The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Saw the Burton/Depp adaptation of Dahl's book today with a friend. The original cinematic adaptation (starring Gene Wilder as Wonka, of course) was a very large part of my childhood, though it wasn't until a much later viewing of it that I got the joke when the professor fellow says "Now I am telling the computer exactly what it can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate!"

Anyway, being so well acquainted with the 1971 incarnation couldn't help but affect my experience watching the new version. Commence scattershot analysis!

--While the claim is that the screenwriter adapted his script straight from Dahl without ever seeing the 1971 film, I got the feeling that the film was self-consciously examining territory left unexplored by their predecessors. This includes a variety of flashback scenes, involving the history of the factory, and Wonka's semi-traumatic childhood, at the mercy of his dentist father (played by the great Christopher Lee, for once not wholly evil).

--The art direction is stellar throughout. The Bucket residence is run-down and crooked, yet full of life, a departure from some of Burton's more dreary, bleak sets in the past. Every set in the factory is impressive, notably the main chocolate room (you know, where "Pure Imagination" would've been sung), the voyage of the Wonkatania and the large circular arena in which a team of trained squirrels remove the shells from walnuts.

--Solid child-acting throughout. At no point did it take away from the movie in any meaningful way. I think this is a product of Burton's usual irreverence, and the near-stereotypes the characters represent.

--And Depp? He was a hoot. Now I've heard a number of people compare his performance to a vague imitation of Michael Jackson, from critics like Roger Ebert to the friend I saw the movie with. Well... he was pale, yeah, but beyond that, Depp's acting choices--certainly his interaction with the children--are much more complex than that. His portrayal of Wonka skews weirder than Wilder's, but that's not out of line with Dahl's book; he had been removed from society for 15 years, and Depp is determined to convey that, both through his awkward interactions with the children ("I'm Violet Beauregard!" "I don't care!") and his outdated word-choices ("Let's keep on truckin!"). Also, watch his face; there's always more going on than you might think at first, especially when you try to match his expressions with what he might be thinking.

--The biggest laugh-out-loud joke in the movie... well, let's say I've heard it about 20 times in Letterman monologues.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: Supposedly I am distantly related to Roald Dahl.)

Time is Running Out - Muse
In the Morning of the Magicians - Flaming Lips
Can't Stop the Sun - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
It Can't Come Quickly Enough - Scissor Sisters
Everything In Its Right Place - Radiohead
Thank You Louise - Ryan Adams
Dig A Pony - Beatles
No Name No. 5 - Elliott Smith
Memories Can't Wait - Talking Heads
Hey Man! - Nelly Furtado

I'll be back later with a movie review.

Yglesias notices a problem with the excuses put out there by Rove's defenders:
So correct me if I'm wrong, but the pro-Rove spin regarding Matt Cooper's notes is that this matter of Joe Wilson's wife just sort of came up casually in a conversation that was focused on something else. It's not as if Rove was running around telling everyone he could find that Wilson's wife was at the CIA.

Meanwhile, the pro-Rove spin regarding Bob Novak's column is that this matter of Joe Wilson's wife just sort of came up casually in a conversation that was focused on something else. It's not as if Rove was running around telling everyone he could find that Wilson's wife was at the CIA.

There's a problem here, right? Right.

Friday, July 15, 2005


First he puts up a quote from Joe Wilson,
Wilson: 'My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity'...
...and takes it way out of context.

Then it goes away.

Now it's back, and if you click on it you find this article . . . an article that does not even remotely include the Wilson quote at all . . . apparently AP's John Solomon has completely edited it out given that the quote's context renders it pretty normal, and Drudge hasn't bothered to check.

Again, from the New York Times:
Prosecutors in the C.I.A. leak case have shown intense interest in a 2003 State Department memorandum that explained how a former diplomat came to be dispatched on an intelligence-gathering mission and the role of his wife, a C.I.A. officer, in the trip, people who have been officially briefed on the case said.

