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October 02, 2003

Comments

Chuck

I'm leaning towards "Piffle!" or maybe "Pfui!". I suspect that until this week, if the matter was batted around the White House (which is a very big place), it was at a very low level, well below Rove, Cheney, et. al.

I actually lean towards someone at the CIA being Novak's contact. More people at the CIA would have known Valerie Plame than in the White House.

And the kicker for me is, what sort of covert agent uses their real name? Wilson put it on every bio he could, third wife, trophy wife and all.

Alex

I don't think anyone, even Novak, has claimed that the CIA didn't try to put him off the story. Novak seems to have felt that the CIA wasn't trying as hard as it might have to dissuade him and interpreted that as an invitation to run it. But it's clear that the CIA wanted him not to use the name and he went ahead.

NF

All of the following quotes are from this site (this post and the linked post from the first quote from this article)

"Well, they may have. Robert Novak's experience with the CIA is puzzling here - he really did check with a CIA spokesman, who really did not wave him off this story."[My emphasis]

Here's what Novak said he was told:

"They said it's doubtful she'll ever again have a foreign assignment," he said. "They said if her name was printed, it might be difficult if she was traveling abroad, and they said they would prefer I didn't use her name. It was a very weak request. If it was put on a stronger basis, I would have considered it." [My emphasis]

Here's what Time says the CIA said to Novak:

"When Novak told a CIA spokesman he was going to write a column about Wilson's wife, the spokesman urged him not to print her name, 'for security reasons,' according to one CIA official. Intelligence officials said they believed Novak understood there were reasons other than Plame's personal security not to use her name, even though the CIA has declined to confirm whether she was undercover." [My emphasis]

It depends on who you believe when you say Novak was not actually waved off. The CIA and Novak seem to have different stories. The CIA spokesman may be lying but Novak may be too. You would be hard-pressed to make me believe that Novak wouldn't lie about it, if he actually did ignore the CIA's warnings and willfully damaged the security of CIA operations.

Novak may be telling the truth, but we cannot know with any certainty that he is telling the truth. Until someone else officially says what the spokesman told him, it is not far from guessing to assert that a CIA spokesman "really did not wave him off this story."

CPatterson

OK -- Perhaps I missed this in all points and counterpoints -- But the focus of reported CIA comments has been that the alleged breach is based upon Novak reporting her name. It appears that the CIA doesn’t have any problem with Plame’s martial status with Wilson being reported.

It seems rather stupid that it would be permissible for Novak to identify her as Mr. Wilson’s’ wife, but not use her name. Especially since Mr. Wilson made it so easy for interested parties to find out Ms. Plame’s maiden name in widely available on-line publications.

TM

Novak may be telling the truth, but we cannot know with any certainty that he is telling the truth. Until someone else officially says what the spokesman told him, it is not far from guessing to assert that a CIA spokesman "really did not wave him off this story."

Well, it is not far from guessing to assert the opposite. And I am not claiming certainty here, clearly - I am guessing at what might have been.

The WaPo quote of the CIA spokesman strikes me as weak - "we thought he understood" is not how I would describe a table pounding "if you print that people will die" warning. And apparently, in a WaPo editorial, they do endorse Novak to the extent that he is responsinble, and knows a "stay-away" when he hears it. (I still have to find that editorial, though).

Look, Novak might be lying, maybe the spokesman got glum and talked to TIME two days later to make sure the bad news circulated, and, in recounting his personal nightmare to the WaPo, he downplayed the force of his own presentation. But that strikes me as an unlikely trifecta.

"Edward"

Novak may be lying----

But intelligence officials were also awfully willing to confirm Ms. Plame's secret identity to a reporter for NY Newsday as early as July 21, 2003 -- only one week after Novak's original column.

Great job keeping secrets there CIA guys.

owen

How is it that so many people know the identity of covert agents?

Diana Nielsen

There were no "leaks"; Bob Novak told the truth. He was the one who initiated the conversation with "senior Bush officials" regarding the Iraq-Niger issue. It was Novak who then called the CIA and "senior Bush officials"; he was NOT told that Plames was a covert agent though he was asked not to use her name. Because they didn't disclose that Plames and CIA operations could be harmed if he released her name Novak went ahead.
Once again Dumocraps have made up a false story (that White House officials called him in an effort to get back at Wilson) in an effort to depose those they don't agree with. The whole despicable story is the figment of some hateful Democrat's imaginations.
This is similar to the 3 Democrt activists cloaking themselves under cover of journalism writing in the LA Slimes about Arnold's "bad behavior with women".
Democrats, if they had real moral ethics, would stick to the issues instead of mud slinging, however I won't hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

Alex

I like this page.

Stephen

Such a pages give mental pabulum. You're good guys because you do this.

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