Sunday, July 17, 2005


Cooper on Russert-Some Clarification

Matt Cooper said on Meet the Press he learned Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA and on WMD from Rove. He says pretty clearly that Rove was his first source.
Matt Cooper also said on Meet the Press that his lawyer called Rove’s lawyer on the morning of the Grand Jury appearance that he would have been sent to jail for not testifying and worked out a deal. From what Cooper had said on that day to reporters, it sounded like he had received a phone call from Rove himself. I wasn't the only one to misunderstand him.
So far, I haven't seen a reason to think Cooper is conspiring against the Administration. There is no doubt that he is a critic, but it looks like he has been truthful. He also wisely capitalized on the experience, by not saying too much at the press conference that day, so that he could write about it in Time. No one can fault him for that.
Given the nature of the law (see earlier post), none of what has come to light so far, from Cooper and others, necessarily suggests Rove broke any laws. What it does do is suggest that he was talking without thinking it through. Here's part of the problem. He is so smart, and such a good strategist that his critics think that whenever something like this happens, it must be that he was acting on a plan. This time, I think he was just talking without thinking it through. Let's face it. If her friends and neighbors knew that she worked a desk at Langley, "outing" her was not a brilliant strategy from one of the most accomplished political minds of our day. What he seemed to simply be doing was correcting the reporters by saying that the rumor (that Wilson started) about Wilson being sent by Cheney is false. By taking it one step further and saying that "Wilson's wife, who apparently works for the CIA" was the one who got him the assignment, he has landed in a scandal. There is still lots of information we do not know, but from what has already been made public, it seems safe to say that he didn't choose his words very carefully.

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