From Bad to Worse

A Karl Rove timeline

July 8, 2003: Syndicated columnist Robert Novak mentions to Rove that former ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA undercover operative. Rove's comment: "I heard that too."

July 14, 2003: Novak's syndicated column reveals publicly the classified information that, according to "two senior administration officials," Plame is a CIA operative.

August 21, 2003: Wilson, who has already blamed Rove for the leak, says at a public forum in Seattle that he would like "to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."

October 2004: FBI begins investigating the Plame leak. Rove testifies, but his attorney, Robert Luskin, says Rove has been "assured" by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that "he is not a target of the probe."

November 3, 2004: In his victory speech, Bush calls Rove "the architect" of his re-election.

February 2005: Rove is promoted to assistant to the president, deputy chief of staff, and a senior adviser.

February 11, 2005: The Bush administration denies having had anything to do with the Swift Boat Veterans, who smeared John Kerry during the campaign and denounced his war stories as lies. But rumors persist when Rove pays tribute to the group at the Conservative Political Action Conference during the annual Ronald Reagan banquet in D.C.

June 14, 2005: Illinois Democratic senator Richard Durbin compares American mistreatment of prisoners at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib to that of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others."

June 22, 2005: Rove, at a New York Conservative Party fundraiser, says, "Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals." In the same speech, Rove says, "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9-11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

July 2005: Rove attorney Luskin acknowledges that Rove spoke with Timereporter Matthew Cooper about Valerie Plame in July 2003, but claims Rove never mentioned her name. Fitzgerald once again reassures Rove, according to Luskin, that he is "not a target in this probe."


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