Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Karl Rove slips the noose

I have to admit that I was extremely disappointed to learn this morning that Karl Rove has been told he will not be indicted in the CIA leak case.
There are still some folks who hold out hope that Rove may have avoided indictment by cooperating in the investigation, possibly targeting an even bigger fish like Dick Cheney, but I’m not going to put any stock in that theory until I see hard evidence of it.
At this point, it looks like the Bush administration successfully skirted justice in this egregious case. Cheney’s top aide Scooter Libby is still under indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice, but no one has ever been charged with the actual leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s role as a covert CIA agent.

Now some folks may recall that I agreed to a particular wager in this case with one Nigel Tufnel, the lead guitarist for the band Spinal Tap, and might conclude that I must now pay up. While I will readily congratulate Nigel on being right in his insistence that Rove would not be convicted of a crime in this case, that is not the wager we agreed to.
To refresh, here is the key item that I agreed to.

Let's say that if Rove is not indicted, or is indicted but not convicted of a crime related to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act because it is determined that Valerie Plame was not considered covert under the law, then I will author a mea culpa piece for ATC.
Or regardless of what happens to Rove, if it is determined through the course of the investigation that Plame was not a covert agent under the law, I would concede and admit that I was wrong.

From the beginning, I have conceded that Rove might get off without being indicted. My contention all along was to shoot down the conservative talking point that that said Plame wasn’t really a covert agent. And today, in most every story reporting Rove’s non-indictment status, Plame is referred to as a covert or undercover CIA agent.
So it appears that Nigel and I were both correct, but I’m sure that he is happier about it than I am.

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