Newsweek to out Rove

According to David Corn, Sunday’s not going to be a very good day for Karl Rove:

Tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine’s Matt Cooper and that Rove– prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official–told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson’s now-controversial trip to Niger.

Whether or not Rove committed perjury, or knew Plame was an undercover agent when he outed her, and thus violated the law, is really just gravy. He exposed the cover of a CIA agent in order to pursue a White House vendetta against Ambassador Wilson.

And for that, Rove should be fired.

The Newsweek article is online. It includes excerpts from an email between Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper and his editor, that describes a conversation with Karl Rove that took place before Robert Novak’s column exposing Plame’s cover.

“Subject: Rove/P&C,” (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. “Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation …” Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, “please don’t source this to rove or even WH [White House]”

Rove has still not publicly admitted to talking with reporters about Plame….

But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rove did


  1. 1

    dj spews:

    Rove should be fired.

    I think he should be tried for treason, and given a fair trial. If he is found guilty, he should be first blindfolded and THEN fired. . . .

  2. 2

    Goldy spews:

    DJ… yes, well, I just wanted to make the point that this is not just about whether he technically violated the law. It may be impossible to prove that he knew Plame was undercover. In any case, if Rove was the leak, he has violated the trust of the American people, and thus he should be fired.

  3. 3

    prr spews:


    Karl Rove is much smarter than you are giving him credit. Even if he is culpable, do you thinnk your sorry ass is gonna be one of the first to know about it?

    It might be a thought to see if a charge is filed before delcaring his guilt.

  4. 4

    headless lucy spews:

    prr: You’re so MASTERFUL and MACHIAVELLIAN! Expose my NAIVETE so thoroughly that I feel VIOLATED!!!

  5. 7

    Rujax206 spews:

    Salient points from my Hero, The Rude Pundit (catch him here: ):


    Lettin’ the Rove Express Head Off the Tracks On Its Own:
    The Rude Pundit’s not jumpin’ on the “Oh-Please-Oh-Fuckin’-Please-Let-Karl-Rove-Burn” train. The President’s porcine political advisor, at the very least, “made contact” with soon-to-be-imprisoned Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper regarding the outing CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, as revenge for Wilson calling “bullshit” on the Bush administration’s allegation that Iraq tried to get uranium from Niger. No, no, the Rude Pundit will tamp down his Pavlovian erection of joy at hearing that Karl Rove is even momentarily in trouble.

    He will not offer vivid fantasy descriptions of Rove being dragged in handcuffs out of the White House, snorting like a harpooned whale dragging a frigate behind it. He will not take pleasure in the potentially deeply gratifying feeling of schadenfreude that accompanies such hideously hard and enormously well-deserved falls. The Rude Pundit won’t do it. He won’t allow himself to get caught up in imagining Karl Rove in prison, after his first kitchen utensil sodomizing, screaming like the yapping bitch he’s about to become that he’ll give up the President in order to be allowed cushy country club confinement, and then, oh, what glorious chaos.

    And why won’t the Rude Pundit participate in the bone-shaking jouissance of praying to God, Jesus, Allah, or whoever or no one that it truly, really is Rove that gave up Plame’s name? Because the Rude Pundit’s been there before with the Republicans teetering on the brink of damnation, only to see them pulled back from the lapping flames time and again. To be sure, this could mean just the administration of George W. Bush, which, in a real democracy, would have crumbled into heaps of ashes a hundred times already. How our hearts were shattered after the 9/11 Commission Report, the Gannon/Guckert affair, and more.

    Instead, though, the Rude Pundit hearkens back to his greatest heartbreak, the Iran-Contra scandal of the end of the Reagan era, when Reagan’s dementia made it just pathetic to watch him and unlikely that the Congress would, through impeachment, beat up on an old man heading towards the oblivion of being an Alzheimer’s-ridden throw pillow. So we all thought it might be possible to take down George Bush, Sr., except the motherfucker went and pardoned everyone that might’ve given him up for a softer bunk at the federal pen.

    Yep, Cap Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Clair George and other liars and criminals were given the bestest Christmas gift ever on December 24, 1992 when Bush covered his ass by pardoning all six “for their conduct related to the Iran-Contra affair.” Now, what do you think the chances are that Junior wouldn’t do the same thing in a heartbeat for Rove or anyone else that might give him up?

    Of course, Rove has gone all silent on this matter, which is kind of nice, since he had been making the talk show rounds, forcing his rotundly evil face onto TV screens.

    But, frankly, if special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald really wants to get the truth out of Rove, well, there’s probably no better method than the Gitmo/Abu Ghraib treatment, certainly approved by Rove himself. Strip that fucker’s clothes off, tie him to the floor, make him shit himself, slap his balls, threaten his family, deny him legal representation and due process, hang him by his wrists, and tell him that you’re gettin’ the dogs ready to fuck him. Or send him to Uzbekistan and have them “question” him. Motherfucker’ll claim he crucified Jesus after those bastards get done with him.

    Update: Hokay, so Matt Cooper folded like he was two cards short from a straight, and now, ding-dong, Judith Miller’s gone to jail.

    // posted by Rude One @ 10:33 AM


  6. 8

    Baynative spews:

    While the media is all a twitter over this non story, they never mention that Plame’s office was in D.C. and that as a mid level project manager she was not in a secretive or covert assignment.

    Nor do they mention that she and her husband are active in democrat party politics and regulars on the political cocktail circuit where everyone knows who they are and what they do including Newsweak reporter Matt Cooper who is married to Hillary’s good pal and society gadfly Mandy Gruenwald.

  7. 9

    dj spews:

    goldy @ 2,
    Yes. . . I was insinuating a rather stronger meaning for fired (as in “fired upon”). We may have to settle for him losing his job in disgrace.

  8. 10

    Goldy spews:

    I have posted an update that links to the Newsweek article. They excerpts from emails between Cooper and his editor. Rove was Cooper’s source. He told Cooper that Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife, who was CIA working on WMDs. And he told Cooper this before Novak’s column appeared.

    Again, whether Rove technically violated the law is not the issue. In his attempt to discredit Wilson, he blew the cover of a CIA agent working on WMDs. If this were a Democratic administration, that in itself would be a scandal that would rock the White House.

  9. 11

    Rujax206 spews:


    Well known Democrats my ass. Crawl back into Michael Weiner’s butt where you belong.

  10. 12

    prr spews:

    I’ll wait till the dust settles on this.

    I doubt anything, not even a ripple, will actually come of this unfounded accusation.

