Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
This simply needs to be reproduced in full. If you haven't seen it, please read!
On Sunday, Newsweek magazine revealed that Karl Rove, the President's key political advisor, was responsible for disclosing the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame.1 Rove's lawyer has confirmed that he was involved.2
Last year, President Bush promised that anyone at the White House involved in the leak would be fired.3 We believe that the President should stick to his word. That's why we're calling on him to fire Karl Rove.
Sign the petition to Bush right now at:
Valerie Plame was an operative working on stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—the most important beat at the CIA and one of the most important jobs in the country.4 Rove revealed her identity and destroyed her network of connections to settle a political score. He weakened America's national security. For that alone, he deserves to be fired.
But as it turns out, that's also the White House's official position. Press Secretary Scott McClellan told the press in September of 2003, when the story first broke, that anyone at the White House who was involved would be fired "at a minimum."5 And when asked on June 10th, 2004, if he would "stand by your pledge to fire anyone found" to have leaked the agent's name, President Bush responded, simply, "Yes."6
Of course, in the past the White House has strenuously denied that Rove had anything to do with it. In 2003, McClellan said that he'd asked Rove if he was involved, and Rove had said he wasn't.7 "The president knows that Karl Rove wasn't involved."8 "I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was."9 Asked again if Rove was involved, McClellan responded, "That's just totally ridiculous."10
So what did McClellan have to say about the clear discrepancies between what the President Bush and he had said in 2003 and what Newsweek reported on Sunday? Nothing. Here's an excerpt from the transcript:
Q: Do you want to retract your statement that Rove, Karl Rove, was not involved in the Valerie Plame expose?
A: I appreciate the question. This is an ongoing investigation at this point. The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, that means we're not going to be commenting on it while it is ongoing.
Q: But Rove has apparently commented, through his lawyer, that he was definitely involved.
A: You're asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Q: I'm saying, why did you stand there and say he was not involved?
A: Again, while there is an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to be commenting on it nor is ... .
Q: Any remorse?11
It's worth noting that both Bush and McClellan have commented on the case repeatedly since 2003.12
Republicans claim that the furor over this case is just politics as usual. But what Rove did has serious ramifications. Here's the story in a nutshell: In 2002, former Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to investigate rumors that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. Wilson found nothing, and wrote about it in a New York Times op-ed column on July 6, 2003 after President Bush used the claim as part of the case for war. Wilson was married to Valerie Plame, an undercover operative, who was revealed shortly thereafter by conservative columnist Robert Novak. Novak cited "senior administration officials" as his source that Plame was an operative.13
Why out Plame? While we don't know the full story, there are a couple of reasons to do so: to exact revenge on Wilson for refusing to toe the Administration line, and to send a message to would-be whistle-blowers that they should keep their mouths shut.
In any case, Plame's work was important, and by exposing her identity, the leaker destroyed ten years of covert relationship-building and could have jeopardized the lives of other covert agents in the field. At best, it was recklessly irresponsible; at worst, it was malicious; and either way, the leaker undermined our national security.
That's why we, like the President, believe it's time to fire anyone who was involved with the leaking of Plame's name. And now we know that means firing Karl Rove.
Sign our petition now at:
And thanks for everything you're doing.
—Eli, Jennifer, Wes, Matt and the MoveOn PAC Team
Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
PAID FOR BY MOVEON PAC
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.