New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery

Robert Parry at Consortium News writes that Karl Rove and Richard Armitage have a long standing friendship. They worked together to secure the nomination of Colin Powell as Secretary of State. Parry writes:

The significance of this detail is that it undermines the current "conventional wisdom" among Washington pundits that Armitage acted alone - and innocently - in July 2003 when he disclosed Plame's covert identity to right-wing columnist Robert Novak, who then got Rove to serve as a secondary source confirming the information from Armitage.

This new revelation that Armitage and Rove worked together behind the scenes also lends credence to Novak's version of his contacts with Armitage and other administration officials, both as Novak sketched out those meetings in 2003 and then filled in the details in a column on Sept. 14, 2006.

Consider this in the context of the disparate versions provided by Robert Novak and Richard Armitage of Armitage's role in the leaks investigation. It also relates to the timing of Armitage's leak to Novak -- Novak said he first got a call from Armitage in June, 2003, before Joseph Wilson's July 6 op-ed:

The time frame of the call fits with when the White House was initiating a preemptive strike against Wilson's anticipated criticism of Bush's bogus claims about Iraq seeking uranium ore from Niger.

On June 23, 2003, also two weeks before Wilson's article, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, gave an interview to New York Times reporter Judith Miller about Wilson and, according to a later retrospective by the Times, may then have passed on the tip that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

In other words, just as Bush's operatives were launching their smear campaign against Wilson by briefing "friendly" reporters, Armitage reversed his longstanding refusal to meet with Novak and "without explanation" granted an interview. During that interview, according to Novak, Armitage encouraged him to write about Plame's identity, much as Rove and Libby were doing with other journalists simultaneously.

Parry has more, I recommend reading the entire article. If you're not familiar with Robert Parry, here's a bio snippet, from the article:

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the
Associated Press and Newsweek.

His recent books are Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

< Senators Say Bush Nominee Pressured Military Lawyers | TNR Shrill? Urges Dem Partisanship >
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    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#1)
    by killer on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 07:48:51 PM EST
    If Novak told Fitzpatrick that the revaelation was "casual" and now claims that it was a detailed and deliberate disclosure, should he be prosecuted for perjury, or should no one ever believe anything he puts in print ever again, or both? Sorry for the run-on sentence.

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimcee on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 08:17:04 PM EST
    Honestly this whole Plame non-event has become an embarassment to those that have fantasized that it would bring down the Bush Administration. In fact the whole thread of the Bushie involvement has been blown to the wind. Armatige is the self-confessed person who exposed Plame's involvment in her husband's expedition to Niger. If Fitzgerald couldn't pin this thing on Karl Rove, although the SP knew of Armitige's role, much to the disappointment of many on this site and Armatidge confessed to his leak. So how exactly does TL connect this to the White House? Credibility is a precious thing and TalkLeft is squandering that commomdity by still pressing for connections that don't really exsist. Armitage is the leaker but he doesn't fit your three-year old template of Bushies gone wild. TL, there is always comes a time to give up a certain argument and as far as the Plame affair is concerned this would be a good time to move on. Of course if you truly believe that the exposure of Valarie Plame's identity was a heinous crime, treasonous I think I read hereabouts, then I would expect you to demand Richard Armatige's scalp. I won't hold my breath waiting for your apology to the falsly accused. Such is a partisan's choice. Credibility is such a precious thing that really shouldn't be squandered. Just ask the share holders of NYTimes .

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:17:59 AM EST
    TL: The Armitage/Rover friendship angle is both interesting and simultaneously unsurprising. Noscitur a sociis, and these two are a match made in Hell. I'm getting the sense this mess was as much about burying evidence of Cheney/Scooter pushing stovepiping as it was about retribution against Wilson. And about making sure, from Cheney's/Scooter's POV, that the CIA produced intelligence reliably supportive of the cabal's policies and objectives. Plame, by virtue of her position in ferreting out alleged Iraqi WMDs, had the misfortune (?) to have been in the intersection of where those two (or three) Cheney/Scooter objectives lay. This analysis would also support the long view that a war of conquest against Iran was the long-term objective of the cabal, and Iraq just a pretext for Iran. This, because bogus/supportive intelligence about Iran having WMDs (when we now know they are unlikely to even come near to enriching anything until 2009 or so) would have been much more plausible, given the absence in the Iranian case of a prior UN (or IAEA) inspection and sanctions regime similar to that previously in Iraq. Said another way, vis-a-vis Iraq, there were strong arguments to be made circa 2002-2003 that Iraq had no WMDs. These arguments would have been (were) based upon facts from outside-the-US-intel-community, i.e. from sanctions regime and so forth. Since there would have been less information available for Iran - esp. after they inevitably kicked the IAEA out - any stovepiped/massaged intelligence produced by CIA would likely have been greeted with more cred. That, and going through the drill with Iraq would allow (as ultimately happened) the Cheney/Scooter faction to purge those (like Plame) who might have been insufficiently supportive of the VP and his (and his oil buddies') objectives. As a few have said, just because Armitage disclosed Plame's identity, does not necessarily (or logically) mean Scooter (or Rove or Cheney) was innocent. Particularly in Scooter's case, where he's not charge with leaking, but with lying. The lies are independent of the leak. But, we cannot expect anything remotely resembling honesty, intellectual or otherwise, from the wingers, so we should only listen to them insofar as what they say (or don't) can be used against them.

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:17:59 AM EST
    If Novak told Fitzpatrick that the revaelation was "casual" and now claims that it was a detailed and deliberate disclosure... Let me say this - the comment I am writing right now is "casual" as opposed to "planned" in the sense that I had no particular idea I would be dropping commentds at TalkLeft on a sunny Saturday. However, now that I *am* typing, my words are somewhat deliberate and detailed. If I can manage such a feat, why would that be beyond Armitage? In any case - Novak is claiming an ability to discern the motivation and attitude of a long-time skilled Washington player he had never previously met. Where is the cred there?

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#5)
    by cmpnwtr on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:34:36 AM EST
    Honestly this whole Plame non-event has become an embarassment to those that have fantasized that it would bring down the Bush Administration.
    The current talking points of the right wing media. It won't wash.

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#6)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:26:39 PM EST
    If you were in the middle of a lake, in a kayak, and fell out. And the wind caused the kayak to drift away from you and you swam as fast as you could to catch it. And you couldn't. You'd feel like a liberal with the Plame mess fading in the distance.

    Re: New Clues in Valerie Plame Mystery (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    Even if you were to believe TL and what she is claiming it doesn't amount to anything. So now Rove conspired with Armitage? Isn't this what a bad prosecurter does? Assumes that someone is guilty and then looks for facts to back a bad theory. Shouldn't we start with the facts first? Armitage leaked Plame's name either unwillingly or unkowingly because nobody thought and she probably wasn't covert. The only thing someone can possibly be guilty of is negligant outing but that is seriously in question because IMO and many others she wasn't covert, the law didn't apply to her so there can't be a crime. Now it's rather obvious if you don't make wild assumptions and get caught up in a conspiracy theory that the non crime was commited by Armitage and that's that. End of story. Case dismissed.