Bob Novak Wiggles

Update: TPM Muckraker calls out Novak on Waas. Novak said,

"I know that the Murray Waas piece in the National Journal, which interestingly was not picked up by anybody, was totally wrong and a total lie," he said.

In fact, Muckraker says, Bloomberg News and MSNBC confirmed Waas' article using their own sources.

Original Post:

Bob Novak was on Fox News yesterday explaining and defending his involvement in PlameGate. As Crooks and Liars reports, he called Murray Waas a liar on Hannity and Colmes.

He was also on Britt Hume's show. Here's the transcript of his appearance.

HUME: Did you call Rove or did he ...
NOVAK: I called Rove.

HUME: And did you call for the purpose of getting this confirmed or did this come up in passing?
NOVAK: I called him for several reasons. I wanted to talk about the column I was writing about the mission to Niger. Almost all of my conversations with Rove were not for attribution and in the course of that I told him. I asked him about Wilson's wife at the CIA, working with the CIA and initiating this visit and as I remember the conversation very distinctly, Karl said to me, "Yes, I know that, too." (my emphasis)

HUME: "I know that too?"

HUME: He didn't say, "You know that, too?"
NOVAK: No. He said, "Oh, you know that, too?"

Then there's his comments about Harlow which also make little sense. And on Valerie Plame's role at the CIA:

NOVAK: No. I had no idea that she was a covert person, that she was not just working as an analyst at the CIA.

Then why did his original July 14 article say she was an "operative"? Remember this from Joe Wilson?

"Bob Novak called me before he went to print with the report and he said a CIA source had told him that my wife was an operative," Wilson said. "He was trying to get a second source. He couldn't get a second source. Could I confirm that? And I said no."

On the source:

NOVAK: ....Whether it was inadvertent or not, I don't believe that it was a conscious leak. He always said a couple times in the column, I said, this is not a political gunslinger, this official was not known as somebody who did a lot of political manipulations. He is more of a substantive person.

HUME: More of a policy person?


Novak in 2003:

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

....A big question is her duties at Langley. I regret that I referred to her in my column as an "operative," a word I have lavished on hack politicians for more than 40 years. While the CIA refuses to publicly define her status, the official contact says she is "covered"-working under the guise of another agency. However, an unofficial source at the Agency says she has been an analyst, not in covert operations.

Wiggle, Wiggle, Mr. Novak. Why won't you come out and tell us what was not true in Murray's article? Why won't you talk about the September 29 conversation with Rove, where Waas, MSNBC and Bloomberg allege you and Rove devised a cover story?

Media Matters has more as does News Hounds.

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  • Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 09:02:59 AM EST
    Josh Marshall traces Novaks historic use of the term "operative" and every time he used the term he meant covert agent.
    Well, Novak does seem to use the word operative a lot. But as one of my readers pointed out to me this evening, ´┐Żoperative´┐Ż can mean all sorts of things in different contexts. The question is how Novak uses it in this particular context. Following up on my reader´┐Żs suggestion I did a Nexis search to see all the times Novak used the phrases ´┐ŻCIA operative´┐Ż or ´┐Żagency operative.´┐Ż This was a quick search. But I came up with six examples. And in each case Novak used the phrase to refer to someone working in a clandestine capacity.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#2)
    by cmpnwtr on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 09:03:42 AM EST
    Why would anyone expect anything but self serving lies and obfuscations from this right wing hack? Why should he have a platform at all? As the conduit for an illegal act why isn't he being prosecuted?

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 09:38:44 AM EST
    Color me confused. I'm interested in this story, but the details are mind-boggling. Limited just to the period up through July 2003, the Left's narrative is "Bush was out to get Wilson and outed his wife." Novak's version seems to contradict that. I note the inconsistencies in his "now vs then." But Fitz hasn't indicted him, the primary source, or anyone but Libby. If Novak is lying now, did he lie to the Grand Jury? Could you put together a straightforward post of the Left's narrative? Along the lines of "Here's what we think ... Bush was after Wilson ... X leaked Y info to Z ... Novak and others weren't indicted for any of this (thru July 2003) because .." Post July 2003, I dont care. If it helps, I'll stipulate that Bush, Rove, Cheney, Libby, and everyone else covered things up and lied and should hang. Okay? I'd like to read a straight version of the Left's narrative (understanding that some aspects will be 'supposed' not proved). Thanks.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 10:20:45 AM EST
    Commisar-Here are some good narrative and timelines. The answer to your question is obviously not a one liner. I would suggest looking through some of these links and then doing some google searches on your own. Hope this is helpful, for a start. TL archives, TL Plame, dkosopedia, Pollyusa, NYT, emptywheel, swopa, part I, swopa, part II, Sourcewatch and last but not least firedoglake.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#5)
    by Strick on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 10:55:03 AM EST
    I'm not particularly a Novak fan and I'm more than willing to accept he could be lying about this, but some how that doesn't add up. Nothing Novak's said has been contradicted by any other story we've heard so far (at least from a principal in the story, not second hand claims like Waas's). No reporter claims that Rove phoned them or brought up Plame, he only responded to questions. Certainly there's nothing to suggest that any concerted effort to "out" Plame ever existed, not from any reporter who spoke to Rove. Surely Novak's going to have to testify in the Libby trial. If anyone contradicts his testimony or what he's saying now, it will come out. No way what's left of is reputation would survive that. Whatever you say about him, he's not so stupid as not to understand that. So can it all possibly be true? There may be more to this, but right now all the evidence supports what he's saying. You'd need something significant, someone, anyone really involved to contradict him, to suggest otherwise. However much some people want some things to be true.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 11:34:19 AM EST
    Nothing Novak's said has been contradicted
    read the post, everything novak has said has been contradicted ... by novak.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 02:09:46 PM EST
    It was a request for Jeralyn. Reconstructing posts that span time, while new facts were coming out, being spun and re-spun. I presume that people like Jeralyn 9and Tom Maguire) have their respective narratives more or less in their heads, and could lay it out, per the current set of facts on the table, at any time. I mean 4-5 or maybe more paragraphs, not a book. Obviously they can't do that every week. At this juncture, it would be interesting. Republicans like me say "Novak got a tip, read Whos Who, pried a little bit, and got a story. No indictments for the events themselves support that. (Scooter was coverup issue.) And if Novak lied, why didn't the legendarily methodical Fitz nail him?" Okay, maybe I'll ask Jane Hamsher for a thoughful view. Heh.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 02:58:33 PM EST
    Sure, go ahead and ask Jane or Christy. I can try to do it but it would take a lot of time and I do have a day job. I'll try to give it a go this weekend.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 03:58:24 PM EST
    I still don't know why Novak had a job or any opportunity to get on the air after the article outing Valerie Wilson. Our society needs a LOT of work.

    Re: Bob Novak Wiggles (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 04:42:23 PM EST
    Commissar wrote, Republicans like me say "Novak got a tip, read Whos Who, pried a little bit, and got a story. No indictments for the events themselves support that. (Scooter was coverup issue.) And if Novak lied, why didn't the legendarily methodical Fitz nail him? Republicans like you sure have changed your definition of what constitutes a presidential scandal and impeachable offense since, oh, that last guy with the personal sexual dysfunction was in the White House.