My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls . . .

It tolls for John Kerry.

While the Karl Rove story certainly had more legs than I gave it credit for, you could start to see the signs that it was losing a little momentum about midweek. And then it got its deathknell:

[from John Kerry's website, released on Tuesday]"It is now evident, through email and through other sources, that Karl Rove released information to a reporter which made it patently clear who Valerie Plame was -- blowing her cover as a covert operative and endangering her, those she works with, and any foreign intelligence sources she may have had. It has been the stated policy of the White House for the past two years that they would fire anyone who released that information. . .

"The White House's credibility is at issue here, and I believe very clearly that Karl Rove ought to be fired."

John Kerry, with his impeccable sense of timing and famous [tin] ear for the public mood, weighs in. And shortly thereafter we learn the following:

--(HT: HughHewitt) On page ii of the brief, the lawyers for the media groups assert: "In this case, there exists ample evidence in the public record to cast serious doubt as to whether a crime has even been committed under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (the "Act") in the investigation underlying the attempts to secure testimony from Miller and Cooper.

--"Plame was not given 'deep cover' required of a covert agent...She worked at a desk job at CIA headquarters, where she could be seen traveling to and from, and active at, Langley. She had been residing in Washington -- not stationed abroad-- for a number of years. As discussed below, the CIA failed to take even its usual steps to prevent publication of her name."

--Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

--A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times.

And so on, and so on, and. . . but of course, all this just after John Kerry chimes in. And they wonder why they didn't wint the last election.

Still, the left keeps beating the drums. Here's their best effort at keeping the story alive:

from Salon.com But this is where things get a little interesting. In the version of the Post's story that went up on its Web site early Friday morning, the Post's source was quoted as saying of Rove, "I don't think that he has a clear recollection" about where he first heard that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. The source said that Rove told investigators "that he believes he may have heard it from a journalist." (The Indianapolis Star picked up the early version of the Post's story, and you can read it here.) But in the version of the story up on the Post's site now, the quote from the source has disappeared -- and with it, any sense that Rove is uncertain about whether he first heard the news from a journalist. In the new version of the story, the Post paraphrases its source as saying that Rove "told investigators that he first learned about the operative from a journalist" but that he does not recall who the journalist was or when he might have talked with him or her. So is Rove sure he actually heard it from a reporter first, or does he just "believe" he "may" have? That seems to us an important distinction, especially since Rove seems to have such a clear memory of his conversation with Novak.

So was Rove "the recipient" or "the leaker"? In the end, it's a false choice. Rove was plainly "the recipient" of information about Plame at some point, even if it's not so clear from whom. But he was just as plainly "the leaker" -- or, at least, "a leaker" -- too.

First of all . . .Huh? The length of seggested conspiracy here is difficult to follow, but if you read closely you notice that they are actually asserting that the Washington Post edited material to suggest a more favorable story for Rove. Yep--the Washington Post: shill for the GOP.

But after you spend all that time being distracted by that exercise in logical gymnastics, they then come to the conclusion, based on that exercise, that Rove was "a leaker." Well, I think at this point, just about everybody stipulates that Rove spoke with Novak and the Time guy, and in one way or another reinforced the reporters' ideas about Plame's vocation.

And, again I say, so what? As we've seen above, this was not particular crucial information, and certainly not enough to meet the standards established by the law. So, in the end it's a bad effort to establish fcts which actually don't reinforce an argument.

And still the Left arrives at its destination: DARTH ROVE DID IT! That's a little like me going to my car, starting my car, and then asserting that as proof that I drove to the Inaugural Ball. In other words, that's a little bit of a leap of logic.

But hey! that's all the Left can muster these days, so let's give them a break, eh? They're led by John Kerry, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid--logic was never going to be their strong suit.

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