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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Valerie Plame Wilson - Breaking Developments

Via Mark Kleiman, we learn that an enterprising blogger went to Congressman Inslee's Iraq-war presentation that included, as a panelist, Ambassador Wilson.

Although it has been totally ignored by the press, apparently the video includes these comments by the Ambassador on the prospects of a criminal investigation (stolen from Mr. Kleiman):

"I have confidence at the professional level that whatever they think is doable will be done." He acknowledged some uncertainty about whether public discussion might inhibit the investigation rather than forwarding it.

Then he opened up:

At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words.

Now, he had alluded to a suspicion about White House political operatives back on August 10, as reported in the must-read St. Petersburg Times:

He said he believes that political operatives in the White House gave his wife's name to Novak, and he thinks he knows who they are. But he's "not ready, yet" to name them. He hopes an investigation - by the FBI, Congress or both - will take care of that.

Mr. Kleiman, ever the optimist, says this:

Now that Rove has been accused, it's for him to respond. It's a simple yes or no: Did he talk to Novak about Plame, or instruct anyone else to do so? I hope that some credentially journalists will be asking him that question.

Well, in my role as permanently damp blanket, I will point out that Karl Rove is unlikely to respond to a charge that the entire press community has ignored. Look at the Seattle PI - they had a breathless eidtorial about Wilson on Aug. 10, ran an AP story before the event which noted the Plame controversy, and then ran a follow-up AP story (different reporter) on the Inslee meeting, which ignored the Rove quote. Who dropped the ball? One wonders how many other suggestions of Bush aides led away in handcuffs were made - even my nose for news might have twitched at that.

Frankly, it is a puzzle that this was overlooked. But knowing our Ambassador, I expect he will try again. He is meant to be on Nightline on Tuesday night.

And I may try again too. E-mail the Seattle PI editors at: editpage@seattlepi.com

For our man in St. Petersburg, David Ballingrud, who ought to be interested in this follow-up: national@sptimes.com

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