Column: Rove’s dirty hands

By Todd Swiss

When Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent and wife of Joseph Wilson, was publicly outed in the U.S. press courtesy of Time Magazine and columnist Robert Novak, the question on everyone’s mind was “Who would do such a thing?” The focus of the investigation became finding out the informant of the journalists who wrote the articles.

The source would obviously have some explaining to do. Not only did the source put Valerie Plame’s life in danger, they also created a national security issue. Plame was still on active duty when the articles ran and had to be rushed out of her post and returned to the United States. If the wrong people got word of Plame’s true profession and goals, she could have been tortured and killed for information concerning her work and her colleagues working with her in the area. If Plame had given in and released information, our intelligence agencies could have lost vital information and other spies.

Just recently, the journalists were summoned to a grand jury in hopes of discovering who leaked Plame’s true identity. Just as the journalists were prepared to go to jail instead of revealing their source due to confidentiality agreements, Time reporter Matt Cooper decided to go against journalistic integrity and reveal his source with permission from this person.

That source is none other than top Republican advisor Karl Rove. Rove is the main man in Bush’s political strategy team. Now, why would a top Republican aide attempt to sabotage national intelligence and security? Maybe it was a sign to Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, to shut his mouth. See, Wilson was a very vocal critic of the war in Iraq and was actively disputing some of the claims the Bush administration had made about Iraq purchasing nuclear substances such as uranium from Niger. Why Rove leaked the information has not been said, but this seems to be a really good guess. What better way to silence your critics than strong-arm them into submission by threatening their families? Last time I checked, this is quite illegal and in a just world, Rove would be tried in court for treason.

This is just another example of the dirty politics Rove and the Bush administration rely on to control their dissenters and critics. While Republicans continuously cry to the media that Democrats play dirty and are stubborn politicians, they secretly play the dirtiest games. While Democrats in congress use their legal strategy such as filibustering to voice their distaste for certain nominations, the Republicans silence their critics with illegal and immoral tactics. Rove chose to put U.S. lives on the line to further his agenda. This is truly a despicable act. However, in true Republican fashion, Rove is denying any wrong-doing. He has said that he never used Plame’s name in his e-mails to the journalists. This may be true, but how did the journalists just figure out what Plame did? Rove obviously led them on a path to Plame. This deed alone needs to be punished. Rove committed crimes to support his own cause.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Going to war with Iraq was supported by U.S. citizens who were lied to by the Bush administration. To make matters worse, the administration attempted to silence their critics who were telling the truth by threatening the critics’ families. This type of behavior reminds me of how big tobacco responded when their interests were being challenged by “Truth.” Big tobacco eventually admitted fault, but it was after years of pain for many people. Hopefully Rove will admit fault and submit to the law before too many more people are hurt. Rove was caught and should cooperate with the authorities. However, given his track record, I will only believe it when I see it.

Todd Swiss is a senior in LAS. His column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at [email protected]