact, we know she's accomplished â€” she accomplished getting her husband, Joe Wilson, an assignment he desperately wanted: a trip to Niger to investigate a "crazy" report that Saddam Hussein sought yellowcake uranium from Niger (her word, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, not mine). And she was dogged. She asked not once but twice (the second time in a memo) that her husband get the job. And there's more. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also found that a CIA "analyst's notes indicate that a meeting was 'apparently convened by [the former ambassador's] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger issues."
Now, Wilson didn't have an intelligence background. Indeed, the committee revealed that Wilson didn't have a "formal" security clearance, but the CIA gave him an "operational clearance." The fact is that there was little to recommend Wilson for the role, other than his wifeâ€™s persistence.
Indeed, the committee reported further that some at the CIA "believed that the embassy in Niger had good contacts and would be able to get to the truth of the uranium issue, suggesting a visit from the former ambassador would be redundant...."
This is the real scandal. Plame lobbied repeatedly for her husband, and she knew full well that he was hostile to the war in Iraq and the administration's foreign policy. She had to know his politics â€” and there can no longer be any pretense about him being a nonpartisan diplomat who was merely doing his job. By experience and temperament, Wilson was the wrong man to send to Niger. Plame affirmatively stepped into what she knew might become a very public political controversy, given her husband's predilections (and her own) about that "crazy" report of yellowcake uranium.
In fact, Wilson was so concerned that his wife's aggressive and clandestine efforts in securing his assignment would become known that he lied about who sent him to Niger to cover her (and his) tracks. So, in his July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, he lied to the American people, writing: "It was my experience in Africa that led me to play a small role in the effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs. Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? That's me. In February 2002, 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 â€” a form of lightly processed ore â€” 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.â€?
And in his book, Wilson wrote: â€œValerie had nothing to do with the matter. She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.â€? Lie upon lie intended to conceal his wifeâ€™s role and perpetuate the myth to the American people that he was a mere diplomat approached by the CIA because of his supposed expertise and professionalism. Wilson didnâ€™t want his and his wifeâ€™s motivations to spoil the firestorm he was about to unleash against the president â€” with the help of the New York Times (which, to this day, has not run a correction and, therefore, stands by Wilsonâ€™s demonstrable lies).
When Wilson returned from Niger, he never got around to filing a written report. After all, why produce a written report that would be circulated to real professionals and policymakers, who would subject it to serious scrutiny. However, Wilson was debriefed by the CIA and his debriefers did take notes. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the debriefersâ€™ didnâ€™t share Wilsonâ€™s information with, among others, the White House because they concluded Wilson didn't come up with much.
And remember, the crux of Wilsonâ€™s op-ed was that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein sought yellowcake uranium from Niger, that he had communicated that fact to the administration, that the administration ignored or rejected his findings, and that President Bush lied to the nation to justify the war when, during his January 2003 State of the Union address, he said that â€œthe British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.â€?
Also remember that a year later, an independent British commission, which reviewed the intelligence behind the Iraq-Niger uranium claim, concluded that the presidentâ€™s statement was â€œwell founded,â€? and the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that â€œa number of intelligence reportsâ€? contained similar information.
Significantly, the Senate Intelligence Committee learned that the debriefers' conclusions differed in several important ways from Wilson's, including respecting yellowcake uranium.
The committee wrote:
First, the former ambassador described his findings to Committee staff as more directly related to Iraq and, specifically, as refuting both the possibility that Niger could have sold uranium to Iraq and that Iraq approached Niger to purchase uranium. The intelligence report described how the structure of Niger's uranium mines would make it difficult, if not impossible, for Niger to sell uranium to rogue nations, and noted that Nigerian officials denied knowledge of any deals to sell uranium to any rogue states, but did not refuse the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase uranium.
Second, the former ambassador said that he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and signatures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction. In fact, the intelligence report made no mention of the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal or signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal. The only mention of Iraq in the report pertained to the meeting between the Iraqi delegation and former [Niger] Prime Minister Mayaki.
Third, the former ambassador noted that his CIA contacts told him there were documents pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and that the source of the information was the [blacked out] intelligence service." In fact, the CIA did not provide Wilson with "any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and noted that there were no 'documents' circulating ... at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from [blacked out] intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal. ...[N]one of the meeting participants recall telling the former ambassador the source of the report ...
So, Wilson lied about what he found (or didnâ€™t find) in Niger, he lied about discussing with his CIA debriefers certain documentation and signatures he never saw, and he lied about the CIA telling him of certain classified documents and sources. His New York Times op-ed was fiction, as was information he later leaked to the Washington Post, information he gave to other media outlets, and significant aspects of his book.
To this day, despite all this evidence, the media embrace Wilson's story, evidence be damned. The media outlets that were used by Wilson, and published or repeated his lies, are very forgiving. They portray Wilson as he demands to be portrayed, not as he is. And they regurgitate the rhetoric about poor Valerie Plame â€” a patriot and victim endangered and ruined by politically motivated leaks and a powerful White House bent on discrediting her husband. Even Meet the Pressâ€™s Tim Russert, who fancies himself a hard-nosed interrogator, could not have a done a better job of misinforming the public and smearing the White House â€” cutting and pasting statements and video clips, and throwing softballs to, of all people, Bill Clintonâ€™s (and now George Sorosâ€™s) hatchetman, John Podesta. Plameâ€™s central and aggressive role in promoting her husband, who in turn hoped to damage the credibility of the president in the midst of a war â€” from her CIA perch â€” doesnâ€™t even merit a mention. (Also, see Cliff May's excellent reporting about the Plame/Wilson/David Corn connections.)
