07/12/2005: "Rove Rage Leads to Rove Kill"
With Karl Rove in the news for being fingered as a source for the illegal naming of CIA covert agent Valerie Plame, it would be easy for this site to engage in some schadenfreude (delight in someone’s misfortunes). Consider that this very journal, on 10/8/2003, asked our beloved readers to “consider the question of whether the treasonous outing of the CIA NOC bears the ‘Mark of Rove.’” But we’ll rise above it. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony, “I come to praise Rove, not bury him.” Of course, this is a parody site! In any case, whereas the Administration is furiously parsing its pronouncements to date on this topic, and whereas this site is self-described as one of the nation’s linguistic treasures, therefore let us offer Rove and Co. some parsing pointers. First, it seems to be spuriously assumed that the President would fire any Administration figure involved with this affair. His exact words, however, were that he “would take care of” such a person. Everyone is jumping to the conclusion that he was using “take care of” in the sense of Darth Vader being sent to “take care of” the new Emperor’s previous associates. This is clearly an unwarranted assumption! Bush’s real meaning was that he would “take care of” Karl in the same way he always has (which he why Karl drives a Jaguar!). But let’s get to the meat of the matter. Rove reportedly said “she (Ambassador Wilson’s wife) is with the CIA.” In subsequent statements denying involvement, he said three specific things: 1) He did “nothing wrong” 2) He did not release “any classified information,” and 3) he “did not disclose her identity.” The casual reader might clearly misinterpret the original statement, in comparison to the subsequent denials, as inconsistent at best and bald-ass lies at worst. However, please note (and admire!) the careful constructions, while we diligently parse his denials one at a time. Some might question his assertion that he did “nothing wrong” by asking the question “what the hell was he doing talking to a nationally-syndicated columnist about an Ambassador’s wife!? And what does her being in the CIA have anything to do with the price of tea!?” The answer is clear: such behavior might be vindictive and petty, but whether it is “wrong” is a matter of interpretation, right? I mean, look at the national interests involved: Ambassador Wilson was disclosing facts that might be interpreted by small-minded people as supporting the conclusion that the Bush Administration had cooked the intelligence on Iraq. Clearly such unpatriotic ideas needed to be nipped in the bud, so how could getting payback on Wilson be considered “wrong?!” As to the issue of classified info, the item that was actually classified was her name, and he didn’t actually say her name, right? That obviously also applies to his statement that he “did not disclose her identity.” While he did provide a “link” to her (as Wilson’s wife, a unique person in the world) such that it would be childsplay for a skilled reporter like Novak have her name within minutes, Rove didn’t actually say her name. In other words, when Rove said she is in the CIA, that’s only the same as “naming” a CIA agent (a felony) based on what the definition of “is” is!