July 26, 2005

Mainstreaming Treasongate

From USA Today, we learn that umbrage at Rove's blowing a CIA agent's cover is a mainstream opinion of the American body politic. Those who are paying attention, anyway, and their number is growing:

... In contrast, by 34% to 25%, Americans have an unfavorable view of Rove; 25% have never heard of him. Seen by many as Bush's most powerful White House adviser, Rove has been in the news lately because of an investigation into whether administration officials illegally leaked the name of a CIA operative to reporters.

The controversy hasn't gripped the public's attention. Just half of those surveyed say they are following the story closely; one in five aren't following it at all.

Even so, 25% think Rove broke the law in the case. An additional 37% suspect that he did something unethical but not illegal. Just 15% say they think he didn't do anything seriously wrong.

Those surveyed are split almost evenly, 40%-39%, over whether Bush should fire him. By 49% to 31%, a plurality says he should resign. ...

If we keep rocking the boat, these ripples might add up to big waves.

This article over at Consortium News tackles the latest defense of Rove. It also covers the history of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which was strongly supported by Republicans at the time of its passage, and the backbends conservatives are performing in trying to present themselves as true believers in the freedom of information.

As a follow up, if what we've heard about Rove's previous testimony is correct, he faces at the least a charge of perjury. I'd pay good money to hear prominent, Clinton-hating Republicans argue that perjury isn't a big deal, but lucky me, they'll surely do it free of charge through every media outlet they can place a quote in.

Update: A former CIA spokesman who was working at the agency when he asked Novak (before publication of his damnable article) not to reveal Valerie Plame's name has come out and confirmed that Plame was undercover and that she did not authorize the Niger trip, as revealed in a new article by Walter Pincus. Note Novak's defense of his willfully destructive behavior:

... In a column published Oct. 1, 2003, Novak wrote that the CIA official he spoke to "asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause 'difficulties' if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson's wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name." ...

So, someone from the CIA calls and tells you not to print something that "might cause 'difficulties'" and to keep your trap shut about someone's name. In fact, they call you back after the first call to repeat their request. Do you a) use your powers of deductive reasoning to figure out that they're not going to tell you why but that they wouldn't call back if it wasn't important, or b) assume they would have said something more explicit (thus confirming classified information and violating their own SF 312 agreement) if they were really serious and ignore them. Novak chose 'b.' Not only that, but he was told that he might be making it hard for a total stranger to travel abroad, which is frankly just cruel even if it isn't traitorous.

Between this and news that DeLay's corruption scandal is biting Texas Republicans, I'm guessing there are some unhappy people at the RNC right now.

Posted by natasha at July 26, 2005 01:44 PM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |