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July 15, 2006

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“Karl Rove leaked Plame's identity to Matt Cooper and somehow all evidence of that conversation disappeared….”

I assume you’re talking about the fact that Matt Cooper’s contemporaneous notes and memo to his editor had no mention of either “Plame” or “Wilson’s wife”.

Oh, I’m sorry. It’s that reading comprehension deficit of mine again. You were referring to things Fitz knew in 2004. Fitz only learned that Cooper’s notes and email didn’t reflect his testimony a few weeks ago, just prior to him inexplicably dropping Rove from the investigation.

This is going to take a good deal more critical thinking to figure out what happened.

Karl Rove leaked Plame's identity to Matt Cooper and somehow all evidence of that conversation disappeared….”

I assume you’re talking about the fact that Matt Cooper’s contemporaneous notes and memo to his editor had no mention of either “Plame” or “Wilson’s wife”.


You really are having difficulties with your reading comprehension. Cooper DID mention Wilson's wife in his contemporaneous email to his editor immediately after his conversation with Rove.

"KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip"
Newsweek




You seem to be confused. Libby's lawyer said that Cooper's email to his editor (not his notes) after his conversation with Libby (not Rove) didn't mention Wilson's wife.

Libby has testified to telling Cooper. Cooper has testified that Libby confirmed. I think we can safely say they talked about Plame.

Why does Mary Cheney's book deal remind me of Nixon-spy Lucy Anne Goldberg's son Jonah?

Wow, jwest, you can't even get the most elementary facts about the case straight. All those echoes in the chamber must be confusing you. It's rather remarkable.

Jeff & EW,

I responded here on Novak, would like to hear your take.

polly

I'll repeat something I said earlier in the week. Here's what I think the conversations included, based on earlier analysis and what Novak said this week.

Novak's Immaculate Knowledge Wilson never worked for the CIA Valerie Plame [we're to believe this came from Who's Who], is an operative

Armitage's Reconstructed Novak Conversation
Wilson's mission was created after an early 2002 report by the Italian intelligence service about attempted uranium purchases from Niger, derived from forged documents prepared by what the CIA calls a "con man." This misinformation, peddled by Italian journalists, spread through the U.S. government. Wilson's wife, who works for the office of nuclear non-proliferation [this NP detail didn't show up in the column, but that's what Novak says Armitage told him], suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. [Bush's SOTU] attributed reports of attempted uranium purchases to the British government ... the British relied on forged documents

All this was forgotten until reporter Walter Pincus revealed in the Washington Post June 12 that an unnamed retired diplomat had given the CIA a negative report. Not until Wilson went public on July 6, however, did his finding ignite the firestorm. Messages between Washington and the presidential entourage traveling in Africa hashed over the mission to Niger. [I've moved this paragraph from Rove's conversation to Armitage's, because of the general policy allusion by Novak.]

Rove's Reconstructed Novak Conversation

The CIA's decision to send retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa ... was made routinely at a low level without Director George Tenet's knowledge. [took out the Plame references]

The story, actually, is whether the administration deliberately ignored Wilson's advice, and that requires scrutinizing the CIA summary of what their envoy reported. Wilson's report ... was regarded by the CIA as less than definitive, and it is doubtful Tenet ever saw it. After eight days in the Niger capital of Niamey (where he once served), Wilson made an oral report in Langley that an Iraqi uranium purchase was "highly unlikely," though he also mentioned in passing that a 1988 Iraqi delegation tried to establish commercial contacts. The CIA report of Wilson's briefing remains classified. The Agency never before has declassified that kind of information, but the White House would like it to do just that now -- in its and in the public's interest.

That pretty much fits Novak's own claims. He still hasn't explained how he knew Wilson never worked for CIA (he claims he raised the Wilson question with Armitage that way). He hasn't explained who told him PLame was an operative. And his explanation for how he learned her name (he knew she was Valerie by July 8) doesn't hold up.


