Stories by Leon H Wolf

Posted at 10:30am on Jul. 17, 2005 Sunday Open Thread

By Leon H Wolf

A little open thread for your Sunday enjoyment.

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Posted at 12:43pm on Jul. 15, 2005 Who Outed Plame? Was it... Wilson?

By Leon H Wolf

Frank Admission: This story will wander out of the areas of solid fact and into the area of speculation. However, the clearer the picture becomes, the more reasonable this speculation sounds.

I've been chewing over this story almost incessantly over the last several days, and in the wake of the recent revelations about where Rove learned his information it appears that once again, the institution to walk away from this whole sordid affair with the most mud on their face will be the media, not the administration. If the Rove-friendly source is correct, and Rove came by his knowledge of Plame's identity through his contacts with the media, who have kept silent about his innocence this whole time, then they will deservedly suffer another serious blow to their collective credibility.

Given that, the question remains: How did the media come by this information? In revisiting Mathew Continetti's article from nearly a year ago, it appears that the ultimate blame for Valerie Plame's outing, when all is said and done, may lie with none other than Joe Wilson.

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Posted at 1:21am on Jul. 15, 2005 Breaking: Rove Learned Plame's Identity From.. Novak?

By Leon H Wolf

Somebody help me, I can't stop writing on this story.

The New York Times (with a Hat Tip to Drudge) is reporting in a story peppered with horribly ambiguous grammar that Karl Rove did in fact discuss Plame's identity with Novak - however, the twist to this particular tale is that (apparently) Novak gave Plame's name to Rove, not the other way around.

I use the word "apparently" because the story is so filled with misplaced modifiers and awkward mutilations of the English language that it's difficult to determine what the heck the Times authors are intending to say. But, we shall give it the old College Try beneath the fold.

An aside: The article is also full of reiterations of the Known Fact™ that Bush promised to fire anyone involved in the leak. We've dealt with that so much already that to belabor the point here would be the rhetorical equivalent of beating a dead horse.

ADDENDUM, Nick Danger: The article goes on tell us that Rove "heard it too" from other journalists. Before reporters started calling him, Rove had never heard of Valerie Plame, didn't know she worked at the CIA, and didn't know she was involved in arranging Wilson's trip.
So this is all just a bunch of reporters chasing each others' tails. And blaming Rove.

The truly amazing part of this article is how it goes on ad nauseam about how this will only intensify the fire on Rove. It's almost like the authors didn't read their own article.

Update [2005-7-15 0:45:9 by Clayton]:

Dear New York Times. There is a book out concerning style in writing. Perhaps you ought to order a few copies. This article is a train wreck of grammar.

One more update [2005-7-15 1:16:00 by Leon H] When this story first started gaining serious steam, Nick Danger was the first to suggest that this entire affair was a deliberate attempt to take the scalp of Karl Rove that was both originated and perpetuated by the media (specifically, the NYT). At the time, the cries of "tinfoil hat!" were deafening. It's looking more and more each day like those hats just may be receiving signals from earth, after all.

And then there's this.

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Posted at 3:33pm on Jul. 14, 2005 Rove/Plame: Where do We Stand?<br>Thirteen Burning Questions

By Leon H Wolf

To begin this story, I need to apologize. In the course of my fact-finding, I've made several blunders that could charitably be called overstatements, and less charitably called mistakes. I'm especially concerned about this because I've leaned so heavily on the legwork previously done by the inestimable Tom Maguire, and I don't want to give the impression that he's feeding me bad information. So, to set the record straight, all mistakes in previous columns are the sole property of Leon H, and may not be transferred to Tom Maguire or any other blogger.

The genesis for these mistakes is partially due to the nature of the story itself. This is a story that has been brewing for a long time, but one about which normal people (and even hyper-political people like me) were unable to grasp the importance of until Karl Rove's name entered the picture. Being the galvanizing personality that Rove is, the story suddenly took on a life of its own, both for the left and the right. Thus, bloggers like me had a whole new incentive to come to grasp with the particulars of this story in a rather large hurry.

The problem with this approach is that the story has been brewing for so long, and there are so many points of dispute that have happened along the way, that attempting to assimilate that much history in the span of two days is bound to cause some growing pains. In fact, I'd wager to say that Maguire, who is one of the few bloggers who has followed this story diligently and consistently from day one, may be the only blogger innocent of making significant factual mistakes - and even he admits to frank confusion at times.

With that said, now that the hysteria has calmed a bit and the facts have been sorted out, the question remains, where do we stand? What are the issues left to be resolved? I humbly submit that this story boils down to 13 essential questions of fact, which I have enumerated below the fold. I also have attempted to answer these questions with the best information that I can find.