  11. 13

    Goldy spews:

    Baynative @8,

    Believe your lies if that’s what comforts you, but one of my pet peeves is when people post supposed statements of fact like yours, but don’t provide any links to back it up. (And I don’t mean linking to some guy bloviating on a partisan blog.) You know, like the NY Times, which in a background story on Plame explains how she had been working against weapons proliferation while posing as an analyst for a CIA shell company, Brewster Jennings & Associates.

    Clandestine service officers working under such “nonofficial cover” – rather than the traditional guise of diplomat – are considered to hold the most sensitive and vulnerable jobs in intelligence, lacking the protection of diplomatic immunity if they are unmasked overseas. Disclosing the C.I.A. employment of officers under cover can endanger the officers, their operations and their agents, as well as violate the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, the law that prompted the current leak investigation.

    “This situation has been very hard on her, professionally and personally,” said Melissa Boyle Mahle, a former C.I.A. case officer and a friend of Ms. Wilson. “Not only have you removed from the playing field a very knowledgeable counterproliferation officer at a time when we really need her services. But before this she was on a fast track as a candidate for senior management at the agency. With something like this, her career will never recover.”

    Plame was under “nonofficial cover.” That is why it was the CIA who requested a criminal investigation into the leak.

    As to your claim that they are active in Democratic politics and the DC social circuit, again the NY Times piece refutes this.

    The Wilsons have had a low-key social life, friends say. Mr. Wilson said they had attended only one “A-list Washington party,” given by Ben Bradlee, the retired Washington Post editor. Before July 2003, some neighbors knew them from the playground only as “Trevor and Samantha’s mom and dad.”

    Wilson was non-partisan… he worked for Bush’s father, and was in fact the last US diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein before the start of the Gulf War. Yes, recent events have radicalized Wilson and he has become a bit of liberal celebrity… but that occurred in the aftermath of the leak.

    I’m happy to engage you in debate, but spouting GOP talking points is not going to score you any points.

  12. 15

    IDGAF spews:

    Goldy, you’ve really gone over the deep end now sighting re-written excerpots of supposed inter-office e-mails and the NY Times? Dude, you’re loosing it! Just like your party of choice. When you claim higher ground as a 2 bit Seattle blogger than a grandjury, you’re minutes away from being heavily medicated AND COMMITTED as a danger to yourself and others. But to tell the truth, thats why I like your blog.

  13. 17

    Baynative spews:

    There’s just no there, there.

    “…she had been working against weapons proliferation while posing as an analyst for a CIA shell company”
    I suppose anyone in contact with such an operation could claim the same – after the fact. Even an admin assistant.

    “The Wilsons have had a low-key social life, friends say.”
    FRIENDS SAY? Now there’s a solid source.

    “Mr. Wilson said they had attended only one “A-list Washington party,” given by Ben Bradlee, the retired Washington Post editor.”

    How does one go about getting on the “A-list” if they are low key? A party hosted by Ben Bradlee is going to be packed by the most liberal of the liberal elite as well as an army of those people who describe themselves as journalists. To assume they had no idea who the Wilsons were is a stretch, don’t you think?

  14. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 14

    prr, no matter how much you may wish the NY Times (and other legitimate journalistic sources that publish stories embarrassing to the right wing) might go away, the NY Times remains one of the world’s most comprehensive and highly respected news organizations.

    Yes, they had a reporter who fabricated stories — and they fired him when they found out. That reflects on the reporter’s integrity, not the newspaper’s. And one rotten apple hardly implicates the integrity of the hundreds of editorial staff who daily produce a workmanlike job of news gathering, writing, and editing.

    prr, your right wing tactic of attacking the messenger won’t work this time. Karl Rove is a criminal, and he’s been caught.

    The next question is, WHAT DID BUSH KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT? Clinton was impeached for lying to a grand jury. If Rove lied to a grand jury with Bush’s knowledge or under Bush’s orders, there is absolutely no difference between the grounds for impeaching Clinton and the grounds for impeaching Bush. Of course, the GOP hypocrites who control Congress will never allow Articles of Impeachment to get to the floor. We’ve already seen their two-faced hypocrisy in regard to ethics probes of Tom DeLay. But at some point the American people will get fed up with the juvenile antics of this administration and the Republican Party, and then there will be hell to pay at the polls.

    So suck it up, prr and your fellow wingnuts, because that light in the tunnel is a train. And it’s coming straight at you.

  15. 19

    bj spews:

    Several things have always puzzled me about this story —

    — How has Robert Novak escaped the heat in all this? Was he even questioned by the grand jury?
    — Why have Cooper and Miller been so reluctant to cooperate with the special investigator? Are they that concerned with reporters’ rights, or are they administration sympathizers?
    — And why haven’t any other journalists been mentioned in any of this? Is it only the three above that know anything about the whole matter?

  16. 20

    headless lucy spews:

    Understanding this Plame situation requires a modicum of intelligence and the skills needed to read and understand a newspaper. Most of the people who voted for Bush don’t even know who Rove is.He’ll have to be nailed for breaking the law since I cannot imagine a public outcry about a situation most of the public could never understand. Dare I say it: There are even some computer programmers (the holiest of the elite in America) who won’t be able to make heads or tails of this situation.

    It would be as difficult to explain this to them as getting them to understand why Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred. No, they’d have to get pictures of Rove jerking off in a public restroom to get the US voter to care about this situation.

  17. 21

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    RR@18: The NYT used to be a a great newspaper. It is now ranked 6th in the world as of last week. Many of their stories are liberal bent. The headlines of their last week paper called Zarqawi an insurgent when the whole world calls him a terrorist. Why is that? Can’t call them as they see them?

    Regarding the Tom Delay story, headless loocy’s favorite guy; I seem to remember all these loud mouth Democrats like Pelosi who had to cover their tracks on their lobbyist trips. I hope you heard or read that the Demos took 3400 lobbyist paid trips while the Repub took 2600. Looks to me that your side likes dem trips!!! Funny I just looked down the tunnel and all I felt was hot air.

    BTW I read a recent post from Headless Loocy. When will Loocy tell us what university, college, or GED qualifications he/she/it has to teach those young Seattle minds full of mush? Every time I see a loocy post I will ask this question. So Loocy, just fess up and I’ll leave you alone. Otherwise just stop posting because you are an insignificant lefty ranter!!

  18. 22

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    I hit the enter key too fast. I am waiting to pass judgemnt on Rove. If he is guilty then his ass should bake. Until, I’ll wait for the official word.

    GBS I responded to you on the War On Terror Thread!

