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Rove Scandal Could Stick

Distributed to newspapers by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Published on Friday, July 22, 2005 by
By Mark Weisbrot

The Bush Administration has ploughed through so many scandals that it is easy to cynically dismiss the current controversy over White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove as just another inside-the-beltway, partisan tussle that will soon be as forgotten as all those Bush Administration officials with ties to Enron. Or the Harken Energy Corporation and Halliburton scandals (to which the President and Vice President were personally linked). The 9/11 intelligence failures, the missing weapons of mass destruction, Abu Ghraib - nothing sticks to these guys. So why should this scandal be any different?

Most importantly, this one has a federal special prosecutor (Patrick Fitzgerald) working on it. And Fitzgerald seems serious -- he probably wouldn't have sent a New York Times reporter to jail for refusing to testify, if he were about to announce that nobody broke the law.

The investigation stems from a leak to the press that Valerie Wilson, the wife of former National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs Joseph Wilson, was a C.I.A. operative. Wilson angered the Bush Administration two years ago by telling the press and then the public that -- on the basis of his fact-finding mission to Niger -- the Administration's claim that Saddam Hussein "recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was false.

We now know that the White House's emphatic public denials over the last two years that Karl Rove had anything to do with the leak were false. Time magazine's reporter Matt Cooper has stated that it was from Mr. Rove that he first learned that Valerie Wilson worked for the C.I.A. Cooper has also stated that I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, confirmed Ms. Plame's identity. And Rove also confirmed her identity to columnist Robert Novak, who was the first to write about her in July 2003, identifying her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame.

At the time, a senior White House official told the Washington Post that the leaks were "meant purely and simply for revenge" and that they were "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."

Rove may not have broken a specific 1982 law prohibiting disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. operative. But there are other laws against U.S. officials leaking classified information. And although lying to the public is legal, lying under oath to a grand jury is a crime. If there was a White House effort to discredit and/or punish Joseph Wilson -- as the White House official and other sources cited by the Washington Post have claimed -- then there's a good chance that efforts to cover this up ran afoul of the law: with perjury, obstruction of justice, or other violations.

Based on what we already know, the logical next question is: what did President Bush and Vice President Cheney know and when did they know it?

Of course, the much bigger issue is the one from which Rove's troubles were born: a president and his advisors led us into a war based on false information. There was no attempted Iraqi purchase of uranium from Africa, nor could Iraq "launch a biological or chemical attack 45 minutes after the order is given," as the Bush Administration claimed. Nor was Saddam Hussein in league with Al Qaeda, as the majority of Americans were led to believe. In a war that now appears to have been completely unnecessary, more than 1,760 U.S. soldiers have been killed and many thousands more have been disabled; tens of thousands of Iraqis have also perished.

In May 2005, a memo summarizing a British Prime Minister's meeting of July 2002 was leaked, with the head of British intelligence reporting from meetings in Washington that the Bush Administration had already decided to invade Iraq, and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." More than 140 Members of Congress have written to President Bush demanding an explanation of the "Downing Street Memo."

Karl Rove's actions against Valerie and Joseph Wilson were just one small part of the Bush Administration's effort to deceive the public and make the case for war. But for now, this is the only part that is subject to legal scrutiny. And it's not going away anytime soon.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.



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Great article.

They will go down,there telling LIES to cover LIES and it's reaching the ear of the American people!
And there are alot of AMericans that have alot to risk if this war continues. There lives and the lives of there loved ones.

History in the making:
We are watching the destruction of the Republican party brought to us by GWB.

To the corrupt element and msm,keep watching those electronics and light bulbs.
Maybe somebody has your number!


After Downing Street dot org has given us the channels to expose more information to the American public than NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Chicago Tribune, and the New Yourk Times put together. I believe had we not had the means of communications we have today we would not be exposing all the lies the White House has presented to our elected leaders, and we would not have Congressman Conyers as well prepared. The war in Iraq stinks like the Viet Nam war. Bush is following in Nixon's steps.

Good thoughts Edmundo
BUSHCO is by far more heinous than Nixons lot...
as a matter of fact,Nixon was basically one of their patsies.
Dont forget, Rove was a Bushco rehire after being fired by Bush41;
and he worked with Nixon.

God, ok, yeah, I'm a liberal and I truly believe in God for I would not be here today if I didn't, bless You are providing such an outlet for the truth. And the Truth will set you free. God bless you!

Dear Mr. Gore,

Thank you so much for inventing the Internet. Of course we all know that statement was quoted out of context, but thank you for making the Internet "affordably" accessible to the American people.

Thank God we do not have to depend upon the American press for the truth. May Judith Miller rot in her jail cell for refusing to out her source of "false" information.

