Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Questions Galore; If Rove, Then What?

Story Reads Like An Old Fashioned Whodunit

A highly regarded journalist is behind bars, a Time magazine correspondent weaseled himself out of jail time and Robert Novak--the guy who actually wrote the inflammatory article in the first place--is sitting comfortably at home tonight.

Washington is besides itself. Who was the source of the CIA outing of Valerie Plame? How wide a net is the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, casting? If it's Karl Rove, then what? Will the President relieve the man who is widely regarded as the reason for Bush's two terms? So many questions. Makes a man wanted to trot out the ol' "What did he know and when did he know it" axiom.

David Paul Kuhn in reported that Karl Rove was fired by George H.W. Bush in 1992 for leaking information from an advisors meeting to none other than Robert Novak. Did Rove's connection to Novak re-open and involve outing Plame, who was then a covert CIA informant, which is a federal offense. This, of course, was viewed as retaliation for her husband, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Joseph Wilson's Op-Ed piece during the run-up to war in Iraq that vehemently denied the Bush's charge that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from Niger therefore squashing Bush's attempt to link Saddam Hussein to his then-core assertion that Iraq was trying to build nuclear weapons.

But what about the New York Times' Judith Miller?

Miller seems an unwitting casualty of all this. She is looking at jail time for not revealing her source to the grand jury, yet she never wrote one word on the story. Miller isn't the innocent idealist she tries to be. She has cozy relationship with the administration.

Miller was the New York Times reporter who was systematically spoon-fed propanganda from the Bush administration during the period when the president was doling out dozens of false reasons and accusations in favor of war. Miller's work was revealed to be so shoddy that the Times eventually printed an apology on page one.

The case of Time magazine's Matt Cooper is even more vague. Cooper, like Miller, faced jail time, until his source relieved him of his journalistic burden. Time subsequently handed over his notes to the grand jury. Some in Washington believe Rove's name is in those notes.

MSNBC contributor, Lawrence O'Donnell, said unequivocably on "The McLaughlin Group", Friday, that he knows firsthand that Rove is, indeed, Cooper's source in the outing of Plame. He also reasons that Cooper and Novak follow the same leads and sources. This maybe true since Cooper followed the Bush campaign and Novak is part of the old guard in D.C. The question is: if Cooper's source allowed him reveal his source and if Rove, then why isn't Miller or Novak talking now?

The answer: conspiracy; not in the Mel Gibson movie connation but in a criminal sense.

The feeling is that the special prosecutor's net is widely cast. He may pull up an old boot, a soda can or maybe a couple of sharks named Rove and Bush. The question then becomes, is this Bush's Iran-Contra or even Watergate? This investigation should go far into revealing just what damage the Bush administration has wreaked on the press in this country.

If the blame reached only to Rove and some underlings, would Bush call for his resignation? Bush has shown himself to be a very deliberate but predictable president. The answer is no. Rove is too important to the ship of Bush's state. Conservatives would find either a patriotic angle to keeping Bush's loyal servant or more likely conjure up some ridiculous argument against the whole scenario.

Tucker Carlson, the bowtie-wearing conservative pundit, has been floating around the idea that Plame wasn't actually that covert of a CIA agent afterall. Other conservatives will pick up on the hokey argument and before you know it another of our pillars of democracy is taken down a notch.

Now we wait for the answers.

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