The White House may not be talking but Karl Rove’s attorney gave an interview today to Byron York at the National Review Online. Luskin says Time Magazine reporter “burned” his client after he revealed to Cooper the identity of a secret CIA agent.
So how did Cooper burn Karl Rove? Rove feels betrayed by Cooper because the reporter had the temerity to write the story differently from the way Rove told it to him. In other words, Rove expected Cooper to be his stenographer, and because Cooper did his job and tracked down the true facts, Rove felt “burned.”
Luskin compared the contents of a July 11, 2003, internal Time e-mail written by Cooper with the wording of a story Cooper co-wrote a few days later. “By any definition, he burned Karl Rove,” Luskin said of Cooper. “If you read what Karl said to him and read how Cooper characterizes it in the article, he really spins it in a pretty ugly fashion to make it seem like people in the White House were affirmatively reaching out to reporters to try to get them to them to report negative information about Plame.”
First the e-mail. According to a report in Newsweek, Cooper’s e-mail to Time Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy said, “Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation…” Cooper said that Rove had warned him away from getting “too far out on Wilson,” and then passed on Rove’s statement that neither Vice President Dick Cheney nor CIA Director George Tenet had picked Wilson for the trip; “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd issues who authorized the trip.” Finally — all of this is according to the Newsweek report — Cooper’s e-mail said that “not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly that there’s still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger…”
So having heard this, Cooper was supposed to simply write up what Karl said, send it to his editor and call it a day. That’s probably what Judy Miller would have done.
A few days after sending the e-mail, Cooper co-wrote an article headlined “A War on Wilson?” that appeared on Time’s website. The story began, “Has the Bush administration declared war on a former ambassador who conducted a fact-finding mission to probe possible Iraqi interest in African uranium? Perhaps.”
…Luskin told NRO that the circumstances of Rove’s conversation with Cooper undercut Time’s suggestion of a White House “war on Wilson.” According to Luskin, Cooper originally called Rove — not the other way around — and said he was working on a story on welfare reform. After some conversation about that issue, Luskin said, Cooper changed the subject to the weapons of mass destruction issue, and that was when the two had the brief talk that became the subject of so much legal wrangling. According to Luskin, the fact that Rove did not call Cooper; that the original purpose of the call, as Cooper told Rove, was welfare reform; that only after Cooper brought the WMD issue up did Rove discuss Wilson — all are “indications that this was not a calculated effort by the White House to get this story out.”
Bull! No matter who called whom or who brought up what subject, it was Karl Rove who gave away the identity of a secret agent who was tracking black market sales of nuclear material.
Because of the leak, Valerie Plame Wilson’s front company – Brewster Jennings & Associates – was unmasked and its surveillance efforts were compromised against terrorist groups who were trying to buy nuclear materials.
This is something the White House must not be allowed to stonewall and spin under the carpet. National security was compromised by this revelation, and Karl Rove is one of the people who is responsible for the leak.