First is formerly-respectable Arizona Senator John McCain, who actually suggested last week that there was no evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Karl Rove. Or anyone else, for that matter. Then George Stephanopoulos put him on the spot. Let's take a look:
STEPHANOPOULOS (7/24/05): Let’s turn to Karl Rove and the CIA leak investigation. A number of former CIA officers have come out very strongly criticizing this leak, saying it’s endangering national security, endangering our sources, and certainly very unfair to Mrs. Wilson. I want to show you what one of them, Larry Johnson, said at a hearing organized by the Democrats on Friday.
JOHNSON (videotape): I wish there was a Republican of some courage and conviction that would stand up and call the ugly dog the ugly dog that it is. Instead, I watched last night, John McCain on Chris Matthews' Hardball making excuses, being an apologist! Where are these men and women over there with any integrity to stand up and speak out against this?
McCain: Thank you, Larry. (Laughter.) Look, I think that everyone has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Two, it's clear that Rove was trying to knock down what he felt were some inaccurate portrayals about Ambassador Wilson's mission to Niger. I don't know much more than that. I do know that this prosecutor is highly regarded. I don't understand why a journalist who hasn't written a word is in jail. A lot of things that I don't understand.It ain't much, and he's still repeating the false claims that Rove was trying to set the record straight on Wilson. At least he's feeling a little contrite.
Next is reliable GOP shill David Brooks, who shows-- after previously sticking up for Rove-- that he's so full of moral fiber that he'll be regular into the next century. This is what he had to say on Chris Matthews' show:
BROOKS (7/24/05): But listen, the crucial things to this whole event, and it’s kind of been making me sick increasingly over the past week, is that we don’t know any of the crucial answers. If you look at all the stories, there’s like a big ocean of heavy breathing, a tiny little kernel of fact. You know, this is why people hate this business, because we speculate with a small minimum of facts. It’s beginning to remind me of the time a couple of summers ago when we convicted Gary Condit of murder and we just didn’t know what was going on. It could be there’s something serious, it could be there’s nothing. We have no idea yet.
Again, it's not much, but at least they're aware that the 'nothing to see here' tactic is a washout. Wait a minute... Gary Condit?!? I think it's more like Kenneth Starr investigation, on which the GOP was willing to spend tens of millions of dollars-- even when he was coming up with nada.