  19. 23

    amusing spews:

    I find it funny that PRR bashes the New York Times and then in the same post refers to World Net Daily as a “credible” news source. What’s next, getting medical advice from Tom Cruise?

  20. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 19

    Good question concerning Novak. I don’t know. Makes you wonder if the White House isn’t protecting him, if the prosecutors (who, after all, take their orders from Bush’s attorney general) haven’t been told to keep their hands off Novak, doesn’t it?

    I don’t believe Cooper’s and Miller’s motives are complicated. Journalists are obstinate about protecting their sources. It’s one of the journalism profession’s most revered ethics. Investigative reporters go into exposes of high-level government wrongdoing knowing they may get raked over the coals by the authorities they’re investigating, and they’re prepared to go to jail if necessary. Reporters who don’t want to risk jail don’t go into investigative political reporting; they write about sports, weather, local city councils, or cover other beats that aren’t so risky.

    I don’t know off the top of my head whether Plame’s identity was leaked to other reporters or news organizations. Probably. The focus is on Cooper and Miller right now because they’re the ones the prosecutors are going after for not answering questionings in the grand jury room.

  21. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    By the way, it’s ALWAYS stupid for government officials to jail reporters for protecting confidential sources, because all they accomplish is to make martyrs of the jailed journalists and harden the resolve of all the rest of the journalists out there, not to mention earning the animosity of the press. The journalism community is mobilizing around Cooper and Miller; as a journalism grad, I have already been contacted by my journalism school and urged to support press freedom and the right of Cooper and Miller to protect their sources.

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 21

    PacMan, you take the cake for mental vacuity. A news organization is judged by the depth and breadth of its coverage, the accuracy of its reporting, and its objectivity. The NY Times, because of its large circulation, has financial and staffing resources that few if any other newspapers have and consequently can do reporting that is beyond the capability of most other news organizations. I’m never impressed when a right wing partisan complains about a newspaper’s “liberal” bias; the NY Times has no obligation to be a goddam propaganda sheet for your fucked up ideology! Right wing complaints about the “liberal media” are pure horseshit; the truth of the matter is that U.S. media has a predominantly right-wing editorial leaning (I won’t say “bias”), because newspapers and broadcasters are owned almost exclusively by conservative Republican businessmen and senior editorial staff (who decide what gets into the paper or on the air, and how it is presented) also have strong conservative leanings.

    Whether a newspaper calls Zarqawi a “terrorist” or an “insurgent” is of no significance. Every newspaper as a style book that determines what terminology is used to describe certain things. The U.S. media generally has chosen to call the Iraqi resistance an “insurgency.” Other possible terms might include “terrorists,” “resistance fighters,” “rebels,” “anti-government forces,” “anti-occupation forces,” and so on. “Insurgency” is a euphemism. We invaded another country and some of its citizens are trying to throw us out, what’s surprising about that? We would do the same thing if foreign troops invaded America and were searching our homes, arresting our friends and relatives, shooting our citizens in our communities. Would we be “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “patriots acting in self defense?” Don’t get too carried away with matters of editorial style; it means nothing more than that newspapers and TV news shows are a business, and they’re trying to sell newspapers and attract viewers. Ameican editors will choose terminology they think will go over with their readers and viewers, and will avoid terms they think might antagonize their customers. It’s not more complicated than that.

  23. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    By the way, Pac Man is not the greatest game, baseball is (and, in the category of computer games, Freecell is).

  24. 28

    dj spews:

    Pacman @ 21,

    Hey, your first and third paragraphs are relevant! Way to go. Your second paragraph is completely unrelated to anything in this thread. Perhaps you need to slightly increase your dose of Ritalin?

  25. 29

    prr spews:

    Rabbit @ 18.

    First off, when did the left wing, narrow minded fringe start accepting the fact that Clinton was not impeached due to his nailing and intern, rather because he was a lying scumbag?

    As to the Karl Rove situation?

    All there is, are unfounded accusations at this point. Whatever happened to all of those rights that you freakshows like to get on a soapbox for? Innocent until proven guilty? Or does that only apply when some pervert rapes and murders little kids, then you start to worry about rights?

    As to the light at the end of the tunnel, we need to start looking a little closer to home. Our Monorail Fiasco, stolen elections, out of control spending, etc… have woken up many in this state and I can see heads rolling in the next election.

    Say goodbye to your monorail & your gas tax ladies.

    BTW, Rove will be in Washington for at least through 2008 and more than likely will help Guliani defeat Hillary in that election as well.

    So keep preaching your “I think I can” hate.

    BTW, The NY Times has rapidly fallen off the list of credible news organizations. Last I heard, they were neck and neck with the National Enquirer.

  26. 30

    prr spews:

    Rabbit @ 25,

    Here’s where the liberal mind shows it’s disease.

    The Liberal media should be shot on sight.

  27. 32

    prr spews:

    RR @ 30,

    So I am curious you left wing pansy, Did you get your infection last week from eating out of the trash can or did you spend $7 on a pack of generic smokes and a candy bar to bribe some steet kid into having sex?

  28. 33

    IDGAF spews:

    Nice to see the Rabbit adding his comments about an industry that he clearly knows nothing about. However having no previous experience, knowledge or expertise would qualify you to hold down an on-air or management position at Air America. After 20 + years in broadcast news, one thing is undisputable no matter how much you want to claim it is not. The industry from writers, editors, talent and ownership/management is OVERWHELMINGLY democrat and liberal and it does effect their styles and editorial position. There is not one thing you can site or say that changes these facts the media (and the industry that is still my profession) itself admits. In the future Roger, stick to something you actually know something about. (but based on your past posts, I doubt that will happen. Facts, logic and rational/critical thinking never get in the way of liberal arguments. I do wish you well as you recooperate!

  29. 34

    prr spews:

    What did Clinto Acheive?

    Clinton DID do something to America. Because of his FAILURE to PROPERLY respond to previous terrorists attacks, he gave the terrorists the idea that they could keep hitting and hitting the United States WITHOUT A PENALTY. World Trade Center One, USS Cole, Khobar Towers and so on gave the terrorists the idea, that they were the school yard bully who beat up on another kid who would NOT defend themselves. Because of Clinton, we had 9-11. We now know that 9-11 was planned under Clinton’s watch and he FAILED to detect it. We now know that 9-11 was actually started under Clinton’s watch, in a gradual and slow fashion. Clinton should be sitting in a New York or federal prison waiting for his lethal injection. That’s what Clinton achieved in his 8 years in the White House. Besides, tapping into overweight interns.

