But Mr. Rove understood that the facts were irrelevant. For one thing, he knew he could count on the administration's supporters to obediently accept a changing story line.
Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq:
before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat.
Kevin Drum's got some interesting stuff up today. He is one of the blogosphere's resident experts on the Plame story --- he was the go-to guy when it broke and he seems to to remember a lot of details I've forgotton (or never knew.)
He reminds us today (via Mickey Kaus) of this Howard Fineman analysis from 2003 in which Fineman speculates that the leak was really an attempt to smear Wilson and his wife as being part of a "pro-Saddam" CIA cabal. Here's the relevant excerpt:
I am told by what I regard as a very reliable source inside the White House that aides there did, in fact, try to peddle the identity of Joe Wilsons wife to several reporters. But the motive wasnt revenge or intimidation so much as a desire to explain why, in their view, Wilson wasnt a neutral investigator, but, a member of the CIAs leave-Saddam-in-place team.