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There's a huge missing piece in the Plame Affair and it all goes back to a  WaPo article 9/28/03.  It intrigued me then and still does.   Washington Post 9/28/03

The officer's name was disclosed on July 14 in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak, who said his sources were two senior administration officials.

Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

More after the jump, and it gets better. . .

The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists. The official said there was no indication that Bush knew about the calls.

It is rare for one Bush administration official to turn on another. Asked about the motive for describing the leaks, the senior official said the leaks were "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."

So, if the Washington Post story is to be believed, there are TWO sets of leaks.   The first is the obvious one which everyone has focused on.   But, according to this story, there was another leak, and, more importantly, a WHISTLEBLOWER within the White House.  

Were Dana Priest and Mike Allen ever called?  Could it be a REAL whistleblower that Cooper is protecting?   (I think Miller's testimony and information is unrelated, for obvious reasons).    

Has the whistleblower testified?   Is it perhaps his/her testimony that needs corroboration?  

Did someone leave (or die) after this article - cuz you can bet that after that article came uot there was a MASSIVE hunt within the administration to find out who it was.

OR if he/she is still in the administration you can bloody well bet that they DO need protection.

I dunno myself, but it's a piece of the puzzle that has always been forgotten and/or shunted aside and I think it's worth trying to fit it in.  Somewhere.   Go at it.

eileen from OH (Call me crazy - and you will -  but I think it's Matalin.  Yeah, she's a rightwing whacko, but she's married to our leftwing "whacko."  PLUS, she left Cheney's office shortly thereafter - to spend time with the cough,cough family.  PLUS, I think she was mentioned as a witness.)

Originally posted to eileen from OH on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 03:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Weird Fact (none)
    How could the unknown person have known what Novak claimed?

    THis is the person who needs to be put in front of a grand jury, as the Special Prosecutor has undoubtedly deduced.

    •  Non-nefarious timeline (4.00)
      1.  Miller tells Rove re: Plame.
      2.  Rove tells Novak (and others).
      3.  Rove and other official tell 6 journalists (including Cooper).
      4.  Novak publishes.

      This doesn't impact any of the analysis that has gone on here at dKos, but it explains away (if I understand you correctly) the "two leakers" idea.  It just puts the leaks in a different order than originally presumed.

      Apologies if I'm missing something or misunderstanding.

      •  Of Course (none)
        Of course, this is inconsistent with Rove's GJ testimony, which is that he waited until Novak published to blab.

        But who's counting.

      •  But how would Miller know? (none)
        1. Miller tells Rove re: Plame.

        How would Miller find out the identity of a covert CIA agent? Someone had to have told her unless she broke into the CIA to get the records.

      •  Sad, but perhaps true. (3.50)
        I think you might be right. If you are, I will be depressed.

        It's a little weird though. One thing that I find strange is the fact that Cooper was given a pass by the source, but not Miller. Seems to either imply that 1) the source isn't the same source 2) the source did give Miller a pass, but Miller decided not to use it and 3) the Plame knowledge really was common knowledge in some of the DC circles and Miller is really just faking it, and is in fact going to jail to pretend that she is protecting someone, but that someone is herself ?

        Whoah - what if the source was Chalabi ?

        My brain is toast.

        •  The Miller Theory (none)
          Didn't I read that Rove's lawyer said that Rovedid not disclose Plame's identity

          This would fit then - ROVE didn't disclose her identity, MILLER did, maybe on Chalabi's tip - ROVE just confirmed it, repeated it, whatever.

          Would also fit with Fitzgerald's comments on Miller, whom he really seems to dislke - and he especially seems to dislike her claiming morally superior ground

          •  Mealy mouthed answer (none)
            I can't recall what his Atty said exactly, but it was structured in a way that required a lot of things to be true.

            E.g.  Rove did not reveal the identity of Wilson's wife as Valerie Plame the Covert CIA agent.

            If any of those things is missing, then Rove's lawyer's statement is technically true -- i.e., he might not have said the covert part.

        •  Cooper's only source was Rove (confirmed) (none)
          According to the NY Times, Cooper's source was Rove.  This is buried in an updated article published earller today -- seems like it should be bigger news, no?

