Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rove won't claim "no name, no blame"

According to Byron York, who talked with Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's lawyer, Rove won't try to skirt the issue of whether or not he outed Valerie Plame by claiming that he's not to blame because he never used her name.
Luskin declined to say how Rove knew that Plame "apparently" (to use Cooper's word) worked at the CIA. But Luskin told NRO that Rove is not hiding behind the defense that he did not identify Wilson's wife because he did not specifically use her name. Asked if that argument was too legalistic, Luskin said, "I agree with you. I think it's a detail."
In the rest of the piece York takes Luskin's word for everything. The new spin seems to be that Rove, always a friend of the press, just didn't want these poor suckers blindsided when Wilson was discredited. Then Luskin goes on to begin the smear of Matt Cooper.
In an interview with National Review Online, Luskin compared the contents of a July 11, 2003, internal Time e-mail written by Cooper with the wording of a story Cooper co-wrote a few days later. "By any definition, he burned Karl Rove," Luskin said of Cooper. "If you read what Karl said to him and read how Cooper characterizes it in the article, he really spins it in a pretty ugly fashion to make it seem like people in the White House were affirmatively reaching out to reporters to try to get them to them to report negative information about Plame."
Of course, we have no idea what else Rove and Cooper talked about, but only what was in a single e-mail to an editor. Nor do we know that Rove was the only person talking to the press about these things.

One thing we do know is that, while they may want to spin Cooper's own words ("apparently") the truth is simple and we should stick to it: Several journalists who did not have authorization for classified information were given that information by Rove and, probably, other members of the administration as well. Don't let York and his fellow talking point stenographers confuse the issue.

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