Sunday, July 17, 2005

On Karl's Tail

Time has published Cooper's recounting of his testimony of last week before the grand jury and also details of his testimony of August 2004. Full access requires a subscription, or two bucks.

In essence Cooper's recollections denote two things to me and also clarify some misrepresentations of fact by the right-wingers. But it also has some things to show that some of our panting on the left may be correct, but not established by Cooper. However, it also shows that Cooper is but one small part of the whole scheme of things (which most of us have known already).

This section is interesting:

As for Wilson's wife, I told the grand jury I was certain that Rove never used her name and that, indeed, I did not learn her name until the following week, when I either saw it in Robert Novak's column or Googled her, I can't recall which. Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the "agency"--by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on "WMD" (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife.

Rove never once indicated to me that she had any kind of covert status. I told the grand jury something else about my conversation with Rove. Although it's not reflected in my notes or subsequent e-mails, I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, "I've already said too much.

Many of these items are known from previous articles the last week on the Cooper emails, but the line about "I've already said too much" is new, as is another reference to something being "declassified soon"), and one reading, and in my opinion the most rational one is Rove was doing one of two things, either emphasizing to Cooper that this is a really HOT story that must be pushed and/or Rove knew he had let out something that should not have been let out. Knowing what we know about Rove's history both are likely in play.

We also learn, in greater detail that Cooper's August 2004 testimony involved what he had heard from Scooter Libby, including a quote that has been mistakenly attributed to Rove subsequently:

In that testimony, I recounted an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew about or played any role in the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or words to that effect. Like Rove, Libby never used Valerie Plame's name or indicated that her status was covert, and he never told me that he had heard about Plame from other reporters, as some press accounts have indicated.

Damn, those are two tough Rove talking points for the Bush apologists to lose.

And then finally, it sure seems like Hot Karl is in perjury trouble at the very least, there were several questions about the GOP talking point that Cooper's calls were about Welfare Reform. Cooper testified that while he had called the White House earlier that week about that topic, his specific calls to Rove that were subjects of the emails were solely about the "Yellow Cake" screw up and had nothing to do with Welfare reform with an added aside to Joe Wilson. Frankly, I've never understood how that was a good argument for Rove in the first place, but whatever, it is, in Ron Ziegler's words, no longer operative.

Cooper, as I understand it will be on Press the Meat with Li'l Russ and former great reporter, now ultimate insider apologist Bob Woodward this morning.

I'm sure we bloggers will be hashing this out over the next day or so.


You know, I've been thinking that Cooper's recollection that Libby said re: Plame, "I heard that too" may not be the ONLY use of that phrase regarding Plame. I think that it was also made when Novak mentioned a similar thing to Rove. Interesting possibility of coordination, no?

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