OK, so according to the Los Angeles Times, “legal analysts” are saying Karl Rove is off the hook in the Valerie Plame case because he didn’t actually name her, but referred to her as “[Joseph] Wilson’s wife.”

Let’s think about this for a second. If I say, “The First Lady is going to be speaking at such-and-such an event,” I’ve identified her. I didn’t actually name Laura Bush, but it’s obvious who I’m talking about. Since marriage is a one-to-one correspondence (at a given time, anyway) and a matter of public record, identifying “Joseph Wilson’s wife” or “Hillary Clinton’s husband” is as good as identifying the person by name to anyone interested enough to look it up.

It seems to me that the legal issues for Rove should be whether the outing was intentional and whether he knew she was covert—not what your definition of “identify” is.

Not that I have any illusions that Rove will suffer any significant consequences. When a highly successful political strategist says, “go ahead, name me as your source,” you know he’s confident about his defense.

3 thoughts on “On Identification

  1. Are you sure? Assuming Rove was the same source for both Cooper and Miller (if it’s not him, then there were several leaks), why’d he let one reporter off the hook and let the other go to jail?

  2. Baloney. Think it through. You say, “when a highly successful political strategist says, ‘go ahead, name me as your source,’ you know he’s confident about his defense.” Not so. It is part of his defense. How would it look if you pointed out that Rove let him go to jail. It would just make it worse. This way he can say, I didn’t let him go AND it shows my innocence.

  3. Hehehe. I love this administration. This takes me back to happier days and the “I did not have sex with that woman” defense. Whenever you are caught dead to rights, divert media attention with a ridiculous argument.

    Watch for later this year when they claim it was a typo that caused them to believe Iraq and not Iran had nuclear weapons.

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