Investigators in the case have been trying to learn whether officials at the White House and elsewhere in the administration learned of the C.I.A. officer's identity from the memorandum. They are seeking to determine if any officials then passed the name along to journalists and if officials were truthful in testifying about whether they had read the memorandum, the people who have been briefed said, asking not to be named because the special prosecutor heading the investigation had requested that no one discuss the case.

The memo was sent to Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, just before or as he traveled with President Bush and other senior officials to Africa starting on July 7, 2003, when the White House was scrambling to defend itself from a blast of criticism a few days earlier from the former diplomat, Joseph C. Wilson IV, current and former government officials said.

Mr. Powell was seen walking around Air Force One during the trip with the memo in hand, said a person involved in the case who also requested anonymity because of the prosecutor's admonitions about talking about the investigation.

Investigators are also trying to determine whether the gist of the information in the memo, including the name of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, Mr. Wilson's wife, had been provided to the White House even earlier, said another person who has been involved in the case. Investigators have been looking at whether the State Department provided the information to the White House before July 6, 2003, when her husband publicly criticized the way the administration used intelligence to justify the war in Iraq, the person said.
What does this mean? Well, now we may have a means by which the Plame leakers in the administration found out about her identity. Surely Karl Rove didn't come across such information this way, right? Right?

Now we also see why Rove's sympathetic anonymous surrogates leaked his account of the Novak conversations when they did: They wanted to hold off as long as possible, but get it out there in advance of tonight's revelation.

UPDATE: Hmm, John Tierney might want to get in touch with his paper's news department.

UPDATE: For the interest of clarity, Kevin Drum gives us a helpful timeline:
So: the was memo written June 10, Wilson's op-ed appeared on July 6, and Powell got a copy of the memo on Air Force One on July 7. Karl Rove spoke to Robert Novak about Plame on July 8 and to Matt Cooper on July 11. Did Rove — or someone else in the White house who then passed it on to Rove — learn about Plame from the memo? Maybe.

Former TFM Roommate Josh Braun is writing at a new group blog Sciencegate (, the description of which reads, "An affiliation of science-minded journalists getting their blog on. We're covering the ideas and deeds of the G8 summit (hence the name) from on-site and from around the world."

Here's Josh's first post, discussing the World Technology Network's X Prize Foundation, and some conflicts (an unfortunate word choice) regarding some of the corporations involved, notably Motorola.
Billmon tackles all the new Rovian leaks and discusses their many implications, including an interesting explanation for why Judy Miller chose jail over revealing what she knows.

UPDATE: This is interesting... According to the linked piece here, Novak spilled the beans to the Grand Jury, saying Miller told him about Plame, and then he got confirmation from his two "senior administration officials" (one of which is Karl Rove).
My sister's congressman looks at the law and observes that Rove is not out of the woods, even if the story his sympathetic sources are peddling is true.

Four senators -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- sent a letter Thursday to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor asking that she reconsider her decision to retire.

In a copy of the letter obtained by CNN, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-California, Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, urged the 75-year-old jurist to return to the court as the chief justice of the United States to avoid what could be a messy confirmation fight over her successor.

"As United States senators with the constitutional responsibility of 'advice and consent,' we would strongly recommend to President Bush that he nominate you as chief justice," the letter said.

"You are an extraordinary jurist who has served on the court since 1981. You possess moderation, dignity and integrity, and have demonstrated the highest standards of legal excellence.

"We believe such a history-making nomination by the president would demonstrate leadership that unites Americans around the shared values of liberty, the rule of law, and the preservation of our constitutional freedoms.

"We hope that you will give our request the serious consideration it deserves, should there be a vacancy for chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court."
Not sure if this will go anywhere, but I sure wouldn't mind. We've moved into some strange bizarro world in which Alberto Gonzales is considered moderate. I'd like a ticket out of that world, if possible.

