This is the Archive site for Firedoglake. To go to the main site please click on the following link

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Treasongate 101

Lots of friends who aren't hard-core blogaholics have been moved to check in by the happy karmic bonanza of the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame affair, but they claim (and rightly so) that bloggers are all talking to each other and assuming quite a bit of past knowledge. If you're new to the whole story, or simply need a refresher, Digby has an excellent non-jargon-filled post that explains in simple terms the history of Wilson/Plame/Rove/Miller.

If the only source you have for news is television of the non-Olbermann or Daily Show variety, you might think Joe Wilson is a real dick. Eriposte over at the Left Coaster has a very succinct, point-by-point refutation of the smear campaign being launched against him by the mighty right wing wind machine. Oh, and if you're getting your news from Chris Matthews and thinking this is a "non-partisan" view, just turn it off. Enough with his beltway bullshit already. He should go on permanent vacation and be replaced by David Gregory, who definitely deserves his own show.

One of the main points being made by the We Heart Turd Blossom choir (note: "Turd Blossom" is Bush's nickname for Rove -- one wonders what he calls his enemies) is that under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Rove cannot be prosecuted because he did not have security clearance at the time to know Plame's identity (he was working on Bush's campaign) and thus the law is not applicable. All the beltway journalists whores who are already declaring Rove innocent because of the aforementioned act are a) pretending they know what Patrick J. Fitzgerald has uncovered which they most certainly don't, and b) carefully avoiding the topic of the Espionage Act, under which the Rosenbergs were tried. John Dean covered potential culpability under the act here.

And if you're tempted to think that Judith Miller is a heroine for going to jail for journalistic principles, Digby has another post that points out the total disregard she has shown in the past for the sanctity of her sources. Judy d'Arc she's not.

Patrick Fitzgerald is the federal prosecutor assigned to the case. The WaPo has a good profile on him -- from all accounts he looks to be pretty impartial and a complete bulldog. The Left Coaster has a good post on how a grand jury operates that I found really interesting (quite different and much more intimidating than at trial).

Today Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee called for Rove's security clearance (which he now has) to be yanked. There are plenty o' precedents for revoking the security clearance of someone under suspicion of leaking classified information, and Bush's refusal to do so shows once again that the administration puts politics before national security.

Many have asked why that old fraud Robert Novak isn't in jail when he was the one who first published Plame's identity. Novak evidently complied with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, but there is some speculation in the past few days that he may have conspired with his "sources" to lie about the substance of his conversations. I'd say his ass in jail would be pretty much proof positive of the existence of a supreme being.

And if you've made it this far, you're ready for the good shit (*choke*). Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald seems to be very interested in a report that was supposedly distributed on Air Force One on a trip in to Africa in 2003 just a week before the Plame outing that detailed classified information regarding Joe Wilson's trip to Niger, as well as his wife's identity. So far, the White House has complied with Fitzgerald's requests for phone logs -- EXCEPT for those from Air Force One during that Africa trip. Fitzgerald has been notoriously quiet about his investigation, but his interest in this INR report lead many to believe that the leaking of that report could be what he is building an espionage case around.

My source for the best in Plame updates has been Talk Left, where attorney Jeralyn Merritt does an excellent job of trying to decode the scant information available in the wake of Fitzgerald's discretion and the White House's ass-covering silence. (BTW, Jeralyn has a good argument that it's Scooter Libby who originally leaked the Plame information.) Holden is the best source for the comedy show that has become the daily Gaggle (White House press briefing), and Atrios sure has been a good clearing house for minute-by-minute developments.

More will undoubtedly be revealed.