Wilson's wife, who works for the office of nuclear non-proliferation [this NP detail didn't show up in the column, but that's what Novak says Armitage told him]

Novak had it in his 10/1/03 column. He said UGO told him Plame worked at the CIA in counterproliferation.

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife.
Novak 10/1/03


Ok, Novak is trying to play it like Rove barely talked about Wilson, fine he's a political animal. But if your breakdown on what Novak got from Rove is right, where did Rove get that information.

Who told Rove the details of the Wilson trip report, that it was an oral report, that Tenet probably didn't see it, that the CIA discounted the report, and that Wilson had gone to Africa on another trip for the CIA.

Also who told Novak this information that was in his 7/14/03 column.

Who claimed that Wilson's report was "forgotten by the time the president spoke"
Who told him that "Messages between Washington and the presidential entourage traveling in Africa hashed over the mission to Niger."

Novak has other sources that he has mentioned. He claims someone in the CIA told him that Plame "was brought home from foreign assignments in 1997, when Agency officials feared she had been "outed" by the traitor Aldrich Ames."

He also had this in his 10/1/03 colimn about another CIA source

However, an unofficial source at the Agency says she has been an analyst, not in covert operations.
Novak 10/1/03

Harlow did tell Novak that Plame was covered according to his 10/1/03 column.

While the CIA refuses to publicly define her status, the official contact says she is "covered"-working under the guise of another agency.
Noval 10/1/03


polly

But there is a very important distinction (one I make at greater length in that earlier column). Nonproliferation (I think, I'm working off Bolton testimony) is a department of CIA that no longer exists. It got folded into WINPAC, on the analytical side. So NP would make her an analyst, while CPD would make her a covert operative.

It is totally plausible for Rove to have that CIA report information (indeed, I'd be shocked if he did not) because Ari made the same kind of references in press conferences as early as July 9. Ari says what Rove tells him to, and he was basically trying to get the press to pressure for the declassification of the report.

As to Novak's other sources, his performance this week clearly says he had only three sources for his original column. So either he needs to revise that, or we can assume he spoke to Fred Fleitz someone at CIA after it became clear they were in trouble. That's particularly important with the "analyst" reference, since it is a present tense "has been" and not a past tense "was." That is, all that CIA guy even says is that she has been an analyst since the time she got outed. Well, duh.

EW

Novak said that UGO told him that the counterproliferation section of the CIA had sent Wilson in his 10/1/03 column. I think his column has to be the most factual record of what UGO said. Novak would have his notes available when he was writing.

Novak also says in his column that Plame is an employee of the counterproliferation section at the CIA.


During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife.
Novak 10/1/03

That he now says NP is likely the result of a sloppy memory. I also think his characterization of Harlow saying she worked in the office of WMD highly unlikely. Harlow would have been more precise.

Novak's grasp of the facts is pathetic at best, including the facts of his own story.

The CIA information given to Novak is beyond Wilson's trip report. And remember Rove was just on the political side at that time, what is he doing with classified documents from the CIA. It is clear that Novak and Rove had a lengthy conversation about Wilson with much classified information relayed.

Novak does have another source for the 10/1/03 column. The CIA source. It may well be that this new source was contacted after he knew he was in trouble. But remember Novak told Wilson taht he had a CIA source then took it back.

polly

It's probably better if I just refer you back to my post, rather than recreate it here.

My point is that, Novak has changed his story in several ways. In doing so, he has virtually eliminated the IIPA leak from his column. I don't think that's a mistake. Novak's too shrewd to make that kind of mistake.

My suspicion is he pinned the CPD ID on CIA and Armitage in the past to throw suspicion off likely culprits, and now that he can't make those same accusations (because he'll be refuted), he simply removes it now.

Novak was pathetic on MTP this morning. He was back peddling like mad. Pumpkinhead didn't challenge him on the difference between "her name" and "his wife" - that giving him the info of "his wife" was the same as exposing her.

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