Captain's Quarters Blog


« Not One Dime Adopts Its First Candidate | Main | Internet Dodges Dictators One More Time »

November 15, 2005
Administration Official Told Bob Woodward About Plame's CIA Role Before Leak: Post

Tomorrow's Washington Post has a stunning new development in the Valerie Plame story, one that could unravel most of the investigation conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald. The paper reveals that its most celebrated reporter, Bob Woodward, learned of Valerie Plame and her employment at the agency from an unnamed administration official a month before Robert Novak revealed it in his column -- and it wasn't Karl Rove or Scooter Libby:

Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released yesterday.

Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously undisclosed conversation after the official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the investigation.

So much for the covert status of Valerie Plame. Even the CIA didn't think she worked under cover -- a rather obvious conclusion, given that she went to work rather openly at the Langley facility. Someone will need to remind me why we've spent two years on this investigation, because at the moment it looks like a gigantic waste of time and money. Fitzgerald had two years and came up with nothing more than a perjury and obstruction indictment against one person on a case in which no crime has been proven to be committed. Now it looks like in those two years, it never occurred to Fitzgerald to check with other journalists to see if they had heard of Plame and her association with the CIA.

Woodward also testified that he never discussed Plame with Libby or Karl Rove. That answers the question that would have come up, which is whether the two officials may have heard Plame's status from Woodward instead of other government officials. It doesn't exactly excuplate either, especially Libby of perjury and obstruction, but it does make the indictment look even more foolish if the CIA itself outed Plame to Woodward, one of the most famous journalists in America. Woodward's story shows that the leak did not come from some back-door effort to punish Wilson or his wife for their efforts to discredit Bush and the war effort.

The Left will have to go back to the drawing board, and I suspect that Fitzgerald will eventually withdraw the indictment.

UPDATE: Corrected for the rather egregious error of assigning the official to the CIA, which the story does not do. The other point, which I missed in my first presentation of the story, is that Woodward doesn't believe that the leak was malicious at all. According to Woodward, the administration didn't even think Plame was covert at all -- which eliminates the mens rea needed for the crime Fitzgerald's investigation meant to uncover.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 15, 2005 10:36 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Administration Official Told Bob Woodward About Plame's CIA Role Before Leak: Post:

» Bob Woodward: The Grinch Who Stole Fitzmas from Decision '08
The Washington Post has a blockbuster story for PlameGate junkies - Bob Woodward was told of Valarie Plame by an unamed official who was not Karl Rove, and not Lewis Libby, but who was, in fact, the first official to discuss Plame with a reporter: Was... [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2005 11:59 PM

» Does Fitzgerald need a do-over on Plamegate? from Small Town Veteran
Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 2:15 AM

» Another Direct Hit Against Plamegate from Tapscott's Copy Desk
As Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrissey puts it, the Woodward revelation means Plamegate is essentially all over: [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 7:07 AM

» Woodward proves he's nothing but from blastfurnacecanada
Woodward proves he's nothing but an insider; left AND right bloggers pounce [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 7:12 AM

» This changes a few things from BitsBlog
Well, Ed, the obvious answer is that it gave the Democrats a foothold... and they consider a few million dollars of tax money a small price to pay for a little political leverage. At this story, though, I suppose they're going to have to find a new t... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 7:58 AM

» Plame Woodie from The Strata-Sphere
Here’s a stunner to add to the Plame/Wilson embraglio: Bob Woodward as recently been testifying about the Plame leak. Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior adminis... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 7:59 AM

» Plame Game - Bob Woodward - Is there ANYBODY who from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
The Plame Game just took a RIGHT turn? [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:00 AM

» Plamegate: Woodward testifies from Sister Toldjah
This just puts another nail in the coffin on the allegations that a CIA agent was “deliberately outed” in order to put her and her family in harms way as ‘revenge’ towards Joe Wilson for his NYTimes opinion piece. Via the Wash... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:15 AM

» Start Checking The Rooftops of DC for Chris Matthews... from The Political Pit Bull

It looks like there's more evidence that there wasn't a concerted effort among Bush administration officials to "out" Valerie Plame.

[Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:30 AM

» Start Checking The Rooftops of DC for Chris Matthews... from The Political Pit Bull

It looks like there's more evidence that there wasn't a concerted effort among Bush administration officials to "out" Valerie Plame.

[Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:45 AM

» Start Checking The Rooftops of DC for Chris Matthews... from The Political Pit Bull

It looks like there's more evidence that there wasn't a concerted effort among Bush administration officials to "out" Valerie Plame.

[Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 10:00 AM

» WoodwardGate from The Right Nation
Richard Nixon is surely roaring with laughter in his coffin. Bob Woodward, the journalist that with colleague Carl Bernstein discovered the Watergate scandal in the 70s, is involved in the so-called Plamegate, the investigation carried on by Patrick... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 11:58 AM

» Perhaps Libby Didn't Lie from Chateau d'If
Something bordiering on a bombshell in the Libby/Plamegate story today. According to the Washington Post, Bob Woodward knew of Plame's identity months before Libby and, get this, had a meeting with Libby during which Plame may have been discussed: [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 12:44 PM

» Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago from Outside The Beltway
The big news of the day is Bob Woodward’s claim that he was told by a White House official about Valerie Plame’s CIA status in June 2003, well before the current controversy broke out. Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago (... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 1:44 PM

» Clear as Mud from Purple States
While acknowledging I'm likely picking at the scab of an earlier post, did anyone see this little treat in WaPo today?Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 3:17 PM

» Woodward = Next journalism scandal? from scoopstories
(This post is under construction) After writing Monday about Judith Miller I decided no mas! No more writing about her and the New York Times. And I figure if I'm tired of writing about it then the readers are probably [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:05 PM

» Bob Woodward and Plamegate: Five of the Best Blog Headlines So Far from Gina Cobb
Bob Woodward, the Washington Post investigative reporter of Watergate fame, testified under oath in the CIA leak case that he know about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed. This c... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 11:59 AM

» Howie Kurtz pimps lefty bloggers' "passion" for Woodwardgate from The Tar Pit
Readers of the Washington Post didn't get the whole story from Bob Woodward, and now they aren't getting it from Howard Kurtz... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 12:45 PM

» Bob Woodward and Plamegate: Five of the Best Blog Headlines So Far from Gina Cobb
Bob Woodward, the Washington Post investigative reporter of Watergate fame, testified under oath in the CIA leak case that he know about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed. This c... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 2:24 PM

>Comments


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios





blog advertising



button1.jpg

Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!