Monday, October 10, 2005

Karl, What’s That On Your Tie?

It seems a certain Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert), the stud-for-hire who before being “outed” was given daily admittance into the White House to pose as a reporter and ask Bush-friendly questions, has resurfaced as a player in the ongoing Karl Rove/Plamegate investigation.

Gannon’s cover organization, Talon News, was one of the outlets that published the identity of former ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, in an effort to discredit Wilson for discrediting the White House’s case against Saddam Hussein’s alleged nuke-u-ler aspirations.

Legitimate journalists Matt Cooper, Judy Miller and others whose surnames aren’t necessarily occupations from the Middle Ages (and who aren’t necessarily legitimate), like Robert Novak, have thus far gotten all the glory in Plamegate. But Gannon may yet regain front page coverage, as his purported inside knowledge of Plame's identity runs afoul of federal espionage laws.

From Joe Conason (Salon): “…the special counsel (US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald) is seeking to determine whether anyone transmitted classified material or information to persons who were not cleared to receive it -- which could be a felony under the 1917 Espionage Act.”

Fitzgerald’s investigation may be expanding, though we still don’t know the extent to which Rove is being investigated. But this question arises: Was there some quid pro quo between Messrs. Rove and Gannon, given that the former was probably responsible for leaking the Wilson-damaging story to the latter’s employer for publication? We know what Rove got out of the deal, but what about Gannon?

If Karl Rove has a blue tie, someone ought to check it for stains.

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