  30. 35

    John spews:

    prr you brainwashed punk, if Gore had been in the White House he would have kept his eye on the ball, i.e. al-Qaeda instead of vacationing at the ranch, pushing star-wars fantasies and flying on Air Force One to his favorite state of Florida to read “My Pet Goat”.

    I’m sure Al Gore would have bothered to read intelligence briefs on the threat from AQ.

    I’m convinced the towers would still be standing and 3000 people would be alive if Al Gore was President.

  31. 36

    prr spews:


    So Clinton ignores the attacks while nailing interns and Gore is supposed to have fought his battles at a later date?

  32. 37

    dj spews:

    prr @ 35

    Clinton did not ignore the al Qaeda attacks. Unfortunately for Shrub, he didn’t believe non-state-sponsored terrorists could achieve anything. Boy, was that the mistake of the century (so far).

    I doubt getting a blow job distracted Clinton from actually doing work. Shrub really was on vacation and in Texas way too much, spending a lot of time trimming bushes (in a difference sense than Clinton :-) ).

  33. 38

    scottd spews:

    prr: Sheesh, you’re ignorant. The U.S., under the Clinton administration, captured, convicted, and imprisoned the 1993 WTC conspirators — which is more than GWB can say for the man who set 9/11 into motion.

    The USS Cole attack occured on October 12, near the end of the Clinton adminstration. I’m not sure what immediate response you expected, since the report on the investigation of the attack wasn’t released until the last week of Clinton’s term, on January 19. It doesn’t seem that Bush made retaliation a priority either — but almost two years later, on Nov. 3, 2002, the CIA fired a missle from a Predator flying over Yemen and killed one of the suspected Cole plotters.

    The Yemeni govt. (probably working with the U.S.) ultimately tried and convicted 6 other conspirators.

    Try a little research before spewing your talking points.

  34. 39

    John spews:

    @ 35

    He didn’t ignore the attacks.

    Read Richard Clark’s book. He credits the Clinton administration with pretty agressive actions against terrorism including actions against Iraq and Iran which convinced them to back off.

    Bottom line prr, is that an American is more likely to win the lotto than die in a terrorist incident.

    That of course doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it, but we should do the right things and that doesn’t include invading a country that posed no threat to us and killing over a hundred thousand people. Now we’re freaking stuck and it can’t seem to end in any other way than disaster.

    As for the intern, a CEO can mow down a runway of lovlies, trade in his wife for a younger model and command lots of sycophantic adulation, but a President apparently has to be a priest when it comes to sex and a mass murderer when it comes to foreign policy.

  35. 40

    Donnageddon spews:

    IDGAF @ 32 “The industry from writers, editors, talent and ownership/management is OVERWHELMINGLY democrat and liberal and it does effect their styles and editorial position. There is not one thing you can site or say that changes these facts the media (and the industry that is still my profession) itself admits”

    It is telling that you would not even read any citation of fact that would refute your biased opinion.

    How truly right winger of you.

  36. 42

    Baynative spews:

    dj @36

    Clinton Has No Clothes
    What 9/11 revealed about the ex-president.

    By Byron York, NR White House Correspondent
    From the December 17, 2001, issue of National Review

    In June 25, 1996, a powerful truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, tearing the front from the building, blasting a crater 35 feet deep, and killing 19 American soldiers. Hundreds more were injured. When news reached Washington, President Bill Clinton vowed to bring the killers to justice. “The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished,” he said angrily. “Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own. Those who did it must not go unpunished.” The next day, leaving the White House to attend an economic summit in France, Clinton had more tough words for the attackers. “Let me be very clear: We will not resist” — the president corrected himself — “we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage, to pursue them and to punish them.”

    As Clinton spoke, his top political strategist, Dick Morris, was hard at work conducting polls to gauge the public’s reaction to the bombing. “Whenever there was a crisis, I ordered an immediate poll,” Morris recalls. “I was concerned about how Clinton looked in the face of [the attack] and whether people blamed him.” The bombing happened in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign, and even though Clinton enjoyed a substantial lead over Republican Bob Dole, Morris worried that public dissatisfaction with Clinton on the terrorism issue might benefit Dole.

    Indeed, Morris’s first poll showed less support for Clinton than he had hoped. But by the time Morris presented his findings to the president and top staffers at a political-strategy meeting a few days later, public approval of Clinton’s response had climbed — something Morris noted in his written agenda for the session:

    SAUDI BOMBING — recovered from Friday and looking great
    Approve Clinton handling 73-20
    Big gain from 63-20 on Friday
    Security was adequate 52-40
    It’s not Clinton’s fault 76-18

    The numbers were a relief for the re-election team. But soon there was another crisis when, on July 17, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from New York to Paris. There was widespread suspicion that the crash was the result of terrorism (it was later ruled to be an accident), and Morris’s polling found the public growing uneasy not only about air safety but also about Clinton’s performance in the Khobar investigation. Morris found that the number of people who believed Clinton was “doing all he can to investigate the Saudi bombing and punish those responsible” was just 54 percent, while 32 percent believed he could do more. Morris feared that White House inaction would allow Dole to portray Clinton as soft on national security.

    “We tested two alternative defenses to this attack: Peace maker or Toughness,” Morris wrote in a memo for the president. In the “Peacemaker” defense, Morris asked voters to respond to the statement, “Clinton is peacemaker. Brought together Arabs and Israelis. Ireland. Bosnia cease fire. Uses strength to bring about peace.” The other defense, “Tough ness,” asked voters to respond to “Clinton tough. Stands up for American interests. Against foreign companies doing business in Cuba. Sanctions against Iran. Anti-terrorist legislation held up by Republicans. Prosecuted World Trade Center bombers.” Morris found that the public greatly preferred “Toughness.”

    So Clinton talked tough. But he did not act tough. Indeed, a review of his years in office shows that each time the president was confronted with a major terrorist attack — the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998, bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole — Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.

    At the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, his administration was just beginning, and he was embroiled in controversies over gays in the military, an economic stimulus plan, and the beginnings of Hillary Clinton’s health-care task force. Khobar Towers happened not only in the midst of the president’s re-election campaign but also at the end of a month in which there were new and damaging developments in the Whitewater and Filegate scandals. The African embassy attacks occurred as the Monica Lewinsky affair was at fever pitch, in the month that Clinton appeared before independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s grand jury. And when the Cole was rammed, Clinton had little time left in office and was desperately hoping to build his legacy with a breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whenever a serious terrorist attack occurred, it seemed Bill Clinton was always busy with something else.

