Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame

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Beginning in August 2003, it was suspected—and widely rumored—that Karl Rove, Assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to George W. Bush, was responsible for outing Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent.

On July 11, 2006, Robert Novak, "a conservative columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, admitted publicly for the first time that Mr Rove, a close adviser to George Bush, had been one of his sources for a story outing CIA agent Valerie Plame," David Fickling reported in the Guardian Unlimited (UK). "Publicly naming a CIA operative is a criminal offence in the US."

See Novak's July 12, 2006, "My Role in the Valerie Plame Leak Story" at Human Events Online.

Merry Indictment?
Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald "met with the grand jury investigating the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson for several hours Friday [December 16, 2005]. Short of a last minute intervention by Rove's attorney, Fitzgerald is expected to ask a grand jury-possibly as soon as next week--to indict Rove for making false statements to the FBI and Justice Department investigators in October 2003, lawyers close to the case say," Jason Leopold reported in the December 17, 2005, CounterPunch.

Rove Gave Bush Personal Assurances He Was Not the Leaker
In the fall of 2003, Rove "personally assured" Bush "that he had not disclosed to anyone in the press" that Valerie Plame, wife of an Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, was a covert CIA operative, "according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the accounts that both Rove and Bush independently provided to federal prosecutors," Murray Waas, wrote in the National Journal, October 7, 2005.

Truth or Consequences
At the time, White House spokesman Scott McClellan "was so adamant in his denials that he told reporters the president himself knew that Rove wasn't involved in the leak.

"'How does (Bush) know that?' a reporter asked.

"'I'm not going to get into conversations that the president has with advisers or staff,' McClellan replied." [1]

"If Rove purposely misled the president, the FBI, or the White House press secretary, a reasonable prosecutor might construe such acts as 'overt acts in furtherance of a criminal plan'," Waas said.

White House Denials Collapse
In October 2004, Rove testified before a federal grand jury regarding the leaking of national security information to a news reporter in an attempt to silence Wilson.

White House denials collapsed July 3, 2005,' "amid the disclosure of Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper's conversations in July 2003 about Wilson's wife with Rove and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff." Rove was identified as the source of the leak in notes provided to Newsweek by Time magazine White House reporter Cooper. [2][3][4]

Rove Testified 4th Time
Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald is wrapping up his "investigation into whether Rove, Libby or other White House aides divulged Plame's identity in violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act ... [and] examining whether aides mishandled classified information, made false statements or obstructed justice."

Rove was to testify to the grand jury for the fourth time. "Prosecutors told him they no longer can assure that he'll escape indictment. ... Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, declined to comment [October 7, 2005,] on the specifics of the discussion with Bush. But he confirmed that his client maintains — then and now — he did not engage in an effort to disclose Plame's identity." [5][6]

Also see:

CIA Probe & Leak Investigation


  • "George Bush promised that he would fire the leaker. Now that Karl Rove has been revealed as the leaker, what will Bush do? Obviously, he'll ask Karl Rove what to do." --Paul Krassner, The Huffington Post, July 12, 2005.
  • "It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks." --RNC Chairman Kenneth B. Mehlman, July 12, 2005.
  • "Let me remind you, the underlying issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war. And how America was misled into that war.... enough is known to surmise that the leaks of Rove and others deputized by him amounted to an angry act of retaliation against someone who had the temerity to challenge the President of the United States when he was striving to find some plausible reason for invading Iraq.
"The role of Rove and associates added up to a small incident in very large scandal: the effort to delude America into thinking it faced a threat dire enough to justify a war." --Daniel Shorr, NPR, July 13, 2005.
  • "The GOP's propaganda technicians are filling in some of the details of the mirror universe they're trying to create -- the one in which Turdblossom is the noble whistleblower and Joe Wilson and his wife are the sleazy insiders spreading lies and disinformation. And since everything has to be ass backwards in the Republican reality, we're now being told that Wilson, not Rove, is the 'leaker' and Dick Cheney, not Valerie Plame, the dedicated public servant damaged by the leak." --Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World, July 13, 2005.
  • "Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy.
"And now we know just how far he was willing to go with these smear tactics: as part of the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson IV, Mr. Rove leaked the fact that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the C.I.A. I don't know whether Mr. Rove can be convicted of a crime, but there's no question that he damaged national security for partisan advantage. If a Democrat had done that, Republicans would call it treason." --Paul Krugman, New York Times, July 15, 2005.

It's Rove!

"Reporter Michael Isikoff has obtained a copy of an email that Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper sent his bureau chief, Michael Duffy, on July 11, 2003--three days before conservative columnist Bob Novak first published the leak that outed CIA officer Valerie Wilson/Plame. In that email, Cooper wrote that he had spoken to Rove on 'double super secret background' and that Rove had told him that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's 'wife...apparently works at the agency on wmd issues.' 'Agency' means CIA. Read the full Newsweek piece here, ... There now is clear-cut evidence that Rove was involved in--if not the chief architect of--the actions that led to the outing of Plame/Wilson. If he's not in severe legal trouble, he ought to be in political peril." --David Corn, July 10, 2005.

External links

The Rovian "Frog-March"

The White House Press Corps


"White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan took questions from the press today aboard Air Force One. No one asked him about Karl Rove’s role in outing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.
"Yesterday, McClellan held a press conference and no one asked him about Karl Rove’s role in outing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.
"In fact, no member of the White House press corps has asked McClellan about Rove’s role in the Plame outing since his lawyer admitted on Saturday that Rove was one of Matt Cooper’s sources. (And there are plenty of good questions to ask.)"

External links

  • "Day 6: WH Press Corps Silent on Rove," Think Progress, July 8, 2005: "The White House just released the transcript of today’s Gaggle. ... For the fourth straight time since his lawyer admitted that Rove was one of Matt Cooper’s sources, no member of the White House press corps asked a question about Rove’s role. (And there are plenty of questions to ask.) ... A major figure in the White House is deeply entangled in a major scandal. Why is the White House press corps ignoring the story?"
  • "Why Is The White House Press Corps Ignoring Rove?" Think Progress, July 6, 2005.

Press Silent No More

Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame: Chain of Events

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame: External Links 2003 and 2004

Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame: External Links 2005

Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame: External Links 2006