At first I thought it was a mistake when I heard it on the radio this morning, but no it's true. Karl Rove — Bush's most trusted adviser — will not be charged with any wrongdoing in the case of blowing a CIA operative's cover by White House officials and a couple folks in print media.
I was listening to KGO when I first heard the news, and then flipped over the NPR to get a more detailed report. They had Don Gonyea on to talk about Rove, and what miffed me (in addition to my utter disbelief that Rove essentially "walks) was his assertion that "This story is difficult to tell."
Okay, frist rule in broadcast journalism is this: Never say a story is difficult to tell. That basically tells the listener or viewer that you don't have brain and can't figure out how to communicate in a medium where it's your job to communite information in a clear manner.
This story is not difficult to tell. In fact it's very easy. Watch:
1. White House dispatches Joesph Wilson to Niger in 2003 to check out a report that they are selling yellowcake uranium to Iraq to arm their weapons systems.
2. Wilson finds the story to be false and reports back to the White House — who seems to ignore his report.
3. During the State of the Union speech, Bush says the following to scare the hell out of Americans and shore up support for the invasion of Iraq: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa .”
4. Wilson writes an opinion piece in the NY Times basically saying where the president "got it wrong" in the Niger story.
5. The White House responds in the only way they know how: smear Wilson's article through White House-friendly columnist, Robert Novak.
6. Novak names CIA agent "Valarie Plame" as Wilson's wife in his article smearing Wilson.
7. It's a violation of this law to reveal the identity of a CIA agent according to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982.
8. Patrick Fitzgerald, a speical prosecutor, investigates violations of law by White House. The Vice President, his Chief of Staff, and Karl Rove are under the microscope.
9. Matt Cooper (a writer for Time magazine) reveals to Fitzgerald that Rove told him in an email about Plame being married to Wilson. The spotlight shines on Rove and it looks like he's going down.
10. Truthout.org publishes a story saying that Fitzgerald indicted Rove, but the story proves to be false.
11. Today, Fitzgerald's office announces that Rove will not be charged with "any wrongdoing" in revealing Valarie Plames identity.
While Rove seems to be off the hook, the Veep and his Chief of Staff are in for some rough waters.
However…let's say both are convicted. There's always the biggest "Get Out of Jail" card for both men: the presidential pardon.
Must be nice to have friends in high places.