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Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Plame Name Blame Game

In response to a request from i eat puppies, here are my thoughts on the Karl Rove dustup.

I think this shows just how desperate the Democrats and liberals are. There is no credible evidence that Karl Rove broke any law. Yet, the lack of evidence does not stop the media, the Democrats and the Left from trying and convicting him in the press and in the Press Room.

If there is evidence that Karl Rove, or anyone else, broke any law, why don't we leave it to the prosecutors to determine, and let the reporters report, instead of interrogate?

Two sources that I trust, former Judge Andrew Napolitano and Victoria Toensing, both say that Karl Rove did not break the law in question. Ms. Toensing wrote or participated in the writing of the law, which was narrowly drawn to address a specific issue, the efforts of former CIA agent Philip Agee to identify CIA covert operatives.

According to Judge Napolitano, there are two requirements for the law to be broken: First, the individual in question, Rove, must have had access to classified information directly through his official role. He didn’t, the Judge said.

Second, the information about the protected individual, Plame, must not have been made available prior to Rove’s alleged release of it. The Judge notes that Ms. Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, had published that information himself prior to the discussion between Mr. Rove and the reporter (Cooper) on Wilson’s Web site!

There is a further question of whether Ms. Plame was undercover at the time all of this came about, and no one has said definitely that she was, and further they have not said that at any time is it clear that she would have been protected by this law, as far as I have been able to determine.

So, it appears that the Democrats are shooting their mouths off before they know what they are talking about. They have only one goal in mind, and that goal has nothing whatsoever to do with national security, or protecting the identity of covert operatives.

And, while we are on the subject of Valerie Plame's outing, have you ever wondered just why The New York Times refuses to reveal the source its reporter is now in jail to protect? Karl Rove released reporters from maintaining his anonymity, so it must not be Mr. Rove that the Times is protecting.

It seems to me that this is what the press ought to be wondering about. And as for the Democrats/liberals, they ought to know better. But as they say, “desperate people do desperate things.”



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7 comments:

MrPaw said...

Drudge has a link up right now that purports that most of "the outed's" neighbors new she was CIA, and not only that, another story seems to show the husband admitting that his wife was not undercover at the time of Roves statements.

You are deat on, these people are just desparate to find anything to latch onto to discredit this administration.

Mr. Middle America said...

Personally, I want to see "the administration" prosper... because of the fact that... well, I am an American. A citizen of the United States of America, that is.

However, IF it is true that Karl Rove, or ANYONE in this adminstration (or any other administration) leaked the Identity (not just name, but some bit of information that IMPLY a link) of a CIA operative (currently undercover, or in the stages of planning another undercover endeavor)... then I will advocate for all that is my existence that they be OUT OUT OF POWER.

These people are technically OUR employees. They represent the greatest civilization (Western Civilization) in the history of this planet... if they are "out-ing" intelligence operatives, no matter what the political orientation, then they DO NOT deserve the position of power they have been granted by the will of the people (Vicariously in Rove's case being that he was NOT elected, but appointed).

James Howard Shott said...

Mr. Paw and Brad:

Mr. Paw: Yes, it's difficult to justify Plame as an undercover agent, or that Rove did anything -- ANYTHING -- wrong.

Brad: I agree with your position re: government workers/employees. But before you work up a high level of righteous indignation, why don't we see if there's any evidence against Rove? From where I sit, there isn't any. All we have is Democrat appoplexy and hysteria. They are so anxious to find something -- ANYTHING -- against Bush or somebody in his administration that they are absolutely drooling at the prospect. It's really humiliating for them, but they are so consumed with the obsession that they don't even notice.

i eat puppies said...

First, yes you're right the lefty Dems are whipping themselves into a froth prematurely, and Rove probably will not be convicted of a crime. But the WH's backtrack is notable.

Way back when Bush said he would fire anyone _involved_ in leaking the info. Now he says only if they are convicted of the crime (not indicted). So basically, the pres is saying "I won't have convicted felons working in my White House!". Is this supposed to impress the American people? Is this restoring dignity to the White House?

Regarding multiple comments that Plame wasn't currently under cover, was pushing paper, that may well be, but now she no longer has the option of going back under deep cover. Afterall, not all agents stay in the same position their entire carreer, and if we find ourselves in a crisis and in need of more deep cover agents, well, Rove et al just eliminated one possible candidate (and saying she was Joe Wilson's wife is enough to ruin that- you don't need her actual name).

And Joe Wilson is a preening media whore.

James Howard Shott said...

I think you're overreaching to find a problem regarding firing anyone "involved" in leaking info versus now saying "convicted of a crime."

First, anyone can be indicted for anyting at any time, and be completely innocent, so indictment all by itself means nothing.

What I think Bush said was that anyone involved in exposing the identity of an undercover agent would "be taken care of." Not to play Bill Clinton with hyper-parsing of words, but what exactly does "anyone involved" mean?

As for Rove, it appears that he knew Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, did not know her name, did not know she was under cover (if indeed she was, and that is a big question mark), and did not intend to provide any information that would have blown her cover, if she had any. Someone who has driven in and out of the Langley gate to and from work for six years, who had appeared in Vanity Fair, who's role/job was discussed in her husband's book will have some difficulty successfully claiming that Karl Rove blew her cover, and that she now cannot go back under cover.

It is possible that Rove may be found to have violated some second- or third-generation law associated with the Special Prosecutor's investigation, but I don't believe he did anything serious enough to be tried, or to be fired. At least not based upon what is currently known about this entire farce. It seems completely plausible to me that Rove was merely trying to keep Cooper from going down a dead end road when Joe Wilson's wife came up in the discussion, not trying to "out" an under cover agent.

Amen. Joe Wilson is an un-credible, un-principled schmuck.

i eat puppies said...

Didn't the Vanity Fair piece and the book come out after her cover was blown? Damage done.

Regarding the Clintonian parsing of words, I'm glad you can see the pres is playing the semantics game here.

And regarding involved, indicted, etc- the significance is that while anyone can be indicted, it still shows you weren't using your best judgement to be placed in that position in the first place- remember 1) Rove got himself involved by leaking (even if it was under the guise of correcting a story) 2) remember the House ethics committee had a rule regarding indictments of the leadership, until they backtracked to protect DeLay.

Hmmm, do I see a pattern here?

James Howard Shott said...

To be honest, I don't know about the timing of the book. I've heard it came first, but don't know. It is, however, common knowledge that Joe and Valerie are quite the social butterflies, and it's difficult to see how her going to work at CIA headquarters was a secret.

I didn't mean to suggest that I think Bush is playing word games. I'm suggesting that, given the slippery-ness of how words are interpreted, that he's being more careful with what he says. As I said before, it depends upon how "anyone involved" is interpreted. If Rove's conversation with Cooper means he's "involved," I don't see that that earns him being fired.

You said "Rove got himself involved by leaking," but that's precisely what's alleged but not proved. Rove's position is that Cooper mentioned "Wilson's wife" working at the CIA, and Rove said something to the effect of "that's what I heard, too." Cooper confirms that. In my book, that isn't leaking anything. The information was already out there. All of this assumes the Plame was actual "outable."

I haven't followed the DeLay thing much. But I don't think anyone should be relieved of a position based solely on an indictment. The saying goes, "A Grand Jury can indict a ham sandwich if it chooses to." Indictments are often political, are sometimes used as an inducement, and therefore not something that automatically warrants someone loosing their job. What if Rove is indicted and Bush relieves him of his duties, and then he's found not guilty? Does he get his job back? What about the damage done to his reputation? Same thing for DeLay.