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December 20, 2005

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» Woodward Dismisses Conspiracy In Plame Case from Decision '08
Our good friend the Minuteman notes this story in the Harvard Crimson with some good PlameGate dish: “His source was not in the White House, I don’t believe,” Woodward said of Novak over a private dinner at the Institute of Politics on Dec. 5. H... [Read More]

» Plame Leak Outside White House from The Strata-Sphere
In what has to be a massive blow to the leftward fringes, Bob Woodward has confident (with accuracy in my opinion) that Novaks source on Plame is outside the White House. Via Decision 08, Tom Maguire discusses the scoop from this Harvar... [Read More]

Comments

kim

Tenet's the source for Novak and Woodward, and it was not a leak.
=================================

Eric

This is all water under the bridge.

The new fabrication is the "spying on Americans" as if being an American gives one a free pass to commit and conspire to commit criminal acts.

kim

I love the instinctive, informative, response of the legendary reporter, "I know a lot about this and you're wrong".
============================================

Toensing?

RE: I love the instinctive, informative, response of the legendary reporter, "I know a lot about this and you're wrong".

Unfortunaltely reminds me of the misleading and dishonest style of Victoria Toensing, presently on CNN.

Stalin, Nixon, the leaders of the PRC, and most authorities with something to fear, all talk this way.

Bob in Pacifica

Bob Woodward hasn't strayed far from his ONI roots. At this point, if Woodward says sunshine I'm bringing my umbrella.

The only thing interesting in the story is that Woodward claims to know "a lot about this." The question for me is how wedded this mouthpiece is wedded to Lips Bush et al. How much does Woodward know? When did he know it? Maybe time for another visit to the Grand Jury to flesh out this?

kim

Listen, Bob, it's Tenet, and he talked to reporters before he told the White House. Get over it.
============================================

Cecil Turner

We continue to suspect Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, as Woodward's source.

Lookin' better all the time. Somewhat OT: I was amused to see the movie poster for the upcoming remake of All the King's Men showing what I presume to be Felt wreathed in smoke (the famous bit of disinformation supplied by Woodward to protect his identity). I hope that was irony.

pollyusa

Another interesting Woodward quote from the Harvard article.

Asked at the dinner whether his readers should worry that he has been “manipulated” by the Bush administration, Woodward replied, “I think you should worry. I mean, I worry.”
pollyusa

Kim

I've considered Tenet as well, the timing of his resignation seems to me to have something to do with the Plame matter.


"Bush Consults Lawyer About CIA Name Leak"
WAPO Thursday, June 3, 2004

"CIA Director Tenet Resigns"
WAPO Thursday, June 3, 2004

"Cheney Reportedly Interviewed in Leak of C.I.A. Officer's Name"
NYT Friday June 5, 2004

I haven't any "hard evidence" that Tenet wasn't Novak's source, but the fact he wrote a letter at the beginning of the investigation seems to indicate he wasn't Novak's source.

The controversy erupted over the weekend, when administration officials reported that Tenet sent the Justice Department a letter raising questions about whether federal law was broken when the operative, Valerie Plame, was exposed

WaPo 9/29/03

Lew Clark

I don't believe Tenet was Novak's source. But I do believe he was a source. Certainly when the White House became aware of Joe Wilson's op ed they asked the CIA "Who the hell sent Wilson?". And it would be Tenet who got asked. I don't think they called up the NYT.
My question has always been "What did Tenet tell the White House about Valerie Plame's status?" I have always believed that Tenet, by omission or commission left the impression that she was a non-covert analyst, leaving the impression that it was ok to talk about her because she was not "protected". And it was not until the hatching of the phoney "great conspiracy to out a "superspie" to punish her husband, that Tenet backtracked and asked for the investigation to cover his ass.

Cecil Turner

I haven't any "hard evidence" that Tenet wasn't Novak's source . . .

He certainly bears some of the responsibility for that whole fiasco, and the inability of the Operations Directorate to keep a secret. Kinda pitiful, actually. And that many moving parts muddies attempts to assess his inolvement in the actual leak.

maryrose

Lew,
Very good comment and possible scenario.

Jeff

polly - Remember, though, that a report shortly after the news broke about the CIA's referral to Justice indicated that Tenet was not himself the origin of that referral.

As for Woodward, what speaks against misdirection on his part is that he clearly wants his source outed, at some level, in a way that seems to depart from his loyalty to Felt.

At the same time, isn't it possible that there was both a leak to Woodward and a distinct campaign to smear the Wilsons that included the deliberate blowing of her cover? That is, that Woodward's source was doing one thing, and Libby et al another? I recognize that if that's so, it's much harder to imagine prosecuting for the underlying crime. But prosecution is one thing, reality another. As for Novak's source, maybe it's the same as Woodward's, with different motivation, or maybe the same motivation. Same idea.

Jor

AWH, the times held the Bush as King story for after the election. I'm sure well see you appologize for this soon enough.

pollyusa

Jeff,

You are quite right that the WaPo reported that investigation did not begin with Tenet. It does appear however that he supported the investigation.

They had it this way

At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday WaPo 9/28/03
CIA officials approached the Justice Department about a possible investigation within a week of the column's publication. Tenet's letter was delivered more recently. WaPo 9/29/03

Cecil

I believe the DO did keep the details of the Wilson trip confidential until they were required to release information at the request of the WH. It was the inquiries by Libby and Cheney that prompted the creation of the INR memo and the DO communications to the OVP.

The documents received by Libby from the CIA on 6/9/03 didn't even give away Wilson's name much less Plame.

On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of LIBBY and another person in the Office of the Vice President. The faxed documents, which were marked as classified, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name.

Libby Indictment

Lew

Certainly when the White House became aware of Joe Wilson's op ed they asked the CIA "Who the hell sent Wilson?". And it would be Tenet who got asked.

I don't think Tenet was asked, the Libby indictment indicates to me that Libby was requesting information about Wilson all over the administration, but I don't see any direct request for information from Tenet by Libby. Maybe Cheney asked Tenet directly, but there is no evidence that Tenet was asked by anyone.

Cecil Turner

I believe the DO did keep the details of the Wilson trip confidential until they were required to release information at the request of the WH.

Plame's section (CPD) is part of DO. Wilson's mission was for the DO, and he wrote an op-ed about it. That's the DO's responsibility (for picking him, if nothing else), and it's a long way from confidential.

Many of the other leaks (e.g., renditions, terrorist planes and black prisons, the infamous bacon shoplifting incident) all track back to the DO. I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of reading about CIA operations in the newspapers. For what's supposedly the most sensitive intel operation in the US, it's doing a pretty good sieve imitation.

Lew Clark

polly,

I agree to some extent. There is a lot more we don't know, than we do, but it does appear that the WH (Libby at least) was working around Tenet. The only explanation for that is he/they didn't trust Tenet for whatever reason. My speculation is that when Tenet was asked, (for argument's sake, by Cheney), he was less than helpful in alerting the WH to the dangers of using Valerie Plame's name. If there was a conversation between Cheney and Tenet, it should have gone like this "Joe Wilson's wife got him the gig. She used to be a covert agent but isn't anymore. However she is still classified NOC. So there could be some trouble if she is identified by name. I suggest the story line be, Wilson had contacts in the CIA and used them to get the job. No names to be used, and let the reporters that know her fall on their swords by "outing" her." But Tenet didn't do that. That's just speculation. But we do know, with some assurance, that Tenet did not call Bob Novak and say "I'm calling as Director of the CIA to ask you not to use Wilson's wife's name. Suggesting the same thing. Same unnamed contacts." Either Tenet didn't know about the article or he chose to play dumb. Either way, he wasn't doing his job as Director. Novak has said as much, and I believe him. That if Tenet had called him and said "Absolutely do not use her name", Novak would not.
The reason I'm stuck on Tenet is that is how things are done. If the President/WH has a question about what's going on in the CIA, they contact the Director. The fact that Tenet was not the go-to guy in all this makes me wonder. And I don't have the answer to that one. Pure speculation: Tenet had an out-of-control agency and didn't have a clue what his people were doing, or, he was one of the "gang" at CIA out to get the President.

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

All I know is that it's fitting that Mr. Novak is moving on to Fox. For better or for worse, he'll be more at home there, I'd say.

TP

Unless he runs in to William Kristol.

Terrie

Recently Colin Powell 1) criticized the intelligence community for not providing evidence to the Bush administration disputing their assumption that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and 2) accused the European Parliament of feigning indignation and ignorance over the CIA's covert transport of terrorists captured by rendition through European airports.

Powell, one of the most critical leakers as Secy. of State, still had harsh words for Cheney and Rumsfeld, but certainly his unexpected defense of the Bush administration is a rare occurrence. Why now?

Could it be related to his former Deputy Armitage being in hot water?

Sylvia

Ah hah! Did you read the linked post on who else the source might be? Stratosphere speculated Rand Beers, but also mentioned Richard Clarke! I theorized it was Clarke from the beginning. If I am right, some people owe me a hundred bucks.

To repeat Richard Clarke is perfect: former senior admin nonpartisan, but not necessarily "in" the Whitehouse- at least not at the time of the leak. The rumors it was Stephen Hadley could have switched one NSA for another. In the know about CIA's doings. Talking to Woodward while Woodward was researching his book. And most of the other people, Tenet, etc. have issued denials. Still a good chance!

clarice

I certainly consider Clarke a "partisan gunslinger", but for Kerry, not Bush.

Don't think he was Novak or Woodward's source.

Jeff

If Stratosphere says it, it's unlikely to be right.

kim

You are all thinking too hard. Tenet talked about Plame to reporters before he was asked about her by the White House. His referral was a sneak in a pile of papers he signed without reading. His denial, well, I don't know about that, but it may have been inadvertent.
=========================================

clarice

Cecil, I think if it is true that Libby didn't trust Tenet, the distrust began long before Wilson. The agency was a mess; provided no useful information ;he had no handkle on it that I can see and he was another holdover, like Clarke and Beers that no one who paid attention felt he should keep on, especially after 9/11.

In the President's defense, however, I can see that he might have felt it would only make things worse to try to replace him when so much else was going on.
In DC whenever you make a change like that, you can expect the agency involved to be even more dysfunctional.

Jeff

clarice - The evidence seems to indicate that Bush genuinely liked the incompetent Tenet. It's also true that Bush would have learned from his father the importance of continuity at the top of the CIA across administrations. But that would only explain why Bush kept Tenet on for a certain period of time at the beginning of his administration, and not why he kept him on after failure after failure, like the incomprehensible brown-nosing, in the face of the intelligence, of his slam-dunk comment. Then again, it's hard to understand why anyone in the room was persuaded by that, if they were.

Sylvia

As Woodward said, he had been “told in “mid-June 2003” by a current or former Bush administration official that Plame worked as an “analyst” at the CIA”. Clarke resigned January, 2003, so he would have been “former” at the time.
I just saw some more info here (http://billmon.org/archives/001239.html)
about Richarde Clarke written March, 2004 that I thought might be interesting:
As a journalist, I never dealt with Clarke personally (anti-terrorism was never one of my beats) but a fellow reporter who did, on a number of occasions, describes him as a ferocious national security hardliner, openly contemptuous of most Democrats on the Hill, and critical, to the point of being abusive, of the FBI and the CIA:
Clarke was (is?) also close to Steven Emerson, a former CNN reporter turned terrorism "expert," who in the years leading up to 9/11 made a cottage industry out of his "American jihad" investigations, which at times came dangerously close to labeling all Arab-Americans as members of a terrorist Fifth Column. Emerson, in turn, has ties to the Likud Party, the Project for a New American Century, right-wing security extremists like Frank Gaffney and James Woolsey, etc.
Hmmm. Clarke contemptuous of the CIA. Good friends with reporters at CNN. Could be a pattern here!

Sylvia

Sorry about above post, meant to line it up nicely and put bold etc, but hit post before preview. Darn. As to this: "I certainly consider Clarke a "partisan gunslinger", but for Kerry, not Bush.". In 2003, Clarke was NOT considered a Dem partisan. That was before his book.

clarice

Not Clarke . As for his "anti-terrorism", he was concerned with cyberhacking and little else.
And don't ask me to comment on Emerson who I don't hold in particularly high regard.I think he has no connections to Likud. I cannot speak to what Gaffney and Woolsey think of him, but I'd be astonished if that characterization is any truer than the others.

clarice

Clarke was fuming that Rice got the job he deserved and was reassigned to a position not to his liking well before he left for Kerryland.He certainly knew Wilson (and Plame) from Clinton times when they worked together.

Sylvia

Are Emerson and Bob Novak friends? That is the question now.

kim

I think you are right Jeff, that Bush has affection for Tenet. In this Plame mess they could consider themselves equally victimized. I believe that Bush protecting Tenet explains why Novak and Woodward(who both want the news out) have to hint around, and it explains the dismal White House handling of the issue, at least from Novak's point of view.

One little irony I've got with this is the position of Novak, a man accustomed to unburdening himself at any hint of disgust, being forced to swallow this, to attempt to digest the unappetizing.

And Clarke's a rat. Who'd protect him?
=================================================

clarice

Why?

Are you in the habit of working jigsaw puzzles with tiny scissors so the pieces that don't fit together will?

Lew Clark

Clarke is to arrogant to be involved in a "Keystone Kops" caper like this. If he did it, it would leave no fingerprints that could be traced back to him. But wait! There are no fingerprints traceable back to him. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

clarice

My last remark was directed at Syl..Kim slipped in the transom while I was posting..LOL

Sylvia

Okay, just doing some quick Google searches for fun. Found another piece of trivia here (http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4656):

Given Wilson’s Niger trip, set up by wife Valerie for Joe Wilson to publicly show that a blatant forgery was, well, a forgery, the current media attack on the White House was completely predictable.

The Permanent Establishment had a perfect dress rehearsal last year with the uproar about Richard Clarke, who also worked in the Clinton White House, possibly next door to Joe Wilson. The barely-disguised message to George W. Bush was: if you try to get rid of us, we may pull a Deep Throat on you. J. Edgar Hoover would have seen through it instantly.


Hmmm. Next door, Wilson and Clarke. More connections here.

kim

No, I'm stuck half in and half out. Help. She's too busy on that keyboard.
===============================================

Syl

Clarice

Just a note of clarification. 'Sylvia' and 'Syl' are two different people.

::waving to Sylvia...nice to meet you::

Sylvia

Likewise Syl.

owl

"As for Woodward, what speaks against misdirection on his part is that he clearly wants his source outed, at some level, in a way that seems to depart from his loyalty to Felt."

I don't believe it. Finally agree with something Jeff said. I earlier labeled him a possible 'bad news bear' because he seemed to not only want his source outed, but determined to apply pressure.

owl

Have a question....have I missed the info, or was it never found as to who clued Andrea to report the leak?

Lew Clark

I don't get Sylvia and Syl confused because I'm dyslexic and always thought Syl was Sly from "Sly and the Family Stone".

Tom Maguire

From the indictment, Libby believed that Cheney had spoken to someone at the CIA about Plame, so Tenet is not a bad guess.

My belief is that Tenet signed the referral to head off a palace revolt, but his heart was not in it.

Per the Times, Tenet had not even mentioned the Plame leak to Bush (in their daily briefings) partway into October 2003.

Somewhere I saw that Tenet denied being Woodward's source, so if Novak and Woodward share a source, that is not it.

Also, it seems weird that Fitzgerald could have pursued this case with a straight face if he had known that Novak's source was Tenet - won't that cause some headscratching amongst the jurors? I know I'd laugh out loud at that awkward moment for the prosecution.

All that said - if the CIA sent a retired diplomat on a mission, and I wanted to know the background to his trip, I would call (a) the CIA, which sent him, and (b) his former employer, State.

topsecretk9

OUCH!

PATRIOT ACT POLLING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A new CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll finds that only 34 percent of the public thinks that the Patriot Act goes too far. Sixty-two percent approve of it (44 percent) or think it doesn't go far enough (18 percent).
Posted at 04:00 PM

danking

"won't that cause some headscratching amongst the jurors? I know I'd laugh out loud at that awkward moment for the prosecution."

LOL! So would I.

That's why it can't be Tenet.

Syl

The Dems have completely blown their wad with this hysteria over 'eavesdropping on Americans' and battle against the Patriot Act.

What fodder the Reps have for the 2006 elections!

I can't wait!

pollyusa

Something else on Tenet from an early Novak interview on MTP. I can't imagine Novak would have said this if Tenet was his source.

NOVAK: ...I know George Tenet, the director. They would have put him on, and he would have said, “Novak, don’t write this,” and I would not if this woman is in danger. MTP 10/05/03
AST

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but how do we know that the source of this information wasn't Valerie Plame herself? Judy Miller's notebook reference to Valerie "Flame," suggests to me that she knew Valerie, but just couldn't quite remember her name at the moment, from her earlier reporting on WMD.

Of course, no reporter will ever testify to that. So Fitzgerald might as well pack it in. How can you investigate leaks when there is a conspiracy of witnesses not to tell you anything? Unless we create Witness Protection Program for reporters who have revealed their sources, these investigations will never track down the truth.

Syl

Oops. Sorry.

Wrong thread. ::blush::

TP

I think Judy Miller may have gotten the "Flame" name from Tenet or, possibly Armitage. She was as careful to protect this source and even lie about remembering who it was as she was to protect Libby.

Tulsan

Woodward, R. Novak, Miller, Russert, Mitchell - they are all just playing with us. They all know who in the Administration leaked. And they are all keeping the information within their own circle so as not to lose their access.

clarice

Syl,Sylvia, my apologies for the confusion.

If Novak's source wasn't Tenet, why has no one been charged with that leak?

Tulsan

No one has been charged for any leaks - only for false statements, perjury and obstruction.

clarice

owl, Unless I missed it, too, it has never been reported who leaked that information to Andrea. And it is important to know that, because her report kicked everything up a notch and added to the pressure to appoint a special prosecutor.

topsecretk9

Oops. Sorry.

Wrong thread. ::blush::

My fault Syl. Oops me.

Jeff

Woodward, R. Novak, Miller, Russert, Mitchell

The dread liberal MSM in action.

kim

Tenet being Woodward's source is what all the dancing around for the last three weeks is about. I cannot explain the supposed denial, but I've speculated it was as inadvertent as the referral.

He'll have to get over it, but apparently it is a source of shame that he was talking to reporters about Plame before he talked to the White House. Furthermore, I'm doubtful the Times has much reporting on what Bush and Tenet have said to each other about this case.

Have you ever seen Fitz with anything but a straight face? His odd pursuit is one of the main reasons I still hold out hope that he is after the bad guys in this case. Add to that the secrecy with which he has pursued the case, and it's not hard to see why it is so difficult to understand the object of his pursuit. Presumably he has one.

If you believe, as I do, that the referral was inadvertent, and that Tenet is Novak's source, then the next step is that Fitz saw that mess early on and has simply decided to find generic dirty work at the crossroads, to justify his investigation. That it may seem overly trivial is one of the main reasons I hold out hope that Fitz is playing a different game.

Look, Novak and Woodward are playing some kind of abstruse game here. It makes sense that they are waiting for Tenet to give them and Bush permission to open this up. Just why he hesitates, I'm not sure, but it may be the sort of situation that just gets harder to admit as you go along.
=================================================

topsecretk9

be the sort of situation that just gets harder to admit as you go along.

Well these most recent leaks (CIA prisons, re-vamped Echelon) don't help....make the 2fer going on 3fer look down right emasculating in SP world comparatively speaking

MJW

Though I've long had Tenet at the top of my list for Novak's source, there are some arguments against it. Pollyusa pointed out an interesting one. It's possible Novak was trying to mislead us, or was even playing a little game with the fact that not only didn't Tenet not tell him not to publish, he was the source of the information in the first place. Still, I think it's a reason for doubt. Another argument against the Tenet theory is that after talking with his original source, Novak spoke to the CIA flack, Harlow. It seems to me that if he'd just gotten the information directly from the horse's mouth, he wouldn't feel the need to go to the other end of the horse for confirmation.

I suspect Tenet reluctantly signed the referral because he knew if he didn't, there'd soon be a front-page story about it in the New York Times.

kim

Maybe Novak talked to Harlow first, then Tenet. I still think George didn't know he was signing the referral. That's part of the reason for the medal and for the other George(the apparently newly regal one) protecting him now.

Where's Idiot Boy? He was just here.
===================================

MJW

Kim - I don't see how it's possible that Novak talked to Harlow first, then Tenet, since the subject of the Novak-Harlow conversation was Plame; which, if Tenet was the source, he wouldn't yet know about.

I've always wondered (without any evidence) if Bush's loyalty to Tenet was because that old CIA man H.W. Bush liked hm.

kim

Sylvia, you have an earlier post about Clarke on the Novak and Armitage thread, on 12/18 at 12:01. Could be. He's a snake and a rat.

You saw him on TV. Same look as a snake swallowing a rat. Wriggling around and all.
=============================================

kim

Why wouldn't Tenet know about Plame?

Yes, Bush liked Tenet for a multitude of reasons, the first among them that he is a likeable man. You see why the careful little dance? Everybody likes Tenet.
===================================================

Kate

Kim-yes, Tenet is everryone's friend. Everybody likes Tenet, reporters included.

MJW

Kim - the "he" in "he wouldn't know about it yet" was Novak, not Tenet. I need to be more careful with my pronouns. What I meant was, by the time Novak talked to Harlow about Plame, Novak had obviously already talked to his source. So the Tenet-was-source theory seems incompatible with the Noavak-spoke-to-Harlow-then-Tenet theory.

kim

MJW, my theory isn't without flaws. It just makes the most sense to me. I think Tenet knew about Plame fairly early and the big secret that everyone is hiding is that reporters asked him about her and Wilson before the White House did, and he did help contribute to the increasing knowledge of her. But it is absurd to consider his actions 'leaking'. Just why Fitz has gone on with this charade, I don't know, but I keep hoping his investigation is a stalking horse.
=============================================

kim

By the way, I certainly think it is possible that Novak called Harlow first, then Tenet. By that late date a man with Novak's ears had certainly heard about Valerie(from other reporters if nowhere else) and might very reasonably check first with Harlow, then upon hearing Harlow's nonsense, called Tenet. Tenet, knowing he was about to announce Plame anyway, thought it mattered little to inform Novak. In retrospect, Tenet probably needlessly has guilt about talking to Woodward in June; I doubt he feels any about talking to Novak in July.
==================================================

kim

Oh, I see, MJW, you think I think that Tenet was Novak's FIRST source. No, I think Tenet, confirmed it for him. I think Novak picked it up, probably from journalists, asked Harlow, then asked Tenet.
============================================

kim

Heh, heh. Novak probably got it from Woodward.
================================================

kim

That even explains Tenet denying being Novak's source.
==================================

kim

Oh, it's too funny. Next up: the Fitz interview of Tenet trying to catch him in a lie about outing Plame.

Fitz better catch the bad guys or he's just going to end up looking ridiculous.

Now, there better be bad guys. I'm beginning to have my doubts.
========================================

kim

Well, formally prosecutable bad guys, anyway. Certainly there have been bad actors. Joe, the obvious liar and cheat. MSM, with its nearly complete capability to hide the truth. Anti-war politicians and their Iraqi lies. Well, we may have to settle for comeuppance instead of prosecution. Joe, an Okie fleeing desperate past rather than a 49'er inhabiting a fantasy life for him. The clothes have fallen off Emperor MSM and Prime Minister Pinch will forever hear footsteps. And the Democrats are stuck STILL opposing self-determination in Iraq. There is some justice, after all.
============================================

Ashley Bowers

I hope they find out who it was is all I care about!

kim

Who what was?
==============

maryrose

Let the other shoe drop already, Im tired of waiting around for Fitz to get his act together and bring final closure to this case. If he's been hoodwinked, then be a man and stand up and say " Hey they put one over me " and then for pete"s sake MOVE- On.

kim

Thanks for the highlight.
==========================

noah

If not Rove who could Fitz indict at this point? And on what charge?

