Friday, October 07, 2005

Sacrificial Turd Blossom?

AP reports that
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told President Bush and others that he never engaged in an effort to disclose a CIA operative's identity to discredit her husband's criticism of the administration's Iraq policy, according to people with knowledge of Rove's account in the investigation.

They said Rove's denial to Bush occurred during a brief conversation in July 2003, shortly after media reports revealed that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked as a covert CIA operative.

Now this is getting interesting. The only reason I can see for leaking a story like this (and there can be little doubt that this is a White House-approved leak) is to try to protect Bush against a now radioactive Rove. This turn is completely consistent with Rove's disappearance from WH functions in the last few days. It surprises me that Rove is willing to take one for the team, although that is not necessarily the only interpretation here. If Rove is singing, it could be that there is no team anymore, and the White House is quickly devolving into a Hobbesian war of all against all.

Either way, the fact that Bush is feeling enough heat to feel the need to distance himself from Rove is big-time evidence that he is running more than a little scared.

I suspect that the next act in this epic (which will largely take place outside public view) will be the plea bargaining stage.



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