Items marked SETTLED are those on which moonbats and wingnuts agree in happy harmony. Items marked SOLID are those items for which significant evidence exists to dismiss the shrieking dissent of a few. Items marked SHAKY are those which are still up in the air, despite evidence on both sides. Items marked BURNING QUESTION are those about which virtually no evidence yet exists.

UPDATE: PatHMV explains "double super secret background."

Read on:

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Posted at 1:51pm on Jul. 13, 2005 Slayer of Known Facts

By Leon H Wolf

Like Perseus wandering through the earth slaying the mighty Titans, Tom Maguire has been wandering through the digital wasteland slaying the mighty Known Facts of liberals since the whole Plame/Wilson fiasco began. Not, mind you, that liberals care if their Known Facts are exposed as dead falsehoods for the rest of the world to see (one wonders if many actually consider this as a bonus), but it's certainly worth our time to make an outreach effort to the Reality Based Community with some... um... Reality.

UPDATE: The G8 question and answer session that our loyal posters here have been peppering me with was predicated on Bush's "earlier pledge" to fire whoever was involved. As the story demonstrates, the "earlier pledge" in question was a promise to fire whoever was involved "if they violated the law."

More below the fold:

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Posted at 6:23pm on Jul. 12, 2005 Byron York: Cooper "Burned" Rove

By Leon H Wolf

A tip of the hat to our own Kevin Holtsberry for finding this interview of Rove lawyer Robert Luskin by Byron York. Through Luskin, Rove makes his most definitive remarks of the whole controversy thus far.

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Posted at 12:36am on Jul. 11, 2005 Joe Wilson: Lying Liar who Tells Lies<br>A Reminder

By Leon H Wolf

In the wake of the recent furor over the revelation that Karl Rove is very likely at least one of the sources who leaked the fact that Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA operative, it is important to remember who we are discussing when we talk about Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.

In case anyone was still under the illusion that Joe Wilson was an innocent State Department official who is being persecuted for "being honest", and Valerie Plame was a noble CIA field agent whose career - nay, personal safety is now in jeopardy, it is worth our while to remember that subsequent revelations, accepted by a bipartisan Senate committee, have put those Known Facts clearly to rest.

The WaPo explains below the fold that Joe Wilson lied about virtually everything he said in connection with Niger, and that his wife was also complicit in the falsity:

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Posted at 2:44pm on Jul. 10, 2005 Is There a "Recruiting Crisis"?

By Leon H Wolf

StrategyPage says no: (with at tip of the hat to the Instapundit)

The army is scrutinizing every job they have, and deciding which could be done by civilians. While the media reports a “recruiting crises” in the army, they are missing the real story of how the army is reorganizing so that it can get along without the people it is having trouble recruiting. The people who actually do the fighting continue to join up, and stay in. . . .

The army’s solution is to go back to the past, when many of the “non-combat” troops were civilians. Way back in the day, these people were called “camp followers,” and they took care of supply, support, medical care, maintenance and “entertainment” (that’s where the term “camp follower” got a bad name). The majority of these people were men, and some of them were armed, mainly for defending the camp if the combat troops get beat real bad and needed somewhere to retreat to. The army is using a lot more civilians now. In a war like this, it’s cheaper to hire additional civilians, on short term contracts, than it is to recruit and train more troops.

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Posted at 10:34am on Jul. 10, 2005 Night of the Living "Known Fact"

By Leon H Wolf

One of the most persistent Known Facts in the lexicon of Known Fact users is the Known Fact that Iraq had no ties to Al-Qaeda. None whatsoever. This, of course, was the justification the New York Times (one of the great all-time users of Known Facts) used for their shrieking denunciation of Bush's June 28th speech. How could he even mention Iraq and 9/11 in the same speech? Doesn't he know that it's a Known Fact that there was no relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda?

Much of the evidence behind this Known Fact lies behind the findings of the 9/11 commission, which stated that it could find "no evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States." This, to the liberal mindset, was the same as saying, "We have proved conclusively that no such evidence exists, nor ever will exist, so let this henceforth be known as a Known Fact." The reality is that the commission said something very different, and the emergence of actual facts in the year since then has repeatedly put this Known Fact to death, only to see it rise up from the grave, more horrible and foul-smelling than ever before.

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Posted at 11:41pm on Jul. 9, 2005 PBA Abortion Ban Reaches Apellate Level

By Leon H Wolf

From the Old Grey Lady:

A federal appeals court yesterday upheld a ruling by a lower court judge striking down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which bars a method of abortion generally used after the first trimester.

The decision, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in St. Louis, was the first that an appeals court has issued on the ban, which Congress approved in November 2003 with the strong backing of President Bush.

Some observations on what does mean, and should mean for the upcoming SCOTUS fight below the fold.

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