Skip to comments.Novak: My role in Plame leak probe (LEAKER = JOE WILSON ???)
Posted on 07/12/2006 3:55:19 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
WASHINGTON -- Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has informed my attorneys that, after 2-1/2 years, his investigation of the CIA leak case concerning matters directly relating to me has been concluded. That frees me to reveal my role in the federal inquiry that, at the request of Fitzgerald, I have kept secret.
I have cooperated in the investigation while trying to protect journalistic privileges under the First Amendment and shield sources who have not revealed themselves. I have been subpoenaed by and testified to a federal grand jury. Published reports that I took the Fifth Amendment, made a plea bargain with the prosecutors or was a prosecutorial target were all untrue.
For nearly the entire time of his investigation, Fitzgerald knew -- independent of me -- the identity of the sources I used in my column of July 14, 2003. A federal investigation was triggered when I reported that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was employed by the CIA and helped initiate his 2002 mission to Niger. That Fitzgerald did not indict any of these sources may indicate his conclusion that none of them violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Presidential adviser Karl Rove talks with columnist Robert Novak at a party celebrating the 40th anniversary of Novaks column in June 2003. Roves button reads, Im a source, not a target. (AP)
Some journalists have badgered me to disclose my role in the case, even demanding I reveal my sources -- identified in the column as two senior Bush administration officials and an unspecified CIA source. I have promised to discuss my role in the investigation when permitted by the prosecution, and I do so now.
The news broke Sept. 26, 2003, that the Justice Department was investigating the CIA leak case. I contacted my longtime attorney, Lester Hyman, who brought his partner at Swidler Berlin, James Hamilton, into the case. Hamilton urged me not to comment publicly on the case, and I have followed that advice for the most part.
The FBI soon asked to interview me, prompting my first major decision. My attorneys advised me that I had no certain constitutional basis to refuse cooperation if subpoenaed by a grand jury. To do so would make me subject to imprisonment and inevitably result in court decisions that would diminish press freedom, all at heavy personal legal costs.
Sources signed waivers
I was interrogated at the Swidler Berlin offices on Oct. 7, 2003, by an FBI inspector and two agents. I had not identified my sources to my attorneys, and I told them I would not reveal them to the FBI. I did disclose how Valerie Wilson's role was reported to me, but the FBI did not press me to disclose my sources.
On Dec. 30, 2003, the Justice Department named Fitzgerald as special prosecutor. An appointment was made for Fitzgerald to interview me at Swidler Berlin on Jan. 14, 2004. The problem facing me was that the special prosecutor had obtained signed waivers from every official who might have given me information about Wilson's wife.
That created a dilemma. I did not believe blanket waivers in any way relieved me of my journalistic responsibility to protect a source. Hamilton told me that I was sure to lose a case in the courts at great expense. Nevertheless, I still felt I could not reveal their names.
However, on Jan. 12, two days before my meeting with Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor informed Hamilton that he would be bringing to the Swidler Berlin offices only two waivers. One was by my principal source in the Valerie Wilson column, a source whose name has not yet been revealed. The other was by presidential adviser Karl Rove, whom I interpret as confirming my primary source's information. In other words, the special prosecutor knew the names of my sources.
When Fitzgerald arrived, he had a third waiver in hand -- from Bill Harlow, the CIA public information officer who was my CIA source for the column confirming Mrs. Wilson's identity. I answered questions using the names of Rove, Harlow and my primary source.
Testified before grand jury
I had a second session with Fitzgerald at Swidler Berlin on Feb. 5, 2004, after which I was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury. I testified there at the U.S. courthouse in Washington on Feb. 25.
In these four appearances with federal authorities, I declined to answer when the questioning touched on matters beyond the CIA leak case. Neither the FBI nor the special prosecutor pressed me.
Primary source not revealed
I have revealed Rove's name because his attorney has divulged the substance of our conversation, though in a form different from my recollection. I have revealed Harlow's name because he has publicly disclosed his version of our conversation, which also differs from my recollection. My primary source has not come forward to identify himself.
When I testified before the grand jury, I was permitted to read a statement that I had written expressing my discomfort at disclosing confidential conversations with news sources. It should be remembered that the special prosecutor knew their identities and did not learn them from me.
In my sworn testimony, I said what I have contended in my columns and on television: Joe Wilson's wife's role in instituting her husband's mission was revealed to me in the middle of a long interview with an official who I have previously said was not a political gunslinger. After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent on his part.
Following my interview with the primary source, I sought out the second administration official and the CIA spokesman for confirmation.
I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in Who's Who in America.
I considered his wife's role in initiating Wilson's mission, later confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to be a previously undisclosed part of an important news story. I reported it on that basis.
...Joe DNC operative Wilson,
who would have guessed ?(sarc!)
I'd rather the lying traitor get frog-marched out of the country. Forever.
Way to go, Karl!!!
Last night the MSM sniffed that Novak was trying to resurrect his failed career. Not a word about Joe Wilson, etc..
Lets hook him up with Bill Burkett... then we do Cooper & Miller with RATher & Mapes. How about Richard Armitage with Lucy Ramirez?
Didn't he (Wilson) make a fortune on a book about this matter?
I guess you just can't believe what you read in the papers...
...Lets hook him up with Bill Burkett... then we do Cooper & Miller with RATher & Mapes. How about Richard Armitage with Lucy Ramirez?
THAT IS A PLAN.
The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir - Joseph Wilson
Well, it is actually Novak the bastard. I knew the second I saw his labeling of Wilson's wife as a CIA operative that he'd screwed up. That factoid was not needed for his story. The news items was How did a nut like Wilson get the gig to Niger? Well, his wife set it up for him. There was never any administration conspiracy to out the woman. The administration wanted to make clear that (a) Cheney did not send him and (b) Wilson was a fool who was then and there blasting the administration (and who was later found by the Senate to be lying through his teeth). Fair to fight back. But dumass Novak made himself the story, and caused a lot of needless trouble for many people.
The lastest AP article does not even MENTION Joe Wilson!
Although I gleefully followed the DUmmie FUnnies recount of Fitzmas/Hoaxmas and the non-indictment of Karl Rove, I haven't really followed the whole Plame-Gate story very closely because I considered it so much B.S. So let me see if I have this straight - A CIA agent, Plame, who may have been covert at one time but wasn't at any pertinent times to this affair, pushed to get her husband ,Wilson, appointed to a mission to Niger to investigate whether Saddam tried to buy yellow cake. Wilson, a now well-known political activist for the left, finds nothing to the yellow cake claim (after thorough investigation conducted from his hotel lobby). (Side note-Brit intel stands behind the yellow cake claim).
When Novak revealed that Plame was Wilson's wife and a CIA agent, people got their panties in a wad because you can't reveal a CIA agent's identity, so Novak's source broke the law. Only Plame wasn't covert at the time so no law was broken. But Scooter Libby, Cheney COS, was indicted because he allegedly lied to the special prosecutor who was investigating the non-crime. Now Novak's article confirms that Rove was a corroborating source, as the prosecutor already knew and didn't consider significant. But is it news that Wilson outed his own wife? I've been hearing this for a while. Somebody set me straight on this and other pertinent details. Thanks
So, if anyone “leaked” anything here, then what was leaked is the information that Wilson's wife, whatever her name, was a CIA agent. So, the leaker isn't Wilson but Mr. X, and we're none the wiser.
....The lastest AP article does not even MENTION Joe Wilson!
Get his b*tch up there with'em.