As we well know, Senate Dems are screaming for the head of Karl Rove on the theory that he criminally “outed” Valerie Plame, a CIA employee and wife of Joe “Yellowcake” Wilson, the former ambassador dispatched to Niger by the CIA.
From there Wilson reported in 2002 that there seemed to be evidence that Saddam Husseain had been trying to buy enriched uranium there. Later Wilson changed his tune in a New York Times op-ed and said Saddam had been doing nothing of the kind, and that the Bush administration had essentially fabricated its claim that Iraq had or was trying to make weapons of mass destruction. The mind-change came in July 2003, when Wilson announced, among other things, that his aim was to “get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.??
That?s what the Dems want to do, to, after columnist Robert Novak mentioned that Wilson?s assignment to Niger had come at the behest of Plame, an undercover operative for the CIA. That Wilson was married to Plame was common knowledge; he discloses her name although not that of her employer in his official biography at the website of his company, the Corporate & Public Strategic Advisory Group.
Special prosecutor Vincent Fitzpatrick has been working on the case for 18 months trying to find out who leaked Plame?s identity. Thus, New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who knew all about Plame (as apparently did every othr reporter in Washington) but never wrote about Wilson?s wife sits in jail for refusing to identify her source. Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper says his own information came from Rove, who said during an interview that Wilson?s wife “apparently works for the CIA” and that she was the one who authorized the trip. Rove didn?t name Plame–because he didn?t know her name, he says.
Intentionally outing an undercover CIA agent is a crime under a 1982 federal law. Trouble is, as the Christian Science Monitor reports, there isn?t a shred of evidence that even if Rove did drop the name of Plame?s employer, he also knew that the government was trying to keep her identity a secret. That hasn?t prevented the Democrats from casting Rove?s act as a threat to “national security,” as Senate minority leader Harry Reid put it.
But as this Boston Herald editorial points out:
“What congressional Democrats… forget in their feeding frenzy is that the 1982 law, making it a crime to ?intentionally?? disclose the identity of a covert agent, also requires ?that the United States was taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent?s intelligence relationship to the United States.??
“At the time Valerie Plame was a desk jockey in Langley, Va.”
“Of all the bogus charges Democrats have thrown at Karl Rove, this one really takes the cake – oh, make that yellowcake.”
The Dems, now in minority status at every level of government, are desperate. Their only hope for returning to power is that one of the following three misfortunes come to pass: 1) A military or terrorist debacle for the U.S. accompanied by many demoralizing bodies; 2) An economic crash; or 3) A major scandal in the Bush administration. So they need Karl Rove to fall and take Bush down with him. My advice: Don?t count on it.