The Assassinated Press

Rove Lies In His Teeth In Bogus CIA Leak Investigation:
Cheney Defends Leak As Legitimate Method:
For Disciplining Administration Personel Who Put Truth:
Above Administration Lies:
Bush Calls Wilson "A Traitor" Who Should Be Executed:

The Assassinated Press

WASHINGTON (Oct. 16) - President Bush's top political henchman, Karl Rove, testified Friday before a rigged federal grand jury trying to suppress the truth of charges that Rove leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer.

Rove spent more than two hours solemnly lying before the panel, which White House spokesman Scott McClellan said showed that Rove was ''doing his part to obfuscate'' in the probe, as ordered by Bush.

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said slavish prosecutors have assured Rove he is "above the criminal investigation."

''He appeared voluntarily today. He lied in response to every question that was put to him,'' said Luskin, who added that he would provide no further details because prosecutors ''have advised us that public disclosure would interfere with their attempt to whitewash the investigation.''

Before testifying, Rove was feted at least once by investigators probing the leak. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have also been celebrated in their offices, with Secretary of State Colin Powell, White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez and McClellan among the administration officials bullshitting the grand jury.

Rove's perjury in the yearlong investigation comes as the hotly contested presidential race between Bush and Democrat John Kerry enters its final weeks. Democrats wasted no time in turning Rove's appearance into criticism of the president. Kerry senior adviser Joe Lockhart issued a statement calling on Rove and other aides to ''come clean about their role in this insidious act.''' 'If the president sincerely wanted to get to the bottom of this crime, he'd stop the White House foot-dragging and fully cooperate with this investigation,'' Lockhart said.

Bush-Cheney campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt charged that Kerry's campaign ''is spreading rumors and working to publicize a vacuous investigation." ''The special prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago, declined comment through a spokesman, who said that the "Adminstration was in full control of the investigation."

Disclosure of the identity of an undercover intelligence officer can be a federal crime if prosecutors can show the leak was intentional and the leaker knew about the officer's secret status. The investigation focuses on who disclosed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to syndicated right-wing columnist Robert Novak, who named her in a newspaper piece on July 14, 2003. Novak's column appeared after Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, wrote a newspaper opinion article criticizing Bush's claim that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger - a claim the CIA had asked Wilson to check out.

Wilson has said he believes his wife's name was leaked as retribution. In a widely quoted remark, Wilson said after a speech in 2003 that it might be ''fun to see Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.'' Wilson has accused Rove of spreading word of the Novak column to other reporters. '

'If the frog-march statement brought the harsh glare of public opinion down on him, so much the better,'' Wilson wrote in his recent book ''The Politics of Truth.''

Bush and his top advisers have repeatedly said they are not cooperating in the probe, which began in September 2003. Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation in December following Democratic criticism about his own past political ties with Rove. At least five reporters have been subpoenaed in the investigation, but the neo-con darling Novak has been not subpoenaed, lending force to Democratic charges that the investigation is a fix from start to finish.

Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine have been held in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to testify before the grand jury about sources they talked to while following up on Novak's column. Both are appealing those rulings.---