Murray Waas has another great piece in National Journal. This lengthy piece details how Karl Rove told the people at the White House that President Bush’s 2004 reelection prospects would be severely damaged if the truth came out about what he knew about the bogus uranium story — particularly, the fact that he’d personally been warned that the Niger story was probably bunk.
Here’s what I can add to this story.
We saw this and the cover-up it spawned first hand. While I and reporters from CBS were working on this story through 2004 it was clear that folks on the Hill would agree to talk and then suddenly un-agree when they got the call from the White House. The White House worked doggedly at almost every turn to get the story killed or delayed beyond the election, which they of course did.
That’s not all.
Various arms of the US government actually have been trying or at least been interested in trying to get to the bottom of the story. But that would require the cooperation of the Italian government. And that, of course, is not likely to be forthcoming since at least some elements in the Italian government are responsible for or participated in the scam. The problem? The Bush administration has not lifted a finger to get the Italians to cooperate. That’s the hang-up. Why wouldn’t the White House want the Italian government to cooperate with US law enforcement and intelligence agencies on getting to the bottom of this? Go back and read Waas’s description of Rove’s analysis — the Niger case was kryptonite for the president.
The cover-up on this one is deep. Really deep. And much of it has yet to be uncovered.