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September 13, 2006

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Quicksilver: I am not familiar with the backstory on what you are referring to. I am sorry.

thnx for the updates robbie c

You're welcome Lukery!!

robbie c. - Is Quicksilver referring to Dan Rather getting set up with the fake TANG documents? I hope Leopold realizes that anything having to do with Rove could easily be a scam. Also, note how quickly "this afternoon" has become "next week."

I just educated myself on Quicksilver's opinions regarding Leopold. I understand his or her feelings but i don't agree. I don't have the details on what leopold is getting from the people in this leak investigation. But I will tell you all how I came to contact him.

I read Leopold's book. I stumbled upon it at University bookstore in Seattle where I go to school and was taken by the cover. I found the book to be one of the most heartwrenching memoirs I have ever read. I read it in one sitting. If someone can have the courage to write a book so brutally honest that person has earned my respect. And I had to add that I was unaware of the all of the work Leopold did on Enron. 2,000 stories. Hundreds of which appeared in the WSJ. I thought he was just an online reporter.

I'm not going to be a leopold apologist and I have no evidence of what he did or didn't do in the past at this blog or others. I absolutely respect Quicksilver's stance. I think he or she has that right. But I will say that I hope people respect my opinion about the person and the journalist. I have no idea what leopold is working with. But he said he has been in Washington and California for the past four months and he finally got a lot of information with the case.

I must admit though that when I asked leopold why the mainstream media isn't covering this story he said they didn't care about it. I asked him where I could go to read up about this story, the Plame story, and he said the best coverage on the story has been at The Next Hurrah.

and here I am. that's how I arrived here!! I love it here!.

After reading it I contacted him. This was about two weeks ago. And started a dialogue on his current rep

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By Victoria Toensing
Word Count: 1,102
Richard Armitage has finally emerged from the cover-my-backside closet, "apologizing" on CBS for keeping quiet for almost three years about being the original source for Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 column stating that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA and had suggested him for a mission to Niger. He disingenuously blames his silence on Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's non-legally based request -- any witness is free to talk about his or her testimony -- not to discuss the matter.

Put aside hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds squandered on the investigation, New York Times reporter ...
• THE

Schedule update, FYI:

Robert Novak will be appearing on Washington Journal this morning (C-SPAN1) at 9:00 a.m. ET to talk about his Armitage conversation. Detainee treatment bills are the topic in this 7 a.m. hour, then the other guest at 8, and then Novak (calls will be accepted, I believe - what specifics would be good to get from Novak?).

Here are a few of my questions for Robert Novak, just off the top of my head:

1)What, as exactly as you can recall, did Armitage say to you about Wilson's wife? 2)Was the conversation with Armitage the very first you'd heard about Wilson's wife? Of not, what was? 3)When did you look up Wilson's entry in Who's Who and discover that his wife's name was Valerie Wilson, with a maiden name of Plame? 4)When did you talk to Karl Rove on July 8
2003? 5)Hubris p. 325 reports that when Ken Duberstein called you on October 1 2003 to ask you if Armitage was your primary source, you brushed him off and said, "Why would he think that he's the person?" Yet in your column you said that you didn't respond, because you were
sure that Armitage knew he was the source. Which is it? 6) You state that Duberstein was calling you on Armitage's behalf only because a criminal investigation into the leaks had just been announced. So you believe that Armitage was trying to tamper with you as a witness?
7)Contrary to your earlier claims, your newest column insinuates that Armitage premeditated the leak to you, as it was the very first interview he'd given you after blowing you off for two and a half years. What do you believe on that score?

Good ones, Jeff.

Also:

How exactly did your July 8th meeting with Armitage get arranged. Who called who first, and when, and what was the subject matter supposed to be?

What floor of the state department was your meeting on, and what time was your appointment that day?

We'll see if anyone can get through to ask them, or if perhaps the host will ask for details, by some miracle.

pow wow

Good ones, and I definitely would try to ask, but I would drop the first one, since we pretty much know how Novak will respond, and it will be unsatisfying. He'll say he recalls getting contacted by Armitage's office, and doesn't remember any role of Duberstein, who says he got in touch.

here's another one: What exactly did Harlow say to you? Did he ask you not to use her CIA affiliation in your column, or only her name? And when you say he asked you not to use her name, what name was he referring to - "Valerie Wilson," or "Valerie Plame"? Did he tell you anything specifically about the name "Valerie Plame"? You have said that he did not use that name - but did you use it with him?

I've got a new one I wanted to add:

"Why did your October 1 column originally call Wilson's wife, Valerie Flame, a name that Judy Miller was also given?"

I'd ask Novak if Tenet, Cheney, or Bush, gave him the Plame name and job details.

I'd ask Novak if Tenet, Cheney, or Bush, gave him Plame's name and employment details.

Robert Novak: "You could write a book about the bad journalism involved in this story."

(He's correct, of course. But he's talking about what *others* have written.)

Novak was asked point blank why he used Plame's name. Finally, a simple and relevant question. And then, instead of letting Novak talk, the damn caller asked a related question ("and why did you disclose her CIA identity?"). Novak only answered the second part of the question. Dammit!

