Noose tightens around Rove’s flabby neck

He’s been caught lying, and there’s probably no way out. We have a smoking gun.

For anyone who wants to understand why this story is so significant and why it is truly “worse than Watergate,” today’s column by Frank Rich is a must-read.

“Mr. Fitzgerald made his bones prosecuting the mob,” intoned the pro-Bush editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, “and doesn’t seem to realize that this case isn’t about organized crime.” But that may be exactly what it is about to an ambitious prosecutor with his own career on the line. That the Bush administration would risk breaking the law with an act as self-destructive to American interests as revealing a C.I.A. officer’s identity smacks of desperation. It makes you wonder just what else might have been done to suppress embarrassing election-season questions about the war that has mired us in Iraq even as the true perpetrators of 9/11 resurface in Madrid, London and who knows where else.

IN his original Op-Ed piece in The Times, published two years to the day before Judy Miller went to jail, Mr. Wilson noted that “more than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already,” before concluding that “we have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons.” As that death toll surges past 1,700, that sacred duty cannot be abandoned by a free press now.

It’s going to be a fun second term for our war-time president. Every success he claims — No Child Left Behind, the War on Terror, the war in Iraq, tax reform, Medicare reform, Clear Skies (!), et. al. — every one is propped up by sloganeering, photo ops, deception, deceit and outright lies. They’re built on sand, and once the tide rises they’ll come crashing down, one by one.

Karl Rove’s fall will almost certainly help raise the tide.

The Discussion: 14 Comments

As a registered independent, I have mild disdain for W (the only things he’s one that I support are the Iraq war/WoT and the tax cut).

But I have nothing short of seething disgust for Karl Rove and his pigheaded brutish partisanship that has sapped our democracy of whatever bipartisan civility and intellectualism he may have had.

I hope he burns and takes the religious right with him.

July 10, 2005 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

Exactly. W. is the puppet, Rove pulls the strings. Most people have no idea just how dangerous Rove is. The Plame scandal shows exactly how his mind works: Someone make Bush look bad, and you instantly launch a campaign to destroy him, even if that means breaking serious laws and winning the eternal contempt from every CIA agent in the field. Rove’s entire story is one of character destruction, from Ann Richards to John McCain to John Kerry to Joseph Wilson (to name a tiny few). The man’s a pig and a thug, and the fact that he is chief of staff makes a very sad statement about the descent of America into mediocrity and lawlessness.

July 10, 2005 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

I’d like to know how the Iraq War = the War on Terror, especially in light of recent revelations (e.g., the Downing Street Memo) and the fact that Saddam was a secularist who was widely loathed by the Islamic extremists.

Just curious.

July 10, 2005 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

Call me a pessimist, but I think Rove will get away with it. He’ll just go on talk radio and FOX News (and maybe a lucky right-wing blog or two) and play the victim card. Hey, it worked for “Jeff Gannon,” and it’s working (so far) for Rush Limbaugh.

Never underestimate the right-wing élite’s ability to weasel out of accepting responsibility for anything they do.

(cue the inevitable Monica and/or Kopechne and/or Byrd references… but guess what, kids? This is happening NOW. Not 7 or 36 or 50 years ago. Capisce?)

July 10, 2005 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

I’m still holding my breath, it’s just too good to be true that Karl Rove may actually be held acountable for some small part of the damage he personally inflicted on American public political discourse.

The man’s entire career appears to be founded on the plying of dirty tricks and character assassinations.

But what’s even worse is that the GOP lavishly rewarded him for it.

July 10, 2005 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

And what happens if it wasn’t Rove? Will you claim he acted through 3rd party actors? Chalk it up to more evidence of his evil genius? Myself, I’ll wait to see what the investigation actually turns up. Then go from there. I find it very difficult to believe Rove would have used these reporters to leak the Plame info – at least not personally. And what about Novak? He, sort of, started all this didn’t he? Although this story was several weeks old by the time Novak reported it – he also claims to have talked to undisclosed sources that verified it. Why hasn’t he been dragged before a grand jury? Or did he secretly out his sources already? Novak is a gasbag and I think he would rat out his own mother to save himself.

Vaara, interesting. So what you’re saying is that after 50 years (or 7 or 36) of protecting Dems from accountability we are now suddenly to hold a Republican accountable. One might infer a bit of partisan politics there. Both sides have gotten away with many sins they should have been made to take responsibility for. And now, despite the obvious noise to the contrary – neither side is going to open the Pandora’s box of accountability.

