Saturday, July 16, 2005

WHAT "is" IS

Pundits and politicians in Washington, and presumably the prosecutor, are pondering whether or not Karl Rove unlawfully or unethically divulged the identity of a covert CIA agent. Rove has denied “naming” this agent, the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson. But he did confirm to at least one reporter that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.

Now, Mr. Wilson has only one wife, a CIA operative known as Valerie Plame. So is Karl Rove not guilty of blowing her cover because her name was not spoken? Doesn't that depend on what is "naming" a name? Bring back memories?

One commentator stated that at the least this incipient scandal would tarnish the high ethical standards maintained by the Bush White House. High ethical standards?
It's hard to say that in the face of the misleading 9-11 and WMD claims for Iraq, the editing of official scientific reports on global warming, the talk of family farms to justify repeal of the estate tax, the withholding of correct information on the cost of the prescription drug program, and countless similar actions.

Maybe there's no criminal case here. Or there may be perjury involved. At this date, we don't know. But there can be no question that Mr. Rove, and maybe other administration officials, behaved improperly, possibly jeopardizing Ms. Plame and her
covert contacts. The only question is what name will be used for this latest Washington "Gate".