For a succinct list of links rebutting the Republican talking points on Rove/Plame, see The Left Coaster: Treasongate (Part VI): Response to GOP talking points. Also, for some juicy speculation about where Fitzgerald might be headed, check out Mark Kleiman: The Plame game: No, it’s not all about the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Kleiman makes some pretty persuasive-sounding arguments that what Fitzgerald’s up to may not be tagging Rove for that special felony violation everyone’s been talking about (under which it’s a serious crime to knowingly out an undercover agent). He might be pursuing the less-sexy, but also much-more-provable, charge that Rove (and others) violated the Espionage Act. Whoever can be shown to have violated that act “[s]hall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” If Fitzgerald has evidence of a criminal conspiracy (and realistically, I think it’s possible that he does), those conspirators should take note of the following clause:
(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.
We’ll have to wait and see on that part. In the meantime, it’s important to realize that all the disgusting scattershot bullshit coming out of the echo chamber the last few days is at least partly designed to be disgusting scattershot bullshit. That is, it doesn’t have to be true, or even remotely credible, to accomplish its true purpose: getting the public to tune out by convincing them (as was done previously with Richard Clarke, and with the original response to Joe Wilson’s whistleblowing) that this is just a politics-as-usual partisan dust-up.
To counter that, it’s important not to get caught up in point-by-point refutation of the B.S. That just plays into the spinmeisters’ larger strategy. Instead, do like Digby of Hullaballoo does here, and just wave off the silliness, while focusing on the essential core of the story: Clearing the cobwebs.
A friend of mine asked me to give her a synopsis of Rovegate in easy to understand, non-insider language. Perhaps you will find it interesting too:
I did find it interesting; really interesting. I knew just about all of it already, but it really helps to get it all in one place, to cover the whole thing from start to finish with a focus on what’s really at stake.