Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Countering the conventional wisdom

The CW in the Plame leak seems to run something like this: the President has changed his tune about involvement by any members of his administration in the leaking of Mrs. Wilson's name. Where he once promised punishment of any involvement in the matter, he has since changed that position to specifically mean only the commission of a crime.

The sense of some is that Bush has paid lip-service to the issue's important ramifications and has never truly sought to admonish Rove for any of his conduct. In otherwords, he's covering Karl's you-know-what!

For what it's worth, the NY Daily News counters the idea with this dish from WH staffers:

Other sources confirmed, however, that Bush was initially furious with Rove in 2003 when his deputy chief of staff conceded he had talked to the press about the Plame leak.

Bush has always known that Rove often talks with reporters anonymously and he generally approved of such contacts, one source said.

But the President felt Rove and other members of the White House damage-control team did a clumsy job in their campaign to discredit Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, the ex-diplomat who criticized Bush's claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Niger.

A second well-placed source said some recently published reports implying Rove had deceived Bush about his involvement in the Wilson counterattack were incorrect and were leaked by White House aides trying to protect the President.

"Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league way," the source said.

Again, for what it's worth considering the Daily News is best known for it's gossip columns and is here relying on un-named sources, but it does paint a different picture for anybody caring enough to look.

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