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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

plamegate becomes treasongate

found info via post by Bonzo at AirAmerica Radio Al Franken Blog:

American Politics Journal
E-mail Edition
July 13, 2005

Plamegate Becomes Treasongate: GOP Lies Debunked by The Editors with big props to eRiposte and The Left Coaster.

July 13, 2005 -- NEW YORK ( via -- This is just too good not to pass on.

Here, for your reading pleasure, are the facts that collapse that house of cards known as the GOP Talking Points About That Karl Rove Flap (the ones that were engineered not so much to defend Rove as to falsely discredit ambassador Joseph Wilson in a document that John Byrne and his RawStory team got their hands on -- see Rawstory Exclusive).

They were assembled by eriposte, with a lot of help from netizens and bloggers, and posted to the indispensable Left Coaster blog -- we present them in a convenient text form with all links in parens for those of you who value your e-mail security. Enjoy!


A number of rebuttals have been provided around the liberal blogosphere to the fakery from the GOP and their media arms about the Valerie Plame expose. Here's a roundup.

[Please feel free to add items in the comments if I missed anything - and distribute far and wide].


TALKING POINT: Valerie Plame (Joseph Wilson's wife) was not covert.

FACT: She was: here and here.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove did not leak Valerie Plame's name.

FACT: Please. Her name was not the secret; her identity was (which is the issue here -- see this and he leaked that. Also see this and this.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove was "not the leaker".

FACT: Rove's attorney's statement and Cooper's email shows this claim is false. See this. Rove did leak Plame's identity. (Whether or not this is found to be prosecutable is another matter).

P.S. It's not like this is the first time Rove has been in the spotlight for leaking secrets.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove has never lied about his role in this matter.

FACT: Yes, he has.

TALKING POINT: The White House has never lied or misled people about its role in this matter.


TALKING POINT: Karl Rove never knew that Valerie Plame was covert.

FACT: Really? Then why not state this on the record, something Rove's attorney refuses to do.

TALKING POINT: Matt Cooper of Time magazine "burned" Rove.

FACT: Rove's lawyer, who made the above fake claim, himself has been expounding again and again about how Rove gave complete waivers to all his journalist contacts to testify.

TALKING POINT: Bob Novak used the word "operative" by accident and his sources did not say she was one.

FACT: This is false, after-the-fact spin from Novak.

TALKING POINT: Rove "was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story" based on Joe Wilson's "false premise" (that DCI Tenet or VP Cheney authorized his trip)

FACT: False.

Moreover, Joe Wilson did not make such a claim before Rove exposed Valerie Plame's identity.

TALKING POINT: The Senate Intelligence Committee said that Valerie Plame was the one who set up Joe Wilson's trip.

FACT: False and false.

(In fact, there is no consensus view that Valerie Plame even suggested that Wilson be sent on the trip.)

TALKING POINT: The White House/GOP cannot comment on questions regarding Rove or his role because of the ongoing investigation.

FACT: False.

This is a completely bogus claim considering that talking behind the scenes or issuing false/misleading press releases -- also see this and spreading fakery about Wilson (not to mention they felt free to comment self-servingly about the whole matter until the Rove story broke -- see this and this.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove is not a target of Fitzgerald's investigation.

FACT: He is a subject of the investigation.

TALKING POINT: The Butler Report etc. vindicated Bush's "uranium in Africa" State of the Union claim

FACT: False. The Butler Report was intended to exonerate Tony Blair and George Bush to prevent them from facing criminal charges. For obvious reasons, it excluded reams of information about Bush's claim that showed that the White House lied through its teeth in defending Bush's claim. (Indeed, as the link shows, people from the NSA, CIA etc. themselves stated that the SOTU claim did not have a sound backing.)

TALKING POINT: This is all just a partisan attack by Democrats (or Joseph Wilson)

FACT: False. The GOP leadership has a habit of minimizing numerous acts of treason from individuals inside the Bush administration over the last several years, by smearing truth-tellers. This is just the latest episode among many. In private, even Republicans admit that this kind of nonsense would have resulted in Congressional hearings "in a second", if the President had been a Democrat. Not to mention the hypocrisy of Rove himself.

TALKING POINT: Even if Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's identity, it's no big deal and he deserves a medal.

FACT: The GOP's Ed Gillespie and George Bush disagreed (with an emphasis on past tense '-d').

In fact, if it's so not a big deal, why all this intrigue about what the White House can or cannot comment on? Just tell the truth then rather than hiding behind reporters and smears of people who had nothing to do with the expose. (As for medals, it probably deserves a medal in prison, to define the "role model" for fellow prisoners at Gitmo - while eating rice pilaf in the process).

TALKING POINT: There was no legal crime committed with the Plame expose.

FACT: False and false.

So much for offering "a stiff dose of truth" instead of "more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials"; also here.

TALKING POINT: Joseph Wilson supported John Kerry.

FACT: So? He also supported Republicans in the past (before they turned on him and his wife, treasonously) and was recognized by George Bush Sr. for his bravery against Saddam Hussein in Iraq - where he was ambassador before Gulf War I.

TALKING POINT: President Bush is committed to upholding the honor and dignity of his office.

FACT: For the umpteenth time, false, false and false.

07-15-2005: UPDATING with additional refute of the latest GOP Talking Point disinformation:

Rook's Rant has a post and the link to

Bush supporters such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich contend that Wilson lied in claiming that Vice President Dick Cheney dispatched him on the mission to Niger. That echoes a Republican National Committee talking-points memo sent to party officials.

Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president's office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney's questions.

07-15-2005: Another addendum/update:

More Valerie Plame misinformation debunked here.

Though the AP ran a correction, other news outlets had already repeated its mistake. CNN's Ed Henry told viewers that "Wilson himself suggested that she was not undercover." The Drudge Report link to the AP story suggested the same thing, and numerous other news outlets picked up the AP article.

Here is the clarification of Wilson's statements:

In an interview on CNN earlier Thursday before the latest revelation, Wilson kept up his criticism of the White House, saying Rove's conduct was an "outrageous abuse of power ... certainly worthy of frog-marching out of the White House."

Wilson also said "my wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

In an interview Friday, Wilson said his comment was meant to reflect that his wife lost her ability to be a covert agent because of the leak, not that she had stopped working for the CIA beforehand.

His wife's "ability to do the job she's been doing for close to 20 years ceased from the minute Novak's article appeared; she ceased being a clandestine officer," he said.

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