John Cole is one of the few right-of-center bloggers who is willing to apply the "Clinton test" to revelations about the Bush administration (as in, "what if such-and-such had happened under Clinton?").

Today he does so with the Rove revelations, asking what would have transpired if Novak and Rove were replaced by, say, Paul Begala and a Clinton administration member. Check it out.

His short answer: "If your answer is anything other than what the left is doing, only louder, you are fooling yourselves."
Ezra on Ken Melhman's 'southern strategy' apology: "When Mehlman goes before Southern whites and says it was wrong to use race as a wedge issue, then I'll buy his sincerity. The test here isn't whether he can pander to those he offended, but whether he can confront those who flocked to the offense. Apologizing for embezzlement while living off the cash is not the most powerful of moral statements."

Thursday, July 14, 2005


More gold from Tom Burka.

Digby points out a wee little problem with Rove's "Novak told me!" story spelled out in the two stories linked in my prior post.
I can certainly understand why Fitzgerald might have been suspicious of this tale --- especially when he read that Novak's first comment on the matter was:
"I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."
According to this article "they" refers to an unknown source and ... Karl Rove.
Digby is referring to Novak's initial statements from the first wave of articles on the leak story. Here is one of them (via marshall).

Also from Digby: Lindsey Graham, hypocrite.

Three days before talking to Cooper:
Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."

The previously undisclosed telephone conversation, which took place on July 8, 2003, was initiated by Mr. Novak, the person who has been briefed on the matter said.

Six days later, Mr. Novak's syndicated column reported that two senior administration officials had told him that Mr. Wilson's "wife had suggested sending him" to Africa. That column was the first instance in which Ms. Wilson was publicly identified as a C.I.A. operative.


On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Novak wrote another column in which he described calling two officials who were his sources for the earlier column. The first source, whose identity has not been revealed, provided the outlines of the story and was described by Mr. Novak as "no partisan gunslinger." Mr. Novak wrote that when he called a second official for confirmation, the source said, "Oh, you know about it."

That second source was Mr. Rove, the person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Rove's account to investigators about what he told Mr. Novak was similar in its message although the White House adviser's recollection of the exact words was slightly different. Asked by investigators how he knew enough to leave Mr. Novak with the impression that his information was accurate, Mr. Rove said he had heard portions of the story from other journalists, but had not heard Ms. Wilson's name.


The conversation with Mr. Novak took place three days before Mr. Rove spoke with Matthew Cooper, a Time magazine reporter, whose e-mail message about their brief talk reignited the issue. In the message, whose contents were reported by Newsweek this week, Mr. Cooper told his bureau chief that Mr. Rove had talked about Ms. Wilson, although not by name.

After saying in 2003 that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Mr. Rove had any role in the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's name, Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, has refused in recent days to discuss any specifics of the case. But he has suggested that President Bush continues to support Mr. Rove. On Thursday Mr. Rove was at Mr. Bush's side on a trip to Indianapolis.
Okay, this throws out any possibility that Rove talked to Cooper after seeing Novak's completed column. It also means that at the time Rove talked to Cooper, Rove knew Valerie Plame's name. He has given televised interviews, to CNN for instance, in which he said the exact opposite ("I didn't know her name, I didn't leak her name"). So, yeah, he lied.

If Rove gave a shit about national security, doesn't he have a responsibility to say to Novak, "Hey, are you sure you should be going forward with this? She might be covert, you know." Remember, the column Novak wrote identified Plame as an "operative", and it appears Rove did not dispute this. The NYT article doesn't discuss this angle one way or another.

If the press was pissed at McClellan for lying to their faces before ("ridiculous" to suggest that Rove was involved), they're really gonna gnash their teeth now. Tomorrow's gaggle should be fun, even though Scotty will no doubt give his same stock answer.

Also in the article, a little trip down memory lane regarding Karl and Novak:
This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to reelect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source.
And now we wait for sensible Republicans to jump ship...

