July 10, 2005

 

Time To Wipe That Smile Off Yer Face, Fatboy



Fatboy

From Newsweek:
It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "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]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA...

For two years, a federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has been investigating the leak of Plame's identity as an undercover CIA agent. The leak was first reported by columnist Robert Novak on July 14, 2003. Novak apparently made some arrangement with the prosecutor, but Fitzgerald continued to press other reporters for their sources, possibly to show a pattern (to prove intent) or to make a perjury case. (It is illegal to knowingly identify an undercover CIA officer.) Rove's words on the Plame case have always been carefully chosen. "I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name," Rove told CNN last year when asked if he had anything to do with the Plame leak. Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rove did—and that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper's lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify.

The controversy arose when Wilson wrote an op-ed column in The New York Times saying that he had been sent by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate charges that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from the African country of Niger. Wilson said he had found no evidence to support the claim. Wilson's column was an early attack on the evidence used by the Bush administration to justify going to war in Iraq. The White House wished to discredit Wilson and his attacks. The question for the prosecutor is whether someone in the administration, in an effort to undermine Wilson's credibility, intentionally revealed the covert identity of his wife.

In a brief conversation with Rove, Cooper asked what to make of the flap over Wilson's criticisms. NEWSWEEK obtained a copy of the e-mail that Cooper sent his bureau chief after speaking to Rove. (The e-mail was authenticated by a source intimately familiar with Time's editorial handling of the Wilson story, but who has asked not to be identified because of the magazine's corporate decision not to disclose its contents.) Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper 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. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger ..."
In other words, per Digby:
"Karl Rove and others in the White House exposed an undercover CIA agent in order to cover up their lies about Iraq."
Ah, yes you say, but what about the rest of the Newsweek article which includes this:
A source close to Rove, who declined to be identified because he did not wish to run afoul of the prosecutor or government investigators, added that there was "absolutely no inconsistency" between Cooper's e-mail and what Rove has testified to during his three grand-jury appearances in the case. "A fair reading of the e-mail makes clear that the information conveyed was not part of an organized effort to disclose Plame's identity, but was an effort to discourage Time from publishing things that turned out to be false," the source said, referring to claims in circulation at the time that Cheney and high-level CIA officials arranged for Wilson's trip to Africa.
Take it away, Roger:
What the hell is this bullshit? The disclosure of Plame's identity (as the wife of Joseph Wilson) was the friggin' crime. It was disclosure of information to Cooper. Under the law, it doesn't friggin' matter (1) if there was an organized effort; (2) whether Rove intended for Cooper to publish; or (3) whether Rove's motive was to knock down a rumor. Repeat: None of those things friggin' matter. The only possible issue left is whether Rove knew Plame was a covert agent. The e-mail is silent on the matter -- although the fact that Rove didn't want his name connected to the leak strongly suggests his guilt in that regard.

This passage also illustrates the abuse of anonymous sources. If the source isn't Rove's attorney (who is quoted on the record elsewhere in the article), then there's no way he or she has first-hand knowledge of what Rove told the grand jury. So this jackass is simply providing uninformed spin - making an argument based on the language of the e-mail. Why should Newsweak give someone with no knowledge, but only spin, a promise of confidentiality?
Grrrrrrrrrr indeedy.


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