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My Role in the Valerie Plame Leak Story [Robert Novak Reveals, CNN, Washington Post Omits]
HumanEventsOnLine ^ | Posted Jul 12, 2006 | by Robert Novak

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.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: billharlow; cia; josephwilson; mediabias; patrickfitzgerald; robertnovak; swidlerberlin; valerieplame; whoswho
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To: Mo1
I'm taking a strong guess it was not Libby.

Or Cheney, or Bush....lol. Poor DUmmies.

51 posted on 07/12/2006 8:36:38 AM PDT by jennyjenny
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To: Howlin
Or Novak talked to an attorney friend of Wilson's. Does anybody remember that?

Was that the one about meeting someone on the street and talking about it??

52 posted on 07/12/2006 8:36:43 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: daviscupper

IIRC .. I think Novak said it was was someone who (at the time) once worked for the Administration .. I think that would rule out Powell


53 posted on 07/12/2006 8:38:48 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Carolinamom
What frosts me is that Fitzgerald knew ALL the time who had given Novak the info, yet he went his merry way spending million$ of taxpayer money

And has the utter GAUL to claim any level of itegrity.

54 posted on 07/12/2006 8:38:48 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: All

Mr. Wilson proudly showed off photographs of Ms. Plame, calling her a real-life Jennifer Garner, the actress who plays a spy on Alias on ABC-TV and whom the C.I.A. has enlisted as a spokeswoman to appeal to recruits.--- New York Times, October 2, 2003, p. A23.
http://www.google-watch.org/valerie.html

Interesting Media/Post/CIA connections to show the intertwining relationships which the media shares with top government agencies:

"We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets, and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows." -- Katharine Graham at a 1988 speech at CIA headquarters.

However, Katharine Graham and the Washington Post--All the Publisher's Men.
http://www.namebase.org/davis.html



55 posted on 07/12/2006 8:40:11 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Howlin; ravingnutter

I don't remember that but if anyone can find it, it's ravingnutter.


56 posted on 07/12/2006 8:40:34 AM PDT by Peach (Prayers for our friends in India.)
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To: Howlin

I'm sure he's on the phone with his lawyer right now threating to sue Novak


57 posted on 07/12/2006 8:40:42 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Mo1

Richard Armitage, formerly Colin Powell's deputy at State, is the front runner for the unnamed "primary source"...... and Novak says the revelation of "Wilson's wife" (without a name) was inadvertent..... Fitzy never had a criminal case and pretty well knew that by Jan. 2004.

Now that we know that Rove's and Libby were merely caught up in the journalistic chatter and not pushing the name Valerie Pflame out there, and that freakshow Joe Wilson provided the name in his very own "Who's Who" entry, will the MSM liars every bother to provide the public with an accurate accounting of their campaign of misinformation? Of course not, they'll just scurry along to their next lying hatefest against the Bush WH.....


58 posted on 07/12/2006 8:46:33 AM PDT by Enchante (Keller & Sulzberger: Forget elections, WE are the self-appointed judges of everything)
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To: Howlin
"I seem to remember an article by Joe Wilson (seems like it was on his own web site) where he discussed TALKING to Robert Novak BEFORE Novak's column"

I wouldn't doubt it, he wants so desperately to be relevant that he'd talk to a stump. Can't imagine anything worse than getting stuck listening to him talk about himself.

I remember an article where he stated that his "super secret undercover agent" wife spilled her guts about her "super secret job" during "pillow talk" on their 5th date. Guess it all depends on whatchacall "undercover". LOL

59 posted on 07/12/2006 8:59:49 AM PDT by Darlin' (Gasp ... whathappendtomytagline? AND, whendidithappen?)
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To: Darlin'

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/991629/posts


Wilson: I Made Up Rove Leak Allegation
Newsmax.com ^ | 9/29/03 | Carl Limbacher


60 posted on 07/12/2006 9:01:51 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Mo1

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/991708/posts
(snip)
When I called the CIA in July to confirm Mrs. Wilson's involvement in the mission for her husband -- he is a former Clitnon administration official -- they asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else


61 posted on 07/12/2006 9:06:30 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Purrcival

They sound like they are a little bitter over there.


62 posted on 07/12/2006 9:09:04 AM PDT by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: Lee'sGhost
Here's the entry in Who's Who in America - provided by Joe Wilson:


63 posted on 07/12/2006 9:09:40 AM PDT by Henchster (Free Republic - the BEST site on the web!)
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To: Mo1
"Wilson insisted, however, "I have great confidence that, at a minimum, [Rove] condoned it and certainly did nothing to shut it down."

