Sunday, July 31, 2005

Get Rove!

Leftists are still complaining about Karl Rove’s ‘leak.’ They are indignant that Valerie Plame’s identity should have been revealed. Some, such as John Kerry, call for Rove’s resignation; others, such as CNN columnist Anthony Sebok, call for Plame to sue Rove; still others seem to think he should be shot for his “treasonous act.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has called for legislation stripping Rove of his security clearance; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for Rove to be fired.

All of these anti-Rovists may be embarrassed (though I doubt it) to learn that new grand jury testimony indicates that the Plame leak actually occurred in “reverse”– that Rove learned about Plame from Novak. (Which of course would mean that Democratic “fire Rove” hype has been off the mark.)

Despite this point, and despite the fact that Plame has not been undercover oversees for more than five years (which removes any legal possibility of a crime’s having been committed) the liberal outrage, which popped up only after Rove was connected to the story, is inexhaustible.

This outrage seems stranger still in light of the fact that the aforementioned Senator John Kerry is himself guilty of outing CIA Agent Fulton Armstrong several weeks ago at a confirmation hearing for UN Ambassador Nominee John Bolton.

The CIA had asked that the agent’s name be withheld, but that did not stop Kerry from inserting it into a question to Bolton: “Did Otto Reich share his belief that Fulton Armstrong should be removed from his position?” In answering the question Bolton replaced “Armstrong” with the pseudonym “Smith,” but of course the damage had been done.

Kerry defended his gaffe by claiming that Armstrong’s name “had already been in the press” – like Valerie Plame’s?

The leftist reaction to the leak is important because it tells us more about the left. Liberals are selectively outraged. They don’t really care about the national security implications in either case (which are likely to be slight). They do care about Karl Rove. They recognize him as one of the top thinkers inside the Beltway, and many believe he is responsible for getting Bush elected.

Above all, Liberals make their classic mistake of taking the American people for dummies. When Senator Schumer or Senator Durbin gets in front the cameras once again for another world-shaking press conference, he actually believes that he is being taken seriously. This leads to Leftist self-righteous pseudo-patriotic pontification.

If either Rove or Kerry is guilty of anything, it is a simple mistake. Nevertheless, if the Democrats want to remain credible, they should assume that Kerry is guilty right off the bat – as they believe Rove is – and demand his resignation. I don’t think they will make that effort, though, which makes them increasingly the party that brings laughter into millions of households on a daily basis.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger Janelle said...

But if they did that, then they just wouldn't be the Democratic party we've all grown to abhor and laugh at. Good piece as always Dan.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Alright, first, the differences between the Plame Leak and the supposed Kerry Leak.

Joe Wilson reported that Bush made something up and within a short amount of time his wife was outed in the media. Novak reported that a senior official in the Bush administration had told him that Plame, Wilson's wife, had sent him to Africa, and that she was a CIA operative.

Regardless of whether Plame had not been under cover in however many years, it is a crime to out a CIA operative. Also, Plame can never go undercover again, and has compromised any contacts she may have had.

So all this seemed fishy, especially because this was a situation in which an accusation had been lobbied against the Bush administration, the administration could not respond because it was wrong. Instead they decided to slander him and log a personal attack. This is what Clinton did over and over, and was certainly not something any Democrat should be proud of. Of course, Bush promised to change the tone of Washington away from what Clinton had done (something he has utterly failed to do).

Now, this Kerry thing, well first of all Kerry was not the first one to report it. If you want a good example, go to this website (
Fulton Armstrong is identified and note the date. Obviously Kerry was not the first to report his name. Also he was idenfitifed and had a bio on the CIA's website. Here is the bio:

"Fulton T. Armstrong was appointed National Intelligence Officer for Latin America on 1 June 2000. Previously Mr. Armstrong served as Chief of Staff of the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC). Prior to that, he served two terms as a Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1995- 97 and 1998-99) and as Deputy NIO for Latin America (1997-98).

Mr. Armstrong began his government career in 1980 as Legislative Assistant and Press Secretary to US Representative Jim Leach. In 1984-95, he served as analyst, political-economic officer, and manager specializing in Latin America in the both the intelligence and policy communities.

Prior to joining government, Mr. Armstrong worked four years as a reporter, editor, and translator in Taiwan. He earned his B.S. in Linguistics and Spanish at Georgetown University in 1976. He is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese."

So, so much for Kerry "outing" anyone.

