This is the best post I’ve seen on the Plame leak investigation. Some excerpts:
[I]t would be good to ask [Joseph] Wilson whether he thought that by lying about what he found in Niger and what he told the CIA and how he was selected, he was gambling with his wife’s safety. How could he be sure that people would know that Plame was a covert agent, or that there was a law against revealing her identity? Perhaps someone might have reasonably believed that they were correcting misimpressions that Wilson himself had created. Did Wilson realize that he had put the Administration in something analogous to a Catch-22?: Wilson can lie about how he was hired but the Administration can’t correct his lie without outing his wife. Did Wilson consciously decide to gamble with his wife’s safety by lying in a way that would be hard for the Administration to correct?
One of the revelations of the Time Magazine Cooper email is that it gives the context of Rove’s disclosure that Wilson was suggested by his wife. The context strongly suggests that it wasn’t retaliation, but rather it was part of a discussion trying to correct any misimpressions of how Wilson was hired to do the mission. According to the Cooper email, Rove discussed whether the Director of the CIA or Vice President Cheney had authorized the trip….
[T]he question whether Rove lied to Bush or the White House press office is still an open question (Rove was quoted as having said that he wasn’t involved, which if he really said this, appears to be a lie). If Rove lied to investigators, then he might be prosecuted for obstruction of justice or related claims.
And President Bush promised to fire the leaker. Although Bush could argue that, at the time he promised this, he assumed that the leaker had committed a crime by leaking (and now it appears that the leaker did not), this is a very hard case to make to the public and the press. It would seem that Bush must either fire Rove or break his promise (even though Bush may have a plausible argument that his promise was based on a false premise—that the leaker committed a crime by leaking).
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