July 10, 2005 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

Jim, you obviously didn’t read Isikoff’s article. Rove is deeply involved in this, and there is no getting around that. They have a smoking gun. Now, whether that’s enough to prosecute him is another story, but his involvement appears to be a matter of fact. The very idea that our president’s chief of staff should have anything at all to do with this sleaze is beyond belief.

What are you referring to when you talk about not holding Dems accountable? For what haven’t we held them accountable? And I don’t mean a personal sleaze story like Monica, although in that episode we sure held the Dem accountable, and even impeached him. I mean for the real thing, like what Rove did, or like Nixon did — real felonies, not dumb indiscretions, things that were really done with malevolent intent, like office break-ins….

July 10, 2005 @ 4:37 pm | Comment

Also Jim, try to keep on top of the breaking headlines.

July 10, 2005 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

Newest Rove Revelation: Legally Harmful Smoking Gun?

“Do you know who I am? I’m Mo Green, I made my bones when you were going out with Cheerleaders.” — Mo Green in The Godfather.

A new Newsweek st…

July 10, 2005 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

As yet, I see no evidence against Rove. Stories in newspapers hardly constitute proof. What exactly his involvement is or was is far from clear. Hell, they aren’t even sure that if he did out Plame that that would be criminal. And both Cooper and Miller have said that Plame’s CIA employment was the worst kept secret in Washington. That may have had something to do with Wilson himself running around telling people he knew the whole Iraqi WMD story was bogus because his wife worked for the CIA. At least thats where Novak claims he got onto the story in the first place. Which may also explain – if its true – why Novak was such a Johnny come lately to the whole thing.

Clinton was hardly held accountable. He was impeached but not convicted when every Democrat in the Senate stood up and said perjury by a sitting President before a federal court was excusable. Perjury is a serious felony. The subject matter is irrelevent. Unless of course, you can cite me the subsection of the Federal Code that exempts certain subject matters from inclusion in the statutes regarding perjury.

Vaara points out two other examples (Teddy and Robert Byrd). I find it odd that in this time of apologizing for past wrongdoing – the Dem party has seen fit to pointedly ignore its own racist factions of yesteryear.

Will post more later. Its been a very long night and I needto get some sleep for toinights 14 hour shift.

July 11, 2005 @ 7:53 am | Comment

Clinton was totally crucified, 24/7 by that awful liberal media. He told a white lie about his sex life, in response to a question that should never have been asked. Most men with a wife and child would have done the same. And know what? When we learned about it, his popularity soared, because everyone sympathized. The Republicans eventually gave up and came across looking very, very bad and petty. Lying under oath about a personal; affair that will embarrass your family, while not somthing to be commended for, is no huge sin. Only diehard Clinton haters attach significance to it. If the nation’s security were at stake — hell, if it had anything at all to do with the nation — it would have been a different story. It was a question that was utterly inappropriate and disgusting, in an invesatigation into the Whitewater non-scandal. Clinton did what most men would do and, as the polls showed, most Americans agreed and were on his side. Rove’s actions are felonies and could even involve treason. They are directly relevant to national security. This is no blow job.

Some things are untouchable on this site, and Clinton’s integrity is one of them. He was the greatest president we ever had, a true leader and uniter and an inspirtation to us and the world. I won’t let him be maligned here – go over to LGF or Free Republic for that. Thanks.

July 11, 2005 @ 11:10 am | Comment

With all due respect, Richard, such deification of Clinton and crushing of dissent seems a bit…well, like somethign the PRC would do.

I think there are many Democrats and Republicans that are somewhat more deserving of the “Greatest President we ever had” than Clinton.

Anyway, if the West is ever going to hold its own against China, we’re going to have to keep our rights to dissent protected. That goes for you AND Gonzales…

July 11, 2005 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Hey, people can say whatever they want. I don’t necessarily have to pay for their platform to say it, though usually I do so cheerfully, even if they violently disagree with me. There is no crushing of dissent here. Jim is a special case — we have been arguing about this for more than a year, he knows where I stand, I know where he stands and he won’t just agree to disagree. Meanwhile, don’t worry, I won’t censor him.

July 11, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Comment

Richard and I have been agreeing and disagreeing for some time now. I have definately learned a lot in the process and look forward to learing more. I also like to play Devil’s Advocate at times. There is no way I would rate Clinton as the best President. He was also not – by far – the worst. What gets me is the apologists saying his troubles were all someone else’s fault. As stated above – lack of accountability.

I find Richard’s lack of censorship and editing refreshing. I also notice his claim to a right to do so at his own discretion. A right I agree he has and is free to do so at his own whim. I just find it amusing he denies the same right to the Catholic Church. (As per the story about the people wearing the yellow sash being denied communion).

July 12, 2005 @ 11:22 pm | Comment

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