    The First WTC Attack
    Clinton had been in office just 38 days when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Although it was later learned that the bombing was the work of terrorists who hoped to topple one of the towers into the other and kill as many as 250,000 people, at first it was not clear that the explosion was the result of terrorism. The new president’s reaction seemed almost disengaged. He warned Americans against “overreacting” and, in an interview on MTV, described the bombing as the work of someone who “did something really stupid.”

    From the start, Clinton approached the investigation as a law-enforcement issue. In doing so, he effectively cut out some of the government’s most important intelligence agencies. For example, the evidence gathered by FBI agents and prosecutors came under the protection of laws mandating grand-jury secrecy — which meant that the law-enforcement side of the investigation could not tell the intelligence side of the investigation what was going on. “Nobody outside the prosecutorial team and maybe the FBI had access,” says James Woolsey, who was CIA director at the time. “It was all under grand-jury secrecy.”

    Another problem with Clinton’s decision to assign the investigation exclusively to law enforcement was that law enforcement in the new administration was in turmoil. When the bomb went off, Clinton did not have a confirmed attorney general; Janet Reno, who was nominated after the Zoë Baird fiasco, was awaiting Senate approval. The Justice Department, meanwhile, was headed by a Bush holdover who had no real power in the new administration. The bombing barely came up at Reno’s Senate hearings, and when she was finally sworn in on March 12, neither she nor Clinton mentioned the case. (Instead, Clinton praised Reno for “sharing with us the life-shaping stories of your family and career that formed your deep sense of fairness and your unwavering drive to help others to do better.”) In addition, at the time the bombing investigation began, the FBI was headed by William Sessions, who would soon leave after a messy forcing-out by Clinton. A new director, Louis Freeh, was not confirmed by the Senate until August 6.

    Amid all the turmoil at the top, the investigation missed some tantalizing clues pointing toward a far-reaching conspiracy. In April 1995, for example, terrorism expert Steven Emerson told the House International Relations Committee that there was information that “strongly suggests . . . a Sudanese role in the World Trade Center bombing. There are also leads pointing to the involvement of Osama bin Laden, the ex-Afghan Saudi mujahideen supporter now taking refuge in Sudan.” Two years later, Emerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the same thing. In recent years, according to an exhaustive New York Times report, “American intelligence officials have come to believe that [ringleader Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman] and the World Trade Center bombers had ties to al-Qaeda.”

    But the Clinton administration stuck with its theory that the bombing was the work of a loose network of terrorists working apart from any government sponsorship. Intelligence officials who might have thought otherwise were left out in the cold — “I made repeated attempts to see Clinton privately to take up a whole range of issues and was unsuccessful,” Woolsey recalls — and some of the nation’s most critical intelligence capabilities went unused. In the end, the U.S. tried six suspects in the attack. All were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Another key suspect, Abdul Rahman Yasin, was released after being held by the FBI in New Jersey and fled to Baghdad, where he is living under the protection of the Iraqi government. Today, with many leads gone cold, intelligence officials concede they will probably never know who was behind the attack.

    Khobar Towers
    “In June of 1996, it felt like an entire herd was converging on the White House,” wrote Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos in his memoir, All Too Human. A herd of scandals, that is: In late May, independent counsel Kenneth Starr had convicted Jim and Susan McDougal and Jim Guy Tucker in the first big Whitewater trial; in June, the Filegate story first broke into public view, and Sen. Alphonse D’Amato issued his committee’s Whitewater report recommending that several administration officials be investigated for perjury. It was also in June that the White House went into full battle mode against a variety of allegations contained in Unlimited Access, a book by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich.

    All these developments were heavy on the minds of Clinton, Dick Morris, and the other members of the re-election strategy team when the bomb went off at Khobar Towers on June 25. As it had after the World Trade Center bombing, a distracted White House gave the case to law enforcement. But there is significant evidence to suggest that the White House was even less interested in finding answers than it had been in the World Trade Center case. In the Khobar investigation, the Clinton administration not only failed to follow potentially productive leads but in some instances actively made the investigators’ job more difficult.

    From the beginning, the administration ran into significant Saudi resistance (the Saudis quickly identified a few low-level suspects and beheaded them, hoping to end the matter there). According to a long account of the case by Elsa Walsh published earlier this year in The New Yorker, FBI director Louis Freeh on several occasions urged the White House to pressure the Saudis for more cooperation. More than once, Walsh reports, Freeh was frustrated to learn that the president barely mentioned the case in meetings with Saudi leaders.

    Freeh — whose own relations with the White House had deteriorated badly in the wake of the Filegate and campaign-finance scandals — became convinced that the White House didn’t really want to push the Saudis for more information, which Freeh believed would confirm strong suspicions of extensive Iranian involvement in the attack. Walsh reports that in September 1998, Freeh, angry and losing hope, took the extraordinary step of secretly asking former president George H. W. Bush to intercede with the Saudi royal family. Acting without Clinton’s knowledge, Bush made the request, and the Saudis began to provide new information, which indeed pointed to Iran.

    In late 1998, Walsh reports, Freeh went to national security adviser Sandy Berger to tell him that it appeared the FBI had enough evidence to indict several suspects. “Who else knows this?” Berger asked Freeh, demanding to know if it had been leaked to the press. Freeh said it was a closely held secret. Then Berger challenged some of the evidence of Iranian involvement. “That’s just hearsay,” Berger said. “No, Sandy,” Freeh responded. “It’s testimony of a co-conspirator . . .” According to Walsh’s account, Freeh thought that “Berger . . . was not a national security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing.”

    Ultimately, Freeh never got the support he wanted from the White House. Walsh writes that “by the end of the Clinton era, Freeh had become so mistrustful of Clinton that, although he believed he had developed enough evidence to seek indictments against the masterminds behind the attack, not just the front-line suspects, he decided to wait for a new administration.” Just before Freeh left office, Walsh reports, he met with new president George W. Bush and gave him a list of suspects in the bombing. In June, attorney general John Ashcroft announced the indictment of 14 suspects: 13 Saudis and one Lebanese. It is not clear whether any of them are the “masterminds” of Khobar; none is in American custody and no Iranian officials were named in the indictment.

    Both the Khobar investigation and the World Trade Center bombing presented Clinton with daunting challenges; there were sensitive political issues involved, and in each case it was not immediately clear who was behind the violence. But in neither instance did Clinton press hard for answers and demand action; Berger would not have taken the position he did if the president fully supported a vigorous investigation. In the coming years, Clinton would be faced with clear acts of terrorism carried out by an organization with undeniable state support. But again, busy with other things, he did little.

