Monday, July 18, 2005

Outed, Damn Traitor, Part III: Turd Blossom Must Go

Turd Blossom must go.

That said, of course, it's a given that even if alleged traitor Karl Rove is forced to resign his White House post, his departure won't mean squat in the scheme of things. The evil genius of the Republican Party will still hang on as Dubya's out-of-house consiglieri (after all, alleged traitor Karl Rove invented George W. Bush) and is sure to have his pudgy fingers knuckle-deep in the '08 elections.

Perhaps all of this is a moot point, anyway. Dubya, who pronounced last year that he would fire any White House staffer who leaked a CIA operative's identity, today revised his standard. Apparently, parsed language is an occupational hazard in the Oval Office.

As The Los Angeles Times' James Gerstenzang reports, the prez now says what he really meant was that he'd fire anyone found to have committed a crime:

"Thus, his remarks today appeared to shift his standard, allowing continued service in his administration until the commission of a crime had been established, rather than simply the determination that classified information had been leaked.

"At the same time, the president avoided discussing in detail the role of his deputy chief of staff and top political advisor, Karl Rove, in the disclosure that the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV had worked on weapons issues at the Central Intelligence Agency.

" 'I think it's best that people wait until the investigation is complete before you jump to conclusions. And I will do so, as well,' the president said. 'I don't know all the facts. I want to know all the facts. The best place for the facts to be done is by somebody who's spending time investigating it.' "

Unless those investigators happen to be UN arms inspectors, of course, but that's a different story. Dubya, as we all know, is a man who proceeds only after thoughtful deliberation and careful reasoning. Oh, and a conversation with Dick Cheney.

The LA Times also reports that prosecutors in the Valerie Plame affair were told that Rove and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, made a concerted effort to discredit Wilson after he raised doubts whether Iraq was pursuing WMDs:

"A source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said Rove's interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the White House. When asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, Rove reportedly responded: 'He's a Democrat.' Rove then cited Wilson's campaign donations, which leaned toward Democrats, the person familiar with the case said."

If true, the actions of alleged traitor Karl Rove are even more egregious than simply trashing a critic of Bush's war policy. It is a stark reminder that foreign policy -- even foreign policy that involves war and occupation and the loss of American lives (not to mention Iraqi lives) -- remains tainted by partisan politics. Think about it. Turd Blossom and Scooter (who the hell works in the White House, anyway? The Little Rascals?) evidently blew the cover of a CIA agent and opened up that person to serious risk, all because a Democrat questioned a claim that turned out to be bogus, anyway.

And while we're on the subject, let's briefly clear up one lie being perpetuated by apologists for alleged traitor Karl Rove. Turd Blossom and his defenders claim that Rove was simply trying to steer Time's Matt Cooper right and that Wilson had falsely characterized his mission to Africa as being at Cheney's request. Um, we call bullshit on that. The Blue Dot Blog has posted Wilson's July 6, 2003 op-ed in The New York Times that started the entire brouhaha; it is worth noting that his language was decidedly more nuanced than what the Bushies would have you believe:

Wilson wrote:

"In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake -- a form of lightly processed ore -- by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office."

Is that a claim that he was sent by the Veep? Granted, Wilson's language seems purposely vague, but it certainly provides a bit of wiggle room.

Newsweek 's Jonathan Alter can be a smug ass on occasion, but we think he is completely on target in his latest column:

"A real leader wouldn't hide behind Clintonian legalisms like 'I don't want to prejudge.' Even if the disclosure [about Plame] was unintentional and no law was broken, Rove's confirmed conduct -- talking casually to two reporters without security clearances about a CIA operative -- was dangerous and wrong.

"As GOP congressman turned talk-show host Joe Scarborough puts it, if someone in his old congressional office did what Rove unquestionably did, that someone would have been promptly fired, just as the president promised in this case. Scarborough, no longer obligated to toe the pathetic Republican Party line, says it's totally irrelevant if Joe Wilson is a preening partisan who misled investigators about the role his wife played in recommending his Niger trip. The frantic efforts of the GOP attack machine to change the subject to Wilson shows how scared Republicans are that the master of their universe will be held accountable for Rove's destructive carelessness."


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