It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA.His defense so far seems to be that he didn’t say her name, just “Wilson’s wife,” and didn’t know that she was undercover, just that she was CIA.
Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rove did—and that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper's lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify.
Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger ... “
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Fitzgerald has been looking for evidence that Rove spoke to other reporters as well. "Karl Rove has shared with Fitzgerald all the information he has about any potentially relevant contacts he has had with any reporters, including Matt Cooper," Luskin told NEWSWEEK.
So, once again, we’re being asked to rid ourselves of all common sense and logic to accept the administration’s excuses. We are instead meant to believe that Karl Rove, an unapologetic political ideologue and opportunist, widely regarded as perhaps the dirtiest trickster in the business with a history of vengeful tactics against political opponents, and Bush’s right hand man, a political advisor who ascended to a permanent position in the White House, affording him some senior level of security clearance, knew that “Wilson’s wife” was a CIA operative, but didn’t know that she was undercover and was talking to Cooper “to discourage Time from publishing things that turned out to be false,” not to punish Wilson for reporting that the intelligence the administration was using to bolster their case for war was bullshit—even though the Downing Street Memos have noted that they were fixing the intelligence around the policy. Forget Occam’s Razor, which suggests that the most logical explanation is usually the right one, and instead grab with both hands the most convoluted explanation, which coincidentally exonerates Rove of all wrongdoing.
How much more of this shit are the American people going to swallow before they demand that the entire lot of criminals running the joint are roughly escorted out the fucking door?