Thursday, November 17, 2005

CIA Leak Case Gets Second Wind

Yesterday, Bob Woodward admitted that he had been told by a high ranking White House official the identity of Valerie Plame and her position at the CIA working on weapons of mass destruction earlier than than any other reported to date. This muddies the water and gives fresh cause for Patrick Fitzgerald to dig deeper and continue the investigation.

Woodward claims that is was not Libby that divulged the classified information to Woodward. So, the question is then, who did? Does this put the spotlight back on Rove (a man can dream, can't he)?

Woodward says that he was passed the information in a casual manner and did not think twice about it. But if it was so casual, why did he have to promise confidentiality to his informant. I can't think of why a casual conversation would start of with, "hey Bob, how 'bout those Red Skins? Oh, and did you know that Joe Wilson's wife works at the CIA... but, ah, promise me to keep that just between you and me, ok pal. Atta boy Bobby." Woodward's statements yesterday definitely raise more questions than they answer.

Some in the bloggoshpere are saying that this acquits Libby of his indictment. This really doesn't do anything about that. He is still charged with perjury, and this revelation doesn't change the discrepancies in his testimony. I can see several ways this could be used to Libby's advantage, but in the end, it just says, "hey, I wasn't the only leaker."

What this does do, is to re-introduce the issue that multiple people were involved in outing Plame and that the White House has been anything but forthcoming in the investigation as they claimed they were going to be. Woodward's admission is probably not what Bush was looking for as he is trying to hit back on critics of the Iraq war. This will put him on the defensive again.

Woodward Apologizes to Post For Silence on Role in Leak Case

Woodward Could Be a Boon to Libby


tommy said...

It doesn't help Libby with the indictment since he isn't charged with outing Plame. It does possibly help in that it might call into question the quality of the investigation since it missed this.

I agree that the casual/confidential thing doesn't make sense. I think this is most likely a power struggle between the CIA and the White House, and is probably really all a big bunch of nothing beyond that. But I do think it would probably be best for the CIA (and those at the State Dept as well) to periodically be reminded that they are actually supposed to work for the people who campaign and win elections. Even when they don't agree.

Other than that explanation, none of this adds up or makes sense.

Dingo said...

I agree with you that the CIA must work for the elected officals. But at the same time, the elected officials can't expect the CIA to reflect the elected officals agenda. They are not there to please the president or be sycophants. Their job is to give the president the best information they can (which they didn't) so the president can make an informed decision.

tommy said...

No they didn't give the best information. But some of this looks to me like the CIA has put itself in the position of trying to influence public opinion or government policy, which should be outside the lines of what they are supposed to do.