Ann Coulter and those of her ilk have been calling liberals “traitors” since I can remember. Traitor=those guilty of treason. According to dictionary.com, the second definition of treason is a simple one — A betrayal of trust or confidence. It is now certain that Karl Rove confirmed to Bob Novack that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA “operative.” Not “officer,” but “operative,” indicating that she was under cover. Clear-cut outing of a CIA operative by a Senior White House official. To me, that would seemingly indicate a “betrayal of trust or confidence” on a very high level. But don’t take my word for it — as Harry Reid mentioned on the Senate floor yesterday, one President George Herbert Walker Bush noted in 1999 that “Even though I’m a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”
So it would seem, Ms. Coulter, that the White House has a traitor in its midst, that definition coming from the current sitting president’s own father, an ex-president himself. Yet the GOP continue to smear Joe Wilson with their daily talking points. (for Mr. Wilson’s side of the story, see his Letter to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee)
It is under debate whether or not Rove actually mentioned Plame by name, and the right-wing is playing semantics with this open end. If Rove said “Joe Wilson’s wife” instead of “Valerie Plame,” or if he in any way confirmed that she was an operative, and Novack plainly knew about whom Rove was referring, does it really matter? I guess it depends on what the meaning of “is” is… Either that or semantics is only important when it’s a Democrat who is guilty of something. And for once, the press is having none of it. Since the White House press corps has suddenly freed its collective backbone out from underneath Scott McClellan’s thumb, it’s been nothing but entertainment reading the daily press conferences over at the White House press secretary’s website. While it may be fun seeing this administration trying to backtrack and deny it said something once again, this is, of course, a very serious matter. It’s a matter of national security and it’s a matter of whether or not senior White House officials should be held responsible when they jeopardize the lives of government officials by blowing their cover. But let’s backtrack a bit, and check out what White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said on October 7, 2003.
McClellan: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this, there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that’s exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They’re good individuals, they’re important members of our White House team, and that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it’s accurate before I report back to you, and that’s exactly what I did.
Later in that same press conference, he said:
I think it’s very important to understand that there is a Washington, D.C. game of rumor and innuendo. It’s the ugly side of Washington, D.C. And I’m not going to play that game, and you shouldn’t read anything into that. But let’s make very clear that the subject of this investigation is whether someone leaked classified information. And there are a lot of names being floated, and a lot of unsubstantiated accusations being leveled against good people. And, unfortunately, that’s what happens when — in times like this in Washington, D.C. The ugly side comes out.
No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States. If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business.
Let’s look at that again, shall we? If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business. So Scott McClellan speaks for the President, right? It certainly seemed like this was further clarified only the day before, on October 6th, when he said,
I think I made that very clear last week. The topic came up, and I said that if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration. This is a very serious matter. The President made it very clear just a short time ago in the East Room, and he has always said that leaking of classified information is a serious matter. And that’s why he wants to get to the bottom of this. And the sooner we get to the bottom of it, the better.
So is Scott McClellan, and the president, lying? Either Bush didn’t know about it, in which case he should fire Karl Rove, or he did know about it, in which case he has been lying all along. So let’s assume he didn’t know about Rove’s disclosure? Check out Scott’s response to this question from earlier this week:
Question: Can I ask for clarification on what the President said at Sea Island on June 10th of last year, when he was saying that he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved in the leak of classified information?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I’ve nothing to add on this discussion, and if we have any other topics you want to discuss, I’ll be glad to do that.
Late responses included the following:
…Again, we’ve been through this for two days now, and I’ve already responded to those questions.
…This is a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don’t think you should read anything into it other than we’re going to continue not to comment on it while it’s ongoing.
…David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.
…Again, you’re continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation, and I’m just not going to respond any further.
Etc. Etc. Etc., ad nauseum. Perhaps one reporter put it best when he (or she) noted,
You’re in a bad spot here, Scott… (LAUGHTER) … because after the investigation began—after the criminal investigation was under way—you said, October 10th, 2003, I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this, from that podium. That’s after the criminal investigation began. Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.
Sit back and hold on, folks. It’s going to be fun watching Bush and his criminal friends squirm their way out of this one and come up with some way to keep Rove on the staff. After all, remember this administration can come up with an explanation for everything.
- He helped Osama with 9/11! No?
- He’s got WMD! No?
- He gassed his own people! We need to free them and we’ll be greeted as liberators… No?
- It’s a front in the war on terror. No?
- We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here… What? London? No? Ummm…
If the press corps is smelling blood here, it’s about fucking time. Mr. Rove, you are a traitor. Mr. Bush, unless you desire to be in the company of traitors, you should fire Mr. Rove, immediately. Otherwise, you will prove once again that, based upon your actions, your words mean nothing.