Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Karl, Rove. Whistlblower. American hero. So says the Editorial Page of the WSJ today.

This, of course, reiterates the standard GOP talking points about this issue, while failing to address the inconsistency in the positions of the White House and other GOP leadership--i.e., it's a serious crime, unless Karl Rove did it. If Karl Rove did it, it must have been an act of red-blooded American patriotism.

But the administration's problems on this go a lot deeper than this issue. First of all, Joe Wilson has written a comprehensive rebuttal to the allegations that he lied or misinformed intelligence agencies and investigators. But even if these allegations against Wilson's credibility were true, it doesn't change one fundamental fact: the infamous 16 words in the 2003 SotU speech that Wilson was sent to investigate turned out to be based on forged documents, and were completely untrue. It's damn hard to claim whistleblower status for leaking classified information to discredit someone who exposed falsehoods your administration made in order to take this country to war--and it's even harder to actually believe in the honesty of what you're doing, especially when the "lack of credibility" in question is apparently centered not on Joe Wilson's qualifications, but rather on the (untrue to begin with) assertions that his wife--an equally well-qualified counterproliferation agent--recommended him for the job (as if that degree of nepotism, even were it true, ever bothered the allies of this administration one tiny smidgen). Karl Rove is no more a whistleblower here than he was for revealing that John McCain had an (adopted) daughter with dark skin. In fact, I can just see it now: "I didn't know she was Bangladeshi. I never revealed she was Bangladeshi."

Memo to the partisan hacks at the WSJ: "Whistleblower status" is reserved for those who go out on a limb to expose the truth. It doesn't apply to those who fire a shot across the bow to intimidate other intelligence officials who might be inclined to do so at the expense of your administration's penchant for exaggeration and falsehood. And, you know, I can understand your perspective on why you think that the money spent on this investigation is wasted--because it's a few more million that isn't going into Halliburton's black hole of Iraq's reconstruction contracts. It's also understandable why Ken Starr's investigation was worth it, despite the obvious difference in seriousness between lying about sex and exposing interests of national security--because the $70 million spent there were "closing costs" toward getting an administration in charge that would...well...create a black hole for Halliburton reconstruction contracts.

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