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Sunday, September 28, 2003

Karl Rove: "Frog-Marched out of the White House in Handcuffs"?

This could be huge. Conceivably, it's Watergate or Iran-contra for Bush II.

Sunday's Washington Post has a front page story that has been floating around the internet for weeks.

I assume everyone reading this blog remembers the President's now withdrawn 16 words from this year's State of the Union address -- about Iraq's fictional attempt to get uranium from Niger? Right? It was big news.

Well, the former diplomat sent to Africa to sort all this out in 2002 was Joseph Wilson. He has emerged as an outspoken critic of Bush foreign policy toward Iraq.

In any case, someone leaked to Robert Novak that Wilson's spouse is a CIA operative and Novak published that information in July. Novak claimed to be relying upon 2 high level administration sources.

If it is true that Wilson's spouse is/was a CIA agent (which Wilson has never confirmed), the person who revealed the information has violated the Intelligence Identity Protection Act of 1982. Ironically, as the Daily KOS reports, this law was supported by George H.W. Bush when he was Reagan's Veep.

The law carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Here's the kicker. Speaking at a public forum in Shoreland, WA, organized by Congressman Jay Inslee, Wilson reportedly said this:
"At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words."

Apparently, there's a video of Wilson saying this and you can watch it on the 'net (I haven't yet tried to do this with my modem connection at home).

Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo has a lot of information about the evolution of this story and notes that CBS and Time have picked up on it. Marshall, however, interviewed Wilson recently and the former diplomat claimed to be using Rove's name as "sort of a metaphor for the White House political operation."

Regardless of whether it was Rove specifically who leaked, the Washington Post story clearly implies that the name of the leaker(s) is known by someone in the Bush White House. The story quotes "sources familiar with the conversations" in reference to the leaker's discussions with the journalists:

"A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife....The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists."

Tell your friends...and your co-workers, and your siblings, parents, etc.

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