Sunday, July 17, 2005

1970s Redux: CIA leak again leads to the top

Not only has Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, been revealed as a source for the Valerie Plame leak, but Dick Cheney's top aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been named as well. On "Meet the Press" Time Magazine's Matt Cooper revealed that he talked to Libby as well as Rove about Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame:
According to Cooper, Libby and Rove were among the government officials referred to in Cooper's subsequent Time story that said Wilson's wife was a CIA official and that she was involved in sending her husband on a trip to Africa.
This whole thing reminds me of Watergate in the sense that Richard Nixon, after the hotel burglary became news, took great pains to eliminate any trace of connection between himself and the crime, hoping to portray those involved as low-level hacks who committed a "third-rate burglary." However, because Nixon himself set a tone of no holds barred dirty campaigning, it would be no surprise (to some) in the end when it was revealed that he was likely connected with the Watergate burglary and especially with the subsequent obstruction of its investigation. It is unsurprising in the same way that the most high-ranking officials and not an out-of-control young staffer of the Bush White House can be traced to the Plame leak because the Bush establishment has such a similar history of dirty campaigning as Nixon.

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