    The Embassies
    On August 7, 1998, bombs exploded at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More than 200 people were killed, including 12 Americans. The morning of the attacks, Clinton said, “We will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or how long it takes. . . . We are determined to get answers and justice.”

    Investigators quickly discovered that bin Laden was behind the attacks. On August 20, Clinton ordered cruise-missile strikes on a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. But the strikes were at best ineffectual. There was little convincing evidence that the pharmaceutical factory, which admin istration officials believed was involved in the production of material for chemical weapons, actually was part of a weapons-making operation, and the cruise missiles in Afghanistan missed bin Laden and his deputies.

    Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action set off a howling debate about Clinton’s motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called “wag the dog” strategy. Some of Clinton’s allies, suspecting the same thing, remained silent. Even some of those who, after briefings by administration officials, publicly defended the strikes privately questioned Clinton’s decision.

    The accusations came as no surprise to the White House. “Everyone knew the ‘wag the dog’ charge was going to be made,” recalls Daniel Benjamin, a terrorism expert on the National Security Council. But Benjamin and others believed — mistakenly, as it turned out — that they could convince the skeptics the attacks were fully justified. “I remember being shocked and deeply depressed over the fact that no one would take seriously what I considered a grave national-security problem,” says Benjamin. “Not only were they not buying it, they were accusing the administration of essentially playing the most shallow and foolish kind of game to deflect attention from other issues. It was astonishing.”

    In particular, reporters and some members of Congress were not convinced by the administration’s evidence that the al-Shifa plant was involved in chemical-weapons production. The attack came to be viewed, by consensus, as a screw-up. In a new article in The New York Review of Books, Benjamin suggests that that skepticism, particularly on the part of reporters, scared Clinton away from any more tough action against bin Laden. “The dismissal of the al-Shifa attack as a blunder had serious consequences, including the failure of the public to comprehend the nature of the al-Qaeda threat,” Benjamin writes. “That in turn meant there was no support for decisive measures in Afghanistan — including, possibly, the use of U.S. ground forces — to hunt down the terrorists; and thus no national leader of either party publicly suggested such action.”

    After the cruise-missile raids, the administration restricted its work to covert actions breaking up terrorist cells. Benjamin and others say a significant number of terrorist plots were short-circuited, preventing several acts of violence. “I see no reason to doubt their word on that,” says James Woolsey. “They may have been doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes.” But breaking up individual cells while avoiding larger-scale action probably had the effect of postponing terrorist acts rather than stopping them. Woolsey believes that such an approach was part of what he calls Clinton’s “PR-driven” approach to terrorism, an approach that left the fundamental problem unsolved: “Do something to show you’re concerned. Launch a few missiles in the desert, bop them on the head, arrest a few people. But just keep kicking the ball down the field.”

    The Cole
    The last act of terrorism during the Clinton administration came on October 12, 2000, when bin Laden operatives bombed the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed, 39 others were wounded, and one of the U.S.’s most sophisticated warships was nearly sunk.

    Clinton’s reaction to the Cole terrorism was more muted than his response to the previous attacks. While he called the bombing “a despicable and cowardly act” and said, “We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable,” he seemed more concerned that the attack might threaten the administration’s work in the Middle East (the bombing came at the same time as a new spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians). “If [the terrorists’] intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail utterly,” Clinton said on the morning of the attack. The next day, the Washington Post’s John Harris, who had good connections inside the administration, wrote, “While the apparent suicide bombing of the USS Cole may have been the more dramatic episode for the American public, the escalation between Israelis and Palestinians took the edge in preoccupying senior administration officials yesterday. This was regarded as the more fluid of the two problems, and it presented the broader threat to Clinton’s foreign policy aims.”

    As in 1998, U.S. investigators quickly linked the bombing to bin Laden and his sponsors in Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. Together with the embassy bombings, the Cole blast established a clear pattern of attacks on American interests carried out by bin Laden’s organization. Clinton had a solid rationale, and would most likely have had solid public support, for strong military action. Yet he did nothing. Perhaps he didn’t want to endanger the cherished goal of Middle East peace. Perhaps he didn’t want to disrupt the 2000 presidential campaign, then in its last days. Perhaps he didn’t know quite what to do. But in the end, the ball was kicked a bit farther down the field.

    In early August 1996, a few weeks after the Khobar Towers bombing, Clinton had a long conversation with Dick Morris about his place in history. Morris divided presidents into four categories: first tier, second tier, third tier, and the rest. Twenty-two presidents who presided over uneventful administrations fell into the last category. Just five — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt — made Morris’s first tier.

    Clinton asked Morris where he stood. “I said that at the moment he was at the top of the unrated category,” Morris recalls. Morris says he told the president that one surprising thing about the ratings was that a president’s standing had little to do with the performance of the economy during his time in office. “Yeah,” Clinton responded, “It has so much to do with whether you get re-elected or not, but history kind of forgets it.”

    Clinton then asked, “What do I need to do to be first tier?” “I said, ‘You can’t,’” Morris remembers. “‘You have to win a war.’” Clinton then asked what he needed to do to make the second or third tier, and Morris outlined three goals. The first was successful welfare reform. The second was balancing the budget. And the third was an effective battle against terrorism. “I said the only one of the major goals he had not achieved was a war on terrorism,” Morris says. (This is not a recent recollection; Morris also described the conversation in his 1997 book, Behind the Oval Office.)

    But Clinton never began, much less finished, a war on terrorism. Even though Morris’s polling showed the poll-sensitive president that the American people supported tough action, Clinton demurred. Why?

    “He had almost an allergy to using people in uniform,” Morris explains. “He was terrified of incurring casualties; the lessons of Vietnam were ingrained far too deeply in him. He lacked a faith that it would work, and I think he was constantly fearful of reprisals.” But there was more to it than that. “On another level, I just don’t think it was his thing,” Morris says. “You could talk to him about income redistribution and he would talk to you for hours and hours. Talk to him about terrorism, and all you’d get was a series of grunts.”

    And that is the key to understanding Bill Clinton’s handling of the terrorist threat that grew throughout his two terms in the White House: It just wasn’t his thing. Clinton was right when he said history might care little about the prosperity of his era. Now, as he tries to defend his record on terrorism, he appears to sense that he will be judged harshly on an issue that is far more important than the Nasdaq or 401(k) balances. He’s right about that, too.

  37. 43

    rujax206 spews:

    Boy, that “National Review” now there’s an impartial publication for ya. And Byron York…wow! What a pompous jerk.

