Friday, July 15, 2005

Judy Miller: a 5th Amendment case?

According to sources familiar with Karl Rove's testimony, Rove testified that during a discussion with Bush shill Robert Novak, Novak was theone who brought up Plame's name, status as CIA and role she allegedly played in Joe Wilson's trip to Niger. [emphasis added]

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."
Rove also testified that he Novak had told him of the plans to publish the information in his week-end column and that [emphasis added]
by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another member of the news media but he could not recall which reporter had told him about it first, the person said.
Rove went on to say that he spoke with Time reported Matt Cooper 3 days later (prior to Novak's publication of the information) with the purpose of discrediting some of Joe Wilson's statements, but that he did not mention the name of Valerie Plame (just that Wilson's wife was somebody at the CIA who authorized Wilson's mission).

This raises a couple of issues in addition Novak's other senior administration contact:
  • who was Rove's media contact that was Rove's source on Plame's status?
    • was the contact Judith Miller and where did she come by her information (& was she just an ambitious and willing pawn in an elaborate scheme to protect Rove)?
  • why would Rove, as a senior administration official, not discuss the issue with relevant personnel who have access to classified information to ensure Plame was not covert/NOC and that confirmation of her status would not jeopardize any operations/national security (and/or implement any damage control)

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