Opinion » Editorial

Sleeping Through



A major news alarm went off last weekend. Sadly, most of the national media just hit the snooze button and went on with their pursuit of crime in Aruba, Jacko’s reprieves, and the tribulations of Tom and Katie. To be fair, the major media outlets did take note, as they should have, of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s resignation from the Supreme Court and afforded themselves a little speculation time on that account.

But, disgracefully, they have so far largely ignored what may become one of the year’s biggest stories -- that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political strategist, was a source for several reporters who were told illegally in 2002 that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent. Plame, of course, was the wife of Joseph Wilson, the diplomat whose report debunking Saddam Hussein’s fictitious Niger uranium deal had angered an administration bent on war and determined to discredit opposition to its plans. Rove, through his lawyer, has now admitted to telling journalists about the Plame/CIA link, but he said it was only after columnist Robert Novak revealed the information in his column. Novak, for his part, somehow escaped the threat of jail time currently facing two other journalists who wrote about Plame.

Mysteries abound. Who told Novak? For that matter, who told Rove, and why? After all, the identification of CIA agents is not the kind of information a political strategist typically has access to. There is also speculation that the CIA wants to take Rove down as retribution for the CIA taking the fall for “poor intelligence” in the WMD debacle.

We are reminded of a phrase important in American history: “If this be treason, make the most of it!” That cry of colonial defiance to John Bull at the time of the American Revolution has been transmogrified into a whimper of impotence by the mainstream corporate media. “If this be treason, make the least of it” is apparently their new motto.

Our advice: Stay tuned. This story’s not going away soon. Even if it didn’t happen in Aruba. 

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