Armitage Admits to Being Plame Leaker

At least, the bloke who leaked it to Novak:

Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the C.I.A. leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday.

…Mr. Armitage did not return calls for comment. But the lawyer and other associates of Mr. Armitage have said he has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a Central Intelligence Agency officer.
A forthcoming book, Hubris, the Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War’, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, reports that “Mr. Armitage told a few State Department colleagues that he might have been the leaker whose identity was being sought,” which explains the timing of Armitage’s admission.

In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Mr. Armitage disclosed casually to Mr. Novak that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. at the end of an interview in his State Department office. Mr. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a written memorandum by Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby’s inquiry was prompted by an Op-Ed article on May 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof and an article on June 12, 2003, in The Washington Post by Walter Pincus.
So Armitage was privy to a memo written by the Under-Secretary of State, after Libby (probably at the behest of Cheney, though he claims otherwise) requested a “fact-finding mission” (ahem) on Valerie Plame.

The book quotes Carl W. Ford Jr., then head of the intelligence and research bureau at the State Department, as saying that Mr. Armitage had told him, “I may be the guy who caused this whole thing,’’ and that he regretted having told the columnist more than he should have.
All just a big mistake, eh? That’s quite a convenient goof for a partisan hack who is a former foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush and one of the signers of the Project for a New American Century’s letter to Bill Clinton in 1998, urging the removal of Saddam Hussein. Considering that the whole purpose of outing Valerie Plame was to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, who was challenging the administration’s case for war in Iraq, I find it spectacularly coincidental that Armitage made such a colossally convenient mistake in telling bigmouth Novak “more than he should have” about an issue that served to undermine a key administration critic on the war.

Funny how Armitage had to “regret being a total boob” during Iran-Contra, too.

Liberal Oasis has a good piece on What We Know About PlameGate, and Taylor March notes: “Armitage now advises John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign (TimesSelect link). I would say that McCain loses credibility on national security issues when he takes counsel from someone who has twice admitted to leaking national security secrets (the other being Iran-Contra).” I would say that, too.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus