Following an excellent suggestion, I am offering a post dedicated to "Reporters Who Knew".
But knew what? Well, knew that Valerie Plame was with the CIA before Bob Novak published anything.
Now, some of these worthies may have received a leak directly from Karl Rove or Lewis Libby. But not all of them! And a real name might fill out Mickey's example of Libby's chat with a hypothetical "Sam".
And I know I am going to forget a few, but let's get started:
Andrea Mitchell, from CNBC, 10/03/2003:
MURRAY And the second question is: Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?
Mitchell: It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact that she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it.
Hugh Sidey, formerly of TIME, in an amicus brief on the Miller case, and/or to the NY Sun:
“In this case it seems to me the protection of a source transcends the other considerations,which do not seem to threaten national security,” he wrote.
Mr. Sidey said in an interview that the identity of the CIA operative, Ms. Plame, was widely known-well before Mr. Cooper talked to his sources. “You know this game as well as I do,” Mr. Sidey said. “That name was knocking around in the sub rosa world we live in for a long time.”
Martin Peretz of the New Republic:
Still, in a lot of dining rooms where I am a guest here, there is outrage that someone in the vice president's office "outed" Ms. Plame, as though everybody in Georgetown hadn't already known she was under cover, so to speak. Under cover, but not really.
[Note - you really ought to follow that link. If someday I write that well, I only hope I use my great power wisely. Of course, wisdom would include passages such as this:
[Sandy Berger] clearly still has McGovernite politics, which means, in my mind, at least, that he believes there is no international dispute that can't be solved by the U.S. walking away from it.
Sorry, that was a sidebar.
OK, Walter Pincus of the WaPo is well known, but his story was recently modified to assert that he had a "White House" source, so it is highly unlikely to be exculpatory.
Cliff May, the NRO, Sept 29, 2003:
On July 11, I wrote a piece for NRO arguing that Mr. Wilson had no basis for that conclusion — and that his political leanings and associations (not disclosed by the Times and others journalists interviewing him) cast serious doubt on his objectivity.
On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.
That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of.
Hard to date May's knowledge - it certainly reads to me that he learned about Wilson's wife after investigating Wilson in response to his July 6 op-ed, and in preparation for his July 11 column. And out-of-government source could be a neocon in a think-tank.
OK, help me out.
UPDATE: Fox analyst and retired General Pete Vallely says that Joseph Wilson told him that his wife was at "the Agency" while they chatted in the "green room" at Fox News in Washington. He has repeated the claim on Sean Hannity's radio show.