Ah, the “I’m not that stupid” defense

Or, in other words, "I could not possibly have robbed that bank, Your Honor, because I’d probably get caught — making it a really stupid thing to do."

Rove Testifies 5th Time On Leak
Rove’s testimony focused almost exclusively on his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 and whether the top aide later tried to conceal it, the source said. Rove testified, in essence, that "it would have been a suicide mission" to "deliberately lie" about his conversation with Cooper because he knew beforehand that it eventually would be revealed, the source said.

That’s how I read it anyway.  Not what I’d call a real recipe for success, in terms of a defense strategy.

As other bloggers have noted, this especially does not hold water because the Administration clearly was counting on the journalists — Cooper, Miller, Russert, Novak — to refuse to testify to the Grand Jury.  Bush himself, early on, made a comment to the effect that he didn’t expect the case to go anywhere, because:

“I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is — partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.” [Bush, 10/7/03]

Alas, to steal Scooter’s tortured prose, the aspens turned in their clusters — every branch pointing in one direction: The Bush White House.

p.s.  Whenever someone says the phrase, "in all due respect," what they really mean is, "I think you’re a jackass and wrong, but I’ll pretend to be polite about it."  A cheap and easy way of delivering an insult or biting critique, with attempted pre-innoculation against umbrage.  That’s why military people will say things like, "With all due respect, sir, your plan will get us all killed."

Example: "With all due respect Mr. President, you are the sorriest excuse for a human being I have ever seen.  A complete waste of skin.  Dumber than a bag of hammers.  And as dangerous as a rabid dog with an angry pit viper in its mouth.  Ms. Schaivo had more active brain cells than you seem to sport.  What you call ‘hard work’, most of us would call the cushiest gig on the entire planet.  You’re so incompetent, it’s a wonder you don’t lobotomize yourself whenever you pick your nose — or have I stumbled onto an unfortunate truth, sir?  And I guess we all should thank you for reminding us what happens to democracies when they’re allowed to slide into complete decadence and corruption.  With all due respect, sir."

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