Background Note: Karl Rove was adopted by his stepfather Louis Rove at a very early age. There appears to be no public record of the former deputy chief of staff’s birth name. Many have speculated on the effect the events of Karl Rove’s family life may have had on him. Below is the true story of how he became the man we know today and why he suddenly left the White House.
The Rove Identity
(based on the book by Chance Ludlum)
In the summer of 2007, the man we know as Karl Rove and the President of the United States, “W”, are riding alone together on the capitol subway to the senate office building.
W: But 30% of America still likes me, right?
KR: Yes, Mr. President. Millions of people still support you. They can’t explain why or defend it, but they still like you.
W: And there are lots of people who don’t like Hillary Clinton?
W: She’s not right for America because she has big thighs and forgave her husband.
KR: Exactly. America will never stand for that in a president. Besides, she has no penis.
KR: No brain and no heart. That’s not a problem. (points at W) But America will never vote for a President with no penis.
W: That’s why I tell people, if America really wants a woman President, they should elect Condi. She even follows football.
KR: TMI Mr. President. TMI.
W: It’s not like I’ve seen it. I just felt it from behind when I asked her to do to me what we were doing to the American people.
KR: Mr. President, some information really does need to be subject to executive privilege.
W: I was thinking the other day that Hillary doesn’t even mountain bike. Could you imagine her trying to dress up in a flight suit and land on an aircraft carrier? She’d probably try to talk about Universal Health Care or something instead of killing terrorists. I just can’t see her being presidential like that. Would she know how to give Angela Merkel a back rub at just the right time?
There’s a tapping sound on the shell of the capitol subway, Karl looks up then slips his glasses into his jacket pocket. Suddenly, a gang of men in ninja suits descend upon KR and W.
W: You want me? Bring ‘em on!
They advance anyway. W jumps under the seat. Only his cowboy boots are visible. KR pops up and advances on the ninjas, throws three karate chops, kicks two of them in the solar plexus. One of the attackers starts to run away, Karl then reaches into a pocket and whips out a blackberry, presses a button, and the last Ninja falls over and dies.
W: (now back in his seat) Talk about Mission Accomplished. How did you do that?
KR: I’m not sure. All I remember is that I sent out those talking points on my Blackberry and that last guy dropped dead.
KR looks out of the Capitol subway window. He then grabs the president, pulls him through the hole in the roof entered by the ninjas, grabs a sprinkler pipe while holding W on his back, and transits it hand to hand all the way back to the Capitol, where KR calls in secret service protection for W. KR bounds down the Capitol steps, jumps into a cab, pushes the driver out of the car into the middle of the street, floors the accelerator, ditches the cab outside the District. We next see him making a survivalist camp somewhere in the woods.
A camera shot back to the floor of the Capitol Subway car reveals a document on the floor next to one of the dead ninjas, a congressional subpoena for the President and his deputy chief of staff.
Cross Cut to Dick Cheney’s office with the vice-president and a faceless minion (FM)
FM: Mr. Vice President, just so I have the story right for the press. How is it again that the vice president is not part of the executive branch?
DC: The Vice President presides over the senate. The office is therefore beyond the executive branch. This is the reason why I’m the one who really runs the country.
FM: Do you really think I should include that last part?
DC: That’s up to you Worm Tail.
Another faceless minion comes running into the Vice President’s office.
FM2: Mr. Vice President, something happened in the Capitol Subway system. Rove has broken loose.
Dick Cheney opens a drawer and pulls out an AK47 with an American Flag embossed on the stock.
DC: What are you idiots waiting for? We’ve got to stop him before he gets to the New York Times.
FM2: Mr. Vice President, it’s not the Times or the Post anymore who report these kinds of things. It’s bloggers.
DC: We’ve got to stop him before he gets to Blog Critics.
FM2: Where’s the *$(*% GPS we implanted on him?
DC: (points to FM2. FM2 looks up and points a finger at himself) Yes, you. (FM2 begins to shake his head vigorously, but Dick Cheney shoots him dead then turns to FM1) That’s not the first man I’ve shot in the face.
FM1: Mr. Vice-President, you don’t have to shoot me. Please Mr. Jackal. I’ve been your friend ever since we knew you as “Carlos”.
DC: A little too late. (he shoots the second man. We next see him jumping into a helicopter on top of the Executive Office Building) I’m Rove’s handler. I guess I’m going to have to handle him. (the sound of a gun safety snaps off over the whirr of the helicopter blades)
Crosscut to Karl Rove’s survival camp in the woods of Northern Virginia. He is using his Republican party tie as a headband as he roasts two dead rodents on a makeshift spit. With his shirt off and a full dose of adrenalin, Karl now looks like a very weird take on Matt Damon. He pulls off his White House ID and looks at his own name tag.
“I’m not Karl Rove. That’s not my real name. Who the hell am I? Who was I before I became this cold-blooded political killer?”
Rove pulls another Blackberry out of his pocket and begins studying his list of contacts. He discovers that he has 347 messages from the Republican National Committee and fifteen messages with exclamation points from the Office of the Vice President. Camera cuts to a shot of Rove donning a disguise and slipping on to a commercial flight.
KR: This TSA bullshit, is so ridiculous. They took away my water bottle and moisturizing cream, but they ignored all the spy equipment that I checked on. I miss Air Force One.
He looks out the window of the plane and a flashback sequence begins with a mystery young man (mym) who looks like a much younger version of Karl Rove.
DS: You really want to help your country. You’re a perfect candidate for special political operatives school, The Rat Fuck Academy at the School of the Americas.
MYM: Whatever it takes to keep President Nixon in the White House. He got us Peace with Honor in Vietnam you know.
DS: Well, to be honest it’s bigger than that. You’re a perfect candidate though.
The younger man is taken into a darkened-locked room. He is bound to a chair and a black hood is placed over his head. Two men pour a bucket of water over his head at random intervals.
MYM: Mr. Segretti, why are you doing this to me? I told you I’d help you. I’d do anything for the Party.
DS: You’d call someone a lesbian just to win an election. You’d insinuate that someone molested children?
MYM: Sure, I’ve already stolen stationery from an opponent to send out fake press releases. I’ve taught students how to literally go through our opponents’ garbage.
DS: And you feel no guilt about it?
The voice of a third man is heard.
3rd Man: It’s remarkable, I’ve never seen anyone with less remorse. It’s why I made him the chairman of the College Republicans after he cheated in their election.
DS: You were a great Republican party chairman.
3rd Man: I’ll be an even better CIA director. This guy has talent.
DS: Waterboard this little fucker…..
3rd Man: I don’t like having to do this, but it’s in the name of freedom. Right Segretti?
DS: Absolutely. After all, we work for the President of the United States, we can do whatever we want.
They pull the mystery young man’s drenched head out of the water.
3rd Man: Ask him if he’d out an undercover CIA agent and then lie about it? (Segretti asks the question)
MYM: Well….wouldn’t that be treason? I thought I was supposed to be helping the United States?
The mystery young man’s head is plunged back into the water and we hear a scream.
DS: We haven’t broken him yet, but we will. He’ll be the perfect political killing machine. Efficient, quick, and totally without conscience. He’ll be leaking to Robert Novak before the year is out. He can already kill a Federal prosecutor’s career on command. Doesn’t even ask about the family. In fact, he seems to prefer attacking the family members first.
3rd Man: Read my lips. This one looks like a keeper. See if he wants some pork rinds.
Cut back to the plane as the stewardess announces the landing at SFO. KR jolts forward in his seat and rubs his eyes. He rents a car and drives to a modest looking home in a small town north of San Francisco at three in the morning.
CL: Okay, who the Ken Starr is outside my window? (he’s holding an airsoft pistol) I’m not afraid to use this. I’ve shot live turkeys and this one can launch a rubber pellet at almost 300 feet per second.
KR: Chancelucky, don’t shoot. It’s me Karl.
CL puts the airsoft gun down then helps Karl Rove climb through the window.
CL: Karl, couldn’t you just have e-mailed me? I didn’t even know that you made house calls.
KR runs to CL’s phone and rips it out of the wall. He then ducks below window level as he searches for electronic surveillance devices.
KR: CL, I need your help.
CL: Of course Karl, but please don’t wake up my wife.
KR: They’re after me now.
CL: Karl, who’s they?
KR: Dick Cheney’s inner cabal.
CL: I thought you were one of them.
KR: They turn on everyone who gets in their way.
CL: What happened?
KR: I don’t know. A couple days ago, we were hanging out in the White House basement while Dick was shooting a couple dozen pheasants there and he starts talking about starting a war with Iran.
KR: Anyway, there’s this sharp pain in my head. I started seeing all these dead bodies and starving children. It was the damndest thing.
CL: Karl, regular people call it a conscience.
KR: For some weird reason like I had Tourette’s or something I say, “Dick, we could maybe get away with it, but it would be wrong.”
CL: So what happened next?
KR: Nothing really. The Vice President doesn’t say a word. He just turns and gives me this look.
KR: I then say “Right, Carlos?”
CL: As in Carlos the Jackal, the most famous contract killer in the world?
KR: Wow, I’d never thought of it that way. Anyway, Dick just goes back to shooting more pheasants. He hits a secret service agent or two, but nothing out of the ordinary. We leave the White House basement together and for the next couple days, everything’s pretty much normal. I send out a couple dozen talking points about Iran’s ties to both Al Qaeda and the Obama campaign. I get a couple reporters to make fun of Elizabeth Edwards’s cancer. You know the usual.
Then I’m chatting with W on the Capitol Subway and we get attacked by Ninjas. I didn’t even know that I knew karate.
CL: Karl, I’m just a blogger who works for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy sometimes. How the hell do you expect me to help you?
