The Plame Flame Burns Brighter


Josh Marshall links to a Murray Waas article at The American Prospect on the Plame investigation. Waas says Rove has actually admitted some involvement, though he claims it was after Novak’s column appeared.

President Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel’s investigation of the matter.But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak’s column.

Weak, Karl, very weak. That’s a very risky game you’re playing. Of course, Karl isn’t used to being someone who has to answer questions. Normally he issues orders that he doesn’t allow to be questioned. This must be a new experience for him and he hasn’t caught on yet because in his very next breath, practically, he defends the security breach on political grounds:

He also told the FBI, the same sources said, that circulating the information was a legitimate means to counter what he claimed was politically motivated criticism of the Bush administration by Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Uh-huh. Wilson’s apolitical debunking of a favorite neocon fantasy by simply telling the truth is, in Karl’s world, an attempt to sabotage the Bush Admin. But then, everything is political to Karl. He ran a WH where policy was determined by political considerations. In fact, Rove and other BA officials painted a picture for the FBI of just how political the WH was:

Rove and other White House officials described to the FBI what sources characterized as an aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife to the press, utilizing proxies such as conservative interest groups and the Republican National Committee to achieve those ends, and distributing talking points to allies of the administration on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Rove is said to have named at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson.

But of course this was all after Novak’s column. Yeah, right, and if you believe that, I’ve got the entire country of Costa Rica stashed under my desk and I’ll let you have it for $3 and a dozen eggs.

What Rove described is what we call The Mighty Wurlitzer–the engine of right-wing propaganda that conservatives have consistently ridiculed as a “liberal conspiracy theory.” Well, thanks, Karl. It’s a “theory” no longer. If it does nothing else, the Plame investigation is going to lay bare the machinery running the right-wing puppets who said it didn’t exist. Way to go, guys.

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