New Plame Memo: A Big Splash at the Washington Post?

The headline of a story in today’s Washington Post reads “Plame’s Identity Marked As Secret.” The first paragraph of the story goes on to state the following:

“A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked ‘(S)’ for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified.”

At first blush, this information looks very damning for Karl Rove. It’s the kind of headline that makes a really big splash on the front page of a newspaper. Yet one finds critical qualifications buried in the text of the story.

First, the memo was apparently written by a State Department intelligence analyst and was intended for then Secretary of State Colin Powell, not Karl Rove.

Second, though Valerie Wilson’s name appears in the paragraph marked as secret, it is not at all clear that her own status was marked as covert. It looks like her name appears merely as background.

For readers who bother to read the whole article, there’s not much of a splash after all.

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Bush’s Man: John Roberts

Well, he’s not a woman like many were speculating. But John Roberts looks pretty good anyway.

Here’s the watershed quote from a brief Roberts co-wrote in 1990: “We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled . . . the Court’s conclusions in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution” (source).

Some news outlets are already citing remarks that Judge Roberts made in 2003 in his confirmation hearing for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: “Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land . . . There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent” (source).

I don’t think we can conclude from this statement that a Justice Roberts would uphold Roe v. Wade if it ever came to that. As a lower court Judge, Roberts is obliged to follow Supreme Court precedent. But as a Supreme Court Justice, he can vote to overturn that precedent, and it seems that he has indicated that he would do just that.

So don’t get upset when you see the pundits playing these two quotes against one another. I don’t think they are necessarily at odds.

Washington Post
New York Times
NBC

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SCOTUS Scuttlebutt

SCOTUS Scuttlebutt

I won’t pretend that I know who the President’s nominee will be to the Supreme Court. But I have been following the educated guesses of the pundits in the press. The scuttlebutt is that Bush will nominate a woman who is an originalist. Among those who might fit that description and who are likely candidates:

Edith Jones
Edith Brown Clement
Priscilla Owen
Janice Rogers Brown
Karen Williams
Alice Batchelder
Mary Anne Glendon
Lillian R. BeVier
John S. Shannon
Maura D. Corrigan

(Sources: Bill Kristol’s article and MSNBC’s list of prospective nominees.)

The Washington Post and MSNBC have pages that give information on many of these prospects. Some of the ones they list are not females.

Justin Taylor has links to profiles of some of the ones on this list.

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Tonight’s the Night!

Be sure to tune in tonight at 9pm Eastern time (8pm Central) to hear President Bush’s announcement of his nominee to the Supreme Court.

Buckle your seatbelts, this will be the political ride of 2005. Get set for the battle royal that will make Election 2004 look like child’s play. Let the games begin!

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Patrick Buchanan on the Plame Game

“Everybody knows this is about what Watergate was about and Iran-Contra was about: bringing down a Republican president the left could not defeat at the ballot box” (source).

We have come full circle. This is precisely what the Democrats accused the Republicans of doing when Bill Clinton was impeached. Go figure.

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The Big Story


Time magazine reporter, Matt Cooper on “Meet the Press,” July 17, 2004

Now Time magazine’s Matt Cooper is outing Karl Rove as his source on the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. In an article in the most recent issue of Time, “What I Told The Grand Jury,” Matt Cooper reports the following: “So did Rove leak Plame’s name to me, or tell me she was covert? No. Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the ‘agency’ on ‘WMD’? Yes” (source).

Whether Matt Cooper’s testimony will lead to an indictment of Karl Rove remains to be seen. One thing, however, does seem to be clear at this point. Time magazine seems to have arrived at the conclusion that Rove is guilty. Not only do the articles in the current issue point in this direction, but Time’s cooperation with the investigation and their reporter’s public airing of the whole matter on “Meet the Press” leave little doubt as to where they stand.

So much for impartial media coverage.

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The Plame Game

Partisan hacks on the left would love to see Karl Rove, the “architect” of President Bush’s 2004 electoral triumph, take the fall for outing Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative. The investigation into who leaked what and when to which reporter has already landed The New York Time’s Judith Miller in jail for not giving up her source.

Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also would have been jailed had not Karl Rove given him permission to name him as his source. Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reports today on the e-mails that reveal the conversations that took place between Rove and Cooper. Isikoff’s conclusion is this: “Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame’s name or knew she was a covert operative” (source).

Is the witch hunt over yet? Far from it. Rove is too juicy a target, and it is likely that we’ll hear the left carping about his role in the leak no matter what the investigation turns up. I don’t know where the investigation will end, but I think it’s interesting that so many left-leaning pundits do.

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