KR: CL. I need to know who I really am?
CL: Well this is Northern California….Perhaps we can find a New Age cult that can help you.
KR: You’re a truly Great American CL.
The sound of helicopters is heard above the house. KR looks out the window and spots four black helicopters. He motions for CL to run to the garage and hop in the car. CL protests that he has to get Mrs. CL first.
Suddenly Mrs. CL comes out of the master bedroom in her nightgown. She’s carrying an anti-tank weapon that she mounts on the deck as she calmly shoots down all four helicopters. She then waves CL and KR towards the car and tells them to go without her.
KR: That was pretty impressive CL.
CL: That’s why I warned you not to wake my wife up. You should have seen what happened to our neighbor who used to run his leaf blower every weekend. Anyway, I guess she can take care of herself while we’re gone.
KR: I sure wouldn’t want to fight with a wife like that.
CL: Last week, she said she wanted to vote for Hillary. I didn’t say a thing.
KR: Hillary’s not so bad. People just need to listen to what she really has to say.
CL: Karl, are you all right?
KR: Sure. All things considered. Why do you ask?
CL: I’ve never heard you talk that way about Hillary before.
KR: Who? What?
CL and KR drive to Nevada.
KR: Why are we going here? Did you win one of those four night two day free stays? If you did. I wouldn’t take the bait. Most of them are scams.
CL: We’re going back to your past Karl.
KR: What do you mean?
CL: A couple weeks ago, I realized something. No one’s ever seen your birth certificate.
KR: You mean my real name might not be Karl Christian Rove and I maybe wasn’t born on Christmas Day 1950?
CL: You think maybe the middle name Christian might have been a clue?
KR: Wow….Never looked at it that way CL.
CL: The record says you were born in Denver and nobody seems to know the name of your biological father.
KR: Wow, just like Jesus.
CL: The next thing anyone knows is that your mother marries a man named Louis Rove and your family winds up in Nevada for some reason.
KR: There were jobs in places like Reno.
CL: Or maybe Area 51 happens to be in Nevada.
They park next to a barbed wire fence that bears a sign. “This Installation Does not Exist. Go Back Now!”
KR: You think this might be Area 51?
CL: Just guessing here, but what do we have to lose?
Karl cuts the wire and they slip into a warehouse. On one side of the warehouse is an assortment of abandoned flying saucers. The other end has the bodies of unfamiliar sentient creatures preserved in a blue liquid. The two men barely seem to notice as they head for a stack of DVD’s.
CL: I think it might be these. They’re labeled “Turd Blossom”.
KR whips out a portable DVD player.
KR: That’s Don Segretti, my first mentor. I knew that he didn’t do anything wrong really. They just used his prosecution and prison sentence as a cover. Now, there’s Lee Atwater, my other mentor. I can’t believe they killed him at the end when he started asking for forgiveness for all the terrible things he’d done. He was a great man.
CL: Karl, look at this one.
In a split screen, there’s a scene at CIA headquarters with the then Director of the Agency interviewing Segretti.
DS: We have completed his training. We’ve turned him completely.
Head of CIA: We’re going to make Carlos his handler.
DS: You mean Dick Cheney? Isn’t that the idiot who’s convinced the Russians want to bomb us from space?
Head of CIA: I trust Dick Cheney and this is the last time anyone calls him Carlos. Understand?
DS: He’s ready.
Head of CIA: He’s going to go by the name Karl Christian Rove?
DS: We even gave him papers saying that he was born on Christmas Day. He’ll do anything we want. He can destroy someone’s life without giving it a second thought. How’s that for Irony?
Head of CIA: Well, if you’ve ever really read the Bible, it’s not that ironic.
DVD cuts to a split screen scene with a date stamp in the eighties. In one screen, a very drunk young man is seen crashing his car into a bunch of garbage cans. He’s wearing jeans, a flight jacket, and pulls out a tin of chewing tobacco and says something about his father that’s too slurred to be understood.
In the other screen, a brash young officer in a flight jacket drips with charisma. Lee Atwater and the man’s father who sounds much like the former Director of the CIA are heard talking.
LA: Segretti says that Rove is so well trained that he can make this drunken idiot President of the United States. He’s the ultimate weapon. Cheney’s going to handle both of them.
Man with Voice of Director of CIA: After they’re through, I’m going to look like the last great Republican president. God help us all.
KR turns to CL.
KR: My God CL, I can’t believe that I thought that idiot had any kind of charisma. I see the video now and this is the last guy who should have ever been President. I’m so embarrassed.
CL: Karl, it wasn’t your fault. They waterboarded you. You did this because you wanted to be a loyal American. They twisted you. We’re going to get your real identity back.
Cuts to a scene of Dick Cheney in his office. He is opening an unmarked package containing two DVDs labeled “copies only, we have plenty more, Carlos”.
A week later Karl Rove quietly resigns from his duties as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President. Dick Cheney does not comment.