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Look Who's Covertly Controlling the GOP: Karl Rove, Scheming Election Theft and Raising a Fortune for Vicious Attack Ads

Karl Rove is no longer merely Bush’s Brain; he’s the man who swallowed the Republican Party.

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Since Wilson had discovered they were—the allegations were false, he later wrote a very famous column, an  op-ed piece in the  New York Times, saying what I found in Africa ["What I Didn’t Find in Africa"], and he revealed that. And this was destroying the Rovian narrative, the Bush administration’s narrative. So, in retaliation, they outed his wife, Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, who was a  CIAagent, and exposed her. And that’s what it was all about. And this showed that they would stop at nothing to maintain their narrative. They were trying to discredit Joe Wilson. I think they sort of didn’t realize exactly how far they were going. And this was potentially a crime, so this started the whole Valerie Plame investigation.

Now, Bush said he would fire anyone who was responsible for this leak. And one thing that’s absolutely clear is that Rove, though he was not the only one—Scooter Libby was later indicted and convicted—Rove played a very, very key role in this. And he did leak Valerie Plame’s name—rather, her identity, that she was a wife. At one point he said, "I didn’t say her name." Well, he said this is Joe — "Joe Wilson’s wife is a  CIA agent. She set up everything." And he told that to Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper. So, and Rove went on to lie about it again and again.

I think there’s, oddly enough, a link in those two clips you just showed of MC Rove dancing with the press and Joe Wilson, because what is important here, in some way, is the press’s complicity with this. What you see is, when Karl Rove is your source, you are beholden to him. I read Bob Novak’s memoirs, the late columnist, who was the man who first printed Valerie Plame’s name. And he says, rather tellingly, that "Karl Rove was my A-plus source for many, many years." And he was sort of Novak’s meal ticket. And Novak goes on to say, "But when that happens, of course, you never write a critical word about him." And a lot of the press was like that. And you see in that clip a lot of the correspondents dancing with Rove.

AMY GOODMAN: How did Rove escape indictment? I mean, Scooter Libby went down, Judith Miller.

CRAIG UNGER: Well, I think it was by a sheer stroke of luck. And there was a woman reporter at  Time magazine named Viveca Novak—no relation to Bob Novak. And she would have drinks occasionally with Rove’s lawyer, Bob Luskin. And occasionally, they—during one conversation, Rove’s lawyer said, "Well, Karl is in danger from Matt Cooper at  Time." And she let it slip that, yes, he was. And this was—so, suddenly, Rove was being called before the grand jury, I think a total of five times. He had said again and again that he had not leaked it to anyone. He said that he didn’t recall any conversation with Matt Cooper. This turned out to be a lie, frankly. He had told this to Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary. He had told it to President Bush. This had been his story again and again. And he was finally caught in a lie, and now his attorney realized it. So Rove willingly asked to go back to the grand jury and correct the information. And on that basis alone, I believe he escaped a perjury indictment.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: You also talk in your book about Rove’s relationship to the judiciary. You say that no other political strategist in history has ever been so deeply indebted to the U.S. Supreme Court, and you talk about a couple of key decisions that went along with what Rove was lobbying for.

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