But, but, but .... that would make him an eveeel, partisan liar. How can that be ? The NYT and WaPo would have the world believe his word is sacrosanct !

64 posted on 07/12/2006 9:16:55 AM PDT by Darlin' (Gasp ... whathappendtomytagline? AND, whendidithappen?)
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To: Mo1

Wilson is such a phony, social climbing pig. He makes my skin crawl.


65 posted on 07/12/2006 9:18:53 AM PDT by Darlin' (Gasp ... whathappendtomytagline? AND, whendidithappen?)
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To: Mo1
The chapter about Novak in Wilson's book The Politics of Truth references to Novak's alleged CIA source.

Wilson writes that six days before Novak's Plame column appeared, an unnamed FRIEND of his approached Novak on a Washington, D.C., street near George Washington University and accompanied the columnist for a couple blocks. Novak didn't know that the friend knew Wilson as the two engaged in conversation about the Niger affair. The friend asked Novak what he thought of Wilson.

Novak responded, "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him," and then the two parted.

The friend immediately called Wilson, and Wilson got in touch with Novak two days later.

Seems the "friend" plays both sides. Approaches Novak then runs to Wilson. From Novak's October 1, 2003, column: "I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one. "

From the October 2, 2003, edition of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports:

NOVAK: "On Monday, I began to report on something that I thought was very curious. Why was it that ambassador Wilson, who had no particular experience in weapons of mass destruction, and was a sharp critic of the Iraqi policy of President Bush and, also, had been a high-ranking official in the Clinton White House, who had contributed politically to Democrats -- some Republicans, but mostly Democrats -- why was he being selected? "

"I asked this question to a senior Bush administration official, and he said that he believed that the assignment was suggested by an employee at the CIA in the counterproliferation office who happened to be ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame."

http://mediamatters.org/items/200508050005

Remember: ...the NY Times editorial, which was volunteered by Joe Wilson and allowed by the CIA. - He published his op-ed anyway. How seriously did Wilson and the CIA, take her security?

The Boston Globe went on the spy mission of their own with the discovery of Plame's bogus company: Brewster-Jennings...add to the "party mix" Contributions to Gore and Kerry.

Who's the Friend?

66 posted on 07/12/2006 9:20:55 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: palmer; dead
Bitter? Yes, the DUmmies are VERY bitter. After all, they've been waiting impatiently for this:

only to be disappointed, time and again.

Credit to FReeper dead for the .jpg

67 posted on 07/12/2006 9:21:21 AM PDT by Purrcival (Have a holly, jolly Fitzmas! It's the best time of the year!)
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To: fight_truth_decay; Howlin
Wilson writes that six days before Novak's Plame column appeared, an unnamed FRIEND of his approached Novak on a Washington, D.C., street near George Washington University and accompanied the columnist for a couple blocks. Novak didn't know that the friend knew Wilson as the two engaged in conversation about the Niger affair. The friend asked Novak what he thought of Wilson.

That's it!

Thanks for finding it

68 posted on 07/12/2006 9:24:43 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Beckwith
So, who's the Primary Source?

Armitage.

69 posted on 07/12/2006 9:25:44 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Attillathehon
First of all, nothing embarrasses them. Secondly, they succeeded in casting a cloud over the administration that will never go away.

All you have to do is ask the average person what he or she thinks about the Plame "case," and you know this is true. In this day of mainstream media soundbites and downright lazy reporting, the facts mean little.

And frankly, the administration let it happen. Bad impressions stick unless you fight them early and hard.

70 posted on 07/12/2006 9:27:54 AM PDT by Glenmerle
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To: Purrcival
So, does this mean that the movie about Joe and Valerie is canceled? LOL

(Her proposed book has already been canceled, I understand. What will they dooooooooo?)

71 posted on 07/12/2006 9:29:00 AM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: kellynla

Agree with you...I thought the same thing when
it was covered in the news..who the hell is this
dumb broad married to this ego driven nitwit and
why the big deal???? I have a covert thing you
can investigate...get the big tuna...Osama !!..Jake


72 posted on 07/12/2006 9:35:30 AM PDT by sanjacjake
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To: fight_truth_decay; Mo1
Novak didn't know that the friend knew Wilson as the two engaged in conversation about the Niger affair. The friend asked Novak what he thought of Wilson.

I wonder which one of them 'started' that converstion about Niger. Perhaps this 'friend' was fishing?

"I asked this question to a senior Bush administration official, and he said that he believed that the assignment was suggested by an employee at the CIA in the counterproliferation office who happened to be ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame."

And I wonder if that phrase was actually SPOKEN by the "senior Bush administration official," or was that something that Novak had found out on his own.

