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By Paul Waldman
Paul Waldman is a senior fellow with Media Matters for America and a senior contributor to The Gadflyer.
Every administration has its share of scandals to deal with, and every one handles them in a slightly different way (of course, it helps if your party controls both houses of Congress, so there will be no pesky Congressional investigations to deal with). But the Bush administration’s furious effort to save Karl Rove and justify the outing of a covert CIA operative is a remarkable case study in misdirection, a campaign whose scaffolding of spin is plain for all to see.
Interview: Ambassador Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent, sees larger Administration role in leak
Larisa Alexandrovna, RAW STORY
Reconstructing the leak
Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna: Ambassador Wilson, much of the attention regarding the leaking of your wife’s identity has centered on the press and how the press obtained that information. I would like to start our discussion by focusing on the “other
Maintaining Focus: Rove and Iraq War Data
By Daniel Schorr, NPR
All Things Considered, July 13, 2005 · NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that the real issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war, and how America was misled into that war.
by Norman Solomon
In front of TV cameras, Pentagon officials do their best to make war sound wise and noble. Most of all, they lie.
Sometimes they do it with bold assertions, other times with intentionally tangled syntax. But those who give the orders that consign young soldiers to participation in horror must assure the folks back home that all the carnage is under control. The officials strive to project an aura of calm about the unspeakable; they mumble cliches about grief that cannot touch it.
For the most powerful war-makers in Washington, the most dangerous potential enemies are the citizens of the United States who might insist on an end to taxpayer subsidies for mass slaughter. To forestall such a calamity, officials proclaim endlessly that the war's worst days have passed and the future looks increasingly bright for the ravaged land and for the freedom-loving invaders whose invasion has ravaged it.
By Larisa Alexandrovna
It seems now in this most current variation of reality, one surpassing anything even Baudrillard could have imagined, criminal activity is simply up for interpretation. The rule of law is but a passé little concept meant for small minds and the unenlightened masses.
As always, in this reality, when the most criminal offenses occur at the highest level of government, our resident Dick goes missing.
Downing Street Minutes? $8.8 Billion missing from Iraq? Faux war?
I am Cheney’s medulla oblongata
Given this administration’s love for partial-truth-abortions (PTA, oddly enough) -- the most notable of course is the Rathergate scenario -- it is interesting to find Rove front and center and Cheney all covert-like.
July 14, 2005
Did White House political adviser Karl Rove deliberately reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative? Only two people can answer that question, and neither one is talking: Rove himself and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is investigating the question.
Sooner or later, we probably will get an answer. Fitzgerald has been so aggressive in this investigation -- to the point of jailing a New York Times reporter who refused to reveal her confidential sources -- that indictments are reasonably likely.
In the meantime, it's important to look beyond the immediate political spectacle in Washington -- White House spokesman Scott McClellan finally confronted by reporters who feel abused and lied to -- to the reason Rove was talking to a reporter about ex-diplomat Joseph Wilson at all.
NBC/WSJ poll: Iraq replaces jobs as most important American priority
By Mark Murray
WASHINGTON - The last two weeks certainly have been eventful ones in America and across the globe: President Bush gave a prime-time speech on Iraq and attended a G-8 summit in Scotland; Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court (with perhaps another retirement on the way); and suicide bombers killed approximately 50 people in London. After these events, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Bush’s overall job rating has slipped and that his rating for being “honest and straightforward
By David Michael Green
July 13, 2005
In These Times
"What is surprising, is how little attention [the memo] has received in some of the most important news media in the United States despite its being an official document that contradicts the North American version of the beginning of the war." --Jorge Ramos Avalos, Washington correspondent for Univision.
The Downing Street Memos have provided an unexpected fright for the minority of Americans who are aware of them.
It's not that presidents lie about the wars they send other people's kids off to fight. And it's not even that the media in this country has grown lazy, intimidated and sycophantic. It's the degree to which this is true, and the deterioration of American democracy to which it testifies. At the same moment we were revisiting the Watergate story and celebrating the dogged persistence that unmasked the crimes of Richard Nixon, the media largely ignored what is one of the biggest stories since the end of the Cold War.
Before London Bombing, Leaked UK Memo Warned Iraq War a Key Cause for Growth of "Extremism" in Britain
By Democracy Now!
British police now believe that four-British-born men of Pakistani descent carried out last week's deadly bombings in London that killed at least 52 people. We go to Britain to speak with author and activist Milan Rai about how a leaked British government study concluded that British foreign policy, and the Iraq war in particular, was a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. [includes rush transcript]
Baltimore Sun Editorial
SO, WHAT Washington suspected all along turns out to be true. Karl Rove, political mastermind of the Bush administration, tried to squelch a report that undermined President Bush's rationale for going to war in Iraq by secretly discrediting the critic who wrote it.
A nasty tactic in any circumstances. But one that could have been dangerous, even deadly, in this case because it resulted in the outing of a CIA undercover agent.
Whether Mr. Rove can be charged with a crime has not yet been determined by the special prosecutor investigating the leak. But it's clear that while Mr. Rove may have stayed within the letter of the law, he certainly violated its spirit, as well as the supposedly high standards of conduct the White House has said the president sets for his staff.