          Sorry to diary whore (or is it pimp?), but here it is:

    •  This was widely believed at the time (none)
      to be Powell.

      "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

      by Mimikatz on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:25:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep in mind... (4.00)
    Ari Fleischer left his job the same week the leak occoured.

    "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -Thomas Jefferson

    by weelzup on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 03:14:45 PM PDT

  •  My Money's On Fliescher (none)
    He dominated the press corps with his sneer.  He was able to cow anyone who challenged Bush.  Why would he quit?
  •  The'other' leak (none)
    Which could explain why, on CNN the other day, Maitlan made the remark that O'Donnell was a man of great integrity, and he would not be making these assertions unless they were true.
  •  What about... (none)
    Colin Powell?  He's testified.  What would he know about this, not being close to any of these people.  They made him nuts.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 03:30:53 PM PDT

  •  Another interesting thing in the article (4.00)
    is where it says, "A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson's wife as 'fair game.'"  One of the leakers said this?  Isn't that the exact quote that Chris Mathews attributed to Karl Rove on Hardball or something?

    I think it's great you have brought this article up...

  •  A great, great find/reminder (4.00)
    I had totally forgotten about this: there WAS a real whistleblower.

    It could easily be any of the above, though I kinda like the idea of Fleischer. I can understand how a press secretary might feel burned by the sloppy PR attempts of other staff talking to reporters, especially if they were committing a crime in the process. And how he'd feel the need to burn 'em right back.

    The larger point is that a senior administration official/whistleblower/hero basically repeated Wilson's talking points word for word: that Plame's identity was shopped around, that it was for revenge, it was "wrong" and a "miscalculation."

    It's absolutely damning, and makes this weekend's lame PR attempt by Rove's lawyer that much more... well, lame.

    And makes me much, much more hopeful that these clowns are going down. I've tried to resist being optimistic, but this is huge. Thanks E from O.

    •  I recall at the time (none)
      that thoughts were it was George Tenant, since nobody was more pissed about the outing than the CIA - in fact, I believe it was Tenant that kept hounding (politely) Justice to actually do something about it, since they were resistant to SOP requests to investigate the security breach.

      Big Media is hated by the GOP because they sometimes tell the truth. We should hate Big Media for the other 97 percent of the time when they don't.

      by Ugluks Flea on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:16:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Essential reminder - thanks. (4.00)
    As to Ari Fleischer's motives:

    though a mouthpiece for the president, and thus having to be in lock-step with the thinking from above, Fleischer doesn't have to sell his soul. And his effectiveness is completely dependent upon him having a working relationship with the press.

    I suspect he became/was aware of what the White House insiders were up to, as they used the press for their political ends. Maybe Fleischer objected strongly enough to realize he didn't want to continue in his job?

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:05:23 PM PDT

    •  As to Ari, (none)
      Fleischer has no soul to sell. How soon we forget. This is the guy who truly epitomised the arrogance and sheer brick wall stubbornness of this administration. Please refer to the Buffalo Beast's 50 Most Loathesome People of 2002 article for the most eloquent summation of him yet. Sorry in advance.


      Misdeeds: Wherever he ends up placed on this list will not be high enough. This motherfucker carries G.W. Bush's demon seed in his anal womb, gestates a fresh offspring a couple times a day and produces a few Rosemary's steamers at press conferences with all the non-chalance of a Spot Coffee latte jerk. Fleischer is the very bold assertion, by the powers that be, that Americans and their media representatives are too whip-shy to just say, "Wait a fucking minute. You're telling a goddamned lie, Fleischie." He is a brazen challenge from the tri-laterals and Bildenbergs, etc., that they know that we, as the TV umbilical-cable-dependent, won't do anything to jeopardize our little no-compulsory-military-service, double-mocha-under-a-self-contained, climate-controlled indoor-suburban-shopping-theme-park-with-a-Botox-safety-net dream.

      Aggravating Factor: He is less life-like than every other who has stood in his rank. Within weeks, there promises to be empirical evidence that Fleischer was produced by the same laboratory that gave us Nixon tron John Dean.

