November 16, 2005


Pincus: Woodward 'Asked Me to Keep Him Out' of Plame Reporting (Joe Strupp, November 16, 2005, Editor & Publisher)

Walter Pincus, the longtime Washington Post reporter and one of several journalists who testified in the Valerie Plame case, said he believed as far back as 2003 that Bob Woodward had some involvement in the case but he did not pursue the information because Woodward asked him not to.

"He asked me to keep him out of the reporting and I agreed to do that," Pincus said today. [...]

"In October, I think he did come by after I had written about being called and said I wasn't the only one who would be called," Pincus said, adding that he believed Woodward was talking about himself, but did not press him on it. "Bob and I have an odd relationship because he is doing books and I am writing about the same subject."

Pincus said he did not believe Woodward had purposely lied about their conversation, saying, "I think he thought he told me something." [...]

Pincus also declined to comment on what reaction there has been in the Post newsroom to Woodward's testimony. "I'm not listening," he said.

The yellowcake kerfuffle just never tires of feeding up great material. Imagine if there were any substance to the initial story?

Woodward Apologizes to Post for Withholding Knowledge of Plame (Howard Kurtz, 11/16/05, Washington Post)

Bob Woodward apologized today to The Washington Post's executive editor for failing to tell him for more than two years that a senior Bush administration official had told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame, even as an investigation of those leaks mushroomed into a national scandal.

Woodward, an assistant managing editor and best-selling author, said he told Leonard Downie Jr. that he held back the information because he was worried about being subpoenaed by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the case. [...]

The Post disclosed this morning that Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case. Woodward said today he had gotten permission from one of his sources, White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr., to disclose that he had testified that their June 20, 2003 conversation did not involve Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph C. Wilson IV. He said he had "pushed" his other administration source, without success, to allow him to discuss that person's identity, but that the source has insisted that the waiver applies only to Woodward's testimony. [...]

Both Woodward and Downie said they are not sure that The Post could have done anything with Woodward's 2003 conversations because they were conducted on an off-the-record basis. Woodward said the unnamed official told him about Plame "in an offhand, casual manner . . . almost gossip" and that "I didn't attach any great significance to it."

Woodward said he had passed along a tip about Plame to Post reporter Walter Pincus, who was writing about Wilson in June 2003, but Pincus has said he does not recall any such conversation.

Woodward said he realized that his June 2003 conversation with the unnamed official had greater significance after Libby was portrayed in an indictment as having been the first administration official to tell a reporter, the Times's Miller, about Plame. Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak disclosed Plame's CIA role on July 14, 2003.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2005 5:10 PM

It went from Fitzmas to Fitzfools Day.

Posted by: AllenS at November 16, 2005 6:53 PM

Chris Matthews looked and sounded like someone shot his dog tonight, while talking about the Woodward revelation, though at times he seemed like he wanted to reach through the monitor and grab Richard Cohen when he told Chris this whole Plaime thing was a big non-issue from the beginning and just politics as usual in Washington.

Posted by: John at November 16, 2005 8:46 PM

The faction of the CIA that Woodward's an asset of finally pushes back against the faction of the CIA that fabricated the scandal.

Posted by: carter at November 16, 2005 10:17 PM

Woodward's an FBI asset.

Posted by: joe shropshire at November 16, 2005 11:14 PM

The CIA needed to cover up its blackmail operation involving the prostitution ring being run out of the Watergate hotel, and so found it useful to point Felt to their asset Woodward, whom was already recieving leaks from multiple sources other than felt.

Posted by: carter at November 16, 2005 11:46 PM

carter: That is a lot more competence than the CIA has ever demonstrated anywhere else.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 17, 2005 3:00 AM

Curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by: erp at November 17, 2005 7:19 AM