Bushs New War: Karl Rove

    July 11, 2005

Criticism continues to mount against the White House as Karl Rove, Bush strategist during both elections and deputy chief of staff, appears to be in hot water over the secret identiy of CIA operative Valerie Plame after he was named as the leak by a witness in a federal grand jury investigation.

The federal grand jury could serve Karl Rove with a felony indictment and that could mean a major loss of face at the White House as well as the loss of one of the masterminds in the current administration.

The leak, which occurred back in 2003, was believed by many to be an attack on diplomat Joseph Wilson IV, a critic of the administration’s war in Iraq and the husband of Valerie Plame, the CIA operative at the center of the leak.

Veteran reporter Bob Novak revealed the name of the operative in his column back in 2003 and that’s when the controversy started. Apparently Rove or some other officials, revealed Plame’s identity, either directly or indirectly to Novak. Novak remains tight lipped on the matter only saying he would “reveal all” when everything was done.

The high level administration sources also chose to feed the information to two other reporters, namely Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of the New York Times. Both the reporters and the periodicals they work for refused steadfastly until last week to make any revelations at all. After threats to put the reporters in jail, Time magazine came forward with the notes of Cooper, apparently against Cooper’s wishes. The Times wouldn’t back down.

Then, last Friday, Cooper said he received a personal release from his source and then testified. Cooper said he told the grand jury the Karl Rove was his source for all the Plame information. Meanwhile, Judith Miller refused to testify and remains in a federal holding cell until she agrees to testify or the judge elects to release her, most likely when the grand jury concludes.

The White House had commented a number of times but right now, won’t make any comments on the pending investigation. White House Press Secretary brushed off numerous questions, finally ending the matter on, “I’ve really said all I’m going to say on it.”

The Democrats are chomping at the bit for this battle. They’ve already called for Karl Rove to resign or Bush to fire him.

“The White House promised if anyone was involved in the Valerie Plame affair, they would no longer be in this administration,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. told the Washington Post. “I trust they will follow through on this pledge. If these allegations are true, this rises above politics and is about our national security.”

Whether or not Rove will be canned remains to be seen but in any event, this whole situation has become very embarrassing to the Bush administration as one of Bush’s inner circle seems to have challenged the administrations insistence on no leaks and the statement they would fire anyone in the administration who leaked the information.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.