"There is a story that is probably where the truth lies (because it's the easiest way to explain Fitz', Armitage's, and Novak/Rove's behavior. Armitage said Plame was involved with WMDs--but didn't say she worked in CPD (and he may have implied she was an analyst). But Novak's changing story occasionally sticks to that story, and occasionally wanders from it.got that?
And finally, need I remind, again, why this is important. Novak seems to be attempting to simultaneously suggests Armitage said Plame was CPD (therefore covert) but claim he wasn't told she was covert, and he didn't even out her really. For a complete idiot, you could believe CPD didn't entail operations/classified, but not for Novak. If Novak's current story didn't have a glaring internal contradiction, his wavering story wouldn't be so interesting.
One likely reason for Novak's inconsistent behavior is that the wingnutosphere has launched only weak arguments against Corn/Isikoff's description of Plame's role. All of a sudden, 3 years of myths about Plame being an analyst are really falling apart. But that means someone needs to take responsibility for the CPD stuff in Novak's column.
Back in July, when Novak first started speaking, that little wingnutosphere myth still had adherents. But now that it looks fairly likely that Plame was not only covered (and still transitioning from being a NOC), but she was fighting the battle we're all supposed to be fighting, all of a sudden Novak is returning to his CPD story.
Or let me make a more simple point.
When Novak started talking in July, he told, more strongly than he had before, his story about using operative "to refer to a political operative from Wyoming." That is, he felt the need to explain away the references to Plame being covert.
Now, by insisting on the CPD identitification, he is instead insisting that he was told she was covert (CPD). That's a tremendous difference, not least because it makes the difference between an IIPA charge or not. What Novak told in July was completely consistent with neither of his sources leaking a covert officer's identity. Now he has changed his stance, arguing one of his sources did leak a covert officer's identity. Now, Novak doesn't need his "operative" story, because he's asserting loudly that Armitage, for all effects and purposes, told him she as an operative. Something has changed in the last two months that makes Novak want to reclaim the notion he received a leak of a covert officer's identity."
"Columnist Robert D. Novak, who first revealed Valerie Plame's employment by the CIA and touched off a lengthy federal leak investigation, is accusing his primary source of misrepresenting their conversation to make the source's role in the disclosure seem more casual than it was.shitfight much?
In an unusual column that appears today, Novak says his initial source, former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage, was more sure of Plame's ties to the CIA than the source has indicated. Novak adds that Armitage linked her directly to her husband's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger and suggested the disclosure would be a good item for Novak's column.
This differs from Armitage's assertions last week that his disclosure was made in an offhand manner and that he did not know why Plame's husband was sent to Niger.
Armitage, in an interview yesterday, said he stood by his account and disputed Novak's.
But Novak says in today's column that Armitage's statements "obscured what he really did" and that "Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he 'thought' might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson."
Novak said further that "Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat. . . . He made clear that he considered it especially suited for my column." In an interview, Novak said that Armitage effectively described it as stock, Washington-insider information of the sort that often appeared in the column."
"A well-placed conservative source, who knows both Armitage and Rove, told me that the two operatives are much closer than many in official Washington understand. Armitage and Rove grew to be friends when they were negotiating plans for bringing Colin Powell into the Bush administration in 2000, when Armitage represented Powell and Rove stood in for Bush.interesting.
After the administration took office, Rove and Armitage remained in frequent communication, becoming a back channel for sharing sensitive information between the White House and the State Department, the source said.
Beyond these relationships, there is also evidence that Armitage was part of a classic Washington scheme to slip Plame’s identity into the newspapers, albeit with plenty of deniability for all involved."
"A month before Wilson’s Iraq-Niger Op-Ed article appeared in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney already was anticipating possible trouble from the former ambassador whose trip to Africa had helped disprove the bogus claims that Iraq was seeking yellowcake uranium ore from Niger.do you get the sense that the story is about to explode somehow?
So, Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby requested a report on Wilson from Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, a neoconservative ally. In violation of the strict rules against jeopardizing the covert identity of CIA officers, Grossman’s report, dated June 10, 2003, tossed in a reference to “Valerie Plame” as Wilson’s wife."