Karl Rove and Occam's Razor

There’s an old law in logic called “Occam’s Razor.” It states that, when presented with multiple solutions for a given problem, the simplest one is usually the best one.

I figured I’d apply Occam’s Razor to the Rove/Plame issue, and see what comes out.

Let’s see. Ambassador Joseph Wilson goes to Africa to investigate rumors that Iraq is looking to buy uranium to develop nuclear weapons. He pokes around a bit, drinks some tea, comes home, and writes his report.

Then he starts talking publicly about his investigation, saying that he found no evidence to support those rumors.

The only problem is, his report actually DOES support them.

So, at the White House, they have a dilemma. Wilson is out-and-out lying about his report, but they can’t contradict him because his report is classified.

So, when reporters start calling White House officials for comment, they can’t tell them that Wilson is talking out of his ass. Instead, they try to warn off the reporters from putting too much stock in his statements.

“So, Rove, we have Joe Wilson saying Cheney sent him to Africa, and then completely lied about his report. Does the White House have any comment?”

“You know we can’t comment on classified reports. But I can tell you that Cheney didn’t send Wilson.”

“Oh, he didn’t. Then the CIA Director did?”

“From what I understand, his wife works at the CIA, and she pushed him forward. All I know is, nobody here even heard of him before he was recommended for the job by someone at CIA.”

Again, that’s just speculation. And I have no problems with the ethicality of that. To me, it looks more and more like Wilson exploited his wife’s position for his own political purposes, in effect politicizing her for his own gains. At the point she went along with it, she stopped being an “honest employee” at the CIA and instead became a political operative and forfeited any claim to protection from political retaliation. Once you decide to play political games from your job, you run the risk of people taking similar measures to fight back. It’s the nature of politics.

But let’s AGAIN look at the facts. The evidence against Rove is — as of this writing — virtually nonexistent. Nor is there real evidence that a law was broken. It’s highly questionable at best whether or not the law would have covered Ms. Plame, or Mr. Rove, for that matter. Nonetheless, Democrats are fighting over microphones in order to publicly call for his firing.

This is nothing new. In the summer of 2003, Wilson himself said he wanted to see Rove “frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs” over the publication of his wife’s employment.

And again there seems to be no one who wants to actually get the best evidence in the whole Plame dustup, and talk to Robert Novak. If whoever told Mr. Novak that Plame worked for the CIA broke a law, then his publishing of that name was a crime of at least equal magnitude. He could settle the whole matter in seconds, but apparently no one wants to do just that.

But again, I have no “inside knowledge” of what’s going on, nor do I want any. I’m just one guy sitting back and looking at as much of the big picture as possible, and trying to make sense of it all.

And that last part is what separates me from a lot of people on the left, who have their conclusions already worked out (Rove must go!) and are working backwards from there to try to make the evidence fit their goal.

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