"Despite vehement denials by his attorney who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a "target" nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week."
For most Americans, this bit of news will be viewed as long overdue.
The criminal indictment filed by the grand jury against Scooter Libby leaves no doubt about who leaked what and when. It states that on or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, Libby spoke to "Official A," who we now know is Rove, who advised Libby of "a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson 's wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson 's trip."
Libby was also advised, "by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson 's wife," the indictment notes.
Rove succeeded in convincing Novak to print the story about Wilson and his wife even though Novak was informed that the story was false. Former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow has testified before the grand jury about conversations that he had with Novak 3 days before the column was published and said that he told Novak that Wilson's wife had not authorized the trip and that if he did write an article, Novak should not reveal her name.
After the first conversation with Novak, Harlow said he checked Valerie's status to confirm that she was an undercover agent and called Novak back to say again that the story relayed to Novak was not true and that her name should not be revealed.
Administration officials like to send out talking heads to minimize the damage caused by the leak by trying to debate the issue of whether Valerie's CIA status was classified. During his October 28, 2005, press conference, when announcing the Libby indictment, Fitzgerald left no doubt about whether her status was classified, when he told reporters:
"Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community. Valerie Wilson's friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life.
"The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well-known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It's important that a CIA officer's identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation's security. Valerie Wilson's cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003."
For 18 years Valerie had kept her occupation a secret. She worked under the cover of a CIA front company created and maintained at the taxpayer's expense, and all of that was destroyed by Bush administration officials at the highest levels when they leaked her identity.
In hindsight, its obvious that the leaks by Rove and Libby were the beginning of a White House scheme to pin the blame on the CIA for providing faulty intelligence and to take the focus off the forged documents used to insert the Iraq-uranium claim into the mix in the first place
But the overall plot goes much deeper than that. In peddling the story to reporters, a fact not known to most Americans is that Rove and Libby leaked the identity of a CIA agent who happened to be an expert on WMDs at a time when the US had supposedly went to war to eliminate the threat of such weapons being used against our country.
Melissa Mahle spent 14 years as a covert CIA agent maintaining a series of fictitious cover stories, invented by her superiors. On the October 30, 2005, segment of 60 Minutes, Mahle reported that Valerie was working on important national security issues, like keeping tabs on nuclear material and the world 's top nuclear scientists.
"She is an expert on weapons of mass destruction," Mahle said. "These are the kind of people that don't grow on trees. "
What do agents do in that division, she was asked.