Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Will the comedy never end?

Rove attorney Robert Luskin -- he of the stack of gold bars -- says Matt Cooper "burned" his client.

Bad Matt Cooper! Bad Matt Cooper!

Just another bit of kindling for the fire. When Karl Rove et al. revealed that Valerie Plame was a covert agent at the CIA, they also compromised the front company -- Brewster-Jennings & Associates -- where she and other agents involved in counter-proliferation 'worked'. See this old Post article for more.

A reader over at TPMCafe suggests that the Plame case may end up being tied to John Bolton, because of some evidence that strongly suggests the particular piece of information about Plame came out of a classified memo from State.

I suspect that's likely true. But it's only a part of the story.

If you go back and trace out just what happened as the phoney Niger papers, and the reports based on them, made their circuitous way through the executive branch -- and this using both public information and stuff from reporting -- an odd and at first hard to explain pattern emerges.

Confidence in the documents kept getting knocked down. But someone or some group kept giving them fresh life. And, improbably, those someones seemed to be at the State Department.

That's odd because, institutionally, State was the least hawkish in the lead up to the war and their in-house intelligence shop, INR, turned out to be the only outfit in the intelligence community that got most things right about Iraqi WMD.

And yet it was at State that the docs kept seeming to gain new life.

The evidence is circumstantial. But all of it points to Bolton's as, shall we say, the invisible hands.

There was actually, if memory serves, an internal investigation at State into whether Bolton had played some nefarious role in the drama. But apparently the investigators didn't come up with anything, or at least not enough. Bolton's proxies in turn chatted this point up widely around Washington to reporters and others, arguing he'd been cleared in every way.

But the State Department link still bears a lot of investigating. And I suspect if the scrutiny was thorough, Rove wouldn't be the only Bush appointee with trouble on his hands.

Along the lines of Karl Rove's high standards of conduct, noted today by Scott McClellan, do remember Josh Green's Atlantic Monthly article from last year in which he chronicled Rove's role in an Alabama Supreme Court election back in the 1990s in which the president's chief political advisor won the race for his client by spreading false rumors that his opponent -- a one-time juvenile and family-court judge -- was a pedophile.

Oh, Karl ...

Good Rove catch by the folks at ThinkProgress.

From today's briefing

MORAN: … Fox News and other surrogates are essentially saying that the conversation lasted for two minutes and that the subject was ostensibly welfare reform. They’re getting that information from here, from Karl Rove.

MCCLELLAN: And, again, you’re asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you’ve had my response on that…

Ahh, to hear Karl begging and pleading for an easy ride from Brit Hume. Nice too <$NoAd$> that Moran was frank enough to identify Fox News as a Rove surrogate operation ...

Late Update: Along the lines of this exchange, I would be remiss if I didn't note Rove's apparent attempt to invoke the well-known 'short conversation' exception to the relevant law.

AP: "President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove — in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond."

Scofflaw Republican Ken Mehlman knows who pays the bills.

In this new RNC press release Mehlman goes to war on Karl Rove's behalf, regurgitating just about every lie that's been told about Niger, Wilson, Plame and everything else.

Help us catalog the lies. Note 'em down and send 'em in.

Late Update: Actually, we shouldn't be the only ones who have access to what you've found. If you'd like to share the catalog of Ken Mehlman lies with fellow readers, we've set up a discussion thread here.

I don't often read ABC's The Note. But sometimes, when it reaches a point of maximal toxicity, such as today, a friend or a reader will pass it along and then I'll get caught up on its full measure of ridiculousness. It really is a showcase of just how decadent the Washington press corps has become under this president, the revelry in their own frivolity, the credulous aping of the smears, the loins flush for the powerful. Sort of a mix of Dangerous Liaisons and Elmer Fudd.