The Bush Old Guard Shows Its True Colors
The Treasonous Lies of Bob Novak and Karl Rove
As the saying goes, you cannot serve two masters. Bob Novak and Karl Rove, representing the most arms of America most subverted by the NeoCon regime - the White House and the media - are making it emminently clear who they serve, and it isn't the American public.
I watched "Meet the Press" on Sunday (Oct 5), a show that more accurately should be called the "Tim Russert Kiss-ass Hour" (or TRKA - which, appropriately, sounds like the title of one of the more knuckle-dragging species of college fraternities). The show's sole purpose for being is to allow Bush administration officials and other darlings of the rightwing to drop by for coffee-and-camera time each Sunday morning and present their slanted version of the latest outrage they have committed on America while Russert smiles, nods and simpers.
This week's episode of the TRKA Hour was dedicated to spinning the Valerie Plame story. As you will recall, Valerie Plame is the CIA operative who was outed in a collusion between, mostly probably, Karl Rove and, most definitely, Bob Novak, a blustering, pompous old coot who remains on the payroll of the "Chicago Sun-Times" for God knows what reason (maybe he has accumulated sufficient dirt on the folks who would probably LOVE to fire him). Novak has the distinction of being about the last dedicated Bush administration apologist out there amongst the "major columnists" who make regular rounds of shows like the TRKA Hour.
First up with Russert was Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, who, like a gallant husband and good citizen, is enraged by the outing of his wife. Outing a CIA agent is, as I have said before, tantamount to attempted murder, not mention felony theft of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of taxpayer dollars. To establish an effective cover for an agent may take years and a great deal of resources - all paid for by American citizens. An agent like Plame, who worked with overseas contacts, may have people in several different countries whose confidence they have laboriously worked to gain. Those contacts, in turn, have contacts, and so forth. Once an agent is outed, this entire network is compromised, as is the safety of everyone involved who can now be linked to Plame by the "bad guys." Not only that, but you may as well flush those taxpayer dollars spent to construct the cover down the toilet.
Wilson was not intimidated by Russert, who enjoys bullying anyone not in his Kalorama Kocktail Klub (the new KKK) circle, a mutual admiration society centered in the swank Kalorama neighborhood where Cheney and Russert dwell as chummy neighbors. Confronted by Wilson, Russert did what he always does when someone has a good point: first he interrupted Wilson mid-statement, then, when Wilson failed to be cowed, merely lapsed into silent sulking. Wilson stood by his guns. Although he of course could not be absolutely sure Karl Rove was behind the leak, Rove pushed the leak for days after Novak first wrote about Plame. It should also be pointed out that Karl Rove was FIRED by Bush I in the early 1990s for leaking damaging information about someone else to a reporter. And guess who that reporter was? His good buddy Bob Novak. Wilson also stood by his assertion that, should Rove be proven guilty, he should be frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.
Next, Novak himself appeared. Russert simpered and snickered and rapturously listened to every comment of this sellout "columnist," careful not to bring up any "difficult" points such as questioning Novak about his previous episode with Karl Rove in the early 1990s. If I were a Republican PR person, the last person I would have wished to have appear on the TRKA Hour was a character as unsympathetic in looks and manner as Novak. This sour, jowly, hound-dog-eyed old geezer looks like someone sent over from central casting to play the role of the Evil Bank Manager in a movie in which the bank forecloses on Sunnybrook Farm and Rebecca is evicted. Worse, Novack's only defense was bluster and the repeated claim: "I've been in this business 40 years" (repeated four times that I counted).
Let's take a look at the gaping holes in Novak's story:
NOVAK STORY: He claims he had absolutely no idea that the information about Plame was a big deal. He says he got the impression that she was a paper pusher in one of the CIA's DC offices. He said the comment about Plame working for the CIA was "just an offhand remark" at the end of the conversation.
HOLE: The fact that the White House informant called several other journalists looking for a place to plant the leak is, by itself, enough to blow this story out of the water. But even more damning to Novak's case is that in his article on Plame, he referred to her repeatedly as a CIA "operative." Since when would anyone - even the slowest-witted among us - describe someone who files papers in an office as a "CIA operative?"
NOVAK STORY: "I've been in this business 40 years."
HOLE: Anyone who has been a journalist for 40 years, unless they are senile (maybe that's Novak's best defense!) would know the difference between "CIA paper pusher" and "CIA operative."
NOVAK STORY: He claims he is not revealing his source because that is his prerogative as a journalist.
HOLE: That prerogative is supposed to apply only to sources who, at the time of imparting the information, made the journalist promise not to reveal the source. In the case of Turner vs. Dolcefino, for example, the issue was that the reporter had vowed silence in exchange for the information given by the source.
