Today's Blogs

Leaking the Leaker

Bloggers discuss allegations that Karl Rove leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. They also praise NASA’s Deep Impact comet-watching mission and discuss the Live 8 concerts.

Leaking the leaker:Politicalcommentator Lawrence O’Donnell announced Friday that Mathew Cooper’s notes and e-mails, released last week by Time, would show Karl Rove was the source behind the public outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. A Newsweek story by Michael Isikoff confirms that Rove talked to Cooper, but also contains a denial of wrongdoing by Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin. According to Luskin, Rove “never knowingly disclosed classified information” and “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.”

“What’s implicit in Isikoff’s report … is that the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald is after Rove for some felony arising out of the case (perjury after the fact? conspiracy?) but not the immediate and original act of leaking the name,” interprets liberal heavyweight Joshua Micah Marshall at Talking Points Memo. “Consider especially that delicate ‘knowingly,’ which points to a weaseling operation on Rove’s part,” advises academic Todd Gitlin at Marshall’s spin-off, liberal salon TPMCafe. “… Presumably something interesting will turn up in TIME’s (damnable, I should add) document dump to Fitzgerald. The suspense is killing me.”

Others aren’t exactly fidgeting at their keyboards. “There’s not really a lot there,” saysWashington MonthlyPolitical Animal Kevin Drum, who thinks the news that Rove was a source for the story certainly doesn’t mean he was the source on the leak. Avowed liberal Atrios waxes agnostic. “It’s quite possible that Rove’s lawyer is telling the truth, but it’s also quite possible that he’s lying,” he says. “More importantly, he couldn’t say anything else—if he knows his client was lying to the grand jury then he can’t sit on that.”

Some Bush supporters are considerably more dubious. “Would Lawrence O’Donnell deliberately distort the meaning of the appearance of Rove’s name in these notes?” askslittle green footballs’ conservative Charles Johnson. “After seeing his disgraceful behavior during the Presidential election, it’s pretty clear that O’Donnell has an advanced case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. And BDS sufferers will say and do anything, without regard for their own safety or credibility. So I think the answer has to be, ‘yes, he probably would.’ “

Read more about the new allegations.

Deep Impact:NASA sent a space probe smashing into a comet early Monday in a successful effort to study comets, “the trailblazers of the heavens.” Nearby, the Deep Impact spacecraft recorded the collision, beaming images back to Earth in close to real-time. A Web site established expressly to broadcast the images has already received almost a billion hits.

The NASA Web coverage gets high grades. “NASA hit a home run tonight with a direct hit on Temple 1 the images being sent back are amazing,” commends tech clearinghouse Geek News Central. At right-wing group blog Silent Running, Wind Runneris similarly impressed. “Awesome initial images,” he says. “Screen caps off of NASA TV didn’t go so well, but the geeks put on one heck of a fireworks display.”

More than the collision itself, nonprofit worker Bill Tucker is moved by the world’s reaction. “There are few places more hedonistic than Waikiki, but more than 10,000 people collected there to watch the impact on a giant screen,” he notes. On her live journal, music fanatic Meredith also cheers. “So nice to see a space mission *not* fail spectacularly for a change,” she says.

“It seems to me that if we can successfully hit a comet 83 million miles away, then earth-bound anti-missile defense should be a piece of cake,” suggests Tennessean Greg Gray at Toe in the Water. Stefan Geens of MemeFirst sees another practical application. “I haven’t seen it advertised as such anywhere, but it occurred to me that NASA now has done a dry run for obliterating NEOs (near-earth objects).”

Read more about Deep Impact.

Live8, dead on arrival?: Millions of people watched Saturday’s Live8 concerts, organized by Live Aid godfather Bob Geldof to draw global attention to the economic plight of sub-Saharan Africa on the eve of this week’s G8 summit.

“For years to come people are going to be asking each other the question ‘Where were you on 2 July 2005?’ ” predicts New Jersey optimist Ryan Morrison at Up Your Ego. “… It was an occasion that literally united the world with billions of people watching at either one of the concerts, at home or on a big screen like Jersey’s and … saying ‘let’s make poverty history’ and enjoying a great concert is pretty incredible.” At Communities Dominate Blogs, Alan Moore says the concert series proved itself a worthy heir to the Live Aid tradition.

Most bloggers, however, are predictably skeptical about exactly how helpful such concerts are. “For how many generations have nations been throwing money at The Africa Problem’?” asks anonymous general-interest blogger Freakface. ” … I’m unclear on how things have gotten any better for all the money that has been spent.” At RealClearPolitics, T. Bevan shows just how much more than donated labor the entertainers could be giving. Iraq war veteran Kadnine is one of many linking to a blistering Live8 critique in the Telegraph. James of Right On! says what most cynics are thinking. “How on God’s green earth are a pile of overpaid, under-talented hollweird rock stars going to ‘save Africa’?” he asks.

Read more about the Live8 concerts.

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