Friday, July 15, 2005

Back to the Basics

The White House and the RNC have been desperately spinning for the last couple of days trying to deflect, deflect, deflect. They want to turn this thing into a referendum on Joseph Wilson's character. Well, Joseph Wilson has a sterling character, but even a sterling character can be smeared with lies. And smearing people's character is the first thing in the Republican playbook. They reach for it instinctively.

But, of course, Joseph Wilson's character is irrelevant. Joseph Wilson could be a serial killer, and it would be irrelevent to the prosecutor's case. Outing his wife as a CIA agent would still be the exact same crime.

So, ignore all the attempts to muddy the water, and stick to the basics.

FACT #1: Rove and the White House have repeatedly lied about Rove's role in the leak.

On September 29th, 2003, Rove was asked if he had "any knowledge of the leak," and he said "no." On the same day, Scott McClellan said that he had spoken to Rove, and that it was a "ridiculous suggestion" to say that Rove was involved in the leak. As this was during an ongoing investigation, it may be obstruction of justice.

FACT #2: Bush said that he would fire anyone involved.

On June 10, 2004, Bush was asked whether he stood by his pledge to fire anyone involved in the leak, and he answered "yes."

FACT #3 -- Rove identified Plame.

This was possibly a violation of the law. We know for a stone fact that Rove identified Valerie Plame as "Wilson's wife" and said that she worked for the "agency on wmd." The only question is whether or not he actually knew that she was covert. Considering the fact that he knew who she was, that he knew she worked for the CIA, and that he knew she worked on WMDs, it stretches credulity to say that he didn't know that she was covert. And to reveal the identity of CIA agent who is working on WMDs without checking to SEE if she is covert is the absolute height of irresponsibility.

FACT #4 -- Outing Valerie Plame was an act of political retribution.

The Washington Post reported on September 28th, 2003, "[A] senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife... 'Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,' the senior official said of the alleged leak.'"

FACT #5 -- The White House refuses to talk.

They CLAIM that this is because the investigation is ongoing, but they spoken about it openly many times while the investigation was ongoing, such as when McClellan said, on October 10th, 2003, "It's simply not true that he [Rove] was involved in leaking information." Which, conveniently, connects nice and neatly right back to Fact #1.

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