Friday, July 15, 2005

Exactly as I predicted yesterday, it is now being reported that Rove got his Plame information from the media.

It will be interesting to see whether my further hypothesis that Judith Miller was the original source also pans out.

UPDATE: As many people noted yesterday, Bush was very conspicuously walking and talking with Rove in front of the cameras. I was pretty sure then that Rove's source must have been the media, but of course I wasn't expecting to be proven right this quickly. Anyway, enough patting myself on the back.

As Glenn noted today, Wilson is now admitting his wife wasn't undercover at the time anyway; scuttlebutt is she was holding interagency briefings and such. So the non-story becomes even less of a story.

Will Atrios and Daily Kos and the rest of the lefty 'sphere lay off anytime soon? I doubt it. This has become their Quest for the Holy Grail. Or at least they thought so; it now looks more like they're pointing their lances toward a windmill.

UPDATE 2: Glenn is kind enough to throw me a link, and says he's less sure now this isn't a "Karl Rove 'rope-a-dope' operation" as some people have claimed. Is Karl Rove deviously ingenious enough to have planned this outcome from the very start? I very much doubt it. But is he smart and opportunistic enough to let the baying hounds continue to chase a false scent they picked up on their own? Certainly. Like RatherGate, this was more a case of just giving Bush critics enough rope to hang themselves with, which they've done quite enthusiastically.

UPDATE 3: Roger Fraley kindly stops by to note this post was mentioned in Slate (my Q number is soaring; I expect to be a guest panelist on Special Report with Brit Hume any day now) by David Wallace-Wells. Just goes to show, everyone reads Instapundit (and for good reason), no matter what insignificant blog (like mine) he links.


Blogger reliapundit said...

i blogged on this WEDS, and it was linked to by ELECTIONPROJECTION.




Don't believe me!? Here's the link:

6:06 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Good points, though it remains to be seen whether we're right about Miller.

6:13 AM  
Blogger puck said...

Read the transcripts of Harball for July 14, 2005. In the first segment, one of the guests is Cooper's attorney.

I'm paraphrasing-but the gist was-
Cooper's lawyer refers to misuse of intelligence, and how the prosecutor could pursue any misuse of intel or 'intelligence materials'-he quickly backs out of it, by saying-that this may not be the case is about.

Cooper's lawyer did seem to make an attempt to explain the nature of the investigation-the leaking of materials, not identity.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous MagicalPat said...

I think Rove is playing a great hand of poker here. He is holding a Straight Flush and the Dem attackers have a pair of threes. They are bluffing and he knows it, but I think he is waiting for them to put a few more chips in the pot: Like the 2006 election, a few judges and for good measure... John Bolton. It will be very hard for the Dems to show themselves as anything other than an obstructionist, witch hunting party whose moral compass has no needle after this.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Horatio said...

But if Rove got it from the media, who told the media? Someone's guilty here. Maybe not Rove, but it's not like no crime was committed. A CIA agent was outed. Journalists don't have that kind of clearance. Someone had to tell them. I still think it was Rove, but if not, then it was someone else. Sorry guys, but there's just no way that this both starts and ends at the New York Times.

8:41 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Right Horatio, my premise is someone in the CIA leaked it to Miller and perhaps others.

The information leaked, of course, is not just Plame's identity but the fact she recommended Wilson.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Kos and Atrios and that bunch should beware the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch." Of course, Rove probably has already handed it to them.


9:11 AM  
Blogger clt510 said...

Horatio: A CIA agent was outed.

Not necessarily. The agent in question had apparently been rather open about her association with the CIA for many years by the point "she was outed". Apparently, her neighbors, her friends and her husband's friends all knew she worked for the CIA. She would be hardly a clandestine operator if that is true.

As has been enumerated in Wilson's book, she had not been stationed out of the country since 1997, and as is now established, her identity was not protected under the 1982 law at the point her identity was published by Bob Novak.

9:28 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Three is the number thou shalt count to, an the number of the counting shall be three. Thou shalt not count to four, nor shalt thou count to two, except in the course of counting to three. Five is right out.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous zubby said...

clt510 is right. Covert agent my butt. Even Andrea Mitchell said that it was common knowledge around Washington that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. Now, how is this possible?? ... because she had a freakin' desk job!!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you arfe correct, Seems clear that the CIA probably told the media or at least confirmed as much.

From the original Novak piece:
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

The CIA says? If she was "Clandestine" then the CIA should have said nothing.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous topsecretK9 said...

Tenet tells (becuase see end) Novak, Novak calls Wilson, Novak perps it out to Rove...that part of the puzzle solved...

but wait someone is still in jail (with no real excuse not to request a "specific" waiver as apposed to the highly confusing "all persons" waiver thanks to Cooper)

Wilson doesn't go on his dog and pony show until a "month" after Novak, tells KOlberman (or whatever his name is) Libby had a nighttime meeting right after his July 6 out of africa NTY Ed. to "workup" Wilson...or was it a "whatsup"

Did Judy Miller let toooooo many classified details "uhmmm-the names were wrong, the dates were wrong" spill out when she talked to only a CIA agent in the bowels would be privy to?

