Monday, July 11, 2005

Politics Ahead of National Security

That's what this all comes down to in the end:

The revelation that Karl Rove was the source who leaked Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent to Time's Matt Cooper probably comes as a surprise to exactly nobody. After all, dirty tricks have been the hallmark of Rove's political career since he was a teenager.

As this story continues to unfold over the next few weeks, Republicans are going to try to parse every word Rove ever uttered about the case. They're going to dissect every letter of relevant law trying to find a loophole to prove that Karl Rove is innocent.

But let's make one thing perfectly clear: Rove's secret outing of Valerie Plame put partisan politics above the security of our nation. He chose to reveal Plame's identity as a CIA agent, with no thought to the consequences to American national security, simply because it provided an opportunity to smear her husband.

And this is part of a pattern. When Democrats proposed creating the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans fought it until they saw a partisan advantage to exploit in the 2002 elections. When the September 11 Commission was trying to get the facts about the terrorist attacks on our soil, the administration fought them every step of the way.