Monday, July 11, 2005

Darby Rove's Husband

It appears that Darby Rove's husband may be in a bit of trouble as details are beginning to emerge concerning his role in the outing of undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame. At the very least, as the story makes clear, Darby Rove's husband shared the fact that "Joe Wilson's wife" was working for the CIA with certain members of the press - a fact that was not common knowledge due to the fact that Wilson's wife, Valerie, was, you know, undercover. Kevin Drum excerpts the relevant sections from a recently leaked email penned by Matt Cooper (the journalist at Time Magazine who was indicted for failure to reveal his source on this matter to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald):

It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..."

....Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA" — CIA Director George Tenet — or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division.
There is much speculation now that Darby Rove's husband may have steered clear of legal culpability by not mentioning Joe Wilson's wife by name, and that his testimony before the grand jury may not have risen to the level of perjury. The man has been nothing if not cautious to maintain a plausible legal defense for an otherwise indefensible bit of political retaliation.

Rove's words on the Plame case have always been carefully chosen. "I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name," Rove told CNN last year when asked if he had anything to do with the Plame leak.
But really, how many wives did Joe Wilson have? Can one actually hide behind such flimsy barricades in order to shield what was an otherwise obvious identification of Valerie Plame as such? As the supporters of Laura Bush's husband, and the complicit media, try to put a rosy spin on this story by supporting Darby Rove's husband's claims that he never "knew" Joe Wilson's wife was undercover at the CIA, and that his failure to mention her by name is somehow morally exculpatory, I thought I would remind everyone that Laura Bush's husband vowed to be the President who would "restore honor and dignity to the White House." I guess it depends on what the meaning of "restore" is. And how exactly does Darby Rove's husband's hyper-legalistic, word parsing defense stack up against claims made by Laura Bush's husband and Jill Martinez's husband (aka Scott McClellan)? As Billmon asks:

So what did Rove do when he heard his Commander in Chief say this -- all the way back in September 2003?

If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.
Or this, less than one week later?

If anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker.
Again, Jill Martinez's husband assuring us of Laura Bush's husband's resolve:

No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States. If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates.
Billmon, to his enduring credit, unearths many more such gems, a small sample of which follow (with my own emphasis):

QUESTION: The Robert Novak column last week . . . has now given rise to accusations that the administration deliberatively blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative, and in so doing, violated a federal law that prohibits revealing the identity of undercover CIA operatives. Can you respond to that?

McCLELLAN: Thank you for bringing that up. That is not the way this President or this White House operates. And there is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House would have given authority to take such a step.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 22, 2003

QUESTION: Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove . . . Did Karl Rove tell that . . .

McCLELLAN: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

QUESTION: But did Karl Rove do it?

McCLELLAN: I said, it's totally ridiculous.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 16, 2003

QUESTION: Has the President either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .
McCLELLAN: I don't think he needs that. I think I've spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I've just said there's no truth to it.

QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this . . .

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.

QUESTION: How does he know that?

McCLELLAN: The President knows.

Scott McClellan
Press Gaggle
September 29, 2003

QUESTION: Weeks ago, when you were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I've known Karl for a long time, and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson's wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

McCLELLAN: I don't know whether or not -- I mean, I'm sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

McCLELLAN: We're going down a lot of different roads here. I've made it very clear that he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 29, 2003
Now, now Scotty, many things have been said about Darby Rove's husband, but "committed to the highest standards of conduct" is beyond a stretch. Politics are obviously a down and dirty endeavor, but even knee-deep in the muckrakers, Darby Rove's husband has managed to distinguish himself - and it has nothing to do with standards, ethics or morality. Darby Rove's husband's most recent foray into the world of dirty tricks should surprise no one. Rove does as Rove is - and what he is is nothing admirable. If you want examples, here are just a few. Peruse at your leisure, but prepare to be disgusted. Darby Rove's husband has a very dark side, and a penchant for repeating what has been a winning formula: the politics of personal attacks, false witness, dirty tricks, insinuation, sexual innuendo, grand diversion and much much more. Others have played this ignominious game, but none with baser standards than the husband of Darby Rove.

[Update: Go read Hilzoy. She says what I would have said if I were as smart as her. Luckily, I have the power of the almighty link to make me appear worthy.]

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