(Videotape, June 8, 2003): about forgeries
DR. RICE: The president quoted a British paper. We did not know at the time, no one knew at the time in our circles—maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew—that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery. Of course, it was information that was mistaken.
(End videotape)

Did Judy Miller insdvertently screw Plam-son?

1:47 PM  
Blogger Motor said...

Well, I guess we know why Novak isn't in jail...Rove told him to lie and say that he told Rove about Plame instead of vice-versa and now he gets to sit in front of the cameras while others go to jail.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read that Wilson and Plame did not really conceal her job in the CIA to their neighbors after they were married and had children. Was one of their neighbors perhaps a reporter or in the media? Could that be the source?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous zubby said...

To Motor,
You're posting to the wrong site moron. Goofball conspiracy theories put forth without a shred of proof reside at the Daily Kos.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Rove didn't do anything wrong then why has he been lying about it for two years? If no law was broken then why is a grand jury investigating Rove? If there was no serious crime why is a republican appointed prosecutor throwing journalists in jail?

answer that

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because, anonymous, Rove didn't have anything to do with the leaking of classified information. He leaked nothing. Therefore, he did not lie. Pretty simple, yes?

9:29 PM  
Blogger Roger Fraley said...

You were also quoted for nearly a paragraph over at Slate by David Wallace-Wells in a post called Rove Breathes Easier. He called you a conservative techie, whatever that is. check it out/

10:21 PM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Thanks for the tip, Roger. Just goes to show, everyone reads Glenn's blog.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous John Powers said...

Senator Charles Schumer, in an attempt get out in front of the PlameGame story, demanding that Karl Rove be terminated. Ironically, Senator Schumer originally voted no against the very Federal statute that makes it illegal for government employees who have access to certain information, to deliberately leak that information. The accusations against Karl Rove are unexciting. Senator Schumer should read his own state's New York Times. It wasn't too long ago (April) that a resolution went before Congress (Hs. Res. 136) calling for a thorough investigation of faux journalist "Jeff Gannon, " and his supposed possession of a C.I.A. memo that exposes Valerie Plame by name. The media's echo chamber is slowly backing off of Rove; no doubt it's crosshairs will be sharpened on a journalist; perhaps Jeff Gannon; as the source of the leak.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous DJ said...

For those who say that Plame only had a desk job and that no crime was committed, please take a moment to consider a few things.

Number one, you don't know for sure what her job was and if it was a desk job at all. Someone on Fox "News" states that she had a desk job and suddenly, all the right-wing-nuts are parrotting that sound bite. The truth is, no one can say for sure at this point in time.

Number two, a desk job can be a covert job. Have you heard of telephones and the Internet? Plame could have worked a desk job at her cover corporation (Brewster-Jennings & Associates) and could have been in contact with contacts anywhere in the world.

Number three, a crime was committed whether Plame was undercover or not. Brewster-Jennings was outed as a cover organization. That was a CIA asset. Everyone who worked at B-J as an operative has now been outed. People (contacts) overseas who dealt with B-J may have been compromised. Who knows how many agents and contacts were associated with B-J? The outing of Plame had a huge domino effect.

For those of you who claim to be national security proponents, do you think it was OK that B-J was outed and all of their work compromised, or is it better to defend Herr Karl? Why are you so protective of the fat bastard?

8:33 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...


1) Yes, we do know it was a desk job.
2) There's a definition for "covert" in the law. She didn't meet it.
3) No, it wasn't a crime. The law is quite specific.

9:25 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Oh, and 4) Karl didn't leak her name; he heard it from the media. Joe Wilson, otoh, lied about national security matters in order to smear Bush.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's case officer not agent you morons. Calling members of the CIA 'agents' is pretty demeaning as an agent means an informant usually an unpatriotic traitor.

Goddamn get your wording right. You sound like a pack of fools.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Bitchslap said...

Yep, Rove learned Valerie Wilson's identity from a journalist. He just doesn't remember who that journalist was, 'cause there's so much information zinging around, he just can't keep it all straight in his fat little head. This the guy referred to as "Boy Genius" who's known for keeping precinct-by-precinct voting pattern breakdowns in his head. He can remember what he was told, but not who told him. The poor little guy, he must feel such the victim.

Not that any of it matters, since he still clearly has violated his legal obligations: confirming information is just as damning as providing that information in the first place.

Lastly, it's not really up to a bunch of right-wing apologists to decide whether or not Wilson was really undercover or not. Whether or not she was deep undercover, assisting in publicizing her identity to a number of national journalists with the clear intent of making her identity clearly prevents her from ever being able to assume cover again. And that assistance in publicizing her position was justifiable because... why?

11:48 AM  
Blogger Bitchslap said...


"4) Karl didn't leak her name; he heard it from the media."

And then confirmed it to someone else in the media, which violated the Classified Non-disclosure Agreement that was signed by Rove. As noted in Henry Waxman's memo about the matter:

"Before … confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, … confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized

And clearly Rove confirmed the accuracy of that information. Regardless of where he first learned that information, there's no firewall for guys at the senior administration level: "Oh, I didn't know through my office that so-and-so was undercover, I just heard that from someone else and confirmed it." Nope, clearly a violation of the NDA.

11:54 AM  

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