UPDATE: Ahh, hackery from the Drudge Report (but what's new?). The fedora'd deliverer of roses to David Brock put up a banner headline saying that the New York Times had a big scoop on Rove/Plame... and when the NYT puts their story up... he links to an AP story apparently using a different source, discussing the gist of Rove's grand jury testimony (which is an interesting story, no doubt).
Presidential confidant Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he learned the identity of a CIA operative originally from journalists, then informally discussed the information with a Time magazine reporter days before the story broke, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.


Rove told the grand jury that by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another reporter but had no recollection of which reporter had told him about it first, the source said.

When Novak inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA, Rove indicated he had heard something like that, according to the source's recounting of the grand jury testimony.
(boldface mine) Yeeeeeah, I'm gonna have to call bullshit on that one. Unless Rove is a complete idiot -- and he's not -- there is no way he can possibly use the Reagan defense here. The information involved -- and the way it was systematically peddled to journalists -- does not suggest such a casual situation.

Frankly, even though he's quoted in the article, I wouldn't be surprised if Luskin, Rove's lawyer, was the anonymous source for it as well.

Still, Rove's strategy in his testimony doesn't change the facts. He confirmed Plame to Rove. He didn't consider if there were any national security implications in doing so. He talked to Novak and Cooper, and somebody (perhaps Rove) talked to Judy Miller.


LAST UPDATE: Remember, the sources in both of the above stories are sources sympathetic to Rove. Thus, the above is the best, best, best possible spin they could put on a wrinkle of the story they could not hide any longer... a wrinkle either Karl Rove or Scott McClellan (or both) have seen fit to lie about and cover up until it got out tonight. The principle fact is that Rove and Novak talked about Valerie Plame and Rove confirmed her identity. Also the sources for both of these stories are contradicted by Novak's original account from 2003 of how he got Plame's name. (see the post above this one for more)

This is a big, big stink. I can't imagine Scotty is sleeping well, or at all, tonight.

A couple items down in Mike Allen's political wrap-up in Thursday's Washington Post (including Mehlman's meaningless apology for the "southern strategy"), we see this:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) now thinks he may not begin consideration of Social Security legislation until September, an aide said. Thomas told an Associated Press reporter yesterday that, "The issue is dealing with more time-sensitive legislation first." He said Social Security "is not time-sensitive, and we are going to pass CAFTA," the Central American Free Trade Agreement, before Congress begins its summer break. Thomas, referring to a congressional trip to Cape Canaveral, Fla., that canceled votes yesterday, said: "There's no hang-up on contents. It's just how many days we got and how many space shuttles don't get off the ground."
The closer the Social Security debate gets to the 2006 midterms, the less likely a private accounts scheme--or, for that matter, any plan with large cuts--has any chance of passage.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


This is really funny. Saw this on tonight's Countdown.

Scott McClellan continued the "ongoing investigation" stonewall in the White House Press Briefing today regarding Karl Rove and the CIA leak. After fielding several questions with several variations on the same answer, the subject turned to less crucial matters:
Q Scott, is the President going to watch the Shuttle launch? And has he shelved his Mars proposal?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I do expect the President to watch the launch. We wish the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery a safe and successful mission. The President looks forward to seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery launch and the return to flight.

In terms of the mission of NASA, yes, NASA has been moving forward on the vision that the President outlined. And this is a long-term vision that you bring up, one part of that. But today's flight is an important step in advancing space exploration. I think all Americans are proud of our space program, and look forward to the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. It's also a day to remember those who tragically lost their life on February 1, 2003, in -- onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. I know all of us in this room remember that day very well. And today's flight is a way to honor their commitment and their dedication to space exploration.

The United States leads the way when it comes to space exploration. And we want to continue to do that.

Q Thank you.

MR. McCLELLAN: Thank you.

Q Who is the President watching the launch with?

MR. McCLELLAN: We'll get you a photo release from that. Thank you.