Anyways, the REAL reason Rove has been getting crap is because he is percieved to be a douchebag who runs a political machine at any costs. For a more extensive discussion on how big of a douchebag Rove has been, read this (

So you can complain about it all you want, but Rove is percieved to be a political bastard, if seems to do something that a political bastard would do, he will get crap for it. Happened to Clinton, happened to DeLay, happened to Bush Sr., happened to Reagan...well you get the point.

To sum up my arguement Dan, "don't hate the playa, hate the game."

-Mr. Alec

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mihai said...

Alec, when it comes to the Wilson case, very little of what you say even remotely resembles what actually happened.

For starters, the allegations Wilson made were false. He said that the vice president's office sent him to Niger and then ignored his report.

The truth was that the vp's office asked the CIA to investigate the Niger claim, and then Plame recommended Wilson to some mid-level beuraucrat at CIA who then sent him. Then he produced an ambiguous report that didn't contradict anything the Brits or Italians claimed.

It was perfectly clear that mentioning Plame was an integral and necessary part of correcting the record, and that that was the most likely motive for "outing" her, which in that context could have easily been done accidentally.

So Wilson made allegations about the administration, and in response the administration said he was lying. How is that a personal attack? It wouldn't be a personal attack even if it was wrong, which it wasn't, because Wilson was lying.

When you know that Plame was mentioned in order to show that Cheney (or his office) wasn't involved, it's obvious that the notion of a leak to intimidate or punish is absurd.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...


I will respond to this in more depth later, but I think your point is moot if Wilson's report concluded that the British claim was bogus, which is what The Economist says (

If you can show me a trustworthy source that says the report was ambiguous then I think you've got a point.

-Mr. Alec

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

There is more than one person here who will believe anything he or she reads. Refuting their regurgitated ideas is a hard and thankless task, which is why I let Alec do it.

On an unrealted note (really), to Mihai:

"It was perfectly clear that mentioning Plame was an integral and necessary part of correcting the record, and that that was the most likely motive for "outing" her, which in that context could have easily been done accidentally."

But it was revealed, on purpose, to op-ed writers. This is according to Cooper's testimony before a grand jury. I don't know what source you got your stuff from, but I'm inclined to believe Cooper's grand jury testimony over most other sources.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Also Mihai, you ought to read the original article before paraphrasing it (

Wilson doesn't say Cheney sent him, it says that the CIA sent him on a request of Cheney's office, something you confirm to have been the case. So much for him being a rotten liar.

-Mr. Alec

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

"The reports officer said that a 'good' grade was merited because the information responded to at least some of the outstanding questions of the intelligence community, but did not provide substantial new information. He said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerian officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had travelled there in 1999, and that the Nigerian Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting."

And, more importantly:

"Conclusion 13: The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium dealFor most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal, but INR analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq."

The full text of this can be found on pages 39-47 of section 2 of the Senate Select Committee's report on WMD intel. You can access it at

Also, INR is a group of state department analysts, and if you read carefully their position, it was not that Iraq didn't try to buy uranium, it's that it wouldn't have been able to.

Also, from the senate report: "an INR analyst said when he saw the report he believed that it corroborated INR's position, but said that 'the report could be read in different ways.'"

It's pretty obvious from this that nobody who read Wilson's report thought it cocluded that the uranium claim was bogus.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Mr. Alec wrote:

"Also Mihai, you ought to read the original article before paraphrasing it"

Well, Wilson made multiple comments on the subject, which I might look for later if I find time, but the media coverage at the time certainly indicated that the veep's office sent Wilson, specifically. I believed that to be true for quite a while at the time.

Commander Mike Wrote:

"There is more than one person here who will believe anything he or she reads."

Agreed. So I suggest that assertions should be based on primary sources, of which you will find only one if you scroll up. Then perhaps we will discover who those gullible people are.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Alright, so to finish this arguement off, Wilson goes to Niger, finds the Ambassador to Niger who had submitted an earlier report that concluded that it was very unlikely that Niger was selling Uranium. Wilson, as he explains in his article, also finds that it is an unlikely claim.

He submits his report. Then the President uses the claim anyways, not in a memo, not in a press conference, not even as a test balloon, but in his state of the union address. I think Wilson's response is justified, Bush should not be needlessly sexing up evidence, especially in his State of the Union. It seems Bush "skipped" over the very unlikely part of the report and for Wilson to call him out on that seems perfectly legitimate (also it should be noted that this was before anyone knew that Saddam had no WMDs).

So then how does Bush respond, well not by apologizing, or noting his gaffe, or explaining why he used that specific evidence in his State of the Union, instead he decides to "embarress" Wilson using the press. That seems pretty slimy, it also is exactly what Clinton did, and conservatives hated about him.

Also, it should be noted that your incorrect perception on why Wilson was sent (or claimed to have been sent in his original NYTimes article) may be perfect evidence of the character assasination that the Bush administration attempted to use against this guy.

Last, we each have contributed a primary source, don't get all Primary Source on me when you are the one misquoting Wilson's article.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Oh dear...

"Then the President uses the claim anyways"

Actually he never used "the claim." He cited intel that Iraq tried to buy uranium, not that it succeeded. Wilson's report called into question the notion that Iraq could have closed a deal, something Bush never claimed.

Wilson's report never contradicted Bush's statement, and he said it did (ie he lied). Alec, all the facts to support that are already posted (except Bush's quote, which you can find easily). All you need to do is interpret them without preconceptions.

If you can explain how Wilson's report contradicts Bush's statement in the State of the Union, fine. But otherwise, everything else you have said here is moot.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

The claim against Bush using the evidence was not that it was a lie, but that it was hyped up and that they had ignored Wilson's report and made the statement in the State of the Union anyway.

Or I guess I could quote the complaint that Wilson actually lodged (remember your little diddy about primary sources...)

"The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why). If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses. (It's worth remembering that in his March "Meet the Press" appearance, Mr. Cheney said that Saddam Hussein was "trying once again to produce nuclear weapons.") At a minimum, Congress, which authorized the use of military force at the president's behest, should want to know if the assertions about Iraq were warranted."

That seems like a legitimate complaint, if I were giving a State of the Union I think I would fact-check.

But I think the best arguement for the validity of Wilson's complaints is that the Bush administration did not respond but defamed.

-Mr. Alec

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

For the love of God, please explain HOW Wilson's report discredits in ANY WAY and TO ANY DEGREE what Bush said in the State of the Union!

He didn't have to ignore Wilson's report to say what he said!

The reason Wilson was "defamed" (your way of saying his story was contradicted) is that he claimed Bush lied (or claimed he hyped, if you think one editorial is the be-all and end-all of everything Joe Wilson has ever said). Lied, hyped, whatever, nothing in Joe Wilson's report provides evidence for either. It wasn't ignored, it just wasn't relevant.

Like I said before, you need to explain how it was relevant if anything you say about this whole scandal is going to make any sense.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Since I can't seem to say the same thing enough times, I'll have Joe Wilson explain it to you:

On his report:
"It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."

On what Bush said:
"President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa."

No contradiction, no need to even qualify either statement for them to agree. QED

But wait, Joe has more to say:

"*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:24:53 AM)
I would remind you that had Mr.. Cheney taken into consideration my report as well as 2 others submitted on this subject, rather than the forgeries

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:25:06 AM)
the lie would never have been in President Bush's State of the Union address

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:25:14 AM)
so when they ask, "Who betrayed the President?"

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:25:30 AM)
They need to point the finger at the person who inserted the 16 words, not at the person who found the truth of the matter"

He said that on a Kerry for president webchat (my Italics on the word "lie"). You can see it at

Ok, that's all for now. Joe needs to go spend some of the money from his book deal.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Commander Mike said...


Those quotes come from Oct. 29th, four months and 23 days after Wilson wrote his op-ed, and four months and 15 days after Plame's cover was blown. I don't see how they're relevant; maybe I missed something.

In fact, I scrolled through the whole thread and didn't get much out of it except a minor headache. The problem seems to be that Alec is talking about the op-ed and you are pretending it doesn't exist. Maybe you were confused by Alec's ambigous use of the word "report" in his first post. But I may have misinterpeted something because I'm watching Jay Leno and it's hard to watch and type at the same time.

Anyway, all this is an argument by distraction. Absolutely none of it will excuse Karl Rove.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

I really should have started ignoring this thread long ago, but here's one last comment.

The discussion (if you can call it that) between me and Alec was about whether Joe Wilson lied and whether the admin was thus right to call him a liar. The position he took is different from what was said in that one editorial, which in itself was misleading.

By the time of the leak, the impression had been created that:

1. Wilson's report had contradicted Bush's statement and had been ignored.

2. Wilson himself had been sent by the veep's office (a position Wilson does not take in the editorial, but one that was implied by muddying the waters).

Neither of these things were true and they had to be corrected.

As for Rove:

1. He claims he got the info from jounalists.

2. He claims he didn't know it was a secret.

These are both plausible claims and unless/until Patrick Fitzgerald says otherwise they are effetively fact, making this whole scandal a huge load of steaming bull[exp].

