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Delay - Plame wasn't Covert Agent Because She Drove Back and Forth To Langley

Reported by Donna - July 13, 2005

Yes, it's all over the news, CNN, MSNBC and even Fox. The president did not offer a vote of confidence for Karl Rove today, he preferred to stay tight lipped regarding the leak in the White House.

The Republicans sent out their best to defend Karl Rove and the White House today when they sent that king of ethics, Tom Delay, to give the latest Republican talking points.

My transcript follows, paraphrased but pretty much verbatim, between Shepard Smith and Tom Delay on Studio B.

However, the funniest explanation (after blaming the media, Joe Wilson, the Democrats and others) was that Valerie Plame wasn't a covert agent because she drove in and out of Langley.

Shepard Smith: Congressman, Washington is buzzed today about all of the surroundings of Karl Rove and whether Karl Rove should be asked to step down now as this investigation continues. Some of your colleagues on the other side of the political fence are saying he should. Your thoughts?

Tom Delay: Well, this is typical of the Democrats. They smell blood and they act like sharks. (well, Fox got their shark reference in, whew!)(Plus, Democrats - their fault) Karl Rove is a good man. He was doing his job. He was trying to talk a reporter out of filing a false story (1st reference to a false story by Amb Wilson) based on a false premise and I don't see that he's done anything wrong.

SS: The reporter for the NY Times (I believe Smith meant Time Magazine) said today that, in fact, Karl Rove gave him, not the name of Valerie Plame, who is the CIA agent in question here, but the name of her husband. We know the web that is woven around that. And, it became quite clear that that's who he was talking about.

If a leak happened from anybody in the White House, should, as the President said he would, that person, whoever did the leaking, be fired?

TD: No, you shouldn't be fired for a leak, you should be fired for breaking a law. (That's not what the president said, he said just what Smith said) I know that some of the reporters are upset with what went on (What's he talking about?) but you have a situation here where Joe Wilson, Ms. Plame's husband was trying to sell a false story to the American people. (2nd reference to a false story from Amb Wilson and he threw in 'to the American people', thank you Mr. Delay for protecting us)(Plus, Joe Wilson's fault)

And..uh..and..uh...Karl Rove, along with probably many others were talking to the press mostly on background. Unfortunately, this reporter, Cooper (It's his fault, too?), did a very unprofessional thing. Took a background information and published it. So, I haven't seen that Karl Rove has done anything against the law. (Laughs) Leaks happen in Washington all of the time and you couldn't do your business if there weren't any leaks.

SS: No, we couldn't. In fact I think one of the most important things that we have is the availability to get information from people on background.

And it appears that, what happened here is that information was given that this reporter, of (who) you were speaking, decided to go ahead and write the story.

The question now is, is does this rise to the level where, because the name of the CIA agent was leaked and because the accusation is at least, that it was done for reasons which involve the president and protecting of what he wanted to happen, (Forgive the Shepard speak, this is how he talks) as a result, should changes be made? Is it all politics?

TD: Well, uh..er..a lot of this is politics but even going back to what actually happened here (and you would know exactly what happened here?) the national media called for a special prosecutor (my aren't the media powerful?) on this case. They got their special prosecutor. He's doing his job and he's investigating it.

It is obvious, by even news reports that are biased, that Karl Rove didn't leak anything that was against the law (obvious, by what evidence?)(notice the words he uses - 'that was against the law', are we to take from his words that Rove is the leaker but what he leaked is not against the law?) He was talking on background. He did what he was supposed to be doing and that is trying to squelch a false story (3rd reference to false story) being perpetrated by the Democrats, by Joe Wilson himself and others trying to undermine what the president was doing in the war on terror (Whoa, he scored a trifecta - it's all the fault of the Democrats, Joe Wilson and others!)(And this had nothing to do with the war on terror as he said, but the war in Iraq)

SS: Was Joe Wilson a target of the White House because of his report on Niger?

TD: I don't know that you would call it a target. When he's telling false stories. (#4 reference to false stories) You should be out there telling the truth.

SS: Well, what he said was there's no yellow cake, there was no uranium. That what the president was saying to the public was inaccurate. And, the accusation is at least that he was targeted as a result of going against the White House, which Democrats say is not an unusual thing. (Glad you noticed, Shep)

TD: Well, I wouldn't say targeted. He was giving false information. (reference #5 to false stories with no evidence or without even saying what the false information was) And trying to sell a false story (reference #6 to false story/stories) based upon false premises. And the White House as well as members of Congress and others were trying to get the truth out. (And what truth would that be?)