Novak says that Armitage had more to say about Wilson's trip, but that Armitage didn't allow that part of the conversation to be reported, so Novak--still bound by reporter-source etiquette--won't disclose that. He said this all came up near the end of their conversation, not at the *very* end, as Armitage claims, implying that they had a more substantive talk about Wilson in general.

Also, he was asked about his comment in Dec 2005 that Bush knew that Armitage was the source. He stuck by that claim, saying that he has sources that Bush already knew. He doesn't know exactly when Bush found out, but he said that he was relatively confident that he knew by 2005.

Novak also reiterated that Armitage very clearly said that she worked in CPD. Novak added that she was "covered," not "covert," although he allowed that this was a point that would continue to be debated.

Earlier, he said he was never a target (because he cooperated and always told the truth) and that he hated bloggers.

I'm juggling a few things, and have not watched a lot of this, so maybe he's said more significant things. I never saw him say the word "Rove," so perhaps that came up at another tim. Just wanted to pass these snippets along.

I must say, he's in rare Novakula form. Truly a dark prince. He's an angry ass, but he's very compelling to watch. Regarding the Armitage stuff, I found him believable. If they spoke at length about Joe Wilson, and Joe Wilson's trip, as Novak implied, maybe that explains why he immediately called him an "asshole."

Unfortunately I was neither able to get through nor watch most of it. I do want to note one thing. Novak got all outraged when the guy called in and suggested that Novak himself had been (and, incorrectly, still was) a subject of the investigation himself. But amidst the outrage, Novak all but admitted it, because all he actually denied - and twice - was that he had ever been a target of the investigation. The caller rightly and with precision had suggested - as both Waas and Hubris have now reported - that Novak was a subject of the investigation, and Novak simply remained silent on that, issuing a denial to a different, and easier, claim. As we know, Libby himself only became a target of the investigation when it was a dead certainty he was about to be indicted; up to that point, he too was a subject of the investigation. Likewise, Rove, as far as we know, was never a target, technically speaking, of the investigation, but remained a subject.

So in other words, Novak failed to deny what the caller suggested - that he had been a subject of the investigation - and that is almost certainly because he was one, for suspected cover-up with both Rove and with Team Powell.

Other than that, all I caught of interest was the point that Novak knows the president knew Armitage was his source a while ago. But as emptywheel has suggested, this is not surprising, since it's clear the White House knew right before Libby's indictment, and tried to do something about it, as Isikoff indicated on Larry King Live the night before Libby's indictment.

I don't think you missed much, Jeff. Jim E. may have captured most of the highlights, from what I could hear of it. There was one real follow-up question from Lamb that registered - regarding how often Novak doesn't take notes when he interviews people [which resulted from a question in David Corn's recent blog post that Lamb pointed out]. Novak claims most of the time when he interviews the poobahs, he doesn't record the conversations, to ease their fears of being on the record... Whatever.

A real wasted opportunity (and not by chance on Lamb's part from all appearances) to get details on the record. Washington Journal is clearly safe territory for the likes of Novak. If there is a rebroadcast (I think there usually is later in the day sometime) there are probably a few more odds and ends to be picked up. Don't know about the likelihood of a transcript.

The Washington-based media has really gone around the bend (speaking of which - Lamb did mention that Johnston has an article about this in the NYT today)...

He’s sticking to his “covered” or “light-covered” story, even though Corn/Isikoff would suggest that defense is a dead letter.

On Sept 29, 2005, on Crossfire he was still saying she was ‘just an analyst.”

”NOVAK: …According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative, and not in charge of undercover operatives. So what is the fuss about, pure Bush-bashing?…

KINGSTON: But what did the woman do? Was she really a covert spy? Do we know exactly what her role is?

NOVAK: No, we really don't know. And they never said -- some people told me she was an analyst….”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0309/29/cf.00.html

On Oct 1, 2005, in the Blitzer interview and after his new column, he’s backing off the analyst stuff and moving to “light covert.”

…BLITZER: It is the subject of an investigation right now. The other issue that's coming out is the use of your word "operative" to suggest that you knew she was a covert, clandestine operative as opposed to an analyst. There's been some debate. She's currently an analyst, but according to all the sources we have, she used to be an operative.

NOVAK: Well, I have sources, too. I have sources that tell me that she was never an analyst -- I mean, never an operative. She was never covert. She was never covert. Put it that way. She was never covert. She was always what they call "light covert." That is, she was covered, she was working under the cover of another government agency, but she was not a covert operator. I have been told that by other sources...

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/01/blitzer.novak/index.html

So in addition to ew’s points above, he went from operative to analyst to light covert, the latter two in two days. And those were a busy two days….

It would be interesting to know what his personal definition is – at the time and nowadays – of “deep background.” He seems a little squirrelly on the Armitage interview ground rules. He’d probably really like a transcript of Woodward’s tape.

The reason he hates the bloggers is the reason any business person hates competition: they’re devaluaing his brand and taking market share.

Oops, typed 2005 rather than 2003 on those transcript dates.

Blame it on old age.

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