Tuesday :: Sep 30, 2003

Dems Know Somehow It Was Rove


by Steve

The Guardian reports in tomorrow’s issue that Democrats are saying that the source of the outing for CIA employee Valerie Plame is in fact Karl Rove. Since none of the six journalists who claim to have been called by the two unnamed White House officials have yet spilled the beans on who actually called them, for the Democrats to now say that they know it was Rove means that the some of the journalists are telling the Democrats it was Rove, instead of telling it themselves publicly.

President Bush's closest political adviser, Karl Rove, was yesterday at the centre of a criminal investigation into allegations that he leaked the name of a CIA agent in an attempt to suppress criticism of the administration's Iraq policy, in what is fast becoming the administration's worst scandal since coming to office.

Reporters at Time magazine and NBC News and a handful of others were also tipped off about Ms Plame, and Democrats claim the source in each case was Mr Rove. According to some accounts, Mr Rove, did not mention Ms Plame by name but referred to "Wilson's wife" being a CIA employee.

And recent backtracking by Bob Novak to help Bush by saying that he wasn’t told Plame was an operative, but an analyst is irrelevant, as the Guardian points out:

Mr. Novak claimed he was told by CIA officials that Ms Plame was an analyst, not a covert operative. But intelligence analysts have argued that the CIA director, George Tenet, would not have called for an inquiry if the identification of Ms Plame had not caused potential damage to national security.

But the GOP and the Bush White House claim that calls for a special counsel are unwarranted because they have no evidence that they are responsible or have committed a crime.

The White House has insisted it has no evidence that any of its employees was responsible for the leak and has turned down Democratic demands for the appointment of an independent counsel to look into the matter. The inquiry will instead be carried out by the FBI under the supervision of the attorney general, John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist.

Funny, that wasn’t the standard employed by the GOP in the 90’s. As I indicated in my earlier post about GOP calls for independent counsels against Clinton, merely the appearance of a conflict of interest was sufficient to the GOP then, not actual evidence. Applying that same standard to Clinton and his associates would have meant very few actual independent counsels, since there was little if any evidence of wrongdoing established before Janet Reno was steamrollered by the GOP into such referrals.

And in tomorrow’s Post, bulldog Dana Milbank and anti-Clinton smear artist “Steno” Sue Schmidt, who was leaked material from Ken Starr routinely, are running a Page One story that reveals that Joe Wilson will name the reporters who called him when investigators contact him, and maybe even the names of White House sources as well.

Wilson, on ABC's "Nightline" last night, said that if investigators ask, "I will be revealing the names of everybody who called me," prior to or after the disclosure of his wife's identity. He said those reporters said White House sources or specific individuals had knowledge of the leak.

More interestingly is the nugget buried in the story that an intelligence official (CIA?) confirmed to the Post that Plame, in fact, was a covert operator. This debunks any effort by the White House and its supporters like Novak to downplay this by claiming Plame was only an analyst, and not a covert operator covered under the statute.

Plame currently is an analyst at the CIA. But, intelligence officials said, she previously served overseas in a clandestine capacity, which means her name is kept classified to protect her previous contacts and operations, and her ability to work again undercover overseas.

This will get worse for the White House. The CIA and other intelligence officials who have been run over by Dick Cheney, Rummy, Rice, and their staffs are about to get revenge.

Never mess with the spooks.

Steve :: 10:59 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!