That Joe Wilson claims he couldn't substantiate Britain's findings on his own trip to Niger in no way alters the irrefutable fact that the Brits made and stood by their claim. But as we now also know, analysts contradict Wilson's present version of the story, saying that his findings did more to support the Brits' conclusion than discredit it.
In their zeal to dispatch Rove, the Left willfully ignores that Wilson not only lied about his findings but also about who sent him, denying his wife recommended him for the job, and sometimes alleging that Vice President Cheney, who didn't know him from Adam, sent him.
They ignore that a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee discredited Wilson in two essential particulars. First, it confirmed that Plame recommended her husband for the African junket. Second, it found that certain forged documents Wilson bragged about debunking were not even discovered until eight months after his trip.
The Left also chooses to overlook Wilson's political motivation to damage President Bush -- his admitted longtime support of John Kerry and his monetary contributions to Kerry's presidential campaign.
They would have us believe the flawlessly calculating Rove is gratuitously vindictive. That he is foolish enough to risk conspicuously violating a criminal statute by outing an undercover CIA operative to a presumptively hostile member of the mainstream media all for the sake of petty revenge on the Wilson/Plame duo.
It strains credulity far less to deduce that Rove -- who readily provided information to authorities with no apparent fear of incriminating himself -- alluded to Wilson's wife's CIA status to refute his fraudulent implications against the Bush administration: that it sent Wilson to Niger.
It is uncontroverted that Rove didn't know Plame's name, much less that she was a covert operative. He was alerting Time's Matt Cooper to the incestuous, conflict of interest-laden genesis of Wilson's assignment (through his wife) in defense of his boss, not to lash out at or imperil this star-struck couple, who didn't even respect Plame's undercover status themselves.
If the Left didn't have so much invested in Wilson's fictions and obliterating Karl Rove and George Bush, they would abandon this non-starter against Rove and concede that the clear misfit in this overblown episode is the truly tainted and already thoroughly discredited Joe Wilson.