The credulous journalists are making quite the racket, with everyone reading NYT's "lawyer involved in the case" to be Armitage's lawyer, admitting that Armitage was Novak's first and primary source--something that Armitage has no direct way of knowing (Fitzgerald may have told him, but Novak apparently hasn't spoken to him since the leak conversation, so Armitage could only go by Novak's public comments). There are even wingnuts complaining the lefty blogosphere is silent about Armitage's involvement, in spite of the fact that we've been talking about Armitage's involvement since March. And, here I am, no doubt boring my readers with one after another post on the Isikoff-Corn "scoop."
Correct me if I'm wrong. But the real silence isn't coming from the lefty blogosphere. The real silence is coming from Karl Rove.
I could be wrong. But I have yet to see any of these articles actually quoting Rove. I have yet to see any reports of Karl Rove, gloating not only at his vindication, but attacking Patrick Fitzgerald for pursuing a case when he knew, the wingnuts claim, everything he needed to know by October 2, 2003 (even before Fitzgerald was appointed). Gloating that Richard Armitage is being dragged through the mud instead of him.
Oh sure, lots of Rove mouthpieces are doing so, starting with Isikoff and continuing to Hitchens and Brooks and Byron. Rove apparently still employs Mark Corallo (even though some eleven weeks have passed since Corallo declared this "over"), because he complained to Byron York that Rove was never contacted for the Isikoff-Corn book (Libby's Comstock made the same complaint). Though Isikoff says Rove was given the opportunity to comment, but chose not to:
I told [Rove lawyer Robert] Luskin I was working on a book late last year on all this and reminded him again in April at the time I was talking to him about Rove's last grand jury appearance as we went over— yet again — the Rove, Cooper and Novak issues that I was writing about for the magazine. (I have operated under the assumption that he and others didn't have a different version of the truth for a book than they do for the readers of Newsweek.) Mark [Corallo] was interviewed for the book last December (about a matter he dealt with at the Justice Department) and I spoke to him periodically over the next six months about matters relating to Rove. At one point, he even helped put me in touch with a source for the book. Barbara Comstock certainly knew I was working on a book for at least the last six months and I certainly spoke to her during that period. (The Libby lawyers have consistently no commented me and David, as they have everybody else.) Finally, Dan Bartlett was sent a lengthy email that included questions for the book relating to Rove unrelated to the leak case. He chose not to respond.
Huh. Maybe it won't be as banal a book as I thought it would be.
Now, do you really believe that if Turdblossom were confidant the Plame leak story were over, we wouldn't be hearing from him right now?
One more thing. I was asked the other day what I thought happened with Rove. And I made a point I've been thinking a lot about since, because I think it's an important clue to what has gone on. Rove has never really commented on the case, on his supposed exoneration, or Armitage's role. Meanwhile, Novak has been blabbing away, without even attending closely to the consistency of his story.
This suggests that Rove is still under some threat. If Rove could spin this himself, he would, so there must be some compelling reason he can't. Perhaps he is the star witness in the Dick Cheney IIPA trial. Perhaps he is, himself, at risk for some other indictment. But you can be sure Rove wouldn't be silent unless Fitzgerald had some kind of sway over him.
Whereas Novak's chattiness suggests he believes he is cleared of any threat or involvement in this case and can say what he wants--regardless of whether or not it resembles the truth. If Rove were still in direct threat for perjury indictment (or if he were indicted), Novak would likely still be the taciturn grump he was through most of this investigation, not only to make sure he didn't mess up the cover story, but because a Rove perjury case might carry an obstruction charge for Novak. But there he is, back on the Sunday shows, blabbing away.
Again, I may be wrong about this, about Rove's apparent silence on the issue all of his allies seem utterly obsessed with. Let me know if you've seen him directly addressing this. But if I'm right, don't you find Rove's silence curious?
I'd say it speaks volumes.