Matt Cooper exposed

Okay, here's today's must-read: a 5000-word plus Los Angeles Times article that meticulously dissects the entire Rove-Plame saga for the layperson (by that I mean anyone who has better things to do with their life than obsess about the convoluted inner workings of the Beltway crowd). [LINK]

Here are some highlights to whet your appetite. First, it lays to rest once and for all the GOP-inspired lie that Wilson was sent to Niger on her suggestion:


An official recommended sending Wilson to Niger because of his experience there, including a previous mission for the CIA. What role Plame played in securing the mission for her husband has become a noisy sideshow to the substantive questions his trip raised about prewar intelligence. It is not clear why Plame's role would have been relevant to Wilson's uranium findings. But it was very important in the campaign to discredit him.
Plame was never a player in the Niger trip until Karl Rove decided to make her the focus of his smear campaign:
But it appears Rove was more focused on Wilson's background, politics and claims he ostensibly had made that his mission was initiated at the request of the vice president.
Rove mentioned to reporters that Wilson's wife had suggested or arranged the trip. The idea apparently was to undermine its import by suggesting that the mission was really "a boondoggle set up by his wife," as an administration official described the trip to a reporter, according to an account in the Washington Post.
Second, the worst one can say about Wilson is that perhaps his findings on Niger were not viewed quite as conclusive as he may claim -- but then again, as the article makes clear, any CIA intelligence that countered the administration's desires was treated with skepticism at that time.

Finally, the article is not kind to the wonderful Mr. Cooper and his employer, Time magazine. Turns out there's a not-so-noble reason why Matt Cooper did not approach Karl Rove for a waiver in early 2004, but waited until 2005 -- long after the presidential elections. Excerpt after the jump here.

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