Let me preface this with the fact that I do think Rove probably was the initial source. I am not so convinced, however, that he was Cooper’s only source, and I’ve seen nothing that explicitly indicates this.
I am wondering if there is a disgruntled staffer, or former staffer, for Rove that is offering corroborating evidence that Rove was the original leak.
Now, let’s start from the basics. If I were a professional journalist, and had learned something from someone at the top, I would probably try to get a second verified statement from someone with ties to the original to confirm statements and/or internal policy. A primary source, words from the horse’s mouth is great, but I wouldn’t want to write an article and have only one source that could leave me twisting in the wind — especially if that person is Karl Rove who has left many a public figure hung out to dry.
Now, consider this somewhat mishmash of a paragraph from an old 2003 Newsmax(!) article regarding the Plame incident (emphasis mine):
As the story goes, individuals in the administration seeking revenge for Wilson’s criticism of Bush’s Iraq adventure played get-even, and at least two of Karl Rove’s staff placed phone calls to at least six Washington journalists, unmasking Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame. One of the journalists, Robert Novak, chose to publish and thus unmask CIA agent Plame.
So there’s the possibility of Rove talking, and there’s the possibility of this smear having been disseminated by members of his staff. If this were true, then it doesn’t take a leap of logic to determine that members of Rove’s staff knew of efforts to “out” Plame. At very least, those staffers mentioned in the paragraph above, and perhaps more.
Now, let’s come back to Cooper’s statement that he’d been released from his confidentiality promise from his source. This seemed to go smack in the face of everything pointing to Rove. Rove’s arrogance has been a favourite explanation, as has the unlikely idea that Rove would fall on his sword for the administration. None of these is satisfying for me, though. Simply put, Rove is vile but he’s not stupid.
With all this confusion going on, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve seen something of a sleight-of-hand trick. People believe Rove is the leak. Cooper was given a confidentiality release. Ergo, Rove gave the release? Right?
I wonder if there’s been a deliberate misdirection in all this… perhaps Cooper had two sources — Rove and someone within Rove’s organisation, and it’s the latter who, for reasons currently unknown, has decided it is time to come forth with information implicating Rove.
Could Cooper’s “personal and unambiguous waiver to speak before the grand jury” be a hitherto unknown mole from within Rove’s own ranks? Every assumption has been that Cooper’s got only one source, but unless I’ve missed it, I’ve never seen that explicitly stated.
Is there a definitive list somewhere of current and former members of Rove’s staff whose backgrounds might be worth investigating?