Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rove's Narratives

A. So Karl Rove has done it this time. He has really messed up. In his attempt to maintain the president's rigid control of the White House, Rove intentionally set out to punish one of Bush's most open and important opponents by outing his wife's cover in the CIA.

B. "When senior Bush adviser Karl Rove uttered the now-famous words "Wilson's wife" to a Time magazine reporter, the intent was to correct errors being spread by former U.S. diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, not to unmask his CIA employee wife."

The truth of the matter is that it is impossible to figure out which version is correct, A or B. What Rove did was not nice, but most of politics is not nice; the question is was it illegal? As far as I understand everyone agrees what Rove told Cooper something to the extent of, "What would Wilson know about WMD, apparently it is his wife, over at the CIA who is the real expert." Or it could just as easily have been, "What would Wilson know about WMD, you know his wife, over at the CIA, is the real expert." It just depends where you put the punctuation and emphasis.

In my opinion, Rove will never get stuck with this unless it turns out that he really did have access to specific information about covert agents or a memo appears that shows a malicious intent to out Plame to punish Wilson (which is very unlikely--that the memo appears, not that, in fact, it is the case). If it was just a "common knowledge" issue (one of those things that is known in those circles in Washington) then there is no way Rove will ever be severely penalized for exposing a covert agent from her desk job at Langley. And as my mom pointed out, even if Rove is fired, then what, he will stop talking to the president? Not likely.


Shmuli said...

She may not have even been a covert agent for the purpose of the law. If Rove goes down it will be for perjury or obstruction of justice (do those sound familiar?), not any underlying crime.

Anonymous said...

read schorr's editorial in the csm. click here

Zev said...

Shmuli, that was the gist of what I meant by, "What Rove did was not nice, but most of politics is not nice; the question is was it illegal?" I know, five years. Still, any project she might have worked on before then may still have been compromised. Thus, wrong, but not illegal.

Zev said...

I heard Schorr's piece on NPR (the very same text) but it just attempts to accentuate the scandle, not diminish it. NPR, like many other news sources has been very bothered by this because "some of their own" went to jail over Karl Rove (imagine!). Now they are out for blood. But Iraq is NOT the issue here. Wilson is just one of many puzzle pieces which leads to the WMD debate. The issue I am foremost concerned about is: did the White House, personified by Karl Rove, use classified information to punish a political enemy? If that is the case, then I am very concerned. If not, it is a very small triffle. The use of power to preserve power is the most serious of crimes.