Rove's Security Clearance

Think Progress wonders whether Karl Rove has lost his security clearance which could account for his shift in positions.

In November, Newsweek wrote, "Having his security clearance yanked would not require Rove to resign as deputy chief of staff to President Bush. But it would prevent him from taking part in policymaking that relates to national-security issues, which would mean a much-reduced role in the Bush White House."

Rove has now resigned his policy-making post and is focusing primarily on politics. Given Rove's public intentions to make national security the focus of the 2006 elections, the White House should reveal whether Rove will be doing his political job while holding a security clearance.

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    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    There is no way they would voluntarily revoke his security clearance. My take is that they have big problems and the Republican Party is now seen as the Crime Party. Rove to the rescue, that will make the dems shake in their boots. How can he do any of his dirty tricks without having security clearance? He needs unfettered access to all the dirt hidden away in classified files. Neutering Rove, political hatchetman, by yanking his security clearance , would be like miking a fireman fight a fire without a hose.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#2)
    by ltgesq on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 12:18:09 PM EST
    Revoke his clearance? Unlikely. He will be doing the same job as before, but without the title so that they can keep the overlay of political goals and election needs from being so obvious as to bring scrutiny. This lets rove operate in his insidious underhanded fashion without drawing too much attention to himself.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 01:10:09 PM EST
    From TPM:
    The man Bush tapped to fill Karl Rove's spot as his policy wizard is none other than Joel Kaplan, who took part in the infamous "Brooks Brothers riot" of 2000. That's when a bunch of Washington GOP operatives, posing as outraged Floridians, waved fists, chanted "Stop the fraud!" and pounded windows in an effort to intimidate officials engaged in the Florida recount effort.
    In George Bush's Washington, there's no shame in staging a fake protest to undermine a democratic election, apparently: last year, the Washington Post's Al Kamen noted that "the "rioters" proudly note their participation on resumes and in interviews." Kaplan was even the one to cheekily dub the fracas the "Brooks Brothers Riot."
    Some shake-up.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 01:32:26 PM EST
    One is compelled to wonder (speculatively, of course) whether Rove's demotion is a sign of more than just a shake-up inside the WH. Like maybe a collateral consequence of Rover playing "Let's Make a Deal with Fitz". In following Plame-gate, there has been a lot of talk, here and elsewhere, to the effect that Rover rolled over sometime about his second, third or fourth trip to the grand jury. In saving his miserable hide from being indicted by rolling over, Rover would have to have made some sort of agreement with Fitz - perhaps giving up his clearance would have been part of that. Fitz would be well within his rights for to have demanded (and gotten) this. I say this because, beyond holding the whip hand of indictment over Rover, when Fitz was delegated all the powers of the AG, among those powers (though not explicitly stated) was starting a civil action to have Rover's clearance revoked (which many commenters here and elsewhere suggested would carry out W's promise to fire leakers, if for no other reason). Alternatively (and also speculating), in (presumed) recent dealings with Fitz, Rover could have balked on some thing or other, leading to a response yanking his clearance chain. Or, he could still have his clearance and we're just spinning our wheels. I note the following because recently there's been some discussion of the meaning of "consistent with". For the non-lawyers in the audience, (educated) speculation of the sort I have just put up on the whys and wherefores of Rover's reassignment states an explanation (actually 3, each of) which is "consistent with" the events we have seen. That doesn't mean any of these happened, but it does mean each is one of the things that might have produced (or been connected with) these events. It would be a good question to lead off the new WH press minion's first day on the job by asking him whether Rover has had his clearance revoked, and if so when, why and by whom. Just to get off on the right foot.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#5)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 01:39:12 PM EST
    "the White House should reveal whether Rove will be doing his political job while holding a security clearance"
    The White House should give Karl a boot in the butt and then lock the door behnind him. Won't happen, tho.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 02:12:36 PM EST
    Is there any possiblilty that they are putting daylight between Rove and Bush because they fear Patrick Fitzgerald is going to move against Rove?

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    katjam In the legal sense, it's probably years too late to be putting any daylight between W and Rover; Fitz has made clear he's done most if not all of the investigatin' he has to. In the political sense, putting space between W and Rover might fly, among the credulous. I doubt it'll happen, though, because: (a) it would be inconsistent with the loyalty W expects and has shown in the past, (b) Rover truly is the political brains of the operation and W needs him for the mid-terms (lest Repugs lose one or both houses and the WH gets to live the Night of The Many Subpoenas), (c) the only/best way to keep a cabal/conspiracy together under attack is to keep everyone close - Rover can do far more harm to W if Rover's on the outside than if he still works in the WH.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 02:41:54 PM EST
    Then again, now that Fitz has some free time to write up the indictments against Rove, Hadley et al, word may have gotten to the WH that Rove is joining Libby with a new title: "indictee". Friday is my guess.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 02:45:32 PM EST
    I'm not reading too much into this. The Repubs are scared to death about the elections. They want Karl concentrating on that. Given that Bush isn't able to help them any, I suspect this is the bone he through them.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 03:43:26 PM EST
    This is too funy not to quote:
    Washington Post:"Karl Rove quits policy position to focus on midterm elections" This is like reading that Jack the Ripper has given up his medical practice to concentrate on his night job.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#11)
    by ding7777 on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 05:44:56 PM EST
    From today's gaggle
    Q Is Karl moving offices? MR. McCLELLAN: I think they're still having discussion on exactly what the setup will be, in terms of that. Q He'll maintain his security clearance, and everything like that? MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, absolutely, yes

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 07:22:29 PM EST
    Squeaky, that is funny.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#13)
    by Rick B on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 08:44:29 PM EST
    My question is whether Rove remains a government employee, or does he revert to being an employee of the Republican Party working in the White House.

    Re: Rove's Security Clearance (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Apr 21, 2006 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    Some further perspective from the London Independent Online on how Bush shuffles White House pack in bid to rescue presidency. Interesting passage re: Rove:
    The feeling had been that his double involvement, in policy as well as politics, had stretched Mr Rove's talents too thin. The man publicly lauded by Mr Bush as "the architect" of his re-election in 2004 will now be devoting all his energies to the Republican fight to keep control of both House and Senate in November. The loss of either would allow a Democratic majority to launch the serious congressional examination of the Iraq war and other controversial Bush enterprises that the administration has escaped thus far. Last night, Democrats predictably likened the reshuffle to "rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic".