Sunday, July 24, 2005

NYT: "For Bush, Effect of Investigation of C.I.A. Leak Case Is Uncertain" (Richard W. Stevenson)

In this morning's New York Times, pay attention to Richard W. Stevenson's "For Bush, Effect of Investigation of C.I.A. Leak Case Is Uncertain." Stevenson's addressing some issues that revelations in the Plame outing raise:

Yet Mr. Bush has yet to address some uncomfortable questions that he may not be able to evade indefinitely.
For starters, did Mr. Bush know in the fall of 2003, when he was telling the public that no one wanted to get to the bottom of the case more than he did, that Mr. Rove, his longtime strategist and senior adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, had touched on the C.I.A. officer's identity in conversations with journalists before the officer's name became public? If not, when did they tell him, and what would the delay say in particular about his relationship with Mr. Rove, whose career and Mr. Bush's have been intertwined for decades?
Then there is the broader issue of whether Mr. Bush was aware of any effort by his aides to use the C.I.A. officer's identity to undermine the standing of her husband, a former diplomat who had publicly accused the administration of twisting its prewar intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program.

[. . .]
But Mr. Bush's political opponents say the president is in a box. In their view, either Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby kept the president in the dark about their actions, making them appear evasive at a time when Mr. Bush was demanding that his staff cooperate fully with the investigation, or Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby had told the president and he was not forthcoming in his public statements about his knowledge of their roles.
"We know that Karl Rove, through Scott McClellan, did not tell Americans the truth," said Representative Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois and a former top aide in the Clinton White House. "What's important now is what Karl Rove told the president. Was it the truth, or was it what he told Scott McClellan?"

The next paragraph begins "There is a third option . . ." But apparently the e-mail Rove sent to Stephen J. Hadley after he got off the phone with Time's Matt Cooper has yet to set off a lightbulb in the mainstream press. (Robert Parry brought the issue up on the 19th of last week.)

At some point, perhaps the press will slap their foreheads and cry out "Insight!" Until that moment comes, we're left with that we can get. Which isn't to suggest that Stevenson's article isn't worthy of reading. (It is suggesting that an important avenue is closed off when it should be taken.) This is the strongest article in the paper this morning. Make a point to check it out or be aware of it.

What's the line from the old I Love Lucy episode? "Slowly I turn, step by step . . ."

We'll close with this from Parry's "Rove-Bush Conspiracy Noose Tightens:"

The second new fact is what Rove did after his conversation with Cooper.
Although supposedly in a rush to leave on vacation, Rove e-mailed Stephen J. Hadley, then Bush’s deputy national security adviser (and now national security adviser). According to the Associated Press, Rove’s e-mail said he “didn’t take the bait” when Cooper suggested that Wilson’s criticisms had hurt the administration.
While it’s not entirely clear what Rove meant in the e-mail, the significance is that Rove immediately reported to Hadley, an official who was in a position to know classified details about Plame’s job. In other words, the e-mail is evidence that the assault on Wilson was being coordinated at senior White House levels.

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