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Profile: Karl Rove

 
  

Positions that Karl Rove has held:



 

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Karl Rove actively participated in the following events:

 
  

After November 2000      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       After the 2000 Presidential Election, Bush's White House political adviser, Karl Rove, tells neoconservative Michael Ledeen “Anytime you have a good idea, tell me.” From that point on, according to a Washington Post interview with Ledeen, every month or six weeks, Ledeen offers Rove “something you should be thinking about.” On more than one occasion, ideas faxed to Rove by Ledeen, “become official policy or rhetoric,” the Post reports. [Washington Post, 3/10/2003]
People and organizations involved: Karl Rove, Michael Ledeen
          

(Between 8:55-9:00 a.m.): Bush First Told About WTC Crash?; Suggests Accident      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Karl Rove, Andrew Card, and Dan Bartlett.
President Bush's motorcade has arrived at Booker Elementary School and Bush enters the school with his entourage. The beepers of politicians' aides are going off with news of the first WTC crash as Bush arrives. According to one account, Bush learns of the crash when adviser Karl Rove takes Bush aside in a school corridor and tells him about the calamity. According to this account, Rove says the cause of the crash was unclear. Bush replies, “What a horrible accident!” Bush also suggests the pilot may have had a heart attack. This account is recalled by photographer Eric Draper, who was standing nearby at the time. [Daily Mail, 9/8/02] Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director, also says he is there when Bush is told: “[Bush] being a former pilot, had kind of the same reaction, going, was it bad weather? And I said no, apparently not.” [ABC News, 9/11/02] One account states that Rove tells Bush the WTC has been hit by a large commercial airliner. [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01] However, Bush later remembers Rove saying it appeared to be an accident involving a small, twin-engine plane. [Washington Post, 1/27/02] In a third version of the story, Bush later recalls that he first learns of the crash from chief of Staff Andrew Card, who says, “ ‘Here's what you're going to be doing; you're going to meet so-and-so, such-and-such.’ And Andy Card says, ‘By the way, an aircraft flew into the World Trade Center.’ ” [Washington Times, 10/7/02] “From the demeanor of the president, grinning at the children, it appeared that the enormity of what he had been told was taking a while to sink in,” according to a reporter standing nearby at the time. [Daily Mail, 9/8/02; Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01]
People and organizations involved: Andrew Card, Dan Bartlett, George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Eric Draper
          

(11:30 a.m.): Congressmen Meet with Bush      Complete 911 Timeline

       Two congressmen, Dan Miller (R) and Adam Putnam (R), are on Air Force One. they've been receiving periodic updates on the crisis from President Bush's adviser Karl Rove. At this time, they're summoned forward to meet with the president. Bush points out the fighter escort, F-16s from a base in Texas, has now arrived. He says that a threat had been received from someone who knew the plane's code name. However, there are doubts that any such threat ever occurred (see 10:32 a.m.). [St. Petersburg Times, 7/4/04]
People and organizations involved: Dan Miller, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Adam Putnam
          

(1:30 p.m.): Air Force One Leaves Louisiana; Flies to Nebraska      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Bush leaves Louisiana on Air Force One, and flies to Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base, where the US Strategic Command is located. [MSNBC, 9/22/01; CNN, 9/12/01; Salon, 9/12/01 (B); Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01] He travels with Chief of Staff Andrew Card, senior adviser Karl Rove, communications staffers Dan Bartlett, Ari Fleischer, and Gordon Johndroe, and a small group of reporters. [Salon, 9/12/01 (B)]
People and organizations involved: US Strategic Command, Ari Fleischer, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Gordon Johndroe, Dan Bartlett, George W. Bush, Offutt Air Force Base
          

(4:00 p.m.): Bush Determined to Return to Washington; Rove Later Misinforms Public About Threat to Bush      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Bush has just told his advisers that he is returning to Washington as soon as the plane is fueled— “No discussion.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 21-22] Yet, Bush adviser Karl Rove later says that at this time President Bush is hesitant to return to Washington because, “they've accounted for all four [hijacked] planes, but they've got another, I think, three or four or five planes still outstanding.” [New Yorker, 9/25/01] However, the FAA points out there are no such reports and that Bush had been quickly informed when domestic US skies were completely cleared at 12:16 p.m. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Federal Aviation Administration, Karl Rove
          

September 12, 2001: Threat to Air Force One? Stories Conflict      Complete 911 Timeline

       White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explains that President Bush went to Nebraska because “[t]here was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets.” The next day, William Safire of the New York Times writes, and Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, confirms, that the Secret Service believed “ ‘Air Force One may be next,’ and there was an ‘inside’ threat which ‘may have broken the secret codes [i.e., showing a knowledge of presidential procedures].’ ” [New York Times, 9/13/01] By September 27, Fleischer begins to backpedal on the claim that there were specific threats against Air Force One and/or the president, and news stories flatly contradict it. [Washington Post, 9/27/01] A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the president should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01] By 2004, a Bush spokesperson says there was no threat, but Cheney continues to maintain that there may have been. Cheney also claims the Secret Service passed him word of the threat, but two Secret Service agents working that day deny their agency played any role in receiving or passing on such a threat. The threat was allegedly based on the use of the word “Angel,” the code word for Air Force One, but Secret Service agents later note that the code word was not an official secret, but a radio shorthand designation that had been made public well before 2001. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]
People and organizations involved: Ari Fleischer, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Secret Service, Richard ("Dick") Cheney
          

August 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. forms the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, which aims to “educate the public” about the alleged threat from Iraq. A senior official involved with the group later describes it as “an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities.” Members of the group include Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James R. Wilkinson, Nicholas E. Calio, and policy advisers led by Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, and I. Lewis Libby. They meet weekly in the White House Situation Room. A “strategic communications” task force under the WHIG is charged with planning speeches and writing white papers. [Washington Post, 8/10/2003] According to an intelligence source interviewed by the New York Daily News in October 2005, the group, on “a number of occasions,” will attempt “to push the envelope on things,”—“The [CIA] would say, ‘We just don't have the intelligence to substantiate that.’” [New York Daily News, 10/19/2005] An important part of the WHIG strategy is to feed their messages to friendly reporters such as New York Times reporter Judith Miller. James Bamford, in his book A Pretext for War, writes: “First OSP [Office of Special Plans] supplies false or exaggerated intelligence; then members of the WHIG leak it to friendly reporters, complete with prepackaged vivid imagery; finally, when the story breaks, senior officials point to it as proof and parrot the unnamed quotes they or their colleagues previously supplied.” [Bamford, 2004, pp 325]
People and organizations involved: Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, White House Iraq Group, Stephen Hadley, Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, Mel Sembler
          

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