And in an Alice In Wonderland-like storyline, the same media that demand confidentiality for their sources as a First Amendment right, also demand the identity of Bob Novakâ€™s sources and the names of administration officials whoâ€™ve spoken to the media. They cheer the very criminal investigation they once claimed endangered their profession. Meanwhile, whoâ€™s under investigation? Not Plame and Wilson, who appear to have hatched this scandal, but those truly victimized by it â€” administration officials who, it appears, sought to correct Wilsonâ€™s lies. Their phone conversations with reporters and e-mails to colleagues are now scrutinized by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and his grand jury as if theyâ€™re war criminals. No wonder Plame is the toast of the Washington establishment and appears in publicity shots in Vanity Fair with a big grin. Look what sheâ€™s wrought.
â€” Mark R. Levin is author of the bestselling Men In Black, president of Landmark Legal Foundation, and a radio talk-show host on WABC in New York.
The same people that will tell you not to believe everything you read, see, and hear in the media, believe everything they read, see, and hear as long as it is anti Bush. What hypocrites, Oh, ye generation of vipers.
Yes, but isn't the following true as well?
The same people that will tell you not to believe everything you read, see, and hear in the media, believe everything they read, see, and hear as long as it is pro Bush.
Some people are like that, it's true. And I reckon to some extent I'm like that too. It's funny though, that the Clinton administration was rife with corruption, fraud, sexual misconduct, favoritism, theft, and some would say murder. Yet the same liberals that accepted Clinton's behavior jump at any offense, true or false, coming from the current administration.
I don't agree with the President's policy on immigration.
The only Texans that do are those who own construction, landscaping or janitorial contracting companies.
It's best to go around believing everybody's lying to you. That way, you're never disappointed, and when someone does tell you the truth, you can be pleasantly surprised! :beer:
I read an interesting article the other day that discussed that American companies are also increasingly willing to market to and serve immigrants - both legal and illegal. It seems that with a document from the Mexican consulate, banks and brokerage firms are able to offer investment accounts and loans without resident alien documentation.
Clinton's behavior was lamentable, but at least it was not a matter of national security. Bush has put his own foot in this mouth - don't say you'll fire ANYONE connected to the security leak in public if you don't mean to do it. It's a simple situation as far as I am concerned. Don't forget that the impeachment proceedings against Clinton were unsuccesful but they did occur - it's not like Clinton's behavior was accepted, as you claim. Basically, Clinton has nothing to do with this situation - Rove, through his lawyer, admitted fault. Bush has previously stated what he would do to those found to be at fault. This is, pure and simple, a situation that Bush himself created.
Clinton's behavior was accepted and defended by his cabinet and supporters, as well as liberals in general. National Security you say, everything a President is involved with is, in my book, national security.
Clinton was frolicking with an intern when the freakin' Somalian bastards were dragging our boys through the streets of Mogadishu.
I've read both sides of the Rove incident, apparently Rove did not leak anything. If Rove did no wrong there is no need to fire him. If the President does not fire him, he's not going against his word. I guess you did not read the posts by me and James. Plame was not a high level covert CIA opeative. I'm sure her suburban neighbors knew she worked at the CIA. She probably wore a ID badge in public that said CIA on it for crying out loud. Her employment at the CIA was no secret.
Then the real question is how come President Bush didn't just come out and say that two years ago when this whole issue came up in the first place? Did he not know how the CIA worked?
No. All ID/Security badges come off when exiting the premises.
When I lived in Northern VA. I knew exactly 3 people that worked at the CIA. I don't know what their functions were but I can safetly say they were probably as low on the totem pole as Plame. They never tried to hide the fact they worked for the CIA, but they never bragged about it either.
I'm sure the President does not know the intracacies of the CIA. He does not need to. He has others on the team do that for him. It's called delegation.
Fair enough, but then some of those delegates should have said, "Hey! Dummy! Don't say that - it could bite you in the ass later and it isn't even necessary." But they didn't. Given that he hires people smarter than him (a given - most Presidents do), someone should have told him, or his speech writers at the time. But they didn't. So - logically, it follows that the above is attempting to save Rove, and not the truth of the situation. Because it would be a whole lot less messy to have said, two years ago, that this security leak wasn't a big deal, than to needlessly play it up only to put yourself, two years later, in the position of having to change your tune and possibly fire one of your chief advisers. Bush putting his foot in his mouth isn't anything new for a President, but let's not pretend he hasn't dones exactly that.
I'm sure he's doing some backpeddling. But, when you think about it, it's the press that is really making a big deal about it not the Prez.
By the way, Bush graduated from Harvard and Yale. He's not a stupid man by any means. Sometimes he's not as articulate as some would like, but then again again he never claimed to be. I read something recently, and apoligize for not remembering where, that Bush's GPA was actually higher than John Kerry's.
I was not impinging his intelligence - merely stating that he hired people smarter than he to help him, which is what Presidents usually do. Besides, most people know how little statistical correlation there is between academic performance and intelligence, despite what we tell our children when they are in school.
I am also sure that the CIA operatives did not give donations to the Gore campaign either under their "secret identity." I think that would be a greater breach of a cover than anything else considering your name appears on FEC records with the amount you give and the company you funnel it through.
Regards to all,