Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Robert Novak and Karl Rove

Not much has been learned from Robert Novak's revelations about the White House's damaging outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Of course, Novak puts the White House back in the spotlight concerning one of the lowest points in the Bush presidency: the manipulation of intelligence to justify a war America did not need and the pathetic attempt to silence a well-informed critic by outing his wife who was a CIA operative. Let's repeat the obvious because, after all, Novak finally confirms what everybody already knew; here's Pete Yost of AP in the Los Angeles Times:
Columnist Robert Novak said publicly for the first time Tuesday that White House political advisor Karl Rove was a source for his story outing the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Karl Rove was a source. Not the source but a source nevertheless. If Bush had an honest bone in his body, Karl Rove would be gone.

I read Robert Novak's self-serving column today and can't say much good about it . The most disgusting part is his pretentious position that he was defending a free press. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow apparently tried to talk Novak out of using the information; despite the dangers of outing a CIA operative, Novak published the information anyway and confirmed that he's a shill for the White House. He completely and negligiently missed the bigger story: the White House was trying to get a reporter to run with a story whose only purpose was to smear Joe Wilson and to distract everyone's attention from the fact that it was becoming increasingly obvious that the Bush Administration had lied about WMDs in Iraq. Novak is no hero.

Novak's column is worth reading if only to watch someone slither through a minefield of contradictory and deceptive wording. Novak is telling us the 'real' story but he won't reveal the original source of his story. Nor will he point out the obvious: that Karl Rove was undoubtedly gleeful that he could confirm Novak's story.

Swopa of Needlenose has more to say about Novak's sly wording and the apparent third source of his story. It's a high probability that a number of Bush Administration officials and possibly friends were involved in the smearing of Joe Wilson and that legal accountability may be difficult because of the multiple version of events that have been told by everybody who participated.

One final thought. Americans have a right to know how the Bush White House operates, particularly if bad things keep happening. We've seen plenty of evidence of incompetence and dishonesty. Proper Congressional hearing, regardless of how they might have affected legal proceedings, would have been important in understanding the fiasco that has become the Bush presidency.

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