      Aesthetic: C3PO melded with Carson Daly operating off a modified Charles Grodin chip.

      Nah, he couldn't have done what he'd done without imploding if he'd had a shred of humanity. Ari's no whistleblower, he's a something-else blower.

      Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? -Marcus Tullius Cicero

      by justme on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:42:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impressive.... (4.00)
    So, if I could theorize. One group (Rove et al) wanted to put Plame's name out there for political reasons to taint Wilson's claims. Another group (made up of ??) disagreed with this strategy, thinking it ill-conceived.

    So, group 1 leaks the Plame name to six reporters and Novak prints it.

    Then, group 2 leaks to another reporter/s (?? Miller maybe? Or Cooper?) that the source of the name is Group 1. And then we start hearing about senior administration officials giving Plame's name to 6 reporters and that the "leaker" told one of the reporter's Plame was fair game. Matthews comes out and says, "Rove called me up and said Plame was fair game..."

    So, now we have:

    1. the person/s who leaked the name: Rove et al
    2. the senior administration official who leaked the story of the leaking: Who is this person? The whistleblower?

    Now today, the source Cooper is protecting IS A DIFFERENT SOURCE than Miller's source. How do we know? Cooper's source made a call to him today but didn't bother to call Miller too? Obviously, it's not the same source.

    So, which reporter is protecting the criminal and which reporter is protecting the whistleblower?

    And can we figure out (using this new angle and reading everything again under a new light) who the whistleblower is?

    Am I anywhere near making sense here?

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:06:04 PM PDT

    •  And... (4.00)
      Fitzgerald needs the Whistleblower in order to confirm that a crime was committed knowingly of leaking a CIA name.

      Let's say Rove is the Leaker and Matalin is the Whistleblower. Rove tells Miller that Plame is CIA (along with 5 other reporters). Miller calls Matalin to confirm. Matalin tells Miller what REALLY went down and Rove did it. Miller already knows that because Rove already called her. Miller recognizes this could get ugly and decides not to report on it.

      Now, Fitz knows Rove was the leaker but can't prove it was leaked "knowingly" without the testimony of the whistleblower who was in the room when it was strategized. Fitz figures Cooper and/or Miller know who the whistleblower is because it's the source they are protecting.

      OK, my brain is about to explode... I have to go now... I can't do this anymore!!!

      Canadians care too...

      by jbalazs on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:20:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they MUST have different sources (none)
        WASHINGTON Matthew Cooper still won't publicly identify his source in the C-I-A leak case.

        After declaring, "I have kept my word for two years," the Time magazine reporter said he will tell a grand jury who in the Bush administration leaked an agent's name. Cooper says the source today gave him "personal, unambiguous, uncoerced" permission to testify -- but that doesn't extend to revealing the name of the source publicly.

        A federal judge in Washington has ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller jailed for refusing to name her sources.

        Mi newspaper

      •  Unless... (none)


        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:46:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think Fleischer (none)
    I think Ari left because he felt continuing to lie would begin to damage his future career. Scotty McClellan has earned a lot of industry scorn, since then...

    I do wonder who it is?

    Craziest possible scenario - Laura Bush???

    Less crazy - the original leaker, trying to insert some plausible deniability by appeareing as the whistle blower?

    Tinfoil hats are fun...

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:07:43 PM PDT

  •  This is known, sorry. (none)
    It's a known fact of the story that "two senior administration officials," now believed to be Scooter Libby and Turdblossom Rove, shopped the story around to about six potential traitors before they hit paydirt with Novak.

    And that after Novak's article, Rove was calling everyone in town to spread the leak and saying Plame was "fair game."

    •  grytpype is correct (none)
      The outlines of the story are known, and I suspect that Rove (or whoever) is in trouble not because of the leak to Novak, but the attempted leak prior to that.

      As for the "whistleblower"?  I'll bet a lot of money on the only "senior administration official" with any connection to this who "left" (was fired) in the first term: George Tenet.

      I mean, duh.  Guy was a lap dog, but he's gotta have some loyalty to his people, right?

