Friday, July 29, 2005


Certainly those of you who have been paying attention have noticed the evolution of the conservative position on Karl Rove of late. If not, you might want to peruse Kevin Drum's recent summary on the subject (bonus: it is a wonderful, and somewhat uncharacteristic, rant that is as funny as it is informative). As you do so, make sure you pay special attention to the following details:
During the past month, however, the growing evidence that someone in the White House really did expose Plame has caused more than a bit of panic — and a change of heart…Since then, the proposition that it wasn't a big deal even if the White House did out Plame, has become a routine talking point.
This point is hammered home even further later in the post, this time while discussing Senator Pat Roberts' upcoming hearings.
Senator Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced that he "intends to preside over hearings on the intelligence community's use of covert protections for CIA agents and others involved in secret activities."

Let that sink in. Does it sound like Roberts is concerned about CIA agents being exposed in the press? Of course not. Instead, Roberts is preemptively defending Rove by implying that perhaps the real problem is that the CIA overuses clandestine cover for its agents.
Of course, this is all an absolute outrage, a hypocrisy of staggering proportions. But before we are driven to pull out our hair in frustration, we should step back and calmly reflect on the meaning of these current events.

Karl Rove is guilty!

Now, I'm generally the last person to jump to conclusions regarding the guilt or innocence of criminal defendants. Moreover, I generally believe that, once someone becomes a suspect, their behavior is a particularly poor barometer of their criminal culpability. Regardless of guilt or innocence, everyone becomes a tad cantankerous once they are the focus of a criminal probe.

In this case, though, I'm going to make an exception. You see, Karl Rove is no ordinary defendant. Unlike you or I, there's no chance that Rove is going to be accidentally railroaded by an overzealous prosecutor. He is, after all, the second most powerful man on earth (right after Dick Cheney) and one doesn't hunt game of this magnitude unless you have the goods or you are intent on professional suicide.

At this point, pretty much everyone has reached the same conclusion. Patrick Fitzgerald clearly has something and, from the information that has percolated into the public consciousness, it's pretty clear what it is. If factual innocence was a viable defense in this instance, you can be sure that it would be used. The fact that the "it wasn't that bad" defense has suddenly taken center stage tells you all you need to know.

Of course, some might argue that I'm jumping to conclusions here. To them, I say consider the following: would you believe a murder suspect who claimed innocence -- but added that if you found him guilty, you should consider the slaying an act of self-defense. In other words, I didn't do it -- but if I did, I had a good reason.

Not terribly convincing, wouldn't you say?

This isn't to say that Karl Rove is going to jail. Obviously, there's a lot that can still happen to avert that glorious end. As always with these jokers, I pray for the best, yet brace for the worst.

But the overriding factual issue at hand can be put to bed. The jury is in on Karl Rove.
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