Isn't the scope of the investigation pretty limited?

MJW

Kim - Sorry I misinterpreted youe Harlow-Tenet theory. I do still have some problems with it. Novak said his original source told him about Plame as part of a "long conversation" with a "senior administration official," when Novak asked why Wilson had been selected to go to Niger. I assume this is prior to Novak's call to Harlow. Novak said he then called another official (who we now know was Rove), who confirmed it. If Tenet wasn't the original source, but later confirmed Plame's CIA status to Novak, I would think Novak would have mentioned two confirmations from senior officials. Also, Harlow says Novak called him "at least three days before the column was published." This would put the call on July 11, or a little earlier. But this seems to place the call near the time the column went on the AP newswire, so I suspect it was one of the final steps in putting the column together.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I think it's safe to conclude that there will be no more indictments from Fitzgerald:

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Leak_probe_not_seen_to_end_1221.html

maryrose

I concur,and think it is highly unlikely there will be any further indictments and that Fitz will have a heck of a time trying to prove the ones against Libby because too much sand has been thrown around.

chsw

My candidate for Woodward's source is Michael Scheuer. Remember, he wrote a series of anonymous articles for the Washington Post and Newsweek. Woodward is a senior editor of the Post and would have known Scheuer's identity as a CIA agent. Scheuer would also be an excellent candidate as Novak's source.

chsw

kim

Something doesn't add up with what you say there about Novak's story. Why would Novak call Rove for confirmation?

Throughout this whole business, I have neglected facts, so am at somewhat of a loss, MJW, when you challenge me with them. Long ago I realized that most of you have much better skill at analyzing, and remembering the facts as they have been unearthed. I've depended instead on oh I don't know what. And it's Tenet, or else I'm wrong.
==============================================

Syl

I don't think Novak's source was Tenet. I think MJW presented a good case that it wasn't he.

As for the actual name, Plame, why is out of the realm of possibility that Harlow himself gave Novak that little piece of data?

The actual NAME, Plame, wasn't circulating in the Whitehouse. Neither Libby nor Rove ever mentioned it. 'Wilson's wife' is about as far they went.

The CIA, itself, though, didn't know her as Valery Wilson, they only knew her as Valery Plame.

kim

I can imagine Novak having a long conversation with Tenet about the events of the week more easily than I can imagine him having a long conversation with Rove. Does Rove converse at length?
================================================

MJW

Kim, I'm virtually certain Rove wasn't the official Novak had a long conversation with. I'm just beginning to doubt it was Tenet, either.

(Tenet was for a long time my prime suspect, based on: He fit the description of a "senior administration official" who's "no partisan gunslinger." The lead sentence in Novak's July 14 column was a direct denial of Tenet's involvement in Wilson's Niger trip. Wilson claimed Novak originally told him his source was in the CIA.)

kim

If not Tenet, who? No one else really fits the facts and the actions of all these people better. Including those of Bush and Fitz.

And for Christmas my wish is that Fitz is serious about fighting Islamofascism, his indictment of Libby is a way to force the MSM's hand(and cool off Judy), and that Pinch gets pasture pancakes to step in and Joe enough coal to keep his glass house warm.

Oh, and someone at the CIA gets spooked.
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kim

Well, MSM is spooked. Watch Fitz go down the memory hole.

Or not.
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kim

I reread some of this thread, MJW. I think Novak heard about Plame from the grapevine, called Harlow, then talked to Tenet. That's two officials. The problem is Tenet's denial. Just what is it?
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kim

Bingo. Tenet can deny being Novak's source, because Novak already know about Plame when they talked.
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maryrose

Kim;
I think you are on to something here. Tenet has a lot to answer for including referring this for investigation out of fear of verbal retaliation from Wilson et all. I especially enjoyed the story that their five year old son knows that"daddy is someone famous and mommy is a spy."

kim

I don't think Tenet knew he was referring the matter. Even if he did, there was almost unbearable pressure to do so.
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