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White House Leaks: A serious security matter


White House Leaks: A serious security matter
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD

President Bush has plenty of evidence to begin acting on Karl Rove's involvement in the disclosure of a secret agent's name to exact political vengeance. The president's choice will say a lot about whether he intends to control abuses of power within what some see as one of the most power-hungry administrations the United States has ever experienced.

The president ought to be outraged that, so far, one reporter has gone to jail for acting honestly while some in his administration continue to be free of consequences for revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. The leak of her name and role to Bush-friendly columnist Robert Novak in 2003 was a violation of federal law, if done deliberately.

For reasons that aren't clear but should cause great unease, Novak apparently faces no legal difficulty while New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who didn't write about the disclosure, sits in jail for rightly refusing to disclose her sources as a matter of high principle.

Bush administration officials became angry at Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, in July 2003, when he revealed that an investigative trip he made to Niger in 2002 showed that Iraq had made no effort to acquire uranium there. In a New York Times Op-Ed article, Wilson said the administration had twisted the evidence to make a case for its invasion of Iraq earlier in the year.

Now, Newsweek reports show that Rove, Bush's closest political adviser and currently deputy White House chief of staff, was one of the aides discussing Plame's work with reporters. And it was done in precisely the context everyone understood lay behind her outing: Rove was trying to discredit Wilson.

Rove's lawyer said his client did not use Plame's name in the conversation, apparently referring to her only as Wilson's wife and a CIA official. That may be relevant in determining whether, under the law, Rove committed a crime by revealing her identity. It should hold little weight with the president.

Bush should first be outraged at Rove and then eager to clean out a high-ranking official or group of officials who showed disrespect for the spirit and perhaps the letter of the law. It should be especially infuriating to the president that all of the misconduct by his administration, and indirectly the imprisonment of Miller, has been done in his name.

Rove has discredited the White House. In October 2003, White House spokesman Scott McClellan firmly assured the public that Rove had played no role in the leak. No boss, least of all the president of the United States, should tolerate a top aide who lets the office cover for him in presumably trusting fashion like that.

More specifically, the president must live up to his early promises about dealing severely with the abusive leak of Plame's identity. On Oct. 6, 2003, Bush told reporters, "This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it very seriously." Unless the plain meaning of those words is not their true meaning, Bush was saying that he and other top advisers were outraged at the leak and had nothing to do with it. Now, it turns out that Rove, indeed, did have something to do with using Plame's CIA activities to attack Wilson.

The president would bring credit to himself and his administration by firing Rove immediately. Whether or not Rove violated the law, his actions on behalf of the administration broke trust with the American people and with the president's own stated view of the matter. Minimally, enough is known that the president must suspend Rove and cease all contacts with Rove until the investigation is complete. Rove, it appears, cannot be trusted with the United States' secrets.

Bush should also ask the prosecutor to seek the release of Miller from prison while the president urgently and personally renews his call for White House officials to help get to the bottom of the affair. Rove and others apparently didn't get the message nearly two years go when the president said, "I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government ... you ought to take it to the Justice Department." Rather than letting an innocent journalist be imprisoned to clear up a matter of White House misconduct, Bush should be cleaning out his administration.

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The jury is still out on whether, or not, Judith Miller was acting honestly.

She was breaking the law. She was protecting someone who had committed a crime.

Re: "The president ought to be outraged that, so far, one reporter has gone to jail for acting honestly while some in his administration continue to be free of consequences for revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. "

Why should the prez be outraged? Rove IS his brain!!!!
How about fire them BOTH?

Rove is Master. W blaster-boy-with-father-complex. Throw the whole lot out. All the neocons.

Impeach, impeach, impeach.

IMPEACH IMPEACH IMPEACH

Besides Karl Rove, who are the other leakers of a CIA agents identity? I have a problable suspect or suspects. Vice President Chaney or his friend Libby? Also why isn't Robert Novak being indited for revealing a CIA agents identity? Just because he's a friend of the presidents and a CNN celebrity doesn't excuse him from being a traitor to his fellow countrymen. Why isn't he part of the Grand Jury investigation? Isn't he just as guilty as Rove, Cooper and Miller? Where is the fine line here? If the administration went this far to
reveal a CIA agents identity then they certainly are capable of other
more serious lies and deceit for the reasons for going to war on false
information "fixed around the policy" We need an investigation and
the sooner the better. Pandora's box has been opened!

All roads lead back to Cheney....Talk about a creepy dishonest despot!

