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Book: Armitage Is Leaker, Fitzgerald Knew

From the DNC's house magazine Newsweek:

The Man Who Said Too Much

A book coauthored by NEWSWEEK's Michael Isikoff details Richard Armitage's central role in the Valerie Plame leak.

By Michael Isikoff

Updated: 11:12 a.m. ET Aug 28, 2006

Sept. 4, 2006 issue – 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 acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson's wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA. (The memo made no reference to her undercover status.) Armitage had met with Novak in his State Department office on July 8, 2003—just days before Novak published his first piece identifying Plame. Powell, Armitage and Taft, the only three officials at the State Department who knew the story, never breathed a word of it publicly and Armitage's role remained secret.

As it turned out, Novak wasn’t the only person Armitage talked to about Plame. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has also said he was told of Plame’s identity in June 2003. Woodward did not respond to requests for comment for this article, but, as late as last week, he referred reporters to his comments in November 2005 that he learned of her identity in a "casual and offhand" conversation with an administration official he declined to identify. According to three government officials, a lawyer familiar with the case and an Armitage confidant, all of whom would not be named discussing these details, Armitage told Woodward about Plame three weeks before talking to Novak…

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

Richard Armitage

I had been reluctant to post this because it is just a book review that does not present any new substantive evidence.

But, really, it's been clear for quite a while that the original leaker was Richard Armitage for all of the reasons that have long been discussed.

Not the least of which being that he fits Novak's description to a tee. He was in touch with Woodward when Woodward said he was told. And the letters of Armitage’s name fit (literally) the space in the redacted documents that mention the leaker.

The appalling thing, as we have long said, is that Fitzgerald knew all along. As of course did Mr. Armitage.

In fact, it's more than appalling, it is criminal. Certainly what they have done (and failed to do) is far more criminal than anything "Scooter" Libby is accused of doing.

They have wasted millions of dollars and large portions of people's lives. And not just Libby's, but Karl Rove’s, Judith Miller's and the hundreds of other participants in the various Grand Juries and "investigations" into what was never a crime.

Worse yet, Fitzgerald and Armitage have helped our enemies at home and abroad by allowing the preposterous "treason" calumny against the Bush administration to go on for so long.

Not to mention that we have had to watch Mr. Plame preen like the brainless cockatoo he is throughout this preposterous non-event.

Fitzgerald and Armitage should both face serious jail time for their disgusting charade.

And my favorite quote:

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…

Never mind that it was (Communist) David Corn, one of the authors of this new "book," who started this deathless lie. And that Corn and Michael Isikoff did their level best to keep this lie alive.

Now they both stand to make millions correcting their own criminal libels.

What a world.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 28th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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