That's what happens on stories like this. when you got a false story (reference #7 to false story/stories) out there mainly being perpetrated for political gain (What political gain did Joe Wilson get?) you gotta try to get the truth out and that's what's going on here. (Again, what truth?)

SS: The White House has backed Karl Rove for many years. The White House today says, in fact the president was given the opportunity in a news conference to show his support for Karl Rove and instead made the decision not to do that but said instead, 'I'm gonna wait until all of this is over with.'

By the change in speak, can we assume that (Delay's laughing again) the White House is admitting that everything did not go as it hoped?

TD: (still laughing) It is amazing how people try to read between the lines and parse words...

SS: Well, nope, because it depends on what the definition of 'is' is. I mean, we've been in this business a while.

TD: (laughing again) I know, I know. No, the president still supports, as far as I know, he supports Karl Rove.

SS: He won't say it now. What does that mean?

TD: Well, there is an investigation going on here with a special prosecutor and the White House is part of that investigation. This administation is cooperating in this investigation and rightfully they shouldn't be out there talking to the press about stuff that's involved in the investigation. (No, we don't want to hear about 'stuff', we want the truth) That's the way they should act. (As opposed to when they spoke in the past when the investigation was also ongoing?)

SS: You're one who has had to deal with being the flavor of the day before. (That is putting it so nicely)

TD: Amen.

SS: It happened to Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT) as one on your side of the fence who's spoke out at the time.

When does this become a distraction for the White House in a very difficult time (I'll say)?

TD: I know some of them would like to see this as a distraction but it's not. (smiling broadly)

SS: It's not a distraction at all?

TD: No, you do your job. You stay focused on your job. You keep moving. (that's for sure) You got people to go talk to the reporters and the press. This president was elected to do a job and he's doing it. I'm elected to do a job and I'm doing it. And, we're moving forward. The national media can try to say it's a distraction, but look at what we're doing in the Congress. (Listen, he said a distraction to the White House, not the Congress)

I mean, we're passing bills, we're cutting budgets, we're deregulating. We're doing all kinds of reform actions. It hasn't slowed us down a bit. (Again, a distraction to the White House, not Congress)

SS: If there were a leak of this kind, hypothetically speaking, if someone leaked the name of a CIA operative, the president said before that if someone in his White House did that, that person should be fired. And that's......(words overtalked by Delay)

TD: If they broke the law. (No, no, no, again the president said what Smith said - a leaker in the White House) The law specifically says that the CIA operative, they're trained to keep them covert. That means usually they're overseas (it does?), they're not working out of Langley (they're not?) driving in and out of the gate, they are truly undercover, and you leak it, you're breaking the law.

That wasn't the case. That wasn't the case here. Ms. Plame was working at Langley, coming and going quite obvious she was working for the CIA and this...uh...er..this...there may be other's who leaked...uh...we'll find out when the investigation is over.

SS: Congressman, (some discussion about the weather) good to see you.

TD: Thank you, Shepard.

SS: Alright.

Comment: I'm tired, aren't you? Thanks for reading, I know it was long, but I thought it was important to get it out there. Most of my comments can be found inside many of the paragraphs. Smith asked some good questions, however, he had no one on the Democrats side to give a balanced view. Delay took the opportunity to blame just about everyone under the sun; the Democrats, Joe Wilson, the media, Matthew Cooper and 'others'.

I think it's hilarious that the Republicans sent out Tom Delay as their spokesperson and as is apparent by the interview, he was not in top form. He repeatedly spoke Republican talking points and laughed inappropriately. Smith was trying to be serious and many of us take this very serious. How many times did he repeat the 'false story' line? 7 times? Without saying what that false story was and how he knew it was a false story?

However, the bit about having to mostly be overseas and driving in and out of Langley as disqualifying you from being a covert operative for the CIA was the latest in many ridiculous attempts by the Republicans to discredit this story. It's like they're going down the line of excuses, (like they did for their reasons for going to war in Iraq) until they finally find one that sticks. Maybe if it wasn't a matter of national security, we, too, could laugh like Tom Delay.

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