Thursday, July 14, 2005

NYT: "Bush Says He Will Withhold Judement on Rove Inquiry" (Richard W. Stevenson)

Below is an excerpt from Richard W. Stevenson's "Bush Says He Will Withhold Judgment on Rove Inquiry" from this morning's New York Times. I've added, in italics, what the report should include:

President Bush said Wednesday that he would withhold judgment on whether Karl Rove, his senior adviser and political strategist, had identified an undercover C.I.A. operative in a conversation with a reporter for Time magazine. Because he's not real good with judgements as events in Iraq (among other things) demonstrate. Donald Rumsfeld was heard to remark, "We don't do decisions."
Mr. Bush's comment came nearly two years after he suggested that he would fire anyone in his administration who had knowingly leaked the identity of the operative, Valerie Wilson. Her naming has led to a federal grand jury investigation. After he said that he would fire anyone but Bully Boy sees it as one more in his string of broken promises. He was heard giggling as he crooned "Always and Forever" to Rove.
On Wednesday, in his first remarks on the matter since the disclosure that Mr. Rove had alluded to the Central Intelligence Agency officer in a background interview in July 2003 with Matthew Cooper, a White House correspondent for Time, Mr. Bush held that it would be wrong to discuss the case while the investigation was under way. Former Attorney General J-Ass was heard to gasp and say "That never stopped me, baby! I rode the land of liberty like I f**king owned it!"

"I have instructed every member of my staff to fully cooperate in this investigation," Mr. Bush told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "I also will not prejudge the investigation based on media reports." Translation, "No one's read them to me yet! Put 'em in that stack of PDBs Condi's going to read me next month."
Mr. Bush neither criticized nor defended Mr. Rove. But Mr. Rove sat directly behind him as he spoke, sending a visual signal that he remained on the job and at the president's elbow, where he has been throughout Mr. Bush's political career. It was all so very Chairman and Mrs. Mao. Scooter Libby paced back and forth while muttering, "Scoots, ain't taking the fall on this, no sir. Never underestimate a grown man named 'Scooter!' We thrive on mockery!"

The Times still can't tell you what the law says. On the plus side, they're not quoting Vicky Toejam's take on it today. There are additional comments from Attorney X that will go up shortly.

Stevenson makes a mistake that Sanger did yesterday (as pointed out by Media Matters):

In a July 13 New York Times article, staff writer David Sanger advanced the White House spin that President Bush could decline to fire White House senior adviser Karl Rove over Rove's apparent outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame and still comply with his pledge to take "appropriate action" against leakers in the Plame case.
In advancing this spin, Sanger selectively quoted from a press conference in which Bush responded to a question about whether he stood "by his pledge to fire anyone found" to have "leaked the agent's name." Sanger then quoted unnamed White House officials saying that if Rove merely identified Plame -- which Rove reportedly did when he
told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's wife worked at the CIA -- rather than "named" her, and Bush took no action, he would not be violating his pledge to fire the leaker.
But in repeating the White House officials' assertion without challenge, Sanger ignored several instances in which Bush and White House press secretary Scott McClellan made a broader pledge that anyone leaking classified information -- and not just the actual name of a CIA agent -- would be fired.

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