  38. 44

    Baynative spews:

    “And Byron York…wow! What a pompous jerk.”

    And apparantly dead on point since his information comes straight from the guy who helped Clinton run his game.

  39. 46

    John spews:

    @ 44

    Morris? Yep, he can dump on Clinton all he wants now he’s out of the White House. Helps him get work. What a whore..

    And if “tough action” means squandering billions of dollars and sacrificing thousands of lives for little to no results (e.g. the recent London attack) then I’m relieved when some politicians ask the question “why”.

  40. 48

    John spews:

    Talk to him about terrorism, and all you’d get was a series of grunts.

    Anyone with half a brain would only “grunt” to Dick Morris when the discussion turns to national security.

  41. 49

    headless lucy spews:

    See how arrogant even these rightie trolls are. They think they’re invincible. Where’s the big flap about Rove in the MSM? I haven’t heard squat from them.

  42. 50


    I just thank god we have alternative to the liberal drivel that spews form the MSM. Newsweek and the 60 minutes fiasco arent just a couple of isolated incidents. It a pattern that has been prevelant in the media since the 60’s. Now the MSM gets called on their BS. The libs cant stand it… but you cant blame them. The truth hurts.

  43. 52

    Baynative spews:

    John @ 48-

    “Anyone with half a brain would only “grunt” to Dick Morris when the discussion turns to national security.”

    How much brain did it take to hire him to advise on how to succeed in politics and manipulate polling data?

  44. 53

    windie spews:

    baynative: Link posts, don’t post the whole thing.

    Its just rude. Also, theres no evidence then that you’re not ‘helping the text a little’.

    So its nicer to us and better for you if you just, y’know… link it.

  45. 54

    John spews:

    @ 52

    Clinton hired Morris for domestic politics not for his foreign policy or national security acumen.

  46. 55

    Dr. E spews:

    That’s right, like this one:

    Maybe you could learn a thing or two about what kind of a swell guy Rove has defending him, and I quote:

    Luskin insisted that he “never have, and never would, knowingly accept a fee that was the proceeds of illegal activities.”

    (emphasis mine)
    Sound familiar?

  47. 57

    pbj spews:

    From the Newsweek article:

    “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.”

    Now where does he say that she is an undercover agent? He probably didn’t even know she was supposed to be an undercover agent.

    * YAWN * A tempest in a teapost for the local moonbats.

  48. 59

    windie spews:

    dear rightie trolls:

    reading comprehension is good.

    Or can you just not deal with the fact that whether it was a crime or not, outing the woman (regardless of her role) in order to hurt or try to discredit her husband is a horrible act? Do we want our ‘leadership’ using their positions for revenge *ever*?

    Thats the point of the post, not some ‘criminality’ that’ll be hard to prove.

  49. 60

    GeoCrackr spews:

    LIVE at the Whiskey Bar:

    Vouching for Karl

    QUESTION: The Robert Novak column last week . . . has now given rise to accusations that the administration deliberatively blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative, and in so doing, violated a federal law that prohibits revealing the identity of undercover CIA operatives. Can you respond to that?

    McCLELLAN: Thank you for bringing that up. That is not the way this President or this White House operates. And there is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House would have given authority to take such a step.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    July 22, 2003

    t, has there ever been an attempt or effort on the part of anyone here at the White House to discredit the reputations or reporting of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, his wife, or ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman?

    McCLELLAN: John, I think I answered that yesterday. That is not the way that this White House operates. That’s not the way the President operates . . . No one would be authorized to do that within this White House. That is simply not the way we operate, and that’s simply not the way the President operates.

    QUESTION: In all of those cases?

    McCLELLAN: Well, go down — which two?

    QUESTION: Joe Wilson and his wife?

    McCLELLAN: No.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    July 23, 2003

    that the person who did this was Karl Rove . . . Did Karl Rove tell that . . .

    McCLELLAN: I haven’t heard that. That’s just totally ridiculous. But we’ve already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it’s totally ridiculous.

    QUESTION: But did Karl Rove do it?

    McCLELLAN: I said, it’s totally ridiculous.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    September 16, 2003

    er Andrea Owen happened to find herself near Karl Rove (who was walking to his car), and an ABC camera.

    Owen: “Did you have any knowledge or did you leak the name of the CIA agent to the press?”

    Rove: “No.”

    At which point, Mr. Rove shut his car door as Ms. Owen asked, “What is your response to the fact that Justice is looking into the matter?”

    ABC News
    The Note
    September 29, 2003
    (courtesy of Think Progress)

    ident either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .

    McCLELLAN: I don’t think he needs that. I think I’ve spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I’ve just said there’s no truth to it.

    QUESTION: Yes, but I’m just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you’re here at this . . .

    McCLELLAN: He wasn’t involved. The President knows he wasn’t involved.

    QUESTION: How does he know that?

    McCLELLAN: The President knows.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Gaggle
    September 29, 2003

    were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

    McCLELLAN: I’ve made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I’ve known Karl for a long time, and I didn’t even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

    QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson’s wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

    McCLELLAN: I don’t know whether or not — I mean, I’m sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

    QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

    McCLELLAN: We’re going down a lot of different roads here. I’ve made it very clear that he was not involved, that there’s no truth to the suggestion that he was.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    September 29, 2003

    ld that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .


    QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .

    THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody — I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.

    George W. Bush
    Remarks to Reporters
    September 30, 2003

    it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

    QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that’s been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you’re saying?

    McCLELLAN: The President doesn’t condone the activity that you’re suggesting, absolutely he does not.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    October 1, 2003

    ou have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers . . . Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them?

    McCLELLAN: They’re good individuals, they’re important members of our White House team, and that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it’s accurate before I report back to you, and that’s exactly what I did.

    QUESTION: So you’re saying — you’re saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you’re saying?

    McCLELLAN: That’s correct.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    October 7, 2003

    er this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

    McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that’s where it stands.

    QUESTION: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

    McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

    Scott McClellan
    Press Briefing
    October 10, 2003

    to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak’s column.

    The American Prospect
    Plugging Leaks
    March 8, 2004

    r name. I didn’t leak her name.

    Karl Rove
    CNN Interview
    August 31, 2004

    g wrong. Karl didn’t disclose Valerie Plame’s identity to Mr. Cooper or anybody else . . . Who outed this woman? . . . It wasn’t Karl.” Luskin said Rove “certainly did not disclose to Matt Cooper or anybody else any confidential information.”

