Did Rob simmons just flip-flop over the CIA Plame case?
It sure seems like he did and he got caught by Democratic challenger Joe Courtney.
Oh, how the times have changed.
From the Hartford Courant October 2003
"But the re-emergence of naming names clearly makes the usually measured Simmons uneasy and animated.Since the focus of the Plame cse has focused on the White House, Simmons has a changed on heart.
"I hate it," he says. "We all hate it. It not only places the agent and his family at risk, it places the asset at risk."
Asset is a CIA term for contacts. "In most countries, cooperation with us is tantamount to treason," Simmons explains.
"It goes to the issues of sources and methods. Methods!" he says. "Even though a lot of sources are long gone, you just don't want others to know how you operate."
And that's why the Wilson/Plame case should be regarded as far more than a domestic political embarrassment for the administration.
"Anytime an agent's cover is blown," says Simmons, "it's a very serious matter. Maybe a matter of life and death."
And Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, a former CIA officer, called the Rove blowup "much ado about nothing."Needless to say, Joe Courtney went into attack mode over Simmons' flip-flop.
Courtney on Monday pounced on a comment Simmons was reported to have made last week that the Justice Department investigation into the Plame leak was "much ado about nothing."
He accused Simmons of "parroting his minders at the Bush White House in an effort to save Rove's job."
"It's disturbing and disheartening that Rob Simmons' convictions seem mushy as best," Courtney said, referring to Simmons' previously reported statements that the exposure was "a very serious matter" and "may be a matter of life and death."
Courtney continued the offensive today, arguing that "the only thing that's changed from the beginning is the fact that we now know Karl Rove was involved.
"It's clear that Simmons has shifted from his original comment, talking about collateral damage to assets and life-and-death consequences," he said.
"It's not partisan for the CIA to make a referral to the Justice Department for an investigation," Courtney added. "This thing was not started by Joe Wilson, a Democrat, it was started by the agency, and Simmons should know that better than anyone else."
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post called Simmons to get a comment on the Plame matter and how people inhis district feel about the matter and this is what Simmons had to say.
Two other targeted House members -- New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson and Connecticut Rep. Rob Simmons -- did not return calls seeking comment on what they may have heard from constituents regarding the Plame investigation