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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sounds awfully familiar

The President had said publicly that he would fire the person who named the CIA operative.

Now that it's apparently Karl Rove, here's the latest from the White House: "It depends on what your definition of 'name' is."

Comments (25)

Sounds something like an economist to me....
On the one hand.....and then on the other!
But then again, it could be like any number of lawyers or doctors I've known over the years....

I can't find anywhere that George Bush said publicly he would "fire" (terminate, can, let go, deep six, . . . insert your own euphemism) the person who named the CIA operative. Can you please cite your source?

I know that quite a few far-left hacks have happily concluded--in advance of the special prosecutor--that Rove was the culprit. Many have gleefully tried to hamstring Bush by misquoting him and/or conjuring specificity from his general statements but I know that you are a straight shooter and wouldn't do that.

So please . . . help me out. A "firing" citation?

Thanks,

Tom

Well, let's see, there's every media outlet in the world... Here: One of thousands. The date they give is June 10, 2004, and that was confirming a prior pledge by the former frat president, now our President.

Q Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.

Oct. 6, 2003:

Q Scott, the President just expressed his desire to get to the bottom of this CIA leak issue. And he said he wanted to hold accountable whoever was responsible --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely.

Q -- responsible for this. But can you confirm that the President would fire anyone on his staff found to have leaked classified information?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I made that very clear last week. The topic came up, and I said that if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration. This is a very serious matter. The President made it very clear just a short time ago in the East Room, and he has always said that leaking of classified information is a serious matter. And that's why he wants to get to the bottom of this. And the sooner we get to the bottom of it, the better.

Sep. 29, 2003:

Q You continue to talk about the severity of this and if anyone has any information they should go forward to the Justice Department. But can you tell us, since it's so severe, would someone or a group of persons, lose their job in the White House --

MR. McCLELLAN: At a minimum.

Q At a minimum?

MR. McCLELLAN: At a minimum.

If it is Rove, and I believe it is, then a couple of questions need to be asked.

1) How culpable is the media in this? Should they extend confidentiality to every Tom Dick and Harry who asks for it? Cabinet level secretaries routinely give press conferences on "background" in order to get their messages out. Shouldn't the press begin requiring these people to go on the record? Otherwise they're allowing themselves to be used and shouldn't cry about it when things go south.

2) What clearance, if any, does Rove have? Compare and contrast Rove's leak with that of Aldrich Ames. Does the act of blowing a CIA agent's cover rise to the level of treason? If not, what is it?

3) What did the President know and when did he know it?

"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/30/wilson.cia/

The ironic part was the woman really was a CIA employee.
The one time the White House tells the truth in the run-up to Iraq and they still get in trouble.

"I did not have relations with Karl Rove."

So, a former ambassador exercises his right to dissent from the administrations policy regarding the occupation of Iraq. W's closest advisor "creep throat" outs the Ambassordors wife through his favorite pawn - the media - (was W smirking when he made the termination comment?) My inner cynic whispers complicity & perhaps a signal of approval from W.(you know, the smirk)

Regardless,exposing the identity of an operative spook subjects that person to imminent danger. The costly operation is blown and operative put back on the shelf permanently with lingering insecurity.

Now that is some kind of expression of displeasure. A media manipulated death penalty to ones wife for disagreement with our Administration. I'll bet that really spooked our spooks!!

Will Rove now take the spear for W? I doubt it, he's too damn pompous.

But wait, this is W's wingman. No ordinary mortal. This is Rover, and he's above the law. Stay tuned and watch this one play out. Peace-now!

Lots of questions on this and Rove should certainly be held to account if he did indeed break the law.

Some questions I still have include: was Wilson's wife really a covert operative or one of the zillions of functionaries that work for the CIA - ie. not an "agent" at all. Big difference as if she was not a real agent then no law was broken. Also, did Rove "knowingly" reveal her identity (as a spy) as that seems to be an essential part of any legal issue.

And then there's the troubling aspect of the Wilsons' politics - from what I've read, very anti-Bush. Coupled with the D-crats long standing antipathy towards Rove who has, so handily, creamed them strategy-wise in every election he's been involved in, it's not a very good situation for a fair appraisal. And comparatively, does this even begin to approach the magnitude of the John Deutsch and Sandy Berger incidents under president Clinton?

