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Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Rovian Defense Squad: Unhinged and Uncool

For obvious reasons, Karl Rove has been slow to issue a talking points memo to the faithful telling them what to think about L'Affiar Plame. With Rove mired in his own problems the right wing has been left to come up with its own position papers, and the result looks something like a 50's alien invasion movie after the hero locates the central transmitter and destroy it. The attack pods start randomly lurching for balance, crashing into each other as they struggle to exist without any sort of higher brain function. They begin to look sad and almost human.

Skip the human part and you have the right wing blogosphere, where a thundering silence has reigned for the most part over the whole matter. The Power Tools managed to write an entire post on Plame yesterday and mention Rove not at all. Instahack and Little Mickey defaulted to Rove 101 and took a swing at Lawrence O'Donnell, but left to their own devices they could only craft pantywaist girl swipes that never managed to connect. The Doughy Pantload is in denial, but hints that he is one of the cool kids who actually does know who leaked the story, although I imagine he'll put himself on the line and name names about the time his mommy dresses him up in a pair of extra wide camo pants and marches him down to USMC headquarters to enlist.

Over at the Captain's Quarters they are taking the novel tack of claiming that since Karl Rove was the Special Advisor to the President at the time of the leak, he didn't have authorized access to to the classified information regarding Plame. They maintain that Section 421 of the US Code only applies to people having authorized access, and come to the remarkable conclusion that Rove will therefore skate:
Which means that even if it were to eventuate that Rove was the guy who leaked the Plame name, he would almost certainly not be a "covered person" as far as Section 421 is concerned: however he might have found out about her CIA employment, it would have to have been by means other than "authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent."

This would not stop Bush from firing Rove, if he so chose; but it would stop any sort of prosecution -- whether the leaker was Rove or someone else who likewise had no authorized access. Which is probably why nobody has been indicted: likely, the leaker, whoever he was, learned about Plame on the D.C. cocktail circuit, where evidently it was common knowledge.
(my emphasis)
Now, I've been deposed before. And when you're asked by a federal prosecutor how you came about a particular piece of information, and your answer is "oh, I don't know, around," they don't say okay and call it quits for the day and everyone jumps in their Range Rovers and heads to the Hamptons for the weekend. I would love to see a retreat to the "D.C. cocktail circuit" defense:
So, Mr. Rove, tell us again, how did you come upon this classified information?

You know, I was pretty much arse-holed, sucking down highballs at Scooter Libby's place and I really can't remember who told me.

Let me get this straight. You woke up from a blackout drunk with the vague recollection that someone revealed to you the secret identity of a CIA operative, and you thought it was a good idea to pick up the phone and repeat this information to Time Magazine?

Yup, that's the way it went down.
They'd be fitting him for leg irons by Labor Day.

It's the sad stabs at independent thought in a top-down organization whose minions can't choreograph their own steps when the Lord of the Dance goes AWOL. I'm sure by tomorrow Monica Crowley will be yammering through her hair spray the exact same sound bites Rush uttered only moments earlier, but by that time Rove should manage to remember where he put those naked photos of George Bush issuing Jeff Gannon his "press pass" and feel secure in his power once again.

P.S. Funniest sighting of the day -- the Captain's Quarters has an advertisement up for Operation Yellow Elephant, "sign up or shut up" (bottom right hand side of the page). I know money's money, but can they possibly know?