Friday, July 15, 2005


Rove's Apologists Are Getting Desperate

Rove E-Mailed Security Official About Talk

After mentioning a CIA operative to a reporter, Bush confidant Karl Rove alerted the president's No. 2 security adviser about the interview and said he tried to steer the journalist away from allegations the operative's husband was making about faulty Iraq intelligence. The July 11, 2003, e-mail between Rove and then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley is the first showing an intelligence official knew Rove had talked to Matthew Cooper just days before the Time magazine reporter divulged CIA officer Valerie Plame's secret identity. ...[Rove] later told a grand jury the e-mail was consistent with his recollection that his intention in talking with Cooper that Friday in July 2003 wasn't to divulge Plame's identity but to caution Cooper against certain allegations Plame's husband was making, according to legal professionals familiar with Rove's testimony. ...Republicans cheered the latest revelations Friday, saying they showed Rove wasn't trying to hurt Plame but instead was trying to informally warn reporters to be cautious about some of Wilson's claims.... "What it says is, Karl Rove wasn't the leaker, he was actually the recipient of the information not the provider," Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman said on Fox News.
I'm thinking this email was leaked by Rove's side, in order to "prove" he didn't commit a crime. It proves nothing. "I didn't mean to" is the most feeble excuse on the planet. It doesn't work when you're five years old and trying to get out of a spanking for breaking the cookie jar, and it doesn't work now. From a political standpoint, it's just as damaging to Rove if he revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent because he was too focused on discrediting her husband to think of the implications of what he was telling Cooper. If he doesn't give a thought to the national security implications of the information he's revealing, he's too dangerous to have a security clearance, and that's that. Also, this is not like a libel case. The intention behind revealing the identity has nothing to do with it. The issue is whether the effect was to wreck the agent's usefulness for future undercover work and put her network at risk. There's sure to be something significant about Rove telling Stephen Hadley (who is now National Security Advisor) about this conversation. I won't bet real money that any member of the press corpse pursues this angle.
Something significant like the utter absurdity of the president's political guy contacting his national security guy rather than reporting a serious breach of security to the CIA?
DING DING DING! We have a winner!

Can any of you think of a single legitimate reason for Rove's not immediately alerting George Tenet to this? Me neither.

Whereas there are plenty of evil reasons for Rove not to do so -- the chief one being the desire to punish Wilson by attacking Plame, something that George Tenet would never countenance if he knew about it beforehand.

Good catch, Charles! I'm going to pull this out and make a post out of it. It deserves to be front-paged.
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