I truly hope she never gets out. The American press should never be a puppet to spread political propaganda. The press should and is supposed to be exactly the opposite.

Out the liars. Let's persue a true democracy.

God bless this Nation for seeking the truth.
What a mighty God is ours.

Perry Jordan

You have no idea how much I wanted to do that, publicly acknowledge Mr. Gore for the internet invention... thank you for being courageous enuf for all of us to "out" our gratitude to this fine inventor...he may have saved the Constitution with it ;o)
PS Miller IS an odd bird, isn't she.

I've was watching CNN today and it seems they may be getting hip to this whole scandal...They seem to be getting the picture that this is infact a serious investigation, espcialy with the new state-department memo revalation. Of course they are only now realizing what this wonderful site,as well as others, have been saying for months now... What makes this one stand out among the varrious other scandals executed by bush and co., is that this one has refused to go away even in the face of the halftruths of the ever spining neo-con propaganda news squad...

MSNBC and CNN were covering it well finally. MSNBC spent the whole Hardball hour on it, the leak story. Chris Mathews wasnt there. CNN had the whole Aaron Brown hour on Iraq. Keep hittin em hard ladies and gentleman 'cause they are not doing this for any other reason than PUBLIC pressure, brought to you by sites like this..... I still dont like the MSM and as soon as there are real news outlets it's see ya never MSM......

To take a phrase from Mike Malloy....

How could supposedly otherwise intelligent adults fall for this administration's bull? The inconsistencies are glaring. When something just doesn't pass the smell test, you know it! They should have been questioning so much of this so long ago. Their M/O right now is to keep throwing mountains of minutiae up in the air to see what sticks, and none of it does. We all have cramps in our fingers disputing their bull. The worst is the so-called journalists who have followed shrub like lemmings off a cliff.

The house of cards is finally starting to fall.

May we all get back our pride in our country by getting rid of this gang of thugs!!!

This is going to be off topic but I want to be the first one to say......

Happy DSM Day, not just to all the members here at the After Downing Street Coalition, but also to our courageous members of Congress who are finally coming out of the darkness and demanding answers from the administration, and to all the concerned citizens of the United States and the free world who seek the truth about the reasons for invading Iraq.

And may God save us all from the corruption of Bush, Cheney, Rove, and everyone else who made it a habit of lying to get their ways!

As much as I would like to believe that someone can find a charge to level at the Bush Administration and make stick, I fear that a repeat of history is occuring, and for Dems or anyone who supported Billy boy when he lawyered his way out of perjury charges- watch out. Those who live by the sword...

I think that it is definitely high hopes to say we are witnessing the destruction of the Republican party. Even otherwise intelligent Republicans that i talk to seem to defend their guys rabidly no matter what they do, even if the party's stance on a certain issue flies in the face of traditional 'conservative' values. (see also the Terry Shiavo case.)
And of course they hold a double standard when it comes to Dems - it was completely unpardonable for Clinton to lie under oath, to attack afghanistan to get the press off his back during monicagate, etc.
But its completely ok for bush to start a war under false pretenses, and of course there is no ethical violation when his vp stands to gain monetarily from starting a war.
But Dems do it too. Why can't political parties just be a loose organization of people who share some of the same views, not huge voting blocks of people who all agree to wear the same blinders?
And why can't we, as american citizens, just agree that they (politicians) are all crooks?

Anonymous, as much as republicans may be hypocrites there is quite alot who are waking up and have had enough.

It takes them longer, because they were used and deceived by PNAC. But they are still waking up, and under no circumstance, should we or the public stop pressuring them. It must get louder, and louder, and louder....And it will.

"There is a difference between truth and evidence

Do not confuse 'trying to find documents' with trying to find the truth. The answers you seek can be pieced together using "other methods" and "documents outside the White House control." Don't get focused on "whether the White House does or doesn't comply with the document-request. Rather, focus on whether the questions are getting truthful answers and the full story is getting fleshed out.

Share your findings, however innocuous they may seem

One of the things about putting together information, is that something you may think is unimportant could be the vital link. There was one ACLU document I was looking at that had absolutely no information on it. But then I noticed there was some small typing in the corner. The numbers match a single organizational code. This told me that the person who was at that meeting belonged to a certain unit. Small problem: DoD said they never knew about the meeting or the information. But the public release of the document showed us that not only was DoD lying, but they knew about the information in 2002 that they say in 2005 they didn't know about.

The point being is: You never know what gem you might find, especially when working with a huge organization that doesn't communicate well. They're going to make mistakes. Remember, they're the ones trying to cover this up. Your job is to put the mistakes they make into a structure that shows: Even though they're trying to hide their crimes and misconduct, the world can put the pieces together, launch investigations, and bring to the prosecutors reasonable evidence of probable cause for a wider inquiry.

