Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rove subverts national security for political protection

It's now become obvious that Karl Rove intentionally "outed" a member of the CIA in retaliation for her husband's having publically criticized the White House. This is not only unethical (and possibly illegal), vengeful, and opportunistic, but it is tremendously cowardly. Rove was prepared to let two journalists go to jail for refusing to divulge him as the source, and he was willing to erode the security of all CIA covert operatives, in order to send a scary message of intimidation. This is consistent with his behavior throughout the Bush administration: almost everyone in Washington is deeply afraid of Rove.

No doubt the journalists were reluctant to name him--the Rove White House has shown itself to be political, vengeful, and retaliatory in the extreme. But Geo W Bush had said repeatedly that anyone in the White House who had hypothetically committed such a leak would be immediately dismissed.

But watch: Rove won't be. George W Bush has always gained undeserved success by doing what the smarter boys in the organization told him to do, no matter how unethical, contradictory, or unimaginative. It worked in the fraternities, it worked in the oil business, it worked with the Texas Rangers, it worked for him as governor, it's worked (so far) for him as President. He will never cut loose the smartest of the "smart boys" to whom he owes his tactical success. Rove will remain, the White House will attack all those who call for Rove's dismissal or question the President's prior "ethical" statements, they will frantically seek to change the story to move Rove's name back out of the spotlight (as of 3pm Wednesday Fox was referring to the "Rove Media Frenzy"--as if the coverage were the media's fault), and they will probably succeed.

As of 7.14.05 12noon CDT, this is precisely what is happening.

But watch further: cooperation with the White House on the part of salaried members of the intelligence community--CIA, NSA, FBI, or Defense--will erode to almost nil. Those career professionals, once they accept that Rove actually did this to one of their colleagues, will roadblock every White House request, even if it comes from their own (politically-appointed) supervisors. This in turn will erode the ability of either Defense or the White House to anticipate, predict, or prevent terrorist activity.

Rove's outing of Valerie Plame will, just like the invasion of Iraq itself, make us less secure and create more opportunities for terrorists.

Update 7.23.05: Republican CIA-veteran Larry Johnson agrees.

Way to go Karl--you gutless punk.

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