A new book about to hit the bookstores, and authored by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, lays out in excruciating (if you’re a Democrat with an acute case of BDS) detail the how, why and when Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent was “leaked” to the press.
In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War,” Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a “senior administration official” who was “not a partisan gunslinger.” Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was “in deep distress,” says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. “I’m sure he’s talking about me.” …
Armitage’s central role as the primary source on Plame is detailed for the first time in “Hubris,” which recounts the leak case and the inside battles at the CIA and White House in the run-up to the war. The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.
One of the two authors, David Corn, has more posted on his blog.
One mystery solved.
It was Richard Armitage, when he was deputy secretary of state in July 2003, who first disclosed to conservative columnist Robert Novak that the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson was a CIA employee.
A Newsweek article–based on the new book I cowrote with Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War–discloses that Armitage passed this classified information to Novak during a July 8, 2003 interview. Though Armitage’s role as Novak’s primary source has been a subject of speculation, the case is now closed. Our sources for this are three government officials who spoke to us confidentially and who had direct knowledge of Armitage’s conversation with Novak. Carl Ford Jr., who was head of the State Department’s intelligence branch at the time, told us–on the record–that after Armitage testified before the grand jury investigating the leak case, he told Ford, “I’m afraid I may be the guy that caused the whole thing.”
A few questions remain, the most important of which is why Armitage keep silent knowing all along he was the original source and created a partisan and media firestorm that had no basis in fact. Bob Novak on Sunday’s “Meet The Press” had it right when stating: “I believe that the time has way passed for my source to identify himself”.
Indeed it is. It’s also time for “Special” Counsel Fitzgerald to wrap up this multi-million dollar exercise in futility and also explain why, knowing who the source was from the beginning, took it to the extreme he did.
And one final question: Will the shysters that filed a lawsuit against Rove and Cheney, at the behest of Plame and husband Joe Wilson, withdraw the suit? Or will they continue that sham in a continuing effort to pimp Plame’s new book, the one and only reason it was filed?
In answer to Rob_NC’s question – no Scooter won’t get an apology but his indictment will be dropped.