The trick is to know that the pieces are out there and they can be put together. This is like a puzzle. We have all the pieces before us; the trick is to simply choose to organize them in the most reasonable manner that most likely matches reality. It remains up to the White House to justify why we should have confidence in their leadership.

To date, in light of their responses it is clear that there is a reasonable basis to question them; and require far higher burdens of proof before we launch combat operations, commit troops, or allocate scare financial resources. More so when the basis for that action is not only unlawful but contrary to our Constitution.

That's what the Downing Street Memo is all about: The tip of the iceberg about a story that shows the nation has embraced tyranny and pretended it is something else."

Remember the behest of a order of fascists: Their best weapon is fear and to take religion's name in vain: AKA Obsufucation. We can reverse their polarity decisions by letting through with an undying onslaught of pressure, until they cave, by giving way to their own fear.

Never let off the pressure-Not even for a single instant!

What questions are you not answering now president, and why are you afraid to answer them? How many years has PNAC been co-ordinating with Michael Ledeen and everyone else to carry out a plan of destruction? Cheney hasn't been called to the witness stand. Shall we force the VP into the witness chamber, since he seems to be using everyone in WH currently anyway to obstruct justice?

Thoughts from lawyers: Could this be a crime too?

Doug E.

Out of Iraq>Justice for all. Anybody who lived through the Watergate era realizes that Bushco's Treasongate (a desktop shortcut for ALL the multiple -gates: Rovegate, Memogate, etc.> ulimately to Iraqgate) is picking up much more momentum and evidence to>TRUTH at a much quicker speed. Doug is telling us to keep it up, we are a huge throng of Woodward & Bernstein's out here, some of us hiding behind our deepthroat handles. We're not meeting in some underground parking lot, we're passing evidence on the blogs. Just wish today's MSM were as efficient as Woodward and Bernstein were about PRINTING it.


Great piece! As a lawyer I can tell you that Cheney could very easily be in the hot seat as more of the truth comes out. Let's all keep digging and analyzing the puzzle pieces until there is no choice but for the Congress to make the formal inquiry into the administration's conduct.

Power to the people!

P.S. I am not annonymous nor use a handle. I AM Richard J. Schaedler, a practicing Pennsylvania attorney, I.D.#27809. Anyone, including neocons can feel free to look it up in Martindale-Hubbel, you'll find me there. I'll even help you all by telling you to look under the Pennsylvania listings for Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where my office is located. Is that open enough for all you neocons?

Doug, keep up the good work. I'm with you.

I attended the LA DSM/Out of Iraq Forum with Maxine Waters today.
Very Impressive and Powerful...standing room only with better than 1000 people quoted in attendance. But I have a legal question for you
Richard; Downing Street is indeed a Smoking Gun; but I have yet to hear anyone looking at or questioning Marvin Bush's Security role
at the WTC's and 9/11, not to mention the investigation or lack of it
along with what really happened and didnt at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
The Question is; how do we get the 9/11 investigation re-opened?
What happened then, and what is happening in New York still is heinous. 3000 people killed to give a reason to go to war...
The biggest insurance heist taking place in history with the 99 year lease on the WTCs taken out a week before 9/11, and Marvin Bush in charge of Security...suddenly NO CAMERAS, Bomb sniffing dogs ABSENT suddenly within days leading up to and on 9/11.
Look at Londons investigation all over the news of the latest bombings on 7/7 and the attempts the week after...
Has anyone even wondered what Mayor Rudy was doing in London on 7/7?
How serendipity:o(.
I have been reading and instead of connecting dots...
I know we should stay focused on the pressure of the DSM in hand...
But I can only hope and question whether Patrick Fitzgerald can open the entire pandoras box or how do we get the whole truth out?
I have some great ideas as a semi-retired community activist...
But I find no one to talk to about it and find emails going unanswered:o(. Open to those willing to get things done. There were a few good ideas at the Out of Iraq Forum today...but I still find myself frustrated in seeing too many factions needing central organization. Gee, sounds like our government has been somewhat successful in the divide. I think a few honest lawyers should take up the call for a national class-action suit against the WH and the administration, by running ads in newspapers across the nation; with
organizational groups to collect the signatures and names of all concerned citizens using the stolen election of 2000 and 2004 (Votergate), the high crimes of 9/11, the Crimes of Treason of the DSM and of course Rovegate and all involved.
Talk about ACTION...and whatever it takes to get newsconferences once
plans for launching the suit are underway. We wouldnt be wanting for people to join ranks with regular ads running:o).

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