Well, there actually seem to be two strategies. The official strategy from the administration is keeping quiet. Don't say anything incriminating, even if it means contradicting the incriminating things you've already said.
But the secondary strategy, currently being carried out by the Republican Noise Machine, is to dump so much dirt on the situation, no one knows which end is up. Valerie Plame wasn't covert. Rove didn't know Plame was covert. The Wilson report was wrong -- the claims of Iraq buying uranium from Niger were true. It was wrong for Wilson to write the report. Wilson wasn't qualified to write the report. Blah, blah, blah. The waters have been incredibly muddied.
Here are two of the sillier mud pies being thrown by the right at the moment.
1. Plame wasn't undercover! People knew she existed!!! Courtesy John Podhoretz in the New York Post:
But Plame's undercover status at the time was and is a little questionable in any case. How undercover could she have been when her name was published at the time as part of Joseph Wilson's own biography online (see cpsag.com/our_team/wilson.html)?
Valerie Plame's name was not secret. The fact that she was married to Wilson was not secret. The fact that she worked for the CIA was.
Wow. It's amazing how far up their asses people are willing to stick their heads just to maintain their narrow-minded world view.
2. Wilson Lied!!! Courtesy Cliff May at The Corner:
In his conversation with Matt Cooper was Karl Rove responding to Joe Wilson's claim that Vice President Cheney sent him on the mission to Niger?
That claim was implied in Wilson’s NYT oped 7/6/03: "In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. ... The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office."
But Cheney has consistently denied that he sent Wilson anywhere – or even received a report on Wilson’s visit. And the Senate Select Committee On Intelligence confirmed that Cheney did not assign Wilson to conduct an investigation on behalf of the CIA.
Wilson specifically wrote -- as is cited in the text above -- that "agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president’s office." But May claims that Wilson "implied" that he was sent on his mission by Cheney? My head is spinning with this one.
Wilson clearly wrote that it was "agency officials" who requested that Wilson be sent to Niger -- not Cheney. You'd have to be borderline illiterate to honestly think that Wilson was implying that it was Cheney who sent him on the mission. Either that or a desperate liar.
Once again, we're seeing a White House get caught up in that age old game of coverup. Someone did something wrong. Rather than fessing up to the wrongdoing and moving on, the administration dug itself in even deeper, involving more and more people in the lies and deception. Even if Rove comes out of this unscathed, even if no one goes to jail for outing a covert CIA agent for political retribution, the Bush White House will no longer be trusted by an ever-larger chunk of the American electorate.
posted by Scott |
| Sunday, July 10, 2005
Newsweek's Isikoff has the story confirming that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. Already, those far leftist Bush haters at dKos are urging caution, saying that a lot is riding on when Novak's column was first seen by the White House. It's an interesting premise, but I think they're just covering their asses in case this whole thing ultimately turns out not to be Rove.
What is certain is that Karl Rove spoke to Matt Cooper (and also likely Judith Miller, Chris Matthews, etc.) and told him that Plame's position as a CIA agent working on WMD issues calls into question the ethics behind sending Joe Wilson to Niger.
More later when I'm not late for a wedding...
posted by Scott |