Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Novak Tells All, Well Almost

Robert Novak is revealing two of his sources for his now infamous column outing the identity of Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA analyst on WMD. But his third and primary source for the leak still remains a mystery, although he says Fitzgerald already knew who his primary source for the leak was before he discussed his sources with the prosecutor. To no one's surprise, Karl Rove was one of his sources as was CIA public information officer Bill Harlow.

Novak reveals for the first time that he testified before the grand jury in February, 2004 but only after he learned that Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald already knew the identity of his sources, and the two who he testified about had waived their rights as confidential sources.

In the case of Bill Harlow, he told the Post that "he challenged aspects of Novak's account three days before the column was published and warned the columnist that if he did write about Wilson's Niger trip, Plame's name should not be revealed." Novak said he has a different recollection of the conversation according to the Post. Novak first learned of Plame's identity as Joe Wilson's wife from Wilson's entry on Who's Who In America.

"The primary source was not a political operative," Novak said, and [the source] mentioned Plame's role in the middle of a conversation about other subjects. "I don't believe it was part of a plan to discredit anybody." Novak later learned from a third party that his primary source inadvertently gave up Plame's identity to him.

Novak says he is speaking out now because Fitzgerald has told his attorneys that he is not going to be charged with a crime, and that he is free to discuss his testimony in the case. The speculation now begins to figure out who his primary source is. Several news commentators tonight expressed their view that it is Richard Armitage, a senior military advisor to the President. Personally, I've always wondered if former CIA Director George Tenet may not have been one of Novak's sources. It would help explain his sudden and unexpected departure from the administration in June of last year, just as Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak was beginning to heat up.

No comments: