Plamegate: MORE about Nothing

There is another memo on the Plamagate Rove affair, State Dept. Memo Gets Scrutiny in Leak Inquiry on C.I.A. Officer.

Prosecutors in the C.I.A. leak case have shown intense interest in a 2003 State Department memorandum that explained how a former diplomat came to be dispatched on an intelligence-gathering mission and the role of his wife, a C.I.A. officer, in the trip, people who have been officially briefed on the case said.

Investigators in the case have been trying to learn whether officials at the White House and elsewhere in the administration learned of the C.I.A. officer’s identity from the memorandum. They are seeking to determine if any officials then passed the name along to journalists and if officials were truthful in testifying about whether they had read the memo, the people who have been briefed said, asking not to be named because the special prosecutor heading the investigation had requested that no one discuss the case.

The memorandum was sent to Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, just before or as he traveled with President Bush and other senior officials to Africa starting on July 7, 2003, when the White House was scrambling to defend itself from a blast of criticism a few days earlier from the former diplomat, Joseph C. Wilson IV, current and former government officials said.

Mr. Powell was seen walking around Air Force One during the trip with the memorandum in hand, said a person involved in the case who also requested anonymity because of the prosecutor’s admonitions about talking about the investigation.

Captain Ed asks Why Can’t The Gray Lady Read?

The New York Times reports on a memo that Colin Powell reportedly carried aboard Air Force One on a trip to Africa the week before Robert Novak named Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. The importance of this memo revolves around the people who accompanied the President and Powell on the Africa trip and the fact that it describes the circumstances of Joe Wilson’s hiring for the mission to Niger. However, the report by Richard Stevenson makes several factual errors that even a quick perusal of the Intelligence Committee report would correct.

The first error committed by Stevenson is one of omission. The Times has been beating a supposed Karl Rove connection to death over the past few weeks. However, if one looks at the contact dates for the two conversations Rove had with reporters — July 9 for Novak, July 11 for Matt Cooper — obviously Rove didn’t go to Africa and didn’t have access to the memo. After all, both reporters called Rove, not the other way around, and both started their conversations on different topics that hardly would have been so pressing that they would have been redirected by satellite to AF1.

So if the memo does hold any key to the leak, Rove can’t be the leaker.

There is another e-mail out there, Rove E – Mailed Security Official About Talk.

Prosecutors investigating a CIA officer’s blown cover gathered e-mail evidence that a top White House intelligence official knew Bush confidant Karl Rove had spoken to a reporter just days before the journalist identified the covert operative.

Rove told then-deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley in the July 11, 2003, e-mail that he had spoken with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and tried to caution him away from some allegations that CIA operative Valerie Plame’s husband was making about faulty Iraq intelligence.

”I didn’t take the bait,” Rove wrote in the message, disclosed to The Associated Press. In the memo, Rove recounted how Cooper tried to question him about whether President Bush had been hurt by the new allegations Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had been making.

The White House turned the e-mail over to prosecutors, and Rove told a grand jury about it last year during testimony in which he also acknowledged discussing Plame’s covert work for the CIA with Cooper and syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

Ho Hum……..Flap thinks they are running out of Rove bashing topics.

However, there is hope for the Plamegate folks…..Pelosi wants Congressional Hearings.

Democrats, however, said that even if Rove wasn’t the leaker, someone still divulged Plame’s identity and possibly violated the law.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders asked House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Friday to let Congress hold hearings into the controversy regardless of the criminal probe now under way.

”In previous Republican Congresses the fact that a criminal investigation was under way did not prevent extensive hearings from being held on other, much less significant matters,” Pelosi wrote.

The federal grand jury investigation has been going on longer than Watergate – two years.

The federal grand jury has not concluded their investigation and issued indictments or……. not.

And why not have hearings so Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and the Moveon.org folks can beat their chests about Rove on a slow summer news season?


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