I am soooooo thrilled with what After Downing Street has helped accomplish...this has been a big help in giving us voice to push the press until they looked like fools staying silent.

Rove isnt the only poisonous berry on the Bush.

A reminder from Dr. Phil to Rove, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld for a start

If you choose the behavior you choose the consequence. All your dishonesty at the expense of our Military, Americans and the world is starting to finally catch up with you.

I AGREE!

Hey.... give me a blow job any day. Subvervsion of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of rights? Eh, no big deal... I want a complete investigation if Karl Rove gave George Bush oral sex or vice versa. The hell with ethical politics. Let's get back to what the U.S. press will cover.

Did Karl Rove receive oral sex from George Bush, or was is just the opposite.... Go get them press corp. You spineless asses!!!

I am so thankful that we finally are given debate in the press!

I'm so thankful that we are finally given a press.

Anyone who has seen the DVD "Bush's Brain" (i.e., Karl Rove) knows about the tricks that Rove has used throughout his political career to get what he wants, putting blame on whoever his current adversary is. Bush SR. fired Rove for unethical, harmful leaks. Rove's methods are always aimed towards political gain...or retribution. To paraphrase an old movie clip, shown in "The Great Conspiracy": It is a mistake to believe that any form of government will protect the people from despotism.

Here we are again!

I'm really sick of this crap, it's only a crime if he knew Ms. Plame was undercover,bullshit! Does anyone really believe Rove didn't know exactly who she is? Why is no one asking why he even had this info.and who gave it to him ( Dickless Cheney) ,Bush is not upset about this because he was part of it from the start.They all believe "It's not Facism when we do it". That lying weasel Bush should fire Rove immediately as his father did, has anyone asked Bush Sr. about his son's actions ? I'm sure he's very proud of the way the little coward has turned out.Pardon my language but this makes me a little angry.

Lets not loose sight of what all this is about....That the Bush administration tried to pull a fast one by claiming WMDs. Wilson exposed Bush's lie about Saddams search for uranium in Niger, for which Bush stepped on Wilson....and on down to the present. The more Bush ignores the issues with Rove the more he implicates his entire administration. His foundation is crumbling and when it falls it will leave a mess that the next administration will have to clean up. We need to get rid of the NeoCon cancer in the Republican Party, and get someone with some maturity in as president - I'm getting tired of Georgie Porgie Bushie Pie playing at being grown up.

I have been following this closely for several weeks. I have read the bio on the lead prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and the guy is excellent at what he does. By all acounts he is methodical and unbiased. He is a champion at ferreting out "evil doers" like mobsters, crap politicians, and real terrorists. He is a Washington outsider as well, with his office in Chicago. The more I read, the more hints I get that Rove is just the tip of the iceberg in this investigation. We all know there was another leaker. There is no doubt that Novak cut a deal, and that Fitzgerald is using Novaks testimony, along with other data, and ammasing a case that involves both Rove and the other leaker (at the very least). But the things I find really interesting are the motivations behind these leaks. Why did Rove expose Plame, was it simply another of his textbook dirty tricks meant as retrobution for Joe Wilson's comments about WMD, or did it serve an even higher White House purpouse? Joe Wilson said that it was not his wife who authoized the trip to Niger. So who was it, and why is that information so important for the white house to protect? What are they covering up? Why the red herring? Why is it so sensitive, that Rove and his other senior co-conspiritor made not one, but a series of calls to various friendly reporters to intentinally leak the news. The Plame outing may be the smaller half of the story. It will be great if this gets Rove frog marched out of Washington, but I beleive Fitzgerald is on to an even bigger connection that proves Joe Wilson's Niger report was deliberatly mishandled by Cheney, or Rumsfeld, or the president, or all three in a true smoking gun that proves the intellegence and the facts were being fixed around the policy. I read yesterday that there may also be a John Bolton connection as well. The whole Plame-blame-game is a good enough story on its own merits to have Bush haters (myself included) jumping for joy, But the more I read on the various blogs, I just have to beleive this has a deeper and very direct conection to the WMD story, and the downing street memo(s). It marks the first time (I know of) that both Bush and Chaney have retained outside attornys. There is a reason for that. There is a reason that Scott McClellen squirmed like a rat yesterday under a wonderfully relentless grilling by reporters as he repeated the "No comment because of an ongoing investigation" line in an edless loop. call it an instict, but, I beleive this goes deeper, and I think Fitzgerald is locked onto the answer.

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