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Friday, July 15, 2005

 

rove's sacrifice


i was discussing the rove-plame connection with some friends of mine before a cub game yesterday when i was asked what i thought would become of rove. my instinctive answer was "nothing" -- rove is a highly-placed friend of the president and a smart political operator, who likely will be able of obfuscate the facts well enough to protect himself. but i'm already reconsidering that view -- as the firestorm begins to swirl, and reporters actually start to get aggressive with the white house, with cracks appearing in the republican monolith in congress, could rove become the political price that must be paid to dissipate the frustration of iraq and the machinations and deceptions that led this country into the quagmire?

and then today i read justin raimondo's column of today:

What if Karl Rove isn't guilty of knowingly leaking Valerie Plame's name as a covert CIA agent involved in nuclear proliferation issues? What if Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, is correct when he says that he's been assured by prosecutors that his client is not a target of the ongoing investigation into Plame-gate? I'm going to swim against the tide, here, and against the expectations of my readers, by suggesting that this investigation isn't about Rove – and, furthermore, that Rove is a victim, in an important sense, someone who was used and abused by the real culprits.

What also seems fairly clear is that Karl Rove would not have had direct knowledge of Plame-Wilson's covert activities on behalf of the CIA, and that only a very few people high up in the national security bureaucracy had the clearance to get access to her name. So who was it? If Rove leaked to Novak, and half a dozen Washington reporters, then who leaked to the leakers?

This isn't about Rove.

It's about a cabal of war hawks inside the administration who passed on this information to others without telling them about Plame-Wilson's deep cover status, perhaps suggesting that she was just an analyst working at a desk rather than a covert operative involved in a vitally important overseas operation, the knowledge of which was highly compartmentalized and only dispensed on a need-to-know basis. When Rove and his shills blabbed to reporters and anyone who would listen, they didn't realize that they were aiding and abetting an elaborate ploy to stick it to the CIA.
the conflict between the institutional cia and the neoconservative revolutionaries has been one of the running stories of the bush administration. the office of the vice president and douglas feith's office of special plans in the pentagon have worked together against the intelligence establishment of this country over the control of the intelligence-gathering apparatus all along: working to develop stovepipe channels around the vetting bureaucracy in order to justify preconceived ideological actions; leveling and rebuilding the pentagon's defense intelligence agency (dia) as a neoconservative-controlled substitute agency (whose agents were at the heart of the use of torture in recent years), which enables them to circumvent the laws that put some kind of leash on american covert wars; redirecting information as they saw fit; using the hysteria of 9/11 to blame the cia for not seeing the unforseeable, and using that as a lever towards taking over the institution and disassembling it as a rival. indeed, that was ambassador joe wilson's crime -- offering a open challenge to the output of the new neoconservative intelligence/propaganda factory -- for which his wife valerie plame-wilson and all her contacts were jeopardized; and it had the twin virtue of further injuring the cia's hegemony over wmd intelligence.

it is hard to overestimate the power that comes with control of the intelligence apparatus in a national-security/secrecy state, which is what we've built over the last sixty years in this country, in contravention to the principles this experiment in open society was founded upon. and rove -- indeed bush himself -- would be a very small price to pay to secure in some manner the combination to that vault for a durable, deeply ensconced political cadre like the neoconservatives.

rove will be deified after the fact regardless of his fate, but it is a mistake to lump pragmatic operators like rove in with holy warriors of the kind represented by wolfowitz, ledeen, feith and perle, bolton or cheney. rove is a popularity specialist, a true democratic machiavellian. but these men are responding to what they perceive as a higher calling which renders the united states as merely the most appropriate tool with which to fight an ideological war with the world, with the illusory panacea of democracy as a societal sword, to manifest what they see as an global utopia of individual freedom -- an empire of liberty, which they will lead, to manifest which there is no price too high for us all to pay.

i find the ridiculousness of this policy of universal provocation to be self-evident. but it is the nihilistic religion of the hero-cult, and rove's usefulness -- perhaps even bush's usefulness -- to these zealots is all but past, and i would not at all be surprised if he were thrown under the wheels for the good of the noble cause.


This is provocative to say the least. Nixon built his own internal intelligence team that threatened the institutionalized establishment who viewed the threat and brought him down. The neocons are slowing asserting control over these entities leaving no stone unturned. If they ultimately gain control of all three assets of government and fill all U.S. intellgence with their appointments or yes men, they believe it a checkmate they'll bring all forces to bear on their enemies.

 
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This is provocative to say the least. Nixon built his own internal intelligence team that threatened the institutionalized establishment who viewed the threat and brought him down. The neocons are slowing asserting control over these entities leaving no stone unturned. If they ultimately gain control of all three assets of government and fill all U.S. intellgence with their appointments or yes men, they believe it a checkmate they'll bring all forces to bear on their enemies.

 
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