A sample of readings off the top of my head:Plame's Identity Marked As SecretRove's roleKarl Rove: The Architect—Interview with Wayne Slater (PBS Frontline)
For Karl Rove to say he didn’t name Ms. Plame because he only referred to her as Wilson’s wife is as disingenuous as asking the special prosecutor to define what he meant by “is.” Any reporter good enough to get paid and have a White House contact could find her full name, if he or she didn’t already know it, in about 5 minutes. And none of this explains why Rove, his boss and the rest of the Administration crew honed in on not just who might have sent Wilson but the possible role of his wife in not writing his report or guiding his findings or telling him who or who not to talk to but sending him in the first place. It still baffles why a small group of men---Karl Rove, Matthew Cooper, Robert Novak, Scooter Libby—cared whether James Wilson IV’s wife had anything to do with his mission to Niger, whether she “sent” him or offered his name for consideration. The false controversy over Wilson allegedly saying he was sent to Niger by the Vice President’s office is not only unbelievable—why would the office of a man still publicly asserting that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11 send someone to investigate a piece of the rationale (I use the word loosely) behind the invasion of Iraq?—but a smoke screen, beside the point. An alternate truth, that Valerie Plame (Valerie Wilson in the CIA memo) sent her husband to Niger to confirm or deny reports Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, still leaves doubt as to why her name or her alleged involvement matters more than finding the memo behind the yellowcake allegation was forged and the allegation unfounded. If Wilson did slip and say Vice President Cheney himself sent Wilson to Niger, it still doesn’t explain what any of that has to do with intentionally or unintentionally outing or supporting the outing of the name of a CIA employee whose name appeared in a memo paragraph marked as secret.
More than likely, it is Karl Rove’s usual Machiavellian interpretation of how political reality works—that one doubt, as in a criminal trial, can derail any lie, truth, scandal or mistake, that what matters isn’t the result or end but the means and who controls the means. Or is it that anything a man does is suspect if his wife is involved? Or because he has a wife at all? That men with wives who work can’t be trusted? That wives twist husbands into non-thinking shells that can be filled by any rain storm or Time reporter? In all the speculation, leaking, covering and ducking, no one has stated why Valerie Plame was relevant to the past or present discussion. Is she a partisan? Did she tell her husband to nail the Administration to the wall? Did she manipulate the machinery put in place to make sure her husband went? Why? The purpose of the tainting is unclear except if seen in the context of Karl Rove’s MO as played out in previous Bush campaigns and in the cases of John DiIulio, Paul O’Neill and Richard Clarke—naming Plame as a threat, as an attempt to discredit not the information Wilson found, or didn’t find, in Niger but to discredit him as a Man, a husband, painting a target on the chest of the messenger and setting up the press and public to pull the trigger so that Wilson would retract from his op-ed piece every word, comma and period.