Dean: 'I Agree with George Bush'

From the diaries--Chris

I know we're all political people, and one can't help but smell blood in the water with this Rove stuff. But as hapless as the move and the White House handling of it has been politically, you really have to step back and ask the broader question: "Is this really what the White House operatives are doing?" And let's not forget the even scarier, "If they're capable of this, what else are they willing to do?"

This is serious, scary stuff -- and this administration really needs to come clean immediately about what happened here. It's not about politics -- it's about our security and our trust in government, and everyone should be able to agree on that.

Full text of email Dean just sent after the bump --

From: Howard Dean

Subject: I agree with George Bush

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Politics drove someone in the White House to do a treacherous, potentially criminal thing: a senior administration official leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative. They endangered the agent's life and compromised our national security in a time of war.

Here's what former president George H.W. Bush said about that kind of crime: "Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." That's from a speech on April 26, 1999.

I agree. But as it became clear this week that Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is a subject of the criminal investigation into the leak, the second Bush administration has gone silent. And its operatives have launched a cover-up and smear campaign against anyone raising questions.

This is bigger than politics -- every American should agree that this administration needs to come clean immediately about this leak, and any White House official's role in it. The only way to pressure this administration is to show that Americans will not tolerate this -- and that every American regardless of party will unite and publicly demand that they come clean:

www.democrats.org/comeclean

We will publish comments from Republicans, Democrats and independents across the country -- demonstrating that our party won't play politics with this, but keeping the pressure on this administration to do the right thing. And we will do it until they come clean.

When former President Bush made the remarks above, he wasn't speaking as a Republican. He wasn't even speaking as a former president -- he was speaking as a former CIA director who understands the sacrifice of our covert operatives and the danger of their work.

What happened here is even worse than what former President Bush describes. That's because the leak was not an accident -- it was part of a campaign to try to discredit anyone, including those inside the CIA, who questioned the administration's claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Other former CIA officials agree. Three former operatives (who are also registered Republicans) gave this joint statement in testimony on October 24, 2003: "This has set a sickening precedent. The 'senior Administration officials' who did this have warned all U.S. intelligence officers and the Intelligence Community that any one individual may be compromised if providing information or factual analysis the White House does not like."

This is a serious situation -- it goes to the heart of our national security, and what kind of standards we have for those entrusted with secret and potentially dangerous information. Forward this message to everyone you know -- Republican, Democrat, independent -- and ask them to add their name to the list of Americans demanding this administration come clean:

www.democrats.org/comeclean

You don't have to be a former intelligence official to understand the implications of this crime.

Here's what former Republican Party chairman Ed Gillespie had to say on 'Hardball' on September 30, 2003: "I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime." Asked by MSNBC's Chris Matthews if it would be worse than Watergate, he said, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics."

George W. Bush said when this leak became public that he "welcomed the investigation" and called the leak a "criminal action." He pledged that anyone found to be the source would be "taken care of".

But the New York Times reported that when asked yesterday if he would fire Karl Rove, the question was met with a "stony silence".

Will George W. Bush keep his word and demand that everyone in his administration uphold the trust of their office? This is his chance to rise above politics and do the right thing for our security and for our country.

Our party will rise above politics by asking all Americans, regardless of party, to publicly ask the administration to come clean about this serious situation:

www.democrats.org/comeclean

Please get this message out to as many people as possible. Americans of all political persuasions should agree that we need to get the truth -- and take responsibility for publicly demanding it.

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Chairman, Democratic National Committee

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Comments

13 Comments

Is this really the story?
Ok, I'll be the cynical one.

As bad as the Rove issue is, I am reluctantly asking the question "Is this is really what they want us focused on, what else is really happening?" Yes, that is very cynical, but this administration has proved itself to be shrewd and very politically savvy. I find it hard to believe that Rove would a) put himself in this position and b) not have some way out that is politically advantageous to his side.

Let's keep the heat on Rove, but keep our eye on the landscape in general because I don't want to be looking at Rove and then be hit in the back of the head with something else (like Roves evil twin who has been in an undisclosed location consorting with Cheney)

by elemgee 2005-07-13 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Is this really the story?
uh - you ain't the only cynic on this bus -

what was the big news before this started to break?  The Downing Street memos?

