Thursday, November 17, 2005

Post urged to probe Woodward's role in CIA case

Joe Wilson

This is from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joseph Wilson, the husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, called on Thursday for an inquiry by The Washington Post into the conduct of journalist Bob Woodward, who repeatedly criticized the leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.

"It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. He was taking an advocacy position when he was a party to it," said Wilson, joining media critics in questioning the role of one of the best-known investigative reporters in the United States.

Woodward disclosed that he testified under oath on Monday to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that a senior Bush administration official casually told him in mid-June 2003 about Plame's position at the CIA.

Bob Woodward

Wilson, a former ambassador turned White House critic, told Reuters that The Washington Post should reveal the name of Woodward's source, and conduct an inquiry to determine why he withheld the information for more than two years from his editors and the federal prosecutor.

First Joe Wilson. It doesn't surprise me that Wilson wants an investigation of Woodward. Woodward testified under oath to Fitzgerald that a senior Bush administration official told Woodward about Plame. And apparently Woodward did not tell his employer, the Washington Post, about his involvement in this Plame affair for more than two years. Wilson basically wants to know who, in the Bush White House, outed Valerie Plame. This whole, sorrid scandal stems from the basic idea that someone in the White House released Valerie Plames name to the press, in retribution for Wilson's criticisms of White House intelligence manipulation to support President Bush's war in Iraq.

But there's another issue here, that I'm not so sure about. Someone in the Bush White House told Bob Woodward about Valerie Plame, assuming Woodward's grand jury testimony is accurate. Woodward never wrote about Plame--he never released Plame's name to the public. Who is Woodward's source? Then there is this flap between Woodward and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus. Woodward claims that he told about Wilson's wife, working at the CIA as a WMD analyst to Pincus. However Pincus says he doesn't recall Woodward telling him about Wilson's wife. There are a lot of contradictions in this story, which I'm not sure how to resolve. So in one respect, I've been hesitant on posting an article on this issue, as I scan through the news and blogosphere, trying to make some understanding of this latest revelation.

There is one interesting final piece of information from the Yahoo News story:

A White House official said on Thursday that national security adviