Back in 2005, Air America's Morning Sedition made an accurate prediction of what would happen to Karl Rove after it was revealed that he leaked Valerie Plame's name to the press: Nothing.
Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for September 26, 2003. That's the day CIA Director George Tenet requested an investigation into who had leaked the name of covert agent Valerie Plame. Her status had been leaked to Robert Novak, who then printed it in his column. A few days later White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan made it clear that there was no place in the Bush Administration for someone who would leak this kind of information:
If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.
Sometime later, during another press conference Dubya confirmed this:
Q: Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?
THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --
Q: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.
So in June 2004 the answer to the question "Will you fire anyone who leaked Plame's name?" was simple: "Yes."
Therefore, when the leak was traced to Rove in 2005, you'd expect him to receive his walking papers. But Marc Maron of Air America's Morning Sedition was skeptical:
Today's phrase, just drop it into conversation...
What is Bush gonna do now that Rove's been revealed? What he always does: nothin'! Rove knows things about George W. Bush that George Sr. doesn't even know. Wake up, Sheeple! Rove knows where all the bodies are buried. He can't be incarcerated or stopped or even slowed down. He's pure evil in size 46 pants!
(Click here to enjoy the audio clip.)
And sure enough on July 18, 2005, Bush changed the criteria:
I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts, and if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.
Suddenly, leaking the name wasn't enough. Now the individual had to have committed a crime to get a pink slip. That's because there was clear evidence that Rove had leaked the name. However, the applicable laws are very difficult to prove, so a conviction still seemed unlikely.
This is a shield commonly invoked by the Bush Administration. If there are no charges and no convictions, there was no wrongdoing. That makes sense, huh? Just ask Jack the Ripper. Scooter "Smoke Screen" Libby made sure the lies were too thick to bring charges. That's how he earned his commutation. Fair payment for services rendered.
Rove continued to sleaze his way around the political world for the next few years like a zombie searching for more brains to eat. Now he's finally decided it's the right time to get out of Dodge. Maybe it's because he screwed up "the math" for the 2006 elections, tarnishing his reputation as Boy Genius. Or maybe he thinks he can do more damage in The Private Sector. For whatever reason, he's leaving as an honored staff member instead of a traitorous criminal.
One wonders what unethical, if not downright illegal, schemes he'll be free to engineer without the scrutiny of the Presidential Press Corps focused on him. Whatever they might be, the smart money is riding on him going underground, not going away.
Rove says he plans to write the inevitable book. That's just what America needs, another waste of paper filled with lies, obfuscation and justifications of horrible behavior. The saddest part is that his greasy little tome will probably rocket to the top of the best seller lists. That's my prediction.
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