END 1:15 P.M. EDT
Except that wasn't the end. As Scotty was leaving, and as the press corps were standing up, a few of them ventured a guess (transcript via TiVo):
Q: Karl Rove?
Q: Karl Rove? . . . It's Karl Rove!
Q: Is Karl Rove going to be on the shuttle?
The fervor in the press on this issue (you know, being lied to by the Press Secretary) doesn't seem to be dying down.
You know, listening to the administration apologist frothers on the right reprise all their bashings of Joe Wilson (as well as of his wife), I just say, hey, If you guys want a truth-telling contest pertaining to Iraqi WMD, I'm all for it.

NHL players and owners have reached a tentative agreement, thus ending a lockout that caused the cancellation of the 2004-2005 hockey season. A salary cap of $40million was agreed to, though the agreed maximum number of mullets per team was not disclosed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Too busy to blog today, which is too bad, cuz a lot happened today.

Anyway, just for the heck of it,



Monday, July 11, 2005

OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM IN IRAQ that we are in two simultaneous struggles there, with contradictory strategies required to accomplish each.

One the one hand, we're promoting democracy, and in this struggle, at this stage, it is better for us to recede into the background, even perhaps to have the new Iraqi government know that we'll be leaving soon, leading them to apply greater focus to their efforts in drafting a Constitution and such.

On the other hand, we're fighting "terrorists". Iraq, as Bush often says, has become "a central front in the war on terror." We're fighting them there "so we don't have to face them at home." This is the so-called "flypaper" strategy. For it to work, we must assume two things. 1) There are finite numbers of Al Qaeda terrorists and their sympathizers. Hmm. And 2) We'll be in Iraq for quite a while.

Is the second strategy compatible with the first?

When I say all this, it's important to note that our administration, foolishly, didn't expect to be in that second struggle, either right now or at all. ("We'll be greeted as liberators", "a statue of Bush in Baghdad", "no history of ethnic strife in Iraq", etc) They can't say we didn't warn them.

Remember that book expo in LA from early 2003, the one where Bill O'Reilly told Al Franken to "shut up! SHUT UP!"? Yes, we were all amused. Well, Molly Ivins was on the panel as well, promoting her book Bushwhacked. She was asked by the moderator how she thought the impending Iraq invasion would go, and she said "It'll be a 3-week invasion and then the peace from hell." At which point O'Reilly gave her one of his textbook sneers. (though thankfully, not one of his textbook falafels)

We knew that from a security standpoint we could be tied up in the area for a decade or more, and they clapped their hands like Peter Pan reviving Tink. Now we have two problems when our administration said there would be only one, solving both of them requires contradictory strategies, and with the guys who got us into this still running the show, we may well not solve either.

(And by the way, George W Bush's policies since 9/11/01 have guaranteed that there will always be many more terrorists than our armed forces can kill.)

I'm a little late to the game on this one, but here's the story on the latest leaked British memo:
The United States and Britain are drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year, according to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid.

The paper, which is marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level is now at about 160,000, including 138,000 American troops, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad.

Reid on Sunday did not dispute the authenticity of the document, but said that no decision on troop levels had been made. In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said officials there had not seen the document.

The undated memo, which was reported in the newspaper The Mail on Sunday, stated that "current U.S. political military thinking is still evolving. But there is a strong U.S. military desire for significant force reductions to bring relief to overall U.S. commitment levels."
Of course, I'm not opposed to the withdrawl of troops from Iraq; in fact, if we're serious about democracy promotion there it would make a pretty useful motivational tool. If we're there indefinitely, "flypaper"-ing it up (to no avail, as London and Madrid have shown) for years and years, it would be even more destabilizing in a lot of important ways.

That said, if this memo proves authentic -- and since these things keep popping up, one can't help but think as much -- Rummy and his 12-year last throe might want to know about it.

Scott McClellan was apparently answering questions from a fetal position today.

UPDATE: longer transcript.

UPDATE II: Video! Wow, David Gregory and Terry Moran are TFM's Patriots of the Day!

Sunday, July 10, 2005


That's Bailey on the table as the French soldier, and Madison on the floor as King Arthur.

"I cough up hairballs at you, you silly English kinnnnigit!"
Today's Iraq pessimist is... Iyad Allawi: "The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak."

A far cry from his speech to Congress. Then again, something tells me a White House speechwriter did not write the above line.

Hmm. If people like Glenn, Roger and Mickey were serious about protecting 9/11 from cinematic mistreatment, they would have said something about this at the time. (here's some more refreshment)

Newsweek has the story.
In a brief conversation with Rove, Cooper asked what to make of the flap over Wilson's criticisms. NEWSWEEK obtained a copy of the e-mail that Cooper sent his bureau chief after speaking to Rove. (The e-mail was authenticated by a source intimately familiar with Time's editorial handling of the Wilson story, but who has asked not to be identified because of the magazine's corporate decision not to disclose its contents.) Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger... "
Now we see why Rove's lawyer came out and said he did not identify "Valerie Plame".

At DKos, Hunter wonders whether Rove saw Novak's column after it was distributed to AP (7/11/03) but before it was published (7/14/03). If Rove saw it, then the implication would be that, perhaps, he was not the principal leaker, and that he was relating info seen in Novak's column to Cooper. This would, in theory, get him off the hook.

But here's the problem with that. Novak's original column didn't say "Joe Wilson's wife", it said "Valerie Plame". If Rove saw Novak's column before talking to Cooper, that would eliminate the "I didn't know she was undercover" excuse some have erected for him (see his lawyer's "knowingly" statement).

I wonder what Occam would say about this situation...

--Someone talked to Bob Novak, leaking Plame's name and CIA status. Novak writes a column based on the info given to him by that source.

--At around the same time, someone talked to Time journalist Matt Cooper, identifying Wilson's wife.

--At around the same time, someone talked to Judith Miller.

--Novak's article goes public three days later, Cooper's soon after that, as does Miller's.

You with me? Good, let's continue...

--Cooper steadfastly defends the anonymity of his source.
--Miller steadfastly defends the anonymity of her source.
--Novak steadfastly defends the anonymity of his source.

--Miller is sentenced to a short jail term for not revealing her source.
--Novak cuts a deal with the prosecutor, and his source remains anonymous.

--Last week we found out that Cooper's source is Karl Rove. We don't find out about this until the other two journalists have further solidified the anonymity of their respective sources.

When you inject Occam into all this information, the most likely conclusion is that Rove talked to all three. Let's operate on that assumption. Cooper's source (Rove) gave him an OK regarding grand jury testimony knowing that he (Rove) told Cooper less than he (Rove) told Novak -- little enough, perhaps, that Cooper's testimony wouldn't be enough to warrant an indictment.

Also remember -- and I'm using very restrained words here -- Bob Novak is a shamless right-wing hack apologist for the administration, while Matt Cooper is a mainline journalist for a major weekly magazine. Which of those two would be more likely to protect Karl Rove? Having answered that question, which of those to would Karl Rove be likely to say more to regarding Valerie Plame? (Miller -- who believes she will be "proved fucking right" about Iraq after all those poorly-sourced WMD stories, and by "poorly" I mean "Chalabi" -- falls in the Novak category in this regard)

Operating on the assumption that Rove was the source for all three of them, we begin to see that he's really been in control of the situation from the beginning. If he (and, by extension, the administration) wanted to exact political revenge against Joe Wilson while keeping the chance of an indictment at a minimum, what he has done seems like a good way to go about it. They don't call him "Bush's Brain" for nothing.

The info in the Newsweek story is not enough, on its own, for a Karl Rove frog-march. However, there is a lot of smoke here, certainly a lot more than his attorney wanted us to believe a week ago.

UPDATE: Craig Crawford is thinking along these lines too.