In addition, journalistic prerogative usually involves PRIVATE CITIZENS. The protection of White House officials is, to say the least, overstretching prerogative by most anyone's definition. Why? The press is supposed to be in the business of PROTECTING the public from unethical officials, not protecting the unethical officials! Once Novak knew that he had been induced to out a CIA agent, it should have become his duty as a journalist to expose the perpetrator. In any case, Novak claimed that the comment about Plame was "an offhand remark" made at the end of a regular conversation. Since when does an "offhand remark" at the end of an "ordinary conversation" involve swearing the listener to secrecy? C'mon, Novak. It was either leak and you KNEW it, or it was a casual conversation and needn't be kept secret.
NOVAK STORY: When Tim Russert asked Novak is he was afraid he might go to prison for refusing to reveal his sources, Novak smirked smugly and said he hardly thought that would be a danger.
HOLE: If Novak takes his own story about journalistic prerogative seriously, then he SHOULD be worried. Why isn't he worried? First, because he doesn't take his own line seriously - it's bullsh-t and he knows it. Second, because he knows in any case that his good buddy John Ashcroft would never put him in jail. That treatment is reserved for young women (Vanessa Leggett) without friends in high places who aren't jeapordizing national security and who aren't officially even journalists!
NOVAK STORY: The CIA called Novak and told him not to use Plame's name because it would make things very difficult for her, especially when she went abroad. Novak claims that this didn't seem strong enough to compel him not to reveal Plame's name.
HOLE: As Novak is so fond of sayinghe's "been in this business 40 years" and knows how Washington works. It this is true, then he KNOWS that the CIA cannot provide him with any details about an agent and the nature of her work (like mentioning that she could be killed in retaliation) because to do so would further compromise her.
NOVAK STORY: Incredibly, Novak tries to justify his injustifiable act against Plame by saying that he thinks Wilson was too left-leaning to have been entrusted with investigating the Iraq WMD issue.
HOLE: Novak proves here that he is anything but a patriotic American citizen. In our system, we are supposed to have an unbiased jury, an unbiased judge, and, ideally, a government that represents the check and balance of two parties. When we are talking about going to WAR, then it seems critical above all things to have an unbiased "jury" examining the evidence. Who would think it was "American" to have a jury trying a black man, for example, stacked with white racists? We have worked decades to root out that kind of injustice. If Novak were a patriotic American, he would applaud Wilson's role, especially as Wilson's take on the WMDs has been confirmed by David Kay.
But the fact of the matter is, Novak and Rove -regardless of whether Rove was the direct leaker or merely the highest-level (short of Bush) "leak condoner"- are NOT good citizens nor are they patriotic Americans. Here are the crimes against Democracy, the American public, and private individuals they have committed:
1. Undermining of national security by exposing a CIA operative and by creating a rift of trust between the White House and CIA.
2. Attempted murder. That is what outing a CIA agent amounts to, purely and simply. In the 1990s, an agent named Welch was outed and, within a short time, found murdered outside his home. Some of the people in the chain of contacts of which Plame was a part may be murdered, even if she is not. Sadly, these retaliatory murders may never be revealed because of the secrecy of the chain.
3. Subversion of the American press. Novak allowed the American press to be used as a tool by the White House for revenge. This is not "free speech" or "journalistic prerogative." This is premeditated abuse of the press, just as surely as the Mockingbird program, through which the CIA planted phony, damaging stories in the press to help gain White House and Pentagon objectives. Just as no one would call the Mockingbird program "the right of free speech," no one would consider what Novack did his "right." What possible public"need to know" was there in revealing Valerie Plame as an agent?
4. Theft of American tax dollars. By refusing to come forward with the leaker, both Rove and Novack are forcing the need for an investigation - a very expensive investigation. The right thing to do, the selfless thing to do, would be for Novak to come clean about his source and/or for the leaker to step forward for the good of the country. The fact that this is not happening is glaring, incontrovertible proof that Novack and Rove's self interest outweigh all other considerations, including the welfare of the American people they are supposed to serve.
5. Advocation of a dictatorship: The fact that Wilson's report on the WMDs was considered reason enough to make he and his wife targets at the expense of American security and tax dollars shows a despotic - in fact murderous - intolerance of dissent that is appropriate only to the most oppressive fascist dictatorships. That is certainly not the America that real patriots want to be a part of or to uphold.
In future history books when they list those who made constructive contributions to America in the early 21th century, missing from the list will be Karl Rove, Bob Novak, Tim Russert, Rush Limbaugh and all the otherr hypocritical, treasonous losers who have made it their personal mission in life to tear down the American ideal so many thousands have given their lives over the past 250 years to build.
This White House Scandal Finally Tips the Scale! http://www.apfn.org/APFN/LEAKGATE.HTM
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" - Thomas Jefferson
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be...
The People cannot be safe without information." -- Thomas Jefferson http://disc.server.com/Indices/149495.html