WASHINGTON—Lacking evidence of criminal conduct, Democrats are nevertheless urging the resignation of White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove for talking to Time magazine staffer Matt Cooper about CIA employee Valerie Plame. But Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media, says that Rove “deserves a medal for trying to warn the media about the ulterior motives of Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, who would later become a Kerry campaign adviser.”
The media are in a feeding frenzy over the fact that Rove told Cooper that Wilson’s wife, Plame, “apparently” worked for the CIA. Kincaid said, “This shows he wasn’t even aware of her actual status at the agency and could not, therefore, have violated a law against knowingly disclosing the identity of an undercover CIA operative.” Rove did, however, give Cooper a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson,” and Rove told Cooper that Plame “authorized” Wilson’s trip to Africa to probe the Iraq-uranium link. “In this case,” Kincaid said, “Rove was telling the truth.”
Kincaid said it appears that Rove was aware that Plame’s role in her husband’s mission may have violated federal nepotism laws and that it was a set-up to embarrass the administration. On page 346 of his own book, Wilson himself noted that the law against nepotism would forbid his wife from recommending him for the job, which may be why he adamantly insisted that she had nothing to do with it. However, a Senate Intelligence Committee report on this matter includes a memo from Plame to the CIA recommending her husband’s involvement.
“Plame’s role was disclosed to columnist Bob Novak because some official or officials knew that she was involved in the Wilson mission and found this objectionable,” Kincaid explained. “It would not be surprising to learn that Rove was a source for other journalists on this story because Wilson spewed false information about his mission and why it occurred. One critical fact is that, contrary to media reports, including his own New York Times column, Wilson’s report did confirm Iraqi interest in obtaining uranium from Niger.”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.