Corn: Newsweek to Out Rove on Plame Today

Via Norm (again! again with the Norm!) I learn of David Corn’s arianablog posting to the effect that Newsweek is going to deliver an important update later today on Rove as the source of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity to Matt Cooper: Explosive new Rove revelation coming soon?

Yet tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine’s Matt Cooper and that Rove–prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official — told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson’s now-controversial trip to Niger.

To be clear, this new evidence does not necessarily mean slammer-time for Rove. Under the relevant law, it’s only a crime for a government official to identify a covert intelligence official if the government official knows the intelligence officer is under cover, and this documentary evidence, I’m told, does not address this particular point. But this new evidence does show that Rove — despite his lawyers claim that Rove “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA” — did reveal to Cooper in a deep-background conversation that Wilson’s wife was in the CIA.

This story is very evocative of the Downing Street memo for me. It’s not that it’s news that the Bush administration is willing to compromise our national security in pursuit of a self-serving political agenda; there’s been overwhelming evidence of that for years. It’s that this new evidence (assuming Corn’s information about the Newsweek story is accurate) is so damning that it reduces the Bush defenders’ wiggle room perilously close to zero.

Human nature being what it is, I’m sure plenty of people will choose to argue that black is white, it REALLY REALLY IS, rather than acknowledging that they were wrong to trust Bush. But we may also see a few people actually going through that most amazing of mental events: a true conversion, a moment of satori, scales falling from the eyes, the realization that, as shocking as it is, they were completely, pathetically wrong.

Those of us who’ve been operating on the basis of reality for a while now should do our best to be patient with the earnest expressions of surprise and dismay from these folks. (Oh my god! Did you know that Bush is actually running a very bad administration? Who would have thought?)

Yes. Depressing, isn’t it? Welcome to the real world.

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