Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rove Was Novak's Source

Although it comes as no surprise, the New York Times confirms that Karl Rove was one of Robert Novak's two sources for the article in which Novak identifies Valerie Plame as a CIA "operative".
Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said Thursday.
[...] On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Novak wrote another column in which he described calling two officials. The first source, who is unknown, was described by Mr. Novak as "no partisan gunslinger" who provided the outlines of the story. The second, confirming source, Mr. Novak wrote, responded, "Oh, you know about it."

[...] That second source was Mr. Rove, the person briefed on the matter said, although Mr. Rove's account to investigators about what he told Mr. Novak was slightly different. Mr. Rove recalled telling Mr. Novak: "I heard that, too."
John Aravosis at AMERICABlog explains why all of this matters so much:

[...] A senior Bush administration official with access to the most classified information confirms to a journalist who a CIA agent is…. Why in God's name would Rove do this? It's inexcusable. And he confirmed it to a journalist, no less.

[...] It confirms that Scottie McClellan REALLY misled the media when he said that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Rove had anything to do with the Plame leak…Rove not only told TIME about Plame, he also confirmed the story for Novak.

[...] Three days after he confirms the story for Novak, Rove tells TIME magazine about Plame. Rove can try to claim that it was Novak who brought Plame's status as CIA up in the conversation first, but Rove can't explain why HE decided to be the guy to offer Plame's CIA status on a silver platter to TIME magazine. That's a pattern of disclosure, rather than a one-time slip-up.

[...] So now we have Rove leaking to Novak AND Matt Cooper, and Bush still hasn't fired him
The right wing noise machine is working overtime to change the spin on this, but here's the problem: If this was all just a big misunderstanding, then why didn't Rove and President Bush step forward a year ago and say so? Why did Bush put on his serious, adult face and declare?

"... if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of...."
Assume for the moment that no one in the Administration thought that anyone had really done anything wrong, why not stand up and say "this is what really happened."

No, they knew that they were breaking the law (or bending it as far as possible) and they lied about it. They violated the public trust and pretended that they cared. That's the real crime.

(Photo Rick McKay/Cox News Service)