Friday, July 15, 2005

fat, conniving bastard

This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to re-elect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove had been the source.


Just thought you'd like to know this isn't the first time he's done this.

There's one more thing I think you should know. The name of the covert CIA agent who was identified is not Valerie Plame. That is her maiden name, and she prefers to be called her married name, Valerie Wilson. I've noticed that AP, Wired and several other media outlets have completely neglected that fact. You'd think that at some point while writing or fact-checking a story on the topic, you'd call up Ms. Wilson or the CIA for comment and ask something like, "How do you spell that name?" at which point you'd be informed of her preferred name. The New York Times and (usually) even The Triangle gets that. What's AP's excuse?

You're probably thinking that this is pretty petty — and it is — but I fear that it's indicative of a larger problem. Does anyone else get the eerie feeling that rather than much journalism going on, many news organizations are just reporting what each other says? Maybe it's just because the truth is (arguably) the same on any given story, so reporters have little choice to deviate from the norm; however, the fear of media parroting is healthy. Also, it likely stems from the pursuit not to be outdone and the vast use of wire reports.

It just really bothers me when I feel that I'm only receiving one view of a story. Isn't that the death of democracy? But media ownership policy is more difficult than I can imagine. You know why? Because there's virtually no little guy. Even a small local station is dealing with tens of millions of dollars. No one except for bloggers, of course ;-)

Getting back to Mr. Rove, there's something I'm having immense trouble fathoming. The charge against him from Democrats is that he leaked Ms. Wilson's covert identity to Mr. Novak in an attempt to attack Mr. Wilson and his contention that Iraq had not, as President Bush had claimed in a State of the Union address, attempted to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger.

And before you say, "But Rove didn't mention the agent by name," just shut up. Times reporter Matthew Cooper said Mr. Rove told him that "Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues," authorized Mr. Wilson's trip to Africa.

As Representative Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) said, "Well, unless Joe Wilson was a polygamist, we knew exactly who he was talking about."

I also don't buy the argument that Mr. Rove didn't know Ms. Wilson was a covert agent, so that makes it all okay. That might squeak by in criminal court, but that's certainly not good enough for me. What the hell was Mr. Rove, a domestic policy advisor, doing talking about CIA agents? I think this leads to a larger question of "Why do we give domestic policy advisors security clearance for such things?" but that's not what really puzzles me.

What I can't wrap my head around is this: How could it possibly discredit Mr. Wilson to say that his wife not only worked for the CIA, but also specialized in WMDs? Wouldn't you be inclined to trust someone more about something his wife is an expert in?

The Times tried to explain this in an editorial. The following is an excerpt:

Before that happened, Mr. Rove gave Mr. Cooper a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Mr. Rove said the origins of Mr. Wilson's mission were "flawed and suspect" because, according to Mr. Rove, Mr. Wilson had been sent to Niger at the suggestion of his wife, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. To understand why Mr. Rove thought that was a black mark, remember that the White House considers dissenters enemies and that the C.I.A. had cast doubt on the administration's apocalyptic vision of Iraq's weapons programs.

That editorial board did their best to explain it, but I still don't get it. Was Mr. Rove trying to say that, "The C.I.A. can't be trusted on intelligence, because they disagree with us on Iraq's WMDs, and Wilson can't be trusted either, because his wife works for them."?

Don't try to make a syllogism out of that, because blood will shoot out your nose. It's the Central Intelligence Agency, for chrissakes. Not only is it an intelligence agency — it's the central one! What on earth made the Bush administration think they couldn't trust the Central Intelligence Agency on intelligence? What's more, why does Mr. Rove believe Mr. Cooper and Time's readers shouldn't trust the Central Intelligence Agency on intelligence?

Logic, reason, truth — these are all ideas far removed from present-day politics thanks to Mr. Rove and his ilk. Loss of job and imprisonment are far too good for Mr. Rove. In addition to those, he deserves to be driven absolutely crazy by irrationality and unreason, as I am almost every time I pick up a newspaper.

Oh, and did I also mention that he should rot in hell for uncovering a covert C.I.A. agent?


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