    Rove attorney Robert Luskin
    CNN Interview
    July 4, 2005

    that Rove and Cooper had spoken prior to the publication of the original Time article, but said that Rove “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA” nor did he “knowingly disclose classified information.”

    Turning Up the Heat
    July 6, 2005

    that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by “DCIA”—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.” Wilson’s wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division . . . Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak’s column appeared; in other words, before Plame’s identity had been published.

    Matt Cooper’s Source
    July 10, 2005

  50. 61

    pbj spews:

    Your presumption is that he ‘outed’ her. That straw man won’t stand because clearly the article states he did not even know she was and agent to begin with.

    Thats the point of the post, not some �criminality� that�ll be hard to prove.

    Yeah, forget having to prove something – just take the cheap shots and make unsubstantiated, unproven allegations. Isn’t that the Democrat way?

    Let me show you how it is done:

    Allegation: Democrats have been convicted of buying voted in an attempt to get prominent Democrats elected.


    “Charles Powell Jr., the head of the city’s Democratic Party, three precinct committeemen and an election worker had been accused of buying votes to get prominent Democrats elected in the Nov. 2 election.”


  51. 64

    windie spews:


    and I quote
    “This whole issue is not about whether Rove technically violated the law, or about the First Amendment implications of NY Times reporter Judith Miller serving jail time on contempt. This is about White House dirty tricks, and the ensuing cover-up. “

    “Or can you just not deal with the fact that whether it was a crime or not, outing the woman (regardless of her role) in order to hurt or try to discredit her husband is a horrible act? Do we want our ‘leadership’ using their positions for revenge *ever*?

    seems pretty similar to me.

  52. 65

    HRH spews:

    56, 57

    How stupid, and I mean STUPID, can you really be?

    “it was ‘Wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip,'”

    What the hell is the difference between saying “Wilson’s wife” and using her first name?

    And, if you think that the deputy chief of staff, with his level of security clearance (and who also said she “apparently works AT THE AGENCY on [WMD] issues) would NOT know that Plame was a covert operative, and STILL leak her identity, then he needs to be fired, at the very least, for gross incompetence.

    Come on, you pillocks, surely you can understand gross incompetence. You love to scream about your perceptions of such when it comes to Democrat politicians, surely you can recognize it amongst one of your own.

    How incompetent—or just plain irresponsible—would you have to be to blow an agent’s cover that way?

    IF you’re following this story closely, you’d have to be either a batshit insane, closed-minded Repug or a complete retard to think it’s a boring non-issue. I hate to resort to an ad hominem argument, but Jesus Christ, open your f**cking ears, eyes, AND brain and think rationally for a moment. It’s YOUR president that’s selling all of you up the river.

  53. 66

    GeoCrackr spews:

    The Democrats finally grow some balls, and surprisingly enough they nail it.

    Bush Puts Partisan Politics Ahead of National Security

    Posted by Jesse Berney on July 11, 2005 at 03:30 PM

    The revelation that Karl Rove was the source who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent to Time’s Matt Cooper probably comes as a surprise to exactly nobody. After all, dirty tricks have been the hallmark of Rove’s political career since he was a teenager.

    As this story continues to unfold over the next few weeks, Republicans are going to try to parse every word Rove ever uttered about the case. They’re going to dissect every letter of relevant law trying to find a loophole to prove that Karl Rove is innocent.

    But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Rove’s secret outing of Valerie Plame put partisan politics above the security of our nation. He chose to reveal Plame’s identity as a CIA agent, with no thought to the consequences to American national security, simply because it provided an opportunity to smear her husband.

    And this is part of a pattern. When Democrats proposed creating the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans fought it until they saw a partisan advantage to exploit in the 2002 elections. When the September 11 Commission was trying to get the facts about the terrorist attacks on our soil, the administration fought them every step of the way.

    And the war in Iraq is a disaster today because President Bush and his team have consistently chosen to score political points instead of doing the right thing.

    And that, ultimately, is what this is about. It’s about an administration that chose to ruin a woman’s career, expose a CIA agent, and smear an ambassador’s name all for the sake of spreading more lies about a threat that never existed.

    The Bush administration will do anything — absolutely anything — to further its partisan politics. Don’t you wish they’d put that kind of effort into protecting America?

  54. 67

    windie spews:


    I might be nit-picking, but ‘its partisan politics’ should be ‘their personal power’.

  55. 68

    DamnageD spews:

    Rove will get fired about the same time Shrub admits he lied so he could invade Iraq.

  56. 69

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Why not both?

    Sadly enough, you’re probably right. I’m actually waiting to hear what promotion Rove gets, since Fuck Up/Move Up is the standard operating procedure for this administration. AWOl has repeatedly demonstrated his uncanny ability to ignore public opinion, and Congress certainly isn’t going to censure their beloved fuhrer to compel him. I wouldn’t even put it past him to pardon Rove should an indictment actually be issued. Really, what repercussions would he suffer?

  57. 70

    Unkl Witz spews:

    I think what everyone is forgetting here is that Plame and Wilson are Democrats, and therefore legitimate targets for this kind of behaviour. This gang of theives in the Whitehouse has no compuctions about breaking laws if it’s to promote their agenda.

    Surely you have discovered that by now.

  58. 71


    IF you’re following this story closely, you’d have to be either a batshit insane, closed-minded Repug or a complete retard to think it’s a boring non-issue. I hate to resort to an ad hominem argument, but Jesus Christ, open your f**cking ears, eyes, AND brain and think rationally for a moment. It’s YOUR president that’s selling all of you up the river.

    Comment by HRH— 7/11/05 @ 3:14 pm

    Whoa HRH… If we survived that lying worthless piece of shit Clinton… Bush will be no problem. At least Bush is not selling us to China.

  59. 72

    headless lucy spews:

    When someone writes Bush’s autobiography, what tone should they adopt to accurately convey the man’s meter and speech patterns. There is ,after all, a job for that hoard of monkeys in a room full of typewriters!

  60. 73

    HRH spews:


    So, if lying about getting a BJ makes Clinton a “worthless piece of shit,” then it’s fair to say that not firing your deputy chief of staff for passing along classified, national security information to the press—purely in retaliation—would make W a treasonous piece of shit.


  61. 74



    So, if lying about getting a BJ makes Clinton a “worthless piece of shit,” then it’s fair to say that not firing your deputy chief of staff for passing along classified, national security information to the press—purely in retaliation—would make W a treasonous piece of shit.

    Yeah- if it were true than you would be right.

  62. 75

    HRH spews:

    What do you mean “than you would be right”?
    Speak English, man! And try to have a coherent point while doing so.