At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.In July, the odious Robert Novak wrote a column exposing Valarie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson (the author of the report debunking the Niger uranium story), as a CIA agent or operative. Novak cited two senior administration officials.
According to the Post, yesterday another senior administration official revealed that the two officials were shopping the "story" to six different journalists, and that the motivation of the two officials was revenge against Joseph Wilson.
At least, Robert Novak has revealed the identity of an alleged CIA agent. If Novak is telling the truth, then two people in the Administration need to go to jail and he is shielding them. If the Post's senior administration official is telling the truth, then five other journalists also know who the culprits are, and are concealing the truth. In addition, the senior administration official knows the truth and is remaining silent, in public at least.
Someone needs to go to prison for this.
The Washington Post Article
The Bob Novak column
UPDATE: Novak has changed or updated his story. From the Drudge Report, with no attribution:
'Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this. In July I was interviewing a senior administration official on Ambassador Wilson's report when he told me the trip was inspired by his wife, a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction. Another senior official told me the same thing. As a professional journalist with 46 years experience in Washington I do not reveal confidential sources. When I called the CIA in July to confirm Mrs. Wilson's involvement in the mission for her husband -- he is a former Clinton administration official -- they asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else. According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operator, and not in charge of undercover operatives'
Part of this quote is duplicated on
cnn.com in the 9th paragraph and given as something Novak said on Crossfire today.
According to the Washington Post's anynonymous source, there are five journalists who can either corroborate Novak's story or contradict his account of what Novak's anonymous sources said. This might not be a matter of criminal conduct, but of Novak's trademark sloppiness. Why does this guy keep his job again?