I think I wrote about a week ago my suspicions that the Karl Rove whirlwind was yet another Bushian “rope-a-dope.” The WH was too silent, and they were doing what they ALWAYS do – allowing the press and the Democrats to get wild, shrill, over-confident and over-the-top, and then allowing the cards to show.
Many in the blogosphere suspected, right from the start, that Valerie Plame’s identity had been common knowledge in the press, carelessly bandied about. It seems now that such might well be the case. I recall that the press made a lot of noise about investigating “who outed Plame” but that some in the press – most notably Andrea Mitchell seemed very uncomfortable talking about the story, particularly once the White House said, “yeah, we’ll investigate this.”
A poker player who knows he is holding aces can afford to play the game. The New York Times, in its story, does not seem to even understand the significance of its report. Read it closely, guys.
On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Novak wrote another column in which he described calling two officials who were his sources for the earlier column. The first source, whose identity has not been revealed, provided the outlines of the story and was described by Mr. Novak as “no partisan gunslinger.” Mr. Novak wrote that when he called a second official for confirmation, the source said, “Oh, you know about it.”
That second source was Mr. Rove, the person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Rove’s account to investigators about what he told Mr. Novak was similar in its message although the White House adviser’s recollection of the exact words was slightly different. Asked by investigators how he knew enough to leave Mr. Novak with the impression that his information was accurate, Mr. Rove said he had heard portions of the story from other journalists, but had not heard Ms. Wilson’s name.
As many, many suspected – it was the press itself which “outed” Ms. Plame. Maybe Judith Miller is sitting in jail to protect herself or her boss…although, to be honest, it still seems unlikely that a crime was even committed, here. We sure as heck know Miller is not in jail to protect Rove…are we supposed to believe that – during the election – the press sat on information that could have taken Rove out of their way?
Still…I gotta say, one of the reasons I didn’t spend a lot of time writing about this “story” was because I knew – I just knew – that in the end, the thing would blow up in the press’ face. This is what Bush does all the time – plays his hand close to the vest, lets the other side get crazed, waits until they have a big press-gushing moment, when they are sure they have won – (and allowing them to expose their own vindictiveness)…then he lays down his cards.
If he and Rove knew from the start that the baby was Novak – as it appears they did – they had no reason to play things any way but as they did. I must say, it takes a man with a strong stomach and a pair of big brass ones to put up with all the churning whirlwinds, when they know the truth…but I guess you can do it if you know that all the crap will eventually blowback onto those working against you, and will ultimately hurt them.
Lorie Byrd at Polipundit has a fast and good response to the story, and Ed Morrissey asks what is a very good question: Who leaked this Grand Jury testimony? Isn’t THAT against the law? I like Ace’s header: NYT Clears Rove Without Quite Admitting It
My own question: when is Valerie Plame going to be asked about any of this? And I wonder what Judith Miller’s peers, are going to say today.
Expect the press to bury this pretty quickly, after making sure they re-iterate every charge against Rove, one more time. Two years of this will leave lots of residual damage. Our modern “free’ press.