I told you I was going to get into the guts of Scottie McC’s book. So far, I’ve shown that:
- Scottie McC hides the date when the White House learned of an investigation and ignores details that seemed to implicate Rove, thereby making Karl’s interventions look less suspicious
- Scottie McC falsely suggests Bush’s comments on Rove weren’t a reaction to the 1X2X6 story
- Someone appears to have told Condi to exonerate Rove–and Scottie McC doesn’t think he was the one who did so
- While Scottie McC’s representation of what he briefed on September 29 is mostly accurate, there are a few details that he still appears to be hiding, notably his refusal to say that Rove didn’t know of Plame’s identity, even though Rove had just said as much to him
All of this suggests that there were big reasons to doubt Rove’s claims that he wasn’t involved. And, given Scottie McC’s refusal to state that Rove didn’t know about Valerie Wilson’s identity when he spoke with Novak, it seems likely Scottie McC may have doubted those claims more than he lets on in his book.
So let’s turn to his treatment of Libby.
For some understandable narrative reasons, Scottie McC interrupts his treatment of the events of fall 2003 right in the middle. He ends chapter 10 with his September 29 mid-day briefing and then takes a full chapter to discuss events relating to Iraq leading all the way up to fall 2004. Then, in chapter 12, he returns to the CIA leak investigation, starting with DOJ’s notification on the evening of September 29 that it would conduct an investigation.
I understand the narrative logic behind such a split, with chapter 10 treating the pre-investigation events and chapter 12 treating the investigation events. But the effect is to heighten the false impression that the White House did not know of the investigation during the earlier events. It also creates an equally false impression that Scottie McC operated by different rules during the events that appear in chapter 10 and those that appear in chapter 12.
This has a dramatic effect in his treatment of his refusal to exonerate Scooter Libby.
Scottie pretends that he was first asked about Libby’s involvement on October 1–the morning after the White House’s employees (as distinct from Alberto Gonzales) received official notice of the investigation.
The next morning’s gaggle back at the White House signaled that the press was now turning toward a new rumored suspect in the leak, the vice president’s chief of staff–Scooter Libby.