PS I never ignored the editorial, I even quoted from it. But there's what Wilson claimed and there's what Wilson wrote in one measly editorial. One of them is relevant to anything at all.

I'm sorry. You guys think Karl Rove is a total douchebag. And maybe he is. I promise to read the article Alec posted. But when it comes to this scandal, you and half the country are living in fantasy land, and just won't let go in the face of any evidence.

Alec, if you have read this far (and I don't think you will) please tell me how Joe Wilson's report contradicted anything Bush said. I really (sincerely) want to know. I'm not being rhetorical here. I literally don't understand how you could possibly believe what you're saying and it's driving me up the wall.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

"These are both plausible claims and unless/until Patrick Fitzgerald says otherwise they are effetively fact"

This is never ever true.

Even in a court of criminal law, where pople are "innocent until proven guilty", this doesn't mean that you actually assume innocence. It just means you can't convict someone on indeterminacy in a court of criminal law. So that's a common misconception.

Also, it's a funny thing, but I don't recall ever referring to the truth or falsehood of Wilson's original reports. so I don't know why you're yelling at me about them. But you want to talk about Wilson, Let's talk about Wilson.

Much of what Wilson did is still confidential, and it's difficult to piece together what his reports actually said. Unless there's a specific report that you're referring to, but then you're probably comitting a fallacy of generalization. Speaking of which, I believe Alec provided evidence from a credible source that the reports contradicted Bush's claim; you might want to scroll up a bit and look for it. Quote: "Mr Wilson found the claims bogus".

But Wilson's editorial made it quite clear that he thought Bush misrepresented the facts. There is no way for you to get around this.

And, no matter what Wilson said, it doesn't excuse Karl Rove.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...


I did read that far. I never said it contradicted what Bush said. What I did say, and what Wilson said (as I quoted) was that Bush said something that had been disputed by Wilson. Bush chose to stick to the British intel and ignore what Wilson said, which was not ambigious, it was just not 100% conclusive one way or the other. In doing so, Bush decided to sex up a case for war and ignore what Wilson said.

As far as Rove, I do not think Rove leaked this stuff on purpose, I never did. He is too smart to do something so traceable and petty. Don't start calling me a fantasyland liberal.

Finally, your case against Wilson has withered from liar to muddier of waters. My comment on this is, if Wilson is getting away with muddying the waters, why doesn't Bush and co. come out and say he is lying and establish the chain of facts? They didn't, I think both have a responsibility to the truth, I only think that Bush has a greater burden considering he is our President.

-Mr. Alec

PS At least we seem to all agree that Dan's Fulton Armstrong arguement was wrong and stupid. Dan, you always give us the common ground.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

OK, looks like I can't stop.

Alec, here's the thing. You say this:

"I never said it contradicted what Bush said."

Okay, but I posted the same question to you several times, once like this:

"please explain how Wilson's report discredits in any way and to any degree..."

See, I'm not always good at choosing words, but I meant the same thing each time I asked.

My point is that when he came back from Africa, Wilson didn't even dispute Bush's statement. Bush ignored nothing because there was nothing to ignore.

As I said before, the evidence for that is all over this thread (even in your favourite op-ed, if you read it with care).

If you can explain how Wilson's claim that Niger probably didn't sell uranium disputes Bush's claim that Iraq apparently tried to buy said uranium, it would be very educational for me.

I've obviously been pretty bad at explaining my position clearly so far. I hope that clarifies it.


PS I never backed off my claim that Joe Wilson is a liar. I do admit that he may not have claimed the veep's office sent him (but the press reported it that way). But he claimed to have questioned Bush's claim and that he had been ignored. That was a lie. Also, Bush and co have made that claim and stick by it, you've just been ignoring them.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

This has grown so off-topic that I can't even tell what the topic is anymore.

Looking back, I think I may have lost track of the topic a long time ago.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

But I'm sure we can all agree that Dan is wrong.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger allen said...


At 9:15 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Hey Dan, remember when you supported the trade embargo with Cuba. Man, we're all glad you grew out of that phase.

-Mr. Alec

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Republican Dan said...

I don't know what gave you the impression that I have changed my stance on that issue, Allec. Perhaps this is yet another manifestation of an occasional inability to understand things written in English.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Hey Alec,

I know you rightly think the whole debate on this thread has gone on way too long, but because I've pretty much been repeating myself in every single post, I feel like I've only made one. And I kind of want to hear what your answer is to it. Specifically, the best version to answer would be the last one, since it's harder to loosely interpret it.


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