      Rumsfeld, he needs to be hit on the head. --Baghdad Bob

      by Jimmy Jazz on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:52:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Intent. (none)
        Fitzgerald needs to prove intent.

        The more journalists the better.

        Maybe Rove gave Cooper a pass, but not Miller, because he found out (a leak of the Time papers ) that Cooper couldn't have anything to say about intent. Maybe Miller is holding the goods on intent...

    •  novack has been a source before... (none)
      rove wouldnt have had to shop this story to other reporters...he would have already known he would hit paydirt with novack....novack has published 'leaks' for rove before....wasnt rove fired by dubyas father for leaking something to novack?

      "Not even Revelations threatens a plague of vengeful yahoos." H. S. Thompson

      by KnotIookin on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 07:42:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rove's lawyer Luskin says no. (none)
      Says Rove only shopped it around after Novack published it. That's his defense against Rove being the leaker.

      It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

      by cotterperson on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 07:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this whistleblower spoke to WaPo ... (none)
    ... IMO, he or she certainly spoke to Fitzgerald as well.

    About the "fair game" comment, note the sequence here ...

    Wilson said in an interview yesterday that a reporter had told him that the leaker said, "The real issue is Wilson and his wife."

    A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson's wife as "fair game."

    It's a good guess that the "source" here was Joe Wilson.  So it's nothing new.

    •  Well (none)
      According to PBS,Currently, "Wilson is CEO of JCWilson International Ventures, Corp., a firm specializing in Strategic Management and International Business Development. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC."

      He's not a senior administration official.

      War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

      by Margot on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:03:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well All Day I've Been Wondering (none)
    if Judy's source could have been Ahmed Chalabi. We already know that he was the darling of the admin and he was drooling garbage to her as well.

    Now if there's any chance that it was, who told HIM? Now that might be something it would be better to go to jail then to reveal.

    Hey, don't I look great in tin foil?

    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

    by mattman on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 04:30:34 PM PDT

  •  Here's a question... (none)
    What was Tenet's capacity at CIA around 9/28/03, the day the WaPo article eileen linked to was published?  His official last day was July 11.  It sounds as if he sent a request after he was officially the director?
  •  Colin Powell ? (none)
    The cleanest of Bush's shitheads.

    When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

    by lawnorder on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:07:18 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, Eileen (none)
    I never even noticed this 'other' senior admin official in the story, and I have been reading everything about it since that fall of '03.
    You have a good eye!

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:12:11 PM PDT

    •  You're welcome! (none)
      That article has always bugged me because there was (gasp!) evidently a "good guy" in the administration.  Struck me then and I even saved it.  It adds a whole new level to the speculation, doesn't it?

      eileen from OH

  •  Huh? (none)
    I'm not getting the two leak thing from what I read. You gave these two examples:

    "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak...."

    "The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists. The official said there was no indication that Bush knew about the calls."

    Just seems like a grammar thing to me. "The "leak" was the leak of the name; there were two "leakers."


    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:23:43 PM PDT

  •  two top White House officials and... (none)
    ... a Senior administration official.

    "Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists...."

    ... and six Washington journalists.

    My first guess on the senior administration official is Tenet. Fleischer maybe, but Tenet seems more likely.

    Rove appears to be one of the two top White House officials. The second remains a mystery though there has been speculation all along that there was someone in the Vice Presidents office involved so you have to think of Scooter Libby in that case.

    Where does Guckert fit in? Is he in the critical path or did he only brag about information he gained after the fact?

    Where does Miller fit in? Is she simply one of the six journalists? Or is she a layer of protection for the White House officials? If the exact language of that early report is to believed then neither Guckert nor Miller are prophylactics for the two top White House officials. The officials did the leaking.

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:50:31 PM PDT

    •  He's a liar (none)
      Where does Guckert fit in? Is he in the critical path or did he only brag about information he gained after the fact?
      In order for Guckert to have learned of the leak from a source other than the WSJ article, he would have had to have been a journalist.  

      He ain't a journalist.  He's a known liar.

      The pattern of his "journalism" is to recycle the work of other people.  He read the WSJ article and then claimed the work as his own.

      •  Yeah... (none)
        ... that's what I think too. The only way he factors into the critical path is if they were using him to funnel information out. If he turns out to be the "journalist" passing information back to the administration or to other journalists then their alibi is shot full of holes... but my guess is that he is simply full of ca-ca.

        "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

        by Andrew C White on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:23:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  distinction betw admin and WH (none)
      points most probably at Powell, but possibly at several other people

      -  yes, Tenet

      but let me float another very senior official who might not have agreed with this tactic  -- Condi Rice.  After all, it involved destroying the career of a woman in what is a male dominated field.   Also, note the defense of Bush not knowing   -- doesn't that sound like something someone who would make the Freudian slip of "my husband" would make?

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:13:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naaa... (none)
        I think Condi has completely drunk her husband's kool-aid. Perhaps even bathes in it. My only question would be whether she was in on the whole thing from the start or not. Anyone know how well she and Rover get along?

        Powell is a possibility but I lean towards Tenet simply because CIA people must have been real pissed about outing a NOC and destroying a cover agency. I'm surprised they haven't been singing a loud and clear song since that day.

        "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

        by Andrew C White on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:18:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  according to (none)
    this ap article found by americablog joe, cooper has received permission from his source to talk:

    But then, Cooper said, his source contacted him and dramatically gave him "a specific, personal and unambiguous waiver to speak before the grand jury." Unlike the "government-issued waiver" handed out by the prosecutor, Cooper said, this waiver was "uncoerced."
  •  whistleblower (none)
    Could it be Andy Card? An old Bush I guy who might have a shred of decency left in him or (more likely) he's a selfish guy who wants to protect himself (and his potential future run for Massachusetts Governor) and protect the President when the stuff was hitting the fan? Sounds like words he'd use to me.

    "Our mission is clear in Iraq... disarmament... our mission won't change." Bush 03/06/03 Press Conference

    by isbister on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:26:04 PM PDT

    •  The next Massachusetts Governor (none)
      Will not be a Republican.

      I can't put my finger on exactly what has changed, but I think with all the criticsm and insulting from conservative republicans in the last election cycle, including Mitt Romney, I think Massachusetts is far more likely to vote by party affiliation in the next governor election, regardless of who the nominees are.

      If you are a democrat who convinced yourself to support Romney in the last election, only to have him spend his govenorship insulting you, your candidate and your values, you won't vote republican again. This was not like voting for Weld or Celluci.  Romney is no moderate and has made it clear on a national stage that he despises "liberal" Nassachusetts.  He played his voters.

      Remeber, MA went something like 66% for Kerry.

      •  Re: The next Massachusetts Governor (none)
        I agree (although Card may not, which was my point) that the next Governor won't be a Republican.

        I never have voted for Weld or Celluci or Romney... didn't like any of them and still don't.

        "Our mission is clear in Iraq... disarmament... our mission won't change." Bush 03/06/03 Press Conference

        by isbister on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 01:18:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          I never voted for them either, but I did know a number of afluent suburban democrats who did thinking that divided government was a good thing (which it can be) or that somehow Weld represented a more adult candidate.

          Those same people are hysterical with Bush, the anti stem cell crowd, and the religious right and have no affection at all for Romney after his viscious attacks on Massachusetts.  I think the suburban democrat is what has gotten repubs the Gov mansion for the last 12 years and they (the repubs) have bitten the hand that feeds them.

          By the way, going back to your original comment Card could still have thought he stood a chance back then.  I think the lines in Mass are a lot clearer since then.

  •  It was (4.00)
    Colonel Mustard in the Parlor with the Candlestick !!!

    Please dont "troll" me.  This is like 1000 comments down and Im just having fun :)

  •  "I think she was mentioned as a witness" (none)
    Yes ... in the short-lived HBO television series K Street. Life imitating art imitating life, in a hall of mirrors way?

    I believe that's a little ... far fetched.

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 07:29:36 PM PDT

  •  For those of you, like me (none)
    who are voluntarily without TV - an image.  Often while reading about personalities, I will do an image search to give these names a face.

    Here is Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson.

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