10/16/2005

Explaining Plame, part 2: Judith Miller does Scooter Libby's laundry | Needlenose

Explaining Plame, part 2: Judith Miller does Scooter Libby's laundry
By Swopa
Oct 15 2005 - 7:42pm

Okay, in Part I, I promised that Karl Rove would be next, but the new pair of Judith Miller articles in the New York Times dictates that I talk about her and Scooter first. (In a chronological sense, it's more appropriate anyway.)

Let's begin with a previously unheralded passage from the Washington Post two years ago, looking back at the weeks just before Joseph Wilson went public in criticizing the White House:
In early June, Wilson told his story to The Washington Post on the condition that his name be withheld. On June 12, The Post published a more complete account than [Nicholas] Kristof's [in the New York Times] of Wilson's trip. . . .

By that time, officials in the White House, Cheney's office, the CIA and the State Department were familiar with Wilson and his mission to Niger.

Starting that week, the officials repeatedly played down the importance of Wilson's trip and its findings, saying it had been authorized within the CIA's nonproliferation section at a low level without requiring the approval of senior agency officials. No one brought up Wilson's wife, and her employment at the agency was not known at the time the article was published.
Got that? As of June 2003, folks like Scooter Libby and Karl Rove were sitting around with the true story of how Wilson's trip to Niger happened -- which included none of the three leaks that would turn up later -- and not getting very far with it from a PR standpoint. And nobody who was talking to the Washington Post was saying anything about Wilson's wife.

But come the second week in July, as I alluded to just over a week ago, word that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA (Leak 1) was seemingly everywhere, with the other pieces of what Robert Novak would soon write lurking in the shadows.

What happened in between? Oh, look -- hello, it's Judy Miller. In her firsthand account of her grand jury testimony, St. Judith writes of her conversation with Lewis "Scooter" Libby, VP Dick Cheney's chief of staff, in his office on June 23, 2003:

Much more at the source:
Explaining Plame, part 2: Judith Miller does Scooter Libby's laundry | Needlenose

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