As bad as it was to deliberately blow Plame's cover (oh - excuse me - Karl "didn't even know her name" - that would be "Mrs. Wilson") - isn't the President's deliberate falsification and exagerration of intelligence to get us to war even worse?

I think you're right - Rove's jumping to the wolves to protect W from the DSM . . .

by Mississippi Scott 2005-07-13 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Is this really the story?
oops - too slow on the uptake - Mr. Rosenberg is correct, and first -
by Mississippi Scott 2005-07-13 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Is this really the story?
No, rosenburg is wrong. The DSM  needs to be
kept front and center. Rove is part of the
entire thing - as Powell said,
the "effing crazies" are part of the problem.

Keep the DSM up high, don't forget it.
Make it an issue. You have the power.

What Dean is saying is that the first
step is to free the president. He's agreeing
with President GHW Bush. Bush would
never have stood for this kind of silliness,
and right now, you have to look at where
to begin. With traitors still operating at
the white house, the DSM can look like a partisan
issue but if we can remove them we can trace
down a few more lines into the DSM issue
and pull back a victory. Perhaps you may
not know this but the DSM was citing certain
forces in the white house that wanted
to attack Iraq for any reason.

Rove was the front man and banked the texas
oil money into the game. Rove was out
there with Big Oil drawing up maps
of the Persian Gulf.

I personally see a way we can connect
the dots.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-07-13 05:30PM | 0 recs
I'm reading
Blind Ambition, John Dean's account of his time in the Nixon administration and his role in the Watergate coverup, and as a result I've been thinking about the logistics of conspiracy.

It seems to me that the only way Rove is going to go down over this is if the evidence starts to move up the ladder. If it threatens to spread and somebody above Rove is likely to be implicated, he'll fall on his sword like a good little soldier. Otherwise, it's gonna be stonewall, stonewall, stonewall, and nothing will come of it all other than a lot of hard feelings and accusations.

My question is: Who told Rove about Plame?

Did Rove have the clearance to know that Plame was a CIA employee? Based on the present assertion that he didn't know she was undercover, it would seem not. At the very least, this tends to indicate that he didn't get the information through official channels. Which would mean that somebody else in the administration has been playing fast and loose with classified information.

My assumption is that it came down from the Veep's office, which seems to have been the nerve center for Operation Sell the Clobberation.

Will Rove fall on his sword for Wolfowitz or Perle or the like? I doubt it. For Cheney? Hell yeah. So the answer to that question will determine how this thing plays out:

Who told Rove?

by catastrophile 2005-07-13 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm reading
Bingo. John Dean said already that he thinks the real indictment could over a conspiracy charge. I have no doubt that if it was just one person or the other, Fitzgerald would not have needed both Judy Miller and Matt Cooper's sources.

I think Fitzgerald can't collar Bush or Cheney, but he wants to get the indictment on Libby and Rove for conspiring to release Plame's identity. Beyond that, anyone else who seems to know anything is part of the conspiracy potentially...so hence the White House is silent.

Still, my guess is Friday Fitzgerald might get the indictment and then all hell is a breaking loose.

by risenmessiah 2005-07-13 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm reading
Rove had a tie-in to the press sources, he
was an agent of Bush tasked with the
job of keeping press sources in line during
things like "Homeland Security" alerts.
If you trace it the way I am, you can
see almost every time a campaign issue
came out that he disagreed with he
started to pull these homeland security
strings.

So Rove would have had clearance; this would've
been classified a homeland security need to know
and Rove seems to have been an interface
into the press corps to keep the effect
of terror attacks minimal.

And Rove seems to be one to enjoy the
abuses of power, less of the correct
application. This is his ouvre, not fitzgeralds.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-07-13 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm reading
Right, I just meant that the White House as a whole is silent because conspiracy charges are very broad under federal law. Fitzgerald might be a bit defensive as the "special" prosecutor but remember we were here in 1998. Ken Starr had dug up dirt for years and everyone was saying it was a witch-hunt, and he'd never make an indictment ....and then....

