Friday, July 15, 2005

Novak leaked to Rove!?!?!

So the newest twist in the Plame leak story is the claim that Karl Rove testified before the Grand Jury that he heard about Plame's role in the CIA from Robert Novak, and possibly from another reporter, but he couldn't remember who. So Novak leaked to Rove!?!?!

Now I'm HIGHLY DUBIOUS of anything Karl Rove says, and even more dubious about what an anonymous source says Karl Rove said, but let's just take a look at this new twist, assuming for the moment that it is true. This means that Novak really did have one or two "White House sources" and that Rove was not one of them. Let's not all start thinking that this means the administration is innocent in all of this. SOMEONE at the White House leaked Plame's identity (and who knows, it still could have been Rove), and as I've said before, even though she wasn't actually working covertly in the Middle East at the time that she was outed, that doesn't really lessen the damage much. Sure, it means her life wasn't probably DIRECTLY endangered by the leak. But what about people she knew when she was a NOC (a "no official cover agent", which is what she was, she had no diplomatic passport, so if she was caught working for the CIA, a lot of countries might have just executed her...). Even if she wasn't using these people as sources or "assets", now that she has been exposed, everyone she ever knew could come under suspision by the authorities in the countries where she worked, and those authorities may very well now think they are CIA moles (and maybe some of them are!). And what about the CIA front company she worked for? Hasn't everyone else who's ever worked for that company now been exposed?

I can't wait for the full story to come out, so that maybe, just maybe, I'll learn WHY ROBERT NOVAK ISN'T IN JAIL!!!!!

Also, as a side note, I wanted to mention something about Joseph Wilson (many of you may know this, but I didn't until recently). A lot of the conservative media tries to paint Wilson as some sort of anti-war peacenik, someone who never should have been sent to verify a connection between Hussein and nuclear materials in Africa. Well, I always knew that Wilson was Ambassador to Iraq just before the first Gulf War, and that he was the last American official to officially speak with Hussein. What I didn't know was that Hussein basically threatened to execute him. And Wilson's response was CLASSIC:

"As acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the first Gulf War, he was the last US diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein, in 1991.

He very publicly defied the Iraqi strongman by giving refuge to more than 100 US citizens at the embassy and in the homes of US diplomats - at a time when Saddam Hussein was threatening to execute anyone who harboured foreigners.

He then addressed journalists wearing a hangman's noose instead of a necktie.

He later told the Washington Post newspaper that the message to Saddam Hussein was: 'If you want to execute me, I'll bring my own [expletive] rope.
'" (From the BBC online bio of Wilson.)

Now does that sound like a man that would downplay (let alone attempt to cover up) an attempt by Hussein to procur WMDs? It's a ridiculous suggestion, and I'm shocked anyone would have the temerity to even suggest it. I mean c'mon, George H. W. Bush called Wilson "truly inspiring" and "courageous" for his actions in Iraq.

The longer George W. Bush is President, the more I admire (and pity) his father.

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Mark Francis said...

And I found a piece from a few years back with Novak claiming that Plame's name was given to him:

Just for the record.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

It's scary too how many people seem to be suggesting that it's possible that no crime was commited here!

All I know is that after a two year investigation, the prosecutor had better indict SOMEBODY for SOMETHING. If no one ever gets charged for the leak after all of this, then what the Hell is a reporter doing in sitting in jail??? If there's no case to be made against SOMEONE for leaking Plame's identity, or if, as some suggest, leaking her name wasn't a crime, then what? They just locked up Miller because they could? If there's no crime here, shouldn't they have figured that out about a year and six months ago?

The whole thing is a wacky mess of incompetence and ignorance, if not criminality and treason. And hey, that's even the Republicans' talking points: "We're not vindictive, traitorous and criminal; we're just vindictive, ignorant and incompetent!"


Mark Francis said...

The argument going around is that no law was broken because Plame was not _stationed_ abroad within the last five years. However, she was travelling undercover abroad within the last five years.

The statute doesn't care about the agent being stationed, it just cares whether the agent was abroad and uindercover.

This is why there's an investigation.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Yes, there definitely needed to be an investigation, and I understand that no one is perfectly clear about whether Plame's status really amounted to a "cover" that was "blown", however it does seems to me that A) that should be pretty easy to find out and B) it DEFINITELY shouldn't have taken two years. I mean it seems to me that the FIRST thing you do is determine whether she was really undercover, as defined by the statute, and if THAT hasn't been determined yet than that just seems pretty sloppy.

I'm not one to think that just because the CIA called in the DOJ that that NECESSARILY means that the CIA believes that a crime has taken place (though it is suggestive at the least). But it also seems to me that a simple phone call to the CIA's Director of Operations ("Did you consider Plame to be protected, and is exposing her name consistent with the crime described in the statute?"), would clear that up pretty quick!