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Rove and Fitzgerald Play Monopoly

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Message Evelyn Pringle
How many more get-out-of-jail free cards does Karl Rove get? Eat your heart out Martha Stewart. You should have tried playing Monopoly with the G-Men.

On October 28 2005, the office of the Special Prosecutor released a press statement which stated in part:

"A major focus of the grand jury investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003, information concerning Valerie Wilson's CIA affiliation, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official made such a disclosure knowing that Valerie Wilson's employment by the CIA was classified information."

Somebody needs to inform Fitzgerald that "we got em." Kind of like Bush in Poland when he announced finding two trailers in Iraq and said that they had found the WMDs that Colin Powell had referred to in his speech at the UN.

Hey Mr Fitzgerald, as for those government officials you've been looking for, we found em. Surprise, surprise, its Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.

When reading the criminal indictment against Libby, its clear that Karl Rove and Libby each told reporters about Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent before Novak's column was published, albeit Libby did it first on June 23, 2003, when he told Judy Miller from the New York Times.

That is, first as far as we know anyways, because after close to a 3-year tax dollar funded investigation, it has since been revealed that Bob Woodward, of the Washington Post, was told of Valerie's CIA status reportedly before Libby and Rove made the revelations to Miller, Cooper or Novak.

But as the law applies to Libby and Rove, it doesn't matter who leaked first, because they still violated the "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," Form SF-312, that they signed as a condition of employment which prohibits even confirming or repeating classified information already leaked. The briefing book that comes with the form states in relevant part:

Before confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.

By now, a lot of people are wondering why it is that Libby is arrested and Rove is not. It's probably due to a variety of reasons.

On August 13, 2005, journalist, Murray Waas, reported that back in 2003, officials from the Justice Department and the FBI recommended the appointment of a special prosecutor because they felt that Rove had not been truthful about his conversation with Cooper, nor in claiming that he had first heard of Valerie's identity from a reporter whose name he could not remember.

At the time, Rove maintained that he had only spoken about Valerie to reporters after her identity had already become public. But we now know that Rove and Libby were the sources for Cooper's article in Time Magazine, published 3 days after Novak's column which cited unnamed government officials, when describing Valerie as a "CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

So again why is Libby the only one arrested? His only variation from the agreed upon talking points was when he added the name Tim Russert to "the reporter-told-me" story, while Rove stuck to the line that he could not remember the reporter's name.

For one thing, when the investigation began, I suspect that it's highly unlikely that Libby had any of the top dogs at the Justice Department in his back pocket. Whereas Rove reportedly raked in over $750,000 in consulting fees for working on prior campaigns for John Ashcroft, the reigning Attorney General at the time, and with a political hatchet man like Rove involved, who knows how many skeletons could be buried along those campaign trails.

Ashcroft is said to have been briefed on at least one of Rove's interviews with the FBI. That briefing probably led to the first get-out-of-jail-free card for Rove.

But even with the FBI breathing down his neck, in February 2004, Rove twice went before the grand jury and lied through his teeth. He refused to admit that he had spoken to Novak about Valerie before she was outed, and he denied talking with Cooper period.

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Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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