Skip to comments.What If Karl Rove Were A Democrat?
Posted on 07/28/2005 10:03:52 AM PDT by smoothsailing
What If Karl Rove Were A Democrat?
By Roger Aronoff
July 28, 2005
While the mainstream media continue to be indignant about Bush official Karl Rove's alleged role in revealing the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame, it is worthwhile to put this in political perspective. The Center for Individual Freedom has provided an excellent list of cases involving Democratic officials possibly violating national security or using classified information that have been ignored or glossed over by the major media. It's hard not to conclude that the media are targeting Rove because he is a conservative Republican.
Despite the feeding frenzy and scores of questions asked by the media at White House briefings, it remains to be seen that what Rove did was actually wrong. Possible violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act have been the apparent reason why the New York Times and others pushed so vigorously for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the case of who provided Plame's name to the press. Yet according to her husband Joe Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth," she had not served in a foreign country since 1997 and wasn't therefore covered by the law.
One of the many relevant aspects of the law is that for it to be applicable, the named agent must be serving now, or sometime in the past five years, in a foreign country. Also, the agent must be someone whose identity the CIA is taking active steps to keep hidden. But Plame gave money to Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000 using her married name and identified her employer as a CIA-front company. She worked at the CIA headquarters in Virginia and was listed in her husband's biography.
There is, of course, the possibility that the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, is looking at other possible violations of the law. For example, reports of conflicting statements could mean perjury or obstruction of justice or just bad memories of the same events. But for the media the blood is in the water.
The critics are saying at the very least, President Bush promised to fire anyone involved, even though a reconstruction of the comments and the timeline of his remarks on the matter clearly indicate that Bush was saying that if anyone had committed an illegal act, they would be fired. Was Rove involved? He was certainly involved in the sense that he talked to reporters about her. But there's no evidence at this point that his involvement rises to the level of anything illegal or unethical.
The Center for Individual Freedom has assembled some other more clear-cut examples of the misuse or outright abuse of classified material, some by harsh critics of Rove and the Bush administration for their handling of this matter. They include:
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) went on the floor of the Senate and said there was a "problem" revealed in a private FBI file on a judicial nominee, Judge Henry Saad. Senate rules require Senators "to keep FBI information strictly confidential."
- Senator John Kerry (D-MA) identified a covert CIA officer by name during confirmation hearings for John Bolton as UN ambassador. The committee chairman had repeatedly requested that the agent not be named.
- John Deutsch, the CIA director under former President Clinton, "wrote, stored and accessed classified memos on the same unsecured home computer that he used to surf the Internet."
- A Federal Appeals Court said that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, "was a likely source of disparaging leaks about former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee," while Richardson was Energy Secretary under President Clinton. The case involved national security information.
- Democratic Senators Rockefeller and Wyden improperly disclosed the existence of a classified spy satellite last year while on the floor of the Senate, while expressing opposition to what they felt was too much spending by the Bush administration.
- Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont resigned from the Senate Intelligence Committee "in disgrace" in the 1980's for leaking a draft report on the so-called Iran-Contra investigation. It included information on how the CIA gathered intelligence.
- Sandy Berger, former National Security Adviser under President Clinton, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in federal court. Berger admitted that he intentionally took and destroyed copies of classified documents from the National Archives. He had stuffed some in his pants, cut some of them up with scissors, and lied to the investigators and the American public. He claimed he was reviewing Clinton administration documents to decide which ones to provide to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks on Washington D.C. and New York. He said it had been "an honest mistake" and that he "deeply regrets" his actions.
Time will tell how these episodes compare to the actions of Karl Rove and others in the Bush administration. But the public evidence against Rove at this point is mighty thin and the case seems minor compared to the incidents cited above. We can only conclude that the media frenzy is disproportionate to the facts of the case, and that coverage of Rove represents a clear double standard by reporters eager to go after Republicans but willing to ignore worse transgressions by Democrats.
If Karl Rove were a Democrat, he would be forgiven by the press and reporters would be returning to him for more juicy tidbits of information.
Roger Aronoff is a media analyst with Accuracy in Media.
If Karl Rove was a Democrat, this non-story would receive the same attention as the Sandy Berger debacle - NONE.
He would be receiving an award.
And most likely, he would be stuffing his pants with Sandy Berger. (gotta attract the ladies somehow, right Sandy.)
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
John Deutsch, the CIA director under former President Clinton
New Mexico Governor (D)Bill Richardson
Democratic Senator Rockefeller
Democratic Senator Wyden
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont
Sandy Berger, former National Security Adviser under President Clinton
Ain't it the truth.
If Karl were a Dem they would have statues built in his honor....spanning the nation!
Exactly, AIM rocks!
This would be a story if it ever made it into the paper it'd be on maybe page 11. If Karl Rove was a dem...he'd not be the genius he is...he'd be just another dumbass dembo...
Sandy berger not only took documents , he asked for the back up copies also.He got off so lightly as to be an insult to the American people. He stole all copies of some documents and destroyed them. Hmmm
Or, if he were a democrat, he would be treated JUST LIKE LEAHY was when his comments to the press ended up in a CIA agent being executed.
A widdle slappy on the wristy poo. Period.
Thanks for the ping.
If Rove were a dem, he'd have a "news" show on CNN and, probably, PBS. He'd be able to sneak into federal offices and steal documents that proved the President's complicity with the terrorists in the late 90s. Rove would be on the Sunday morning "news" shows and would be trotted out with words of idiocy every time the left-wing media was ordered to oppose an action or policy of a Republican President.
All them combined have the intelligence of a gnat.
I think we should post it at the DU and watch them come unglued.
Doug forgot to ping you with earlier. I think this reporter has been listening to Levin. He has pointed out all of the things Levin has been saying.
It would get the instantaneous lock-ban-delete treatment.
As a matter of fact, a Clinton aide - not a top aide, but a political appointee - did release personal information about one of Clinton's accusers, highly embarrassing information at that: I am referring of course to former Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Bacon's decision to release Linda Tripp's 3-decade old arrest record to New Yorker writer Jane Mayer.
Bacon's actions - unlike anything Karl Rove is said to have done - were clearly illegal. And what happened in that case? Basically a big pile of nothing. There was never much media interest in the matter, and when eventually Bacon was reprimanded and issued an apology of sorts, the matter dropped from sight. Tripp's reputation suffered irreparable permanent damage; Bacon went on to a distinguished post-governmental career as president of Refugees International
During Watergate, the House held closed meetings early in the investigation, which meant that they were confidential. The precise exchanges of those meetings were common knowledge almost as soon as a session ended. Someone calculated that the secrets of those meetings were kept confidential for only as long as it took a participant to walk from the chamber to the nearest pay phone. Moral: Congress is a notoriously poor security risk, as its members seem incapable of keeping secrets when disclosure appears politically advantageous.
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