Monday, July 11, 2005

Plame, By Any Other Name

Washington Post Plame Summary

From the video shown by Jon Stewart:
Rove said, "I didn't know her name and I didn't reveal her name."

Newsweek reports that Mark Cooper's email stated 'it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.'

So Rove hasn't made a technically false public statement. We don't know what he told the President nor what he told the principals (if any) of whatever internal investigation was launched in response to the President's statement, "Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing."

As the left gets gleefully spun up about prospects of Rove in a frog-march, the right is revving up to defend Rove on the technicalities.

But in whose book is it admirable for a senior White House official to parse his language carefully to avoid a technical lie with the full intent of misleading the public to believe something that is exactly opposite of the facts? Is this what conservative see as proper behavior of those in high office? Is this the kind of thing for which they think medals should be handed out?

And what about Rove and the President? His statement leads one to believe that he is actually intent on finding the leakers. Is he also using carefully parsed language to provide an impression that is diametrically opposed to the facts? That is one chilling possibility. The other possibilities are equally as chilling. Suppose Rove figured his statement to Cooper was secure? Did he then lie or otherwise keep from the President what he had done? When the President said "I'd like to know" in public , did he say, "I don't want to know" to his staff? Or did his staff know without being told that whatever he said publicly was not to be taken seriously?

I don't see any way out of this that doesn't fail the dogshit on the shoes smell test by someone in the car. It will be interesting to see what the spin-meisters come up with because it's got to be a doozy.

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