More Evidence Woodward's and Novak's Source the Same

A 19 page affidavit (pdf) by Patrick Fitzgerald was unsealed today in the Scooter Libby case. It appears that Bob Woodward may have tape-recorded his conversation with his source because the affidavit refers to a transcript of the conversation.

The affidavit also makes it pretty clear that Woodward's source and Novak's as-yet unidentified source are the same. Editor and Publisher reports:

Woodward suddenly revealed late last year that he had talked with Libby as well as another unnamed government official about CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson. Earlier, columnist Robert Novak had also said he had an unnamed second source.

One paragraph in Thursday's filing, NBC reported, indicates that the unnamed official spoke both with Woodward and Novak, and "Libby has been given a redacted transcript of the conversation between Woodward and [redacted] and Novak has published an account briefly describing the conversation with his first confidential source [redacted]."

Libby's lawyers said in court that the "official" is someone "outside the White House." Novak said last year that President Bush knew the identity of his confidential source, and also suggested that the official also was Woodward's source as well.

Novak said in his July 14 article naming Valerie Plame that he had two Administration sources. One was later revealed to be Karl Rove. The other he has not revealed, although he has described him as "no partisan gunslinger" and as not working in the White House.

So, is it Stephen Hadley or Richard Armitage? Those are my best guesses.

Update: I've just finished reading the affidavit. Empty Wheel has some good analysis. I also tried removing the redactions and substituting names. While Armitage seemed the most likely, it occurs to me that particularly in this paragraph, Fitz might have not just used the source's last name, but included a "Mr." before it -- which would make a shorter name like Hadley still possible.

Another puzzle-solving paragraph is here. In this paragraph, it's unlikely Fitz would have included "Mr." since he didn't for Woodward, Novak or Libby, thus, again Armitage fits the best.

Tom Maguire's take is here.

Update: Another reason I'm going to go with Armitage is that Fitz in the affidavit and other pleadings has said he wants to keep the source secret so he doesn't become an "innocent accused." Hadley would not be described that way since he was a member of the White House Iraq Group. He may not have committed a crime, but he was in the thick of it. Armitage is far more likely to be a person Fitz would want to protect from being smeared.

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    Re: More Evidence Woodward's and Novak's Source th (none / 0) (#1)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 10:22:59 PM EST
    This is breadcrumb BS. Sometimes the legal system is worse than a news tease. But it's NOT torture.

    Jerlyn, I think (if I'm understanding you right), that if you put Mr. before that passage at 52, then it remains on the first line, and only Hadley would swing over to the second line. I actually think that is the most compelling subtitution point, because either a straight "Mr." or a first name (Ari, Donald, Richard) fits on first line, which in almost every case would mean the last name, and the last name only, would be on the second line. The few exceptions are with short last names (Bush or Rice).

    Even if the first line in paragraph 52 is filled in with Mr., the second name has to have 8 spaces to fit properly. Hence, Hadley is too short (leaves too many spaces before the next word). Must be Armitage.

    Re: More Evidence Woodward's and Novak's Source th (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    goodasgold-In case Byrd's petition gets deleted for not being in the right format, here it is: link