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Rove, Plame, and a Very Dirty Game

September 3rd, 2005 · Written by · No Comments

Rove Illustration

You might think people would find it disturbing that George W. Bush’s political “Architect” grew up idolizing Richard Nixon.

Or, that one of his favorite tricks to play in his college republican days was to steal Democratic campaign stationary and direct mail the entire country invitations to a fictitious Democratic keg party.

But the world of politics is a sordid place. It’s to be expected that someone hailed as the most influential advisor to a sitting president would grow up with a fondness for dirty tricks.

On a long enough timeline, however, everyone’s survival rate drops to zero. Even Karl Rove.

If Bob Novak’s name is mud around the country right now, Karl Rove’s name is closer to the gunk that accumulates on the sole of your shoe after working a busy kitchen shift.

The media’s memory is short. Stories fade from view as they become untimely. Unless new developments arise, an injustice can go unnoticed by Americans who simply missed the news that day. Nobody knows that ebb and flow better than Karl Rove.

On August 22, Judith Miller passed William Farr as having spent the longest time in jail of any reporter for an American media outlet in recent history.

And she’s in there for not talking about a story she didn’t write. Football coaches would call it “taking one for the team,” but it’s become the scream – it – as – loud – as – you – want – because – nobody – besides – journalists – gives – a – damn – anymore fact that has Karl Rove smiling. Miller – whose reportage many believe helped build the Bush Administration’s case for war – eats prison food while Novak goes on TV shows and Rove still sits fat in the White House. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

But how did Miller land in jail under those circumstances? The boiled down version is that the CIA sent veteran diplomat Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate the claim Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union speech that Saddam was buying uranium. Wilson got back and wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”

Karl Rove, in full attack mode, gets on the phone with Novak, confirming Valerie Plame’s – Wilson’s wife – role in the trip. He also talks with Miller and Matt Cooper of Time. Novak, showing utter disregard for the consequences in other peoples lives, prints that Plame is a spy.

And then all hell breaks loose.

And then all hell breaks loose. The media shifts its attention away from Wilson’s revelation because the Justice Department begins investigating the leak. The journalists are subpoenaed and forced to reveal their sources, something no journalist should ever, ever do. Judith Miller refuses and is held in contempt. After a lengthy appeals process, Cooper relents and reveals Karl Rove as the source of his information after Rove frees him of his confidentiality pledge.

Bush said in June 2004 that he’d fire anyone known to have committed the leak. Now its: Whoops, I can’t fire my architect, Holy Cats, Batman!

The Justice Department is still investigating the leak, but it is unlikely that Rove will ever be called to testify before a GOP controlled congress. The right-wing spinners are working overtime to ensure the waters are muddied enough to make it appear as if Rove did nothing wrong, however it’s been confirmed that Rove did in fact speak about Plame to reporters. Of that there is no doubt.

Whether or not Rove actually said the words “Valerie-Plame-is-a-CIA-agent” is irrelevant, he was obviously talking about her with reporters without a security clearance. You don’t always have to spell it out in uncertain terms.

For a smart guy, Rove has been incredibly stupid. He’s shown the people on the front lines their sacrifices don’t really matter to him as much as beltway politics. The guy who put Bush into office and orchestrated the spin campaign that sent soldiers off to die can’t see that outing a CIA agent because her husband publicly criticized the administration is a bad idea.

It communicates to the intelligence officers overseas right now, trying to recruit and dig up intelligence, that guys they risk their lives for back home use their hard-earned commodity for partisan bickering and political capital.

Know what happens when a CIA officer’s cover is blown? Everyone they ever came into contact with becomes a suspect in their respected circles. And Valerie Plame wasn’t simply some CIA desk jockey-like the GOP spinners are saying-she was an “unofficial,” which means: SPY.

Potential sources overseas are likely to run the other direction if approached by the CIA when the directors of intelligence obviously care more about politics than cracking the insurgency in Iraq(which by the way, requires a strong intelligence network). The sooner we do that, the sooner the troops come home. And Karl Rove obviously doesn’t give a rat’s ass about that.

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