Thursday, July 07, 2005


In Which Rove's Attorney Demonstrates That Spin Can Only Get You So Far

Attend this, mes amis:

Questions Remain on the Leaker and the Law Rove's Talks With Time Writer May Be a Focus By Dan Balz Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 8, 2005; Page A02 The jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller on Wednesday put the issue of press freedom and the confidentiality of sources on front pages across the country, but the heart of the case remains what it has been from the outset: whether senior Bush officials broke the law in the disclosure of a CIA covert operative's identity. [...] Cooper on Wednesday agreed to testify in the case, reversing his long-standing refusal after saying that he had been released from his pledge of confidentiality just hours before he expected to be sent to jail for contempt of court. In an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Luskin denied that Cooper had received a call from Rove releasing him from his confidentiality pledge. Yesterday, however, Luskin declined to comment on a New York Times report that the release came as a result of negotiations involving Rove's and Cooper's attorneys, nor would he speculate that Cooper was released from his pledge in some other fashion than a direct conversation with Rove. "I'm not going to comment any further," Luskin said. The admission that Rove had spoken to Cooper appeared at odds with previous White House statements. In retrospect, however, these statements -- which some interpreted as emphatic denials -- were in fact carefully worded.
Well, duh. Rove is a big fan of "plausible deniability" and word parsings; it stands to reason that his lawyer would be, too. But I digress:
Rove told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that Wilson's wife was "fair game," according to an October 2003 report in Newsweek. At a minimum Fitzgerald could turn up embarrassing information that may yet become public about how the Bush White House operates. [...] But in some of those cases, officials have given the green light for reporters to testify to the grand jury in exchange for a pledge from the reporter not to reveal publicly the identify of the source or the details of the conversations.
Luskin's spun as much as he can. And Fitzgerald's having none of it.

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