And thanks SO much, fight; I knew I remember something like this, but couldn't find it! I love FR!

73 posted on 07/12/2006 9:39:30 AM PDT by Howlin (Pres.Bush ought to be ashamed of himself for allowing foreign countries right on our borders!!~~Zook)
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To: MizSterious

Can you believe Yost's title????


74 posted on 07/12/2006 9:40:17 AM PDT by Howlin (Pres.Bush ought to be ashamed of himself for allowing foreign countries right on our borders!!~~Zook)
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To: Howlin
Clinton's National Security Council
75 posted on 07/12/2006 9:43:06 AM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: Howlin

Not unexpected, but it is interesting to watch them twist the truth to make it fit their bias.


76 posted on 07/12/2006 9:47:42 AM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: Mo1

I think you are right.


77 posted on 07/12/2006 10:37:00 AM PDT by daviscupper
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To: Howlin; Mo1; Peach
Here is one admission by Wilson:

WILSON: Bob Novak called me before he went to print with the report. And he said, a CIA source had told him that my wife was an operative. He was trying to get a second source. He couldn't get a second source. Could I confirm that? I said no.

After the article appeared, I called him and I said: "You told me it was a CIA source. You wrote senior administration officials. What was it, CIA or senior administration?" He said to me, "I misspoke the first time I spoke to you." That makes it senior administration sources.

Wilson Interview with Paula Zahn

From Wilson's book:

Page 334: Wilson's op-ed, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," appears in the New York Times on July 6, 2003. The following Sunday, Wilson spots Bob Novak in the Meet the Press greenroom.

Page 343: A friend of Wilson's hails Novak on Pennsylvania Avenue. Novak casually tosses out charges of nepotism: "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him [to Niger]. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him [to Niger]."

Page 344: Two days later, Novak phones Wilson to apologize for the outburst. He asks Wilson if his wife works for the CIA. Wilson demurs, and then Novak apologizes again and hangs up.

Page 348: Novak's column runs on July 14 and outs Plame as a CIA agent. At the moment, Wilson can muster only weak anger: "I felt that punching the man in the nose would not have been an unreasonable response."

Source

78 posted on 07/13/2006 6:34:34 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: ravingnutter

Ravingnutter - I knew if anyone could find out that information, it would be you. Thanks so much; your research is among the best on Free Republic or anywhere else for that matter.


79 posted on 07/13/2006 6:42:25 AM PDT by Peach (Prayers for our dear friends in Israel.)
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To: ravingnutter; Peach; Mo1

Wow, he's quite the liar, isn't he?

Based on what Novak said, I think we can safely say this "side" is embellished to make Wilson look good, huh?


80 posted on 07/13/2006 7:20:13 AM PDT by Howlin (Pres.Bush ought to be ashamed of himself for allowing foreign countries right on our borders!!~~Zook)
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To: ravingnutter; fight_truth_decay; Mo1

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1664251/posts?page=66#66

fight_truth_decay found that!


81 posted on 07/13/2006 7:49:45 AM PDT by Howlin (Pres.Bush ought to be ashamed of himself for allowing foreign countries right on our borders!!~~Zook)
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To: Howlin; ravingnutter

Wilson has been lying since day one .. and has been caught time and time again for those lies

But the liberals hatred for President Bush is so high they will believe anything that comes out of Wilson's mouth


82 posted on 07/13/2006 7:53:48 AM PDT by Mo1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePb6H-j51xE&search=Democrats)
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To: Howlin; Mo1; Peach
Don't forget that two other people said Wilson outed his own wife in the Fox Green Room in 2002:

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely

Lt. General Tom McInerney

And then there is the matter of the bios. Wilson published the NYT editorial stating that he had a project with the CIA (that focused on her particular area of expertise) which was in itself a significant risk to his wife's supposed cover because at least 3 of Wilson's bios on the internet listed Valerie Plame by name as his wife. One of those bios, dated 2002 can be found here.

83 posted on 07/13/2006 7:56:42 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: ravingnutter

I'd forgotten that Wilson had outted his own wife, ravingnutter. More than once, as you so aptly pointed out.

I'm telling you, we have got to find a way to have you go to work for the RNC.

Maybe we aren't doing enough activism work on Free Republic. This would be good information to send to Ken Mehlman, for example.


84 posted on 07/13/2006 8:13:07 AM PDT by Peach (Prayers for our dear friends in Israel.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

We're all wondering which VIPs turncoat that was.


85 posted on 07/13/2006 11:25:08 AM PDT by STARWISE (They (Rats) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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