[CLICK]

Rove and Scooter, wearing the federal penitentary orange and playing hearts with Zacarias Moussaoui and Judy Miller.

by risenmessiah 2005-07-13 09:21PM | 0 recs
Stepping Stones
For my money, the real story is still the Downing Street Memos & the deliberate deceit they reveal. The outing of Plame was fallout from the larger scandal of deceiving America into war.  It was, if you will, part of the coverup.

We should be making this connection at every possible opportunity.  The press is po'd over the secondary scandal, almost as much as they're allergic to the primary one.  The more we draw the connections, be better off we'll be.

Finally, I'd like to caution against giving Rove too much credit.  The Dems have been deeply stupid for a very long time.  It's not hard to look like Einstein going up against the likes of Lieberman, Biden, Shrum, etc.  

I'm not at all inclined to think that Rove has covered his ass. But I'm quite inclined to think he figures he can dupe the Bidens of this world into letting loose some friendly fire on his fellows Dems just when he (Rove) needs it most.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-07-13 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Stepping Stones
"Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." That's from a speech on April 26, 1999 - Former President George HW Bush

Paul, Clark's book stated that Rove produced a map
in early 2001 that was drawn up by oil companies
during the 2000 election. The map was displayed
on 60 minutes, showing how the Iraq and Persian
Gulf Oil Fields would be divided amongst
themselves. I think the book was "The Price of Honor" or something like that, good book I heard.

Here's the point: Downing Street is as close
to my heart as it is to yours but the assumption
that Bush is running the show alone, that
all of this trouble can come from just one
Yalie  - thats false. Bush is a good guy.

Like Dean, I agree with President Bush.
I agree that the people who did this
are traitors. Consider for a minute -
what would our country look like
if they had encircled our president,
whomever he was - for the past 4 years.
This is about America. Getting the
president free of the people around
him, is the first step, not pursuing
a memo from another country. That comes later.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-07-13 05:26PM | 0 recs
Frame the Stories
"For my money, the real story is still the Downing Street Memos & the deliberate deceit they reveal. The outing of Plame was fallout from the larger scandal of deceiving America into war.  It was, if you will, part of the coverup."

Downing Street has to be kept on the radar, but we need to put it, Rove, and the rest of the deception, incompetence and corruption shown by this adminstration and its allies under one unifying umbrella.

I think "Defective, Secret Government" works as a frame for several reasons:

     1.  It makes responibility and accountabily, rather than ideology, the center of the argument.  Pricipled conservatives don't support criminal activety and security leaks any more than pricipled liberals.

     2.  It allows us to make the connection between the closed-door culture of Bush & Co. and:
         A. Failed policies made by elite indsiders (health care, energy, social security)
         B. Corrupt hidden deals in Congress (DeLay, Cunningham, et cetera)

     3. "Defective" and "Secret" are tied together in the frame, much like "Liberal", "Elite" and "Media" were so effectively tied together by Gingrich.  It also implies it's own solution and gives us something to be for: "Effective, Open Government".

by Mudshark 2005-07-14 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Frame the Stories
Please forgive the typos above.
by Mudshark 2005-07-14 09:43AM | 0 recs
Indictments?
You bet.  I think there will be indictments, and several of them.  My guess, and it is a guess, is that at least three, and maybe as many as six people will be indicted. The charges will be violations if U.S. Code, Title 18, chapter 37 sections 793, 794 and 798, unlawful dissemination of classified information.  This is also known as The Espionage Act,  as the dissemination of classified material or information is technically espionage.  Also, there will be charges of conspiracy to violate the same codes, and in a few cases perjury and obstruction of justice.

This is very serious stuff, carrying a fine up to $10,000 and ten years in federal penitentiary.  In time of war, the penalties increase to a term of up to 30 years, or even death.

Rove's, and others, claims that they did not know Plame was covert, or that they did not actually disclose her name will not hold up.  It will be argued that Rove, as a high government official, had a responsibility to determine the status of any CIA employee before disclosing their name, and that others in the conspiracy knew of her status.  Negligence is not a defense. The idea that he never mentioned her name, but only talked about "Wilson's wife," would be laughed out of court.

It will be interesting.

by mjshep 2005-07-14 02:04PM | 0 recs

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