Retired ambassador and former Sequim carpenter Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame have decided to frog march Karl Rove out of the White House their ownselves. Such an exit has been Wilson's expressed hope about Bush aide Rove, a remark Wilson first made here at Shoreline Center in August 2003 while claiming Rove was among those who outed Plame, the CIA officer. "Mr. Rove," Wilson also told me last October, "was a source, the primary source, exposing the identity of my wife.…To me, that's a frog-march offense." Only Dick Cheney's aide Lewis Libby has since been indicted in connection with the allegations. So last week, Plame and Wilson filed a civil lawsuit against Rove and Cheney as well as Libby. The suit received surprisingly minor coverage (neither ABC nor CBS reported it in their nightly newscasts July 13, according to Media Matters), likely has a limited shelf life, and is timed both politically and commercially (Plame's forthcoming book).
Still, it asks the public to consider from which side of the mouth the White House is speaking this week. The suit opens with this 1999 quote: "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources.…They are…traitors." That was ex-CIA director and ex-President George H.W. Bush (who once fired Karl Rove for leaking, during his '92 re-election run). He was referring indirectly to agency sources such as Valerie Plame, who Special Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald says flatly "was a CIA officer," a fact that "was classified." The Bush II White House, however, reserves its contempt for such traitors as the news media—for alerting the public to illegal candestine acts done in their name—for most anyone who dissents, and of course for Wilson, the frog-marcher-in-chief. As the lawsuit suggests, he still fancies the day he bursts though the White House door, shouting "Up against the lily pad, countryfucker!" Ribbit to that.