September 13, 2006


NOVAK: ARMITAGE DID NOT TELL ALL (Drudge Report, Sep 13 2006)

"When Richard Armitage finally acknowledged last week he was my source three years ago in revealing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA employee, the former deputy secretary of state's interviews obscured what he really did," Bob Novak claims in a column set for Thursday release.

Novak, attempting to set the record straight, writes: "First, 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 Amb. Joseph Wilson. Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column."

We'd hoped and assumed Mr. Armitage was smart enough to recognize that it was the Plames and the CIA trying to subvert their elected government that made the information worth leaking to the public.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 13, 2006 7:05 AM

Sounds like Armitage (and possibly Powell) were/are trying to maintain their cood conduct medals with the D.C. press corps. That works if you believe that Richard is just an incorrigable gossip who couldn't keep his mouth shut about some juicy information, and that's the line they're trying to feed the media. If you believe Novak's story, than the top people at State weren't as out-of-synch with those in the White House or at DoD as the current story line indicates, and Armitage's leak was seen as the best way to get the story out without direct White House involvement.

(There's also the fact that Wilson's piece in the Times and his statements in the summer of 2003 also made Powell look bad for his WMD speech at the U.N. So even if they were squabbling with the White House over policy at the time, leaking the Wilson info by Armitage also served to help his boss' public relations position as well as President Bush's argument.)

Posted by: John at September 13, 2006 10:33 AM

Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column

This is new information. The conventional wisdom was that Fitzgerald gave Armitage a pass because the disclosure was inadvertent ('chit-chat').

Now it appears it wasn't. This makes Fitz's conduct look even worse.

Posted by: Gideon at September 13, 2006 11:15 AM

No, he gave him a pass because there was nothing wrong with sharing the information to begin with and he fessed up. Libby's only in trouble because he lied to prosecutors.

Posted by: oj at September 13, 2006 11:19 AM


Posted by: Jim in Chicago at September 13, 2006 8:37 PM

It's not a court of law--you needn't pretend ignorance.

Posted by: oj at September 13, 2006 8:56 PM