"Armitage's central role as the primary source on Plame is detailed for the first time in "Hubris," which recounts the leak case and the inside battles at the CIA and White House in the run-up to the war. The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.this will undoubtedly get a lot of attention. let's hope we actually learn something from it.
But officials at the White House also told reporters about Wilson's wife in an effort to discredit Wilson for his public attacks on Bush's handling of Iraq intelligence. Karl Rove confirmed to Novak that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, and days later offered the same information to Time reporter Matt Cooper.
Armitage himself was aggressively investigated by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, but was never charged. Fitzgerald found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward. The decision to go to the FBI that panicky October afternoon also may have helped Armitage. "
i'll leave the tea-reading to emptywheel and other experts. One odd thing seems to be the timing. Armitage spoke about Plame to both Woodward and Novak in june / july - including talking to Novak just days before his original column - but it never occured to Armitage that he might be the source. Until October 1. And until the CIA had referred the investigation, and (presumably) Armitage, Grossman and Powell had engineered Grossman's (sep28) 'anonymous' comments to wapo:
"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the Washington Post quoted the senior administration official, whom sources have identified as Grossman, as saying. According to sources, Grossman told the Post that the Plame Wilson leak was "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility.""'parently it never occured to Armitage till he heard the 'non-partisan-gunslinger' comment (and "SAO") that it might be him.