Tuesday, July 12, 2005
What's on TV?
The Raw Story has posted a, umm, raw story about a "talking points memo" on the Rove/Plame affair released by the RNC today.
I don't have much to say about the investigation, or Rove's culpability, or what the Grand Jury is likely to do, but this memo is worth a close look because it betrays how pitifully weak the Republican Party's hand is in terms of the PR game around all this. As always, they'll bluff like crazy, and they've won some pretty unlikely hands that way, but let's keep an eye out for a tiny bead of sweat as the bets are laid.
The White House Deputy Chief of Staff's high-powered lawyer tells us that the special prosecutor in a Federal grand jury investigation of possible crimes against National Security has named him a 'subject' of that investigation. Yeah, I think I've heard Democrats mention this in passing.
Just friendly, wise advice from kindly Uncle Karl.
Only the thing is, it's multifaceted bullshit. Here's what Wilson said in his infamous NY Times editorial:
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. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. 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.
After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip.
Notice that he never says that the VP (or Tenet) did anything - only that unnamed CIA officials told him that 'Cheney's office had questions'.
Here's what Newsweek said about the conversation at issue:
Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."
First, there's a falsehood here. Nobody but Rove has ever said that Plame 'authorized' the trip. Somebody in the CIA has testified that she put his name forward as someone who was eminently qualified, which he was.
Second, I've never understood what was supposed to be so wrong about it, even if she had personally hired him. George W Bush has worked for his own father at various times, but that apparently hasn't disqualified him from being President.
We could easily be diverted into an argument about this, but that's the objective of this one. The value or veracity of Wilson's report is not at issue in the Grand Jury. The commission of a crime in the effort to discredit it is.
Oh, okay, I'll digress a little. Are they saying that Saddam did buy yellowcake from Niger? Where is it? We know he didn't put it up his ass, because we've looked there.
Good old Uncle Karl. What an open, honest guy.
And apparently, everyone in the Administration is a witness, 'cause nobody's talkin'.
Well there you go. That's proof positive that nobody in the Administration committed a crime, especially Karl Rove. Did I mention that Wilson's married to the notorious Valerie Plame?
After that there are a couple of pages of blindingly obtuse misdirections and fooferaw (I especially like the extensive quotes from the 'additional views' of three of the Republicans from the Senate Select Committe on Intelligence report - no 'blatant political attacks' there, nossiree). Go read it all at The Raw Story if you can't wait to hear it on TV, which you will, ad nauseum.