Monday, July 25, 2005

The Rove Scandal Heats Up

The Karl Rove scandal, on vacation for a few days after the very strategic timing of Bush's Supreme Court nomination of John G. Roberts last week, is front and center once again. The Sunday morning news shows all devoted major time to this story, with a focus now on perjury. At issue of course is the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Wilson, nee Plame. Rove says he learned her identity from reporters. Reporters, such as Time's Matt Cooper, say they learned it from Rove. Syndicated right-winger Robert Novak, who started the controversy with his July 14, 2003 column in which he outed Plame and said his sources were "two senior administration officials" , most likely told the federal grand jury investigating the case that he learned this info from Rove and Scooter Libby, VP Dick Cheney's chief, as well. And then there's the classified memo that circulated aboard Air Force One on July 7, 2003 which discusses Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret. All covert agents' identities are classified as "secret" by the CIA. Therefore, anyone in the Bush administration who read this would've clearly known that the info was classified, and that it'd be a crime to reveal Plame's identity to the press. The memo was given to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell who was flying to Africa with the president. Interestingly, Novak's now-infamous column appeared 7 days later. The timeline is highly suspect. The Bushies were very busy in July of 2003. And everything points to them that month doing whatever possible to undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame's husband, whose February '02 trip to Africa refuted the Bushie's claim of a Iraq/Niger uranium deal. Wilson described his conclusions in a July 6, '03 NY Times Op-ed piece. The rest, as they say, is history. And the outing of Plame was payback. Now the focus of special prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald is determining the original source of the leak. With all the conflicting stories circulating in and around the White House, someone, or some people, are certain to be indicted for perjury. People are lying. Rove and Libby are lying. Bush is possibly lying. Dick Cheney is the biggest liar there is, so we know his hands are in this somehow as well. I continue to believe that Fitzgerald has not been spending two years of his time to walk away from this case with nothing. He didn't put NY Times reporter Judith Miller in jail for contempt only to have everyone else escape unscathed. This case is much too large now to just disappear without indictments. Let's hope the liars get what they deserve. And if it ultimately proves true that Plame was a covert agent and not the glorified desk clerk that Rove's supporters claim, then hopefully someone will be doing 10 years in prison for putting her security, and the nation's, in jeopardy. Andy

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