July 10, 2005
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From David Corn:
...tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper and that Rove--prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official -- told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson's now-controversial trip to Niger.With the Republicans solidly in control of both houses of Congress and the executive branch, one can expect first-class protection for the GOP's golden boy. While I hope Rove gets sent to prison--and not Danbury minimum security--it seems very likely that he'll be able to feign ignorance of Plame's undercover status just well enough to escape serious jail time. Of course, it's obvious that he knew full well: revealing Plame's CIA status would have had no purpose for Rove unless she was indeed undercover.
To be clear, this new evidence does not necessarily mean slammer-time for Rove. Under the relevant law, it's only a crime for a government official to identify a covert intelligence official if the government official knows the intelligence officer is under cover, and this documentary evidence, I'm told, does not address this particular point. But this new evidence does show that Rove -- despite his lawyers claim that Rove "did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA" -- did reveal to Cooper in a deep-background conversation that Wilson's wife was in the CIA.
One good thing that will come of this is that it will expose the Bush administration for what it is, with zero ability of the right wing to claim otherwise without looking like complete fools. Of course, that never stopped right-wingers before: Oliver North betrayed his country, violated national security, lied to Congress and the people and generally did a lot of loathsome stuff, and he's still a hero of many conservatives. It's the whole faith-based thing: believe no matter what.