The apologists who will go to any length to defend the corrupt actions of the Bush Administration have tried every possible gambit to explain away Presidential advisor Karl Rove’s despicable revelation of the identity of a covert CIA operative who just happened to be the wife of an administration critic.

They try to dismiss Rove’s actions by claiming he did not violate the letter of the law banning release of a CIA operative’s name. They claim the operative, Valerie Plame, no longer worked in covert operations. Rove told a grand jury investigating the mess that he got Plame’s name from a reporter, not the other way around.

All this political posturing overlooks the central fact of this deplorable case. Rove and the White House lied about his involvement in the matter – another lie from a Presidential administration built on lies, deception and manipulated information.

“I’ve already said too much,” Rove said to Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 when he told the reporter that the wife of Ambassador Joesph Wilson worked for the CIA. Cooper says Rove clearly told him that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA on “WMD issues” and claimed she had arranged for Wilson’s trip to Niger to investigate later-discredited claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium for nuclear weapons.

After his conversation with Rove, Cooper called Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, and asked about Plame arranging such a trip.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that too,” Libby told the reporter.

Yet after right-wing columnist Robert Novak later published Plame’s name in a column, saying the information came from top White House officials, the administration flatly denied anyone there leaked the information and President Bush pledged to fire anyone who was.

When speculation centered on Rove, White House press spokesman Scott McClellan denied the Presidential advisor was the leak as did Rove.

Now Cooper has clearly identified Rove as the source of the information and implicated a second White House official, Cheney’s top dog, as the “second source.” Rove’s lawyer now  admits his client discussed Plame with Cooper.

In other words, the Bush administration lied – again – to the American public, to members of Congress who demanded an explanation and to the media. They lied because one of their own went after a Bush critic who pointed out the President and his henchmen lied yet another of their key allegations to justify the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq.

Now that the facts are out, McClellan no longer discusses the case with reporters, claiming investigators asked him and the administration to avoid public comment. Bush, who said he would fire anyone involved in the leak, now says he backs Rove and says nothing about firing anyone.

The disclosure was part of a calculated White House campaign to try and destroy the credibility of a Bush critic whose only crime was an attempt to tell the truth about the administration’s duplicitous policies and its use of false information to justify a war that has cost nearly 1800 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians their lives.

The Bush apologists argue that all this ain’t such a big deal and that such actions have been part of politics since America was just a pup. But them seem to forget that it was their boy, one George W. Bush, who promised “the most ethical administration in history.”

Ethical my ass. Despite the claims of the Bush’s shrinking, but still shrill, army of supporters, the President of the United States is neither the honest man nor the “great leader” that they claim.

He is just another morally-corrupt political opportunist obsessed with power, controlled by greedy special interests and consumed by dishonesty and duplicity. He is a disgrace to his office and to his country – as are those who support, defend or follow him.