- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Left isn’t obsessed with destroying Karl Rove simply because they want to taint President Bush by taking out one of his closest confidants. When they’re not focused on their fantasy Vice President Cheney is the de facto president, they sometimes think Mr. Rove is. To destroy Mr. Rove is to neuter the Bush presidency.

As resolute, effective and visionary as Mr. Bush has been in office, the Left obviously still doesn’t consider him in charge. Only a superhuman Machiavellian strategist could have engineered this bumbler’s unlikely ascension to the presidency.

And anyone capable of facilitating a lightweight’s rise to the highest office must be not only brilliant but sinister. For who but a sociopath would foist on the nation such a dangerous Neanderthal hell-bent on reversing “progressive” advances?

The Left’s underestimation of Mr. Bush and irrational fear of Mr. Rove distort their perception and drive them into a mouth-foaming feeding frenzy to devour this mad political scientist. These misapprehensions also explain their jaded view of the baseless claims against Mr. Rove in the Valerie Plame matter.

But in considering the Left’s possible motives in this manufactured Rove scandal, let’s not forget the underlying subject matter driving the story: the Left’s obsessive claim Mr. Bush lied in maintaining Saddam Hussein was stockpiling or trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

If there were such a thing as the personification and eventual death of an ideology, American liberalism would doubtlessly derive some degree of deathbed comfort from repeatedly chanting until its final breath the “Bush lied” mantra. What began as a monstrous deception would finally ripen into a full-blown delusion where the engineers of the lie came to believe it themselves into eternity.

But American liberalism is far from dead and is eager to retrofit any available snippets, no matter how intrinsically unreliable, onto its “Bush lied about Iraqi WMD” template. One snippet was Joe Wilson’s supposed revelation Mr. Bush lied with these notorious 16 words in his 2003 State of the Union address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

Now, let’s be clear here. President Bush’s statement was true when he made it, and it remains true today. The Brits made such a claim and reiterated it emphatically (with the Butler inquiry expressly validating Mr. Bush’s State of the Union claim) even after the Bush-scavenging American Left falsely accused him of inventing the story.

Mr. Wilson’s claim he couldn’t substantiate Britain’s findings on his own trip to Niger in no way alters the irrefutable fact the Brits made and stood by their claim. But we now also know analysts contradict Mr. Wilson’s version, saying his findings did more to support than discredit the Brits’ conclusion.

In their zeal to dispatch Mr. Rove, the Left willfully ignores Mr. Wilson not only lied about his findings but about who sent him, denying his wife recommended him and sometimes claiming he was sent by Mr. Cheney, who didn’t know him from Adam.

They ignore that a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee discredited Mr. Wilson in two essential particulars. First, it confirmed Mrs. Plame recommended her husband for the African junket. Second, it found certain forged documents Mr. Wilson bragged of debunking were not even discovered until eight months after his trip.

The Left also chooses to overlook Mr. Wilson’s political motivation to damage Mr. Bush — his admitted longtime support of John Kerry and his contributions to the Kerry presidential campaign.

They would have us believe the flawlessly calculating Karl Rove is gratuitously vindictive. That he is foolish enough to risk conspicuously violating a criminal statute by outing an undercover CIA operative to a presumptively hostile member of the mainstream media all for the sake of petty revenge on the Wilson/Plame duo.

It strains credulity far less to deduce Mr. Rove — who readily provided information to authorities with no apparent fear of self-incrimination — alluded to Mrs. Plame’s CIA status to refute Mr. Wilson’s fraudulent implications against the Bush administration: that it sent him to Niger.

It is uncontroverted that Mr. Rove didn’t know Mrs. Plame’s name, much less that she was a covert operative. He was alerting Time’s Matt Cooper to the incestuous, conflict-of-interest-laden genesis of Mr. Wilson’s assignment (through his wife) in defense of his boss, not to lash out at or imperil the starstruck couple, who didn’t themselves respect Mrs. Plame’s supposed undercover status.

If the Left didn’t have so much invested in Mr. Wilson’s fictions and obliterating Karl Rove and George Bush, they would abandon this nonstarter and concede that the clear misfit in this overblown episode is the truly tainted and already thoroughly discredited Joe Wilson.

David Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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