New from DIRELAND, July 13, 2005
New revelations by the investigative journalist Murray Waas suggest that prosecutors are seriously investigating the duo for perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Plame affair. Will Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald actually have the guts to indict the most powerful man in George Bush's
For all the details, click here.
By David Sirota
With Republicans and the White House now refusing to answer questions about what should be done now that we know Karl Rove was involved in leaking classified information, it is instructive to go back and look at their previous ideas about how they claimed to despise national security leaks.
WHITE HOUSE SAID THERE WILL BE NO TOLERANCE FOR ANY LEAKS: "The president does have very deep concerns about anything that would be inappropriately leaked that could in any way endanger America's ability to gather intelligence information, and even that could harm our ability to maintain sources and methods and anything that could interfere with America's ability to fight the war on terrorism." - White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 6/21/02
Tell Us Your "Source," Judy
Not published in The New York Times
By Greg Palast
The only thing more evil, small-minded and treacherous than the Bush Administration's jailing Judith Miller for a crime the Bush Administration committed, is Judith Miller covering up her Bush Administration "source."
Judy, Karl Rove ain't no "source." A confidential source -- and I've worked with many -- is an insider ready to put himself on the line to blow the whistle on an official lie or hidden danger. I would protect a source's name with my life and fortune as would any journalist who's not a craven jerk (the Managing Editor of Time Magazine comes to mind).
By Anthony Wade
Congratulations to David Gregory and his White House press room cohorts on finally putting some of the plot together. Yesterday, White House Press Whore Scott McClellan was caught between a rock and the lies he has been telling for years now and had no choice but to say things so ridiculous, it is surprising he said any of it with a straight face.
I use the word ridiculous, because McClellan seems to like the word as evidenced by his statements about the possibility of Karl Rove being the leaker in the Valerie Plame case. Yesterday, Gregory and others simply tried to get Rove to stand by his previous comments on the situation. Every time they tried, McClellan bobbed and wove to the point that he said 23 times that the investigation was ongoing and thus he could not comment. Finally frustrated, Gregory ripped into McClellan saying that his evasiveness and excuses were ridiculous. Putting one and one together, Gregory correctly pointed out that McClellan apparently had no issue with denying Rove’s involvement when there was no proof out there to the contrary and that this obviously smelled a lot like selective CYA.
July 12, 2005 The Baltimore Chronicle
By Ward Reilly
The Rules of "War"...
Let's pretend for a moment that "al Qaeda" IS responsible for the London bombings. That is what George and Tony are claiming. So let's assume it's true. Just for the sake of argument.
What is more disgusting than seeing Bush and Blair lament about the tragedy of "innocent civilian victims" being killed? Nothing, that's what.
Bush said on July 8, "....And the contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill---those who have got such evil in their heart that they take the lives of innocent folks."
By Bob Ray Sanders
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Having a fox in the henhouse is one thing, but knowing one is loose in the White House has troubled me for some time.
The entire nation ought to be upset now that the president's right-hand man, Karl Rove, has admitted talking to a reporter about an employee of the CIA, even if he never uttered the name of Valerie Plame.
The sly, conniving Rove, known for his dirty tricks, behind-the-scenes maneuverings and below-the-belt political punches, has finally been caught in one of his own snares.
This time he has outfoxed himself. Based only on what we know now, Rove should be fired immediately -- no ifs, ands, buts or plausible deniabilities.
Dragging the Media Down Downing Street
By David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
The U.S. corporate media has begun to awaken to the fact that top Bush adviser Karl Rove exposed an undercover CIA agent's identity and then lied about it. But reporters, editors, and producers remain slow to pick up on the heart of the story, namely that this was part of an extensive campaign to deceive the media, the public, and the Congress about the justifications for an unjustifiable war.
The media has also given coverage to the recent bombings in London, but in very few instances has communicated the fact that the Bush and Blair administrations took their focus off Al Qaeda in order to launch a war against a sovereign state with no ties to the 9-11 attacks, and that this was done on the basis of intentionally false claims about weapons of mass destruction and ties to those attacks. There is a danger that Blair and Bush will try to misuse the recent tragedy as they have done that of four years ago, that the media will allow them to do so, and that the result will be still more attacks.
Sunday Times (London)
New York Review of Books
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Capital Times (Wisconsin)
St. Petersburgh Times (Florida)
Duluth News-Tribune (Minnesota)
Fauquier Times Democrat
New York Times and All the Papers that Print Paul Krugman
All the Papers that Print Molly Ivins
Columbian (Vancouver, Washington)
Cape Cod Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Capital Times (Wisconsin)
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
AS DEPUTY Chief of Staff for the Bush administration, Karl Rove is a high-ranking White House official, privy to a number of classified documents and state secrets.
It's now clear that Rove, President Bush's chief political street fighter, can't be trusted with the nation's secrets. Not when a cheap political attack can be made.
