Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Can Spell Karl Rove

If I messed up Karl's name once, I messed it up a hundred times. However, I've read his name so many times in the last week that I can't possibly get it wrong again (plus some helpful readers politely corrected me on this and several other points).

I don't have any final comments on Karl and Joe and Valerie (I wonder if I spelled HER name right)? There is an investigation to find out if anybody purposely told anybody Plame (or as Joe Wilson calls her, "Mrs. Joe Wilson") was a covert secret operative with the CIA, except of course for Joe Wilson who confirmed her identity back in 2003. The prosecuter has asked everybody who testified to be quiet, and most have honored the requests. One reporter has what the prosecuter thinks is important information, and she isn't talking.

Joe Wilson, who at one time said he wanted to find out who did this to his wife, supports the reporter who isn't talking, even though she is preventing the prosecuter from finding out who "destroyed her career".

If I ever have my career destroyed, I hope it is in a way that lets me get my picture on the cover of Vanity fair and earns me speaking fees and a big book deal.

The opponents of the administration have given up on finding real excuses to call for people to resign, be fired, or be impeached. So now, even while acknowledging that "so far" nobody has any evidence that anybody did anything wrong, Karl Rove should still be fired. Today Howard Dean said it was because he was from Texas. Howard seems to think that everybody from Texas should be thrown in jail without a trial. (that is a humorous hyperbole, not a serious discussion point, for those who wonder).

Odd thing today on C-Span. No, I'm not talking about Senator Schumer showing up with Joe Wilson. Wilson is back on top, after the disastrous fall last year after the report on pre-war intelligence pretty much show him to be incorrect on almost all factual information regarding his involvement in pre-war intelligence. After that report, Wilson was persona-non-grata, to the point where Presidential Candidate John Kerry, who previously was apparently getting briefings from Wilson, unceremoniously removed the link to Wilson's web site (where at one time Wilson had his wife's information).

No, there were two votes in the Senate on the Homeland Security bill. The first was an amendment from Bill Frist taking away access to secret documents from Senators who reveal information from secret documents on the Senate floor. It lost big, I'm guessing because Senators don't really want to be bothered if they want to out secret information to the public -- and ALL the democrats who are screaming for Rove's head voted against this amendment (I would have voted against it as well).

Then there was an amendment from Harry Reid to make it a crime to "reveal" the name of a covert CIA operative. Since there is already one law for this, I presume this meant to do more. It lost. If it passed, I imagine that if Wilson had been on the phone and said "I'll have to call you back, I've got to drop my Wife off at Langley", he could reasonably be thrown in jail. But I'm still against the measure.

Senator Schumer voted for it (at least so far as I could tell listening to the vote). Anyway, back in 1982, when they were passing the old law against revealing covert operatives, Schumer voted against it. Maybe he is coming around.

Seriously, if Joe Wilson was seriously concerned with people learning about his wife's employment, there are several things he would have done differently. First, he wouldn't have given too much money to Al Gore in 1999, and then made her sign on for half the contribution to fix it, giving her a very public paper trail both to him and to her fake CIA front group (which, since it was known as a front group even before the newspapers put it on page one already kind of revealed she must work for the CIA, and might have reason to hide her identity).

Second, he wouldn't take a public task like going to Niger FOR THE CIA, when the only real reason he would have been asked was if his wife who worked on the issues suggested his name. That's begging for some enterprising journalist to spend 5 minutes digging and find out her CIA employment. Of course, he may have been counting on the press covering up for him -- which may explain why one reporter is in jail instead of talking, and Joe Wilson is backing her silence.

Third, having taken two chances at revealing her, he wouldn't have then publicly lied about what he learned, and how he got involved, simply to smear the administration and weaken our country during a time of war, even if he strongly disagreed with the war. Doing so made his trip extremely public, and brought a lot more attention on himself. Although maybe he figured that since his Wife was a secret operative, nobody could find out her role and question him about it (or maybe he figured someone would certainly find out, and he could scream about it and get a big book deal and hurt the administration).

Fourth, when one reporter used an ambiguous reference to his wife as an "operative", which could mean anything, he shouldn't have publicly announced that she WAS a secret agent for the CIA. The first rule of keeping secrets is that you don't provide proof for them when they leak out, instead you provide plausible deniability ("My wife, and operative? She'll get a kick out of that while watching Survivor with the kids tonight"). If the CIA had any chance of spinning the leak to nullify it, Wilson destroyed that chance with his public revelations.

So frankly I don't buy Wilson's protestations about the harm to his wife. The only thing that harmed the family was when most of what Wilson said was shown to be wrong. Plame didn't lose her job, which didn't require secrecy. He made good money on a book deal, and was almost in line for a high-level position in the Kerry administration.

Plus he gets to tell everybody how his wife is a secret agent, and get his picture on the cover of magazines.