The scandal swirling around Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and the GOP continues to expand and become more damaging with each passing day. As they continue to cling to Karl Rove as if he is some kind of savior, they are blissfully unaware that they are associating themselves and their political movement with a man and an operation that has intentionally and purposefully conferred great benefit on Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and the terrorists who killed thousands on 9-11.
It is now known that Robert Novak testified to the grand jury that “two administration officials” leaked the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame to him. It is also known that after an intense appellate process that went all the way to the Supreme Court, Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper recently met with the grand jury and admitted it was Karl Rove who first leaked the CIA status of Joseph Wilson’s wife.
Furthermore, it is now known that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby claimed under oath to the grand jury that they were told by reporters first of Plame’s identity. Libby claimed it was MSNBC’s Tim Russert, but Russert testified to the contrary. Rove claimed it was Novak, both Novak and Matthew Cooper have contradicted that.
It is also now known that a State Department memo widely circulated and available to administration officials had indicated that Valerie Plame’s identity was secret. Yet in an act of desperate and petty retribution, it appears Libby, Rove, and potentially other Republican officials blew the cover of this agent, by outing her to the media in an attempt to strengthen their false argument that we needed to invade Iraq immediately because they might nuke us.
The act of blowing this agent’s cover undermined national security and is a serious criminal offense under a number of criminal statutes. An undercover operation spanning the globe to root out terrorists and weapons of mass destruction is now out of commission. Spies throughout the globe who had contacts with terrorists are now compromised and endangered. America is in a worse position because of it, and the terrorists have been given a big gift from seditious individuals within our own government. This petty retribution bordered on treason and certainly emboldened our enemies in a real way, not a fictitious way as was suggested by the right against Dick Durbin–who had spoken out forcefully against the torture at Guantanamo Bay that was described in an FBI document.
One Republican after another lined up and went on record claiming they had knowledge that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby had nothing to do with it, including President Bush. This turns out now not to be the case. The president said he would fire anyone involved in the leak. Now that we know Rove and Libby were intricately involved, the president flip-flopped and refuses to fire them. The president has repeatedly said he wants to get to the bottom of it. All he has to do is walk down the hall of the White House and ask Karl Rove, “What happened?” or “Why did you do this?” It would not be that hard if the president was really a man who meant what he said and not a man with a shifting moral compass.
Better yet, given the facts we know, no explanation is needed from Rove or Libby, they should be summarily dismissed. But the president is showing the American people that to him and the GOP, the war on terror is a political game they pay lip service to in order to get a political advantage, not a real issue they care about. How else could one explain the president keeping these men in their positions requiring security clearances when they have already undermined the war on terror, and are essentially enemies of the state? Further, how else could one explain the Republican-controlled Senate, voting along party lines, refusing to revoke the security clearances of two men who have used those clearances to undermine the war on terror simply because they are Republicans?
These serious offenses would be expected to elicit anger by all Americans, specifically when you analyze the Republican response to the actions of Sandy Berger, a fine patriot who was helping the 9-11 commission do its job, at a time that Bush and Cheney were fighting against it and stonewalling it. Mr. Berger took a copy of a well-known and readily available document out of the National Archives to help him prepare for the hearings, something that was not permitted technically under the law. Yet such a minor infraction by a man who is helping strengthen national security evoked cries of treason and wild false rhetoric against him unjustifiably including “he stole a secret document” and “he stuffed the documents down his pants,” both statements provably false.
Earlier, Bill Clinton had launched a cruise missile strike against Osama bin Laden and the right-wing cried “No Blood for Monica” and made other wild statements that undermined and demoralized the troops and their mission. These people pronounced Bill Clinton, the President of the United States, guilty of a crime, when it was not even conceivable that one had been committed. These are the same people who impeached Bill Clinton for a personal mistake, claiming falsely that it was a “high crime” under the Constitution, then claiming indignantly “it wasn’t the sex, it was lying about the sex.”
It appears now that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby not only leaked a name, but also lied about the leak, and not only that, all of this occurs in the context of a criminal investigation. This is not an unpatriotic fishing expedition into the president’s personal life (as happened to Bill Clinton), it is a real criminal case with ramifications of endangering this country and strengthening the hand of Osama bin Laden. The silence on the right is deafening.
Rights and Freedoms Coalition