Monday, July 04, 2005

"Editorial: Karl Got Fingered" (The Third Estate Sunday Review)

Repost from The Third Estate Sunday Review (disclosure, I helped on this editorial). Before we get to it, please note that this story began breaking on Friday. Newsweek's story went up late Saturday night. The Times has yet to do a story on it.

"Editorial: Karl Got Fingered"

Where do you go to the get news? BuzzFlash is a one stop source. Go there and you'll find all the links to what's going on and what's going down. Did The Times bury it on A16? Never fear, BuzzFlash will put it up where you can't miss it.

So when word broke that Karl Rove was being fingered as the source for the outing of Valerie Plame and that news would break this weekend, we knew we'd be going to be BuzzFlash and that the topic of Karl Got Fingered would be our editorial.Via Buzzflash, here's what known.

Greg Mitchell's "MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case:"

Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Friday night, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
Today, O'Donnell went further, writing a brief entry at the Huffington Post blog:"I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's e-mails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. I have known this for months but didn't want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.

Richard B. Schmit's "Rove says he didn't reveal secrets to reporters:"

Karl Rove, one of President Bush's closest advisers, spoke with a Time magazine reporter days before the name of a CIA operative surfaced in the media, but did not leak the confidential information, a lawyer for Rove said today in a new admission in the case.
Rove spoke to Time reporter Matthew Cooper in July 2003, during the week before published reports revealed the identity of operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic and former U.S. envoy Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Michael Isikoff's "The Rove Factor? Time magazine talked to Bush's guru for Plame story:"

At issue is the story of a CIA-sponsored trip taken by former ambassador (and White House critic) Joseph Wilson to investigate reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from the African country of Niger.
"Some government officials have noted to Time in interviews... that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Cooper's July 2003 Time online article.
Now the story may be about to take another turn. The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House. Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment.
But in an interview with NEWSWEEK, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove.[. . .]
Initially, Fitzgerald's focus was on Novak's sourcing, since Novak was the first to out Plame. But according to Luskin, Rove's lawyer, Rove spoke to Cooper three or four days before Novak's column appeared. Luskin told NEWSWEEK that Rove "never knowingly disclosed classified information" and that "he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA." Luskin declined, however, to discuss any other details. He did say that Rove himself had testified before the grand jury "two or three times" and signed a waiver authorizing reporters to testify about their conversations with him.
"He has answered every question that has been put to him about his conversations with Cooper and anybody else," Luskin said.
But one of the two lawyers representing a witness sympathetic to the White House told NEWSWEEK that there was growing "concern" in the White House that the prosecutor is interested in Rove. Fitzgerald declined to comment.
In early October 2003, NEWSWEEK reported that immediately after Novak's column appeared in July, Rove called MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and told him that Wilson's wife was "fair game." But White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters at the time that any suggestion that Rove had played a role in outing Plame was "totally ridiculous."
On Oct. 10, McClellan was asked directly if Rove and two other White House aides had ever discussed Valerie Plame with any reporters. McClellan said he had spoken with all three, and "those individuals assured me they were not involved in this."What else did McClellan say?

John of AMERICAblog's "McClellan said leaker should be fired:", September 29, 2003:

McClellan said that if anyone at the White House leaked Plame's identity, he should be fired, and pursued to the "fullest extent."
"No one was authorized to do this. That is simply not the way this White House operates and if someone leaked classified information it is a very serious matter," he said.

It's all such high drama. What's a person to do but cite the soundtrack of Evita?

Where do we go from here?
This isn't where we intended to be
We had it all, you believed in me
I believed in you
Certainties disappear
What do we do for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive,
As we used to do?

Karl, you're breaking our hearts, honest, you are. But might we suggest you try another tune besides "You Must Love Me" with your Bully Boy? (Lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, sung by Madonna.)

You're the hired help. You knew that when you first got your "big break" of driving around the Bully when Bully wasn't nationwide. You knew that when Karen Hughes was outranking you in 1999. Scraping and bowing didn't hurt, but it didn't keep you in the Bully Boy's good graces. No, what kept you there was you could deliver.

And Karl, you're finally historically famous. Bully's Brain just became a footnote to history. Guilty or innocent, you'll always be mentioned as someone who ran a presidential campaign and was called before a grand jury to testify on outing a CIA agent. Kind of hard to wrap the flag around that, isn't it?

Us, we're hoping you'll soon be "Going down the Perp Walk Road/ You never wanted to go/ Down the perp walk road . . ." (play on "Stoney End" written by Laura Nyro and off her album The First Songs). Won't you look quite fetching in an orange jump suit?

We're trying to figure how it will play out now that you're a liability? Will it be like a scene from The Godfather and you'll be told "You're dead to me." Or will it be like Goodfellas when Paulie shoves some bills in Henry's pocket and tells him he's cutting off all contact?

It's The Odd Couple in reverse. Can one man and his brain live apart without driving each other crazy? That's right, there's a chance that Bully and his Brain might have to be pulled apart from this.

How you holding up, Karl? We're sure you've got a couple of backup plans. Who knows, maybe one of them will work for you? How does it feel though to know you've been implicated and that, no matter what else you do, that is now your historical legacy?

Hey, maybe you can make it work for you. G. Gordon Liddy's been able to rant and rave on AM radio. And even write about ethics (!) for Murdoch's TV Guide. (Check it, it's true.) So you can probably still make a living. You're a historical footnote now. Your credibility is shot.

How does it feel? McClellan says it's a very serious matter, says anyone who leaked it should be fired. Maybe he's just trash talking and you can still run his mother's campaign? What do you think?

Us, we think things are getting very interesting as they heat up. The body can't even scare the public anymore and the "brain" is somehow involved with the leaking of Valerie Plame's name.

And as this story unfolds, don't you think that already on the record "fair game" comment is going to haunt you? "Fair game?" From the flag waving administration? How's that going to play, Karl? We're sure you've already polled on that.

We're wondering if the next announcement will be that you've left the administration to "spend more time with my family."But it doesn't matter. You're a historical footnote now. This is how you'll be known: the "brain" forced to testify before the grand jury in an investigation to the leaking of the name of a CIA agent. Doesn't play very patriotic, does it, Karl?

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