As Newsweek reports and his attorney now acknowledges, Rove revealed to reporters that the wife of former ambassador and Bush critic Joe Wilson was a CIA agent. Wilson was sent to Nigeria to determine if Iraq had attempted to buy nuclear material. When Wilson could find no proof, he accused the Bush White House of leading the nation to war on false pretenses. Rove then outed Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, in an attempt to discredit Wilson.
By David Corn
Here comes the Washington Establishment, eager to say, Waitaminute, maybe poor ol' Karl Rove didn't do much wrong. So let's cut him some slack. Last night on CNN, I spotted two Washington poohbahs being interviewed on the Rove scandal and both offered let's-take-this-slow advice and suggested that Rove may have merely committed a tiny and insignificant mistake.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs chatted with David Gergen, who carries the lofty title of "former presidential adviser." Dobbs asked Gergen what he thought of the story, and Gergen replied, "I think this is a complex case, and we shouldn't get caught up in our underwear so far." Not get caught up in our underwear? Is that how the wise men of the capital talk? And is that what those White House reporters were doing yesterday when they were grilling White House press secretary Scott McClellan and demanding he come clean. (See my eyewitness account below.) Gergen explained that Rove might not be in "legal trouble"--which is true. But for Dobbs, that was not the question. He said, "I am not particularly interested in the legal aspect of this so much right now, as I am in both the politics, and, frankly, the forthright, honest character of the people who make statements such as, it's 'ridiculous' to suggest that Karl Rove was behind this."
By Greg Mitchell
Editor and Publisher
NEW YORK For the second day running, White House Press Secretary Scott McClelllan suffered through relentless grilling from reporters who demanded answers or at least comment on disclosures that top Bush aide Karl Rove had discussed CIA agent Valerie Plame with Time magazine's Matt Cooper.
McClellan at an afternoon briefing again refused to say much, claiming he did not want to jeopardize the “ongoing investigation.
There's a popular maxim in Washington, D.C.: "Nothing's harder than getting fired from the federal government." Doesn't matter if you regularly show up to work inebriated (something I've witnessed personally). And apparently doesn't matter if you jeopardize national security—outing an undercover CIA agent—in the name of defending a plan for war whose stated goal is "protecting national security." This is why the folks at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington were quick to call on the White House to revoke Rove's security clearance in light of the new evidence against him.
By David Sirota
It is appalling that during an ongoing investigation, a White House adviser who has acknowledged helping leak classified information to the media still has access to the government's most secret information. That's right - Karl Rove still can peer into all the secret material he wants, maybe even to punish another honest opponent of the Bush administration. It's why critics are rightfully demanding that, short of firing Rove, President Bush must at least immediately revoke Rove's government security clearance. And if the past is any guide, that request has historical precedent.
London death toll climbs to 52
The Iraq question: Britons ask if their government's support of the U.S. figured in the attacks
- Zachary Coile, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
London -- Members of Parliament shouted approving chants of "Hear, hear!" when opposition Conservative party leader Michael Howard praised Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor government for its response to last week's deadly terror bombings
But on the streets of London and elsewhere, the bombings have rekindled a debate that has raged in Britain ever since Blair pledged to join President Bush in the invasion of Iraq. While virtually unanimous in their condemnation of the bombings, some Britons have begun to ask whether the country's role in the Iraq conflict helped bring about the worst attack on the British mainland since World War II.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 12, 2005
I thought Stewart Powell's piece on the forum headed by U.S. Rep. John Conyers had a misleading headline ("Democrats talk impeachment," June 17). It makes it appear that this forum was a partisan endeavor to damage President Bush, much like the partisan impeachment of President Clinton for personal behavior.
It's true that this is a constitutional matter and that only Democrats attended. That was not the fault of the Democrats. Republicans did not choose to attend, choosing instead to do everything in their power to block any discussion of serious breaches of the law in the House and in committee. Congress is compelled to examine serious issues like the Downing Street memo and to exercise oversight over the executive branch of government. The GOP by their actions are guilty of dereliction of duty and obstructing justice.
By Greg Palast
The tooth fairy, Santa Clause, WorldCom profits, the Easter Bunny, al-Qaeda.
The cruel, evil jerks who blew up the London subway last week, despite appropriating al-Qaeda's name for their website and T-shirts, have about as much to do with al-Qaeda as a Beatles tribute band has to do with the Fab Four.
For all the horror, hoopla and hair-pulling, this was no September 11. Timmy McVeigh slaughtered a heck of a lot more people in Oklahoma City with his cow-poop bomb.
I'm not belittling the heartbreaking hideousness of this crime, but let's get the facts straight. If al-Qaeda is the Panzer Division of terrorism, these London bombers were terrorism's Cub Scouts. We're talking a few pounds of nitro wired to a clock -- a design badly copied off the Internet.
Spokesman Holds Tongue During Intense Grilling
By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Page A04
On the north lawn of the White House yesterday afternoon, gardeners were taking a chain saw and wood chipper to some tree branches. Inside the briefing room, reporters were taking press secretary Scott McClellan to the woodshed.
It was journalists' first chance to grill McClellan on camera since coming to the conclusion that he had misled them 18 months ago when he said President Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, had nothing to do with the unmasking of a CIA operative. The recipients of McClellan's bum steer were furious -- hectoring him more than questioning him.