UNABLE OR UNWILLING?….I don’t think today’s LA Times story about Joe Wilson and Karl Rove really has any new information in it, but it does include a classic Rove-ism:

Prosecutors investigating whether White House officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson’s wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush’s top political strategist, Karl Rove, and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson’s credibility, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

….A source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said Rove’s interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the White House. When asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, Rove responded: “He’s a Democrat.”

That’s our Karl!

On a more serious note, there’s a part of the meta-story here that I can’t quite figure out. This anecdote hasn’t been previously reported, which means this is yet another leak from someone close to the case. But it’s a tiny, inconsequential leak. Sure, it makes Rove look petty, but that’s hardly very noteworthy since a quick Google search would turn up a dozen anecdotes about Rove that expose him as far worse than merely petty.

This is what’s been happening for several days now. We’ve been treated to a succession of teensy little leaks, which means that multiple people close to this case apparently want to keep the story alive in the press. At the same time, despite the fact that the leakers are presumably privy to some or all of the grand jury testimony so far, they’re either unable or unwilling to provide any genuinely juicy leaks.

But which is it? Unable or unwilling? Or is there a third possibility? The answer says a lot about how strong a case Patrick Fitzgerald is putting together and what kind of media game the principals in the case are playing.

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