A key Republican defense of Rove has been that the White House deputy chief of staff only recycled rumors from reporters in 2003 when he told other reporters about Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, and her covert identity as a CIA officer who worked on issues related to weapons of mass destruction.
But two new facts contradict that assertion and show that Rove was coordinating his leaks about Plame with officials in Bush's National Security Council and Vice President Dick Cheney's office.
The first new piece of evidence is a little-noticed part of Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper's testimony last week before a federal grand jury in Washington.
Some news articles have noted Cooper's statement that Rove brought up Wilson's wife during an interview on July 11, 2003, and that Rove volunteered that she worked for "the agency" on WMD issues. Cooper said Rove cited these facts in claiming that Plame was responsible for Wilson's trip to Africa in February 2002 to investigate whether Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger.
What's been overlooked, however, is another part of Cooper's account. Cooper said his notes reveal that Rove then added that "material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson's mission and his findings." In ending the conversation, Rove said, "I've already said too much," according to Cooper. [Time, July 25, 2005, issue]
Rove's assertion that he knew about plans to declassify material on Wilson indicates that Rove was not just a loose-lipped talker repeating stuff he'd heard from reporters, but he was a participant in internal White House discussions about how to counteract Wilson's criticisms by releasing then-secret information.
Damn good point. I bet Fitzgerald is on it like stink on shit. Much, much more in the article. Go read. The last paragraph is good:
But that has not stopped the RNC and the conservative news media from continuing the P.R. war against Wilson. The Bush administration and its allies seem to believe that the best way to prevent a conspiracy from collapsing is to expand it.
It's expanding like the Universe. When it collapses around their ears, I hope they get a Big Bang out of it!