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.'
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