16 July 2005

Karl Rove still believes he can spin his way out of this


The AP is reporting that Karl Rove told Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley about his conversation with Matthew Cooper. But he's trying to pretend that he didn't understand that what was important about this wasn't the political damage that Joseph Wilson's report could do to the Bush administration's alleged case for going to war. The AP has Rove saying:
When [Cooper] finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this.
The article also says:
[Rove] later told a grand jury the e-mail was consistent with his recollection that his intention in talking with Cooper that Friday in July 2003 wasn't to divulge Plame's identity but to caution Cooper against certain allegations Plame's husband was making, according to legal professionals familiar with Rove's testimony.
It goes on to repeat the current Republican position that all of this was OK because Rove got Plame's identity from media sources, something for which there's no evidence other than Rove's statements.

I just don't believe that Rove is as stupid as this all would make him out to be. I think it's clear that Rove is trying to deflect attention from his having leaked Plame's identity by focusing attention on the ancillary issue of his primary purpose in talking to Cooper.

It's unlikely that this investigation would have gone on so long if there's no good reason for believing a serious crime has been committed, whether by Rove or by others. The indictments should prove most interesting.