"Frog-Marching" Karl Rove

President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove -- in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond.
"The liberal blogosphere is aflame with animosity toward Karl Rove"

Gee, I wonder why?

Kurtz reproduces an interesting quote.

John Hinderaker of Power Line explores the legal liability question:

"A violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act seems highly unlikely. It is doubtful whether Rove or any other administration source knew of Plame's affiliation with the CIA through access to classified materials; it is further questionable whether Rove or any other source knew that she was a 'covert' employee, or that the government was making an effort to keep her affiliation with the Agency a secret. (In fact, it is unclear whether the Agency did make such an effort.) As to the third situation covered by the statute, neither Rove nor any other administration source identified Plame as part of a 'pattern of activities intended to identify or expose covert agents' for the purpose of impairing national security.

"It is hard to see how Rove could be indicted for violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, and it is very unlikely that he would have been foolish enough to testify falsely before the grand jury about his conversations with journalists. None of this will matter much, though, when it is publicly acknowledged that Rove was one of the sources of the Plame 'leak.' (This isn't, by the way, the sort of communication that is ordinarily referred to as a 'leak.') We can expect a media feeding frenzy or potentially unprecedented proportions."

As I've pointed out in other posts, this is all mind-reading. Hindraker gives himself away with phrases like: "It is doubtful", "it is further questionable", "it is unclear", "It is hard to see", etc. What's absolutely crystal clear here is that Hindraker is, as the saying goes, talking out of his butt. He's guessing. It's clear that he has no evidence to back up anything he's stabbing in the dark at.

"Rove presumably told the President that he was one of the sources of the Plame information long ago. It is interesting that Bush didn't take the path of least resistance and ease Rove out of the administration at the end of his first term. The President's reputation for loyalty to has aides is certainly well-deserved."

Let's take a look at what Bush actually said at the time:

QUESTION: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .


QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
September 30, 2003

No, what Bush is demonstrating here is not loyalty, but dishonesty. Bush himself said that leaking the name of a CIA agent was a bad thing to have done and that if he found out who did it, then "appropriate action" would be taken. Remember, Bush himself pledged that the leaker would be fired. Now that the culprit has been clearly identified, Bush is completely silent. Rove has not been fired. If Bush meant what he said earllier, Rove would be out the door by now.
Where does this "path of least resistance" come from? Who would Bush be trying to mollify? If Rove confided to Bush a long time ago that he was the leaker, why didn't Bush take action then? Loyalty is all very fine and well, but should loyalty to one's buddy be placed above the safety of the country? As the Plame leak hurt US national security, then obviously Hindraker feels that "loyalty" to a buddy should come above and beyond Bush's loyalty to the United States of America.

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