Skip to comments.My Role in the Valerie Plame Leak Story [Robert Novak Reveals, CNN, Washington Post Omits]
Posted on 07/12/2006 6:10:36 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has informed my attorneys that, after two and one-half 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.
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.
I was interrogated at the Swidler Berlin offices 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.
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.
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.
"Novak claims that the CIA provided confirmation of Plame's name and employment before he published the story -- and just to be clear, neither Kurtz nor CNN actually describes how Novak got Plame's name, just how he confirmed it. If Plame's status was a secret, then Bill Harlow shouldn't have confirmed anything for Novak. Just getting that part of the story out pretty much deflates the entire notion of a vendetta at the White House. It also begs the question of how this constitutes an illegal leak when the CIA's own spokesman gave out the information. The fact that Patrick Fitzgerald never indicted Bill Harlow seems a pretty clear indication that the original reason for conducting the probe was nothing more than a trumped-up political attack on George Bush and Dick Cheney...Again, this should put an end to this silliness. The people responsible for outing Valerie Plame are Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame herself, and her cohorts at the CIA who tried running a little disinformation campaign against George Bush in order to control foreign policy themselves
Further note: The Drudge Report saw the text, reported, but it was later removed. [See here ].
If I can remember that far back at the onset of this manufactured "Plame waving" scandal, FReepers brought up the "Who's Who.." listing; plus whether she was an operative in the first place. A Million dollars later a bored public and no longer a headline on page one, we move on. The Left again "crashing in Plames".
This is already posted
It's got to be real embarrassing for them to know that her name was disclosed by Wilson's own Who's Who entry after months of putting him up as the victim.
I thought the investigation had burned through $17 Million?
Do I have to observe the "Ann Rule" now?
(Did the search..didn't appear, only the promos for today's current article reported yesterday across the blogsphere)..so for those like me who allow "life" to slip in between the news... ;)
I think a good test of "CIA covert" is whether the cafeteria workers at CIA headquarters, in Langley, VA, would know you by sight, or if they don't recognize you. So, if they knew that your typical lunch is turkey sandwich with fruit, then you're probably not very covert, are you? Whatever you were before, youre just a government bureaucrat now. That seems like a pretty good test. I dont think Valerie Plame would pass the cafeteria worker test for "covert" agents.
First of all, nothing embarrasses them. Secondly, they succeeded in casting a cloud over the administration that will never go away. Lastly, there's an old saying that "There's no defense against a liar." The Dems will continue to lie, cheat, and chip away at the administrations credibility until they reclaim the White House.
The first 15 months was reported $723,000.
"Do I have to observe the "Ann Rule" now?"
Technically, I think not. But then again, I see no reason ever to not post a picture of Ann.
Can somebody give the context of this? I mean, did the listing say, "my wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA agent," or what?
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald has wasted millions of taxpayers' dollars "investigating" what any beat cop in America could have determined in a day.
Valerie Plame was nothing more than a CIA desk jockey, nothing more and about as "covert" as my cat!
Hey, Fitz! WE WANT A REFUND!
What a steamy pile of b.s.
Essentially, yes. On other threads, the exact quote is listed, but under his name, it lists his wife and kids, and he used "Valerie Plame." I'm pretty sure W-W in America has an online site, so you might be able to look it up. Folks on FR looked it up long ago when this case first broke, and guessed (correctly) that Novak might have easily gotten her name from that listing.
The Left's hopes and dreams receive yet another set back.
I don't think they're capable of embarrassment. You have to have a conscience in order to be embarrassed.
They are just quivering masses of Bush-hatred.
Media Bias at its' finest!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.