He's not ready to have a fork stuck in him, but Salon puts the pieces together to explain even to righties why Rove must go:
There are still plenty of questions about Karl Rove's involvement in the
Valerie Plame case, and we trust that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will
eventually get to the bottom of them. But given what we know today, the very
best that anyone can say of Karl Rove is that, on July 11, 2003, he broke the
cover of a CIA analyst in order to discredit criticism of the way George W. Bush
used intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.
That's not partisan hyperbole; incredibly, it is Karl Rove's defense.
In order to show that Rove and his colleagues in the White House weren't engaged in a conspiracy to reveal Plame's identity, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, says that Rove had another goal in mind when he told Time's Matthew Cooper that Joseph Wilson's wife was a CIA analyst: It was all about politics.
When Cooper called Rove on July 11, 2003, Wilson had just written an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times in which he said that his investigation into the allegation that Iraq had purchased uranium yellowcake from Niger had left him with "little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Cooper asked Rove about the Wilson report at the end of their telephone conversation. Rove's response? According to Cooper's e-mail message to his editor, Rove warned Cooper "not to get too far out" on Wilson's allegations because the source wasn't credible. Rove said that neither Vice President Dick Cheney nor CIA Director George Tenet had assigned Wilson to the Niger investigation. Rather, he said, the job came from Wilson's own wife, who was, Rove told Cooper, a CIA analyst working on WMD issues.
So you see, Luskin tells the New York Times, "A fair reading of the e-mail as well as the context in which the conversation took place makes it clear that the information conveyed was not part of an organized effort to disclose Plame's identity." Rather, Luskin tells the Washington Post: "What [Rove] was doing was
discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren't true."
.... But none of that can change the fact that Karl Rove revealed the identity of a CIA agent in order to discredit criticism of the president's use of intelligence in the run-up to a war that has now claimed the lives of at least 1,755 Americans.
And that's what we know so far.
Even if no laws were broken, this is still not the sort of thing that people would stay employed for if they were average, everyday people: if I had a security clearance and I left a classified document on my desk unattended- even accidentally- I'd be fired, and wouldn't be very likely to get a clearance again.
So it should be with Rove.
Even if you claim he didn't knowingly broke the law, there is no way a claim can be made that Rove did not provide aid and comfort to our enemies by releasing classified information- even inadvertantly.
Rove must go.
But I woudn't be surprised to see an indictment or two at this point, either, given the way McClellan's behaving.