It jst seems like the focus of all this right now is on what the president said rather than waiting for the facts. But then that would mean giving him the benefit of a reasonably honorable intention which is unacceptable to so many...

"And then there's the troubling aspect of the Wilsons' politics - from what I've read, very anti-Bush."

Hey, thanks for puting an exclamation mark on my point. Peace-out!

I, too, find it odd that so many are fixated on the Presidentís words, especially after all the outright lying this administration has done.

I think it's safe to assume that she was a covert CIA operative. It was the CIA who asked the DOJ to investigate this case. If she wasn't covert, there'd be nothing to investigate.

There's absolutely still a question about whether Rove knew she was covert.

Jack's response:

Well, let's see, there's every media outlet in the world... Here: One of thousands. The date they give is June 10, 2004, and that was confirming a prior pledge by the former frat president, now our President.

The one you cite is one of many media statements that allude to a Bush pledge but do not quote Bush.

Jack's response #2:

[...] do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.

This is closer, but again is just his response to a phrased question from a reporter. His "yes" may be responding to the first question by the question (re: difficulty), not the "pledge" question. Do you have a June 10, 2004, quotation of Bush that you can cite where he says he will fire the person(s) responsible? I still can't find one.

see, e.g., http://mediamatters.org/items/200507120004

That's what I thought you'd say. That's America now -- covering up the lies is our full-time occupation.

We get what we deserve.

I saw a snippet from that news conference the other day, and it should be quite obvious to any person with two connected brain cells that he is answering "yes" to the question of whether he would fire the person(s).

It probably won't change anyone's mind (especially the "Bush lied! Bush lied!" crowd), but the following article from Newsweek is pretty interesting about what Rove apparantly actually said to the Time reporter. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/I'd feel more insensed about the leak if the current shouting about it weren't obviously an effort by the Dems to discredit Bush rather than a sincere concern about national security and if the "outed" secret agent hadn't done a picture spread in Vanity Fair.

if the current shouting about it weren't obviously an effort by the Dems to discredit Bush rather than a sincere concern about national security

Bob, you can say that about anything the opposition party ever says or does that's negative as to the sitting President. Did you feel the same way about the Clinton impeacment, or was that a principle-based proceeding?

Jack,

I will answer your question, but first, a (I think) nonpartisan observation. Many Republicans, me included, had a visceral revulsion to Clinton, based more on who he was than on his politics. (There were certainly some political differences, particularly in defense policy, but domestically, he wasn't the worst president ever.) Similarly, many Dems seem to have the same kind of revulsion to Bush, I believe again based more on who he is than on his specific policies. (Presumably there are differences based on Iraq and culture war issues, but I think they hate him because he's a "dumb frat boy" etc.) I think the Bush-hater wing of your party cost you the '04 election just as much as our Clinton-hating cost us '96 (though Bob Dole didn't help).

Now, on to your question. The main real issue on the impeachment was Clinton's committing perjury. Republicans do care about perjury for real, not just to embarrass Clinton. The country would have been better off if the Starr Report had never been produced, but once the genie was out of the bottle, it would be hard to say that it's ok for Clinton to lie to a grand jury under oath, no matter what party you're from.

So I agree with you that the Clinton thing started based on an effort to gain a partisan advantage, but his behavior during the thing--specifically perjury--meant that even non-haters had a serious problem with what he did. Perjury is a real, serious matter that threatens the integrity of our legal system; the jury's still out in my mind on the seriousness of what Rove did.

Well put, Bob... except for "the jury's still out in my mind." 8c)

BobW,

Clinton Lied! No One Died!

This Bush-hater as you call us have nothing against "dumb frat boy". We think He is evil. It's turning our democracy into a dictatorship that has us patriots really ticked off since 11-02-2000. Everything in this country has gone downhill since that day. Deal with it.

He's your God, not mine. He can do no wrong, right. What did Mr. Bush say on Dec. 18th, 2000 in Washington DC?

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier," Bush said, pausing and then joking, "just so long as I'm the dictator." http://quest.cjonline.com/stories/121800/gen_1218007459.shtml

I take Him at His Word.

Wow. "Dictatorship." "Evil."

I guess you do hate Bush more than we disliked Clinton. I stand corrected.




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