Something's not quite right about the Rove story
by John in DC - 7/10/2005 09:05:00 AM
So, we now know (apparently) that Rove told TIME that Ambassador Wilson's wife was a CIA agent (mind you, Wilson himself alleged this over a year ago and was skewered for suggesting it). Rove's defense, apparently, is that he didn't say what Plame's name was (he simply said "Wilson's wife"), and he didn't "know" that Plame was an undercover agent, he only knew she was CIA. Ok, a few points.
1. Whether he said "Valerie Plame" or "Wilson's wife" is irrelevant. It's the same thing, and if Bush tolerates this "definition of 'is'" garbage from Rove, well, then we really have a story.
2. Bush said he wanted to get to the bottom of this over a year ago. Why then did we have to waste all this money on a special prosecutor and a grand jury if Rove knew from day one that he was the guy who leaked Plame's identity? If Rove was so innocent, why didn't he just come forward immediately and say "yeah, it was me, but I didn't realize she was undercover"? Did he tell the president it was him? And if so, why didn't the president go public and put this investigation to an end? Or did Rove refuse the president's request and NOT come forward a year ago? And if so, what is he still doing working in the white House?
3. Perhaps it's legally relevant if Rove "knew" Plame was undercover or not, but it's not relevant in terms of him keeping his job. Rove intentionally outed a CIA agent working on WMD, it is irrelevant whether he did or didn't know if she was an undercover agent. First off, he knew she wasn't THAT public about her identity or there'd have been no need to "out" here - everyone would have known her already.
Second, the very fact that he appears to be claiming that he did NOT know about her undercover status is reason enough to fire him now. How dare the top political aide to the president out a CIA agent and not even think of checking whether she's undercover? I have worked before with CIA agents at several points in my career. The FIRST thing you learn is NOT to out them, period. If you don't know that they have some public CIA job, like spokesman, then you know from day one that you do NOT tell ANYONE who they are. It is totally unbelievable that Rove didn't know this simple fact about Washington - you don't tell people who is and who isn't CIA. Rove knew that, and he chose to out an agent working on WMD. The man should be fired.
The only remaining issue is to see if Bush starts haggling over the definition of is.
4. Who told Rove that Plame was a CIA agent? She was undercover after all.
5. Who was the SECOND administration source who leaked the info about Plame? Remember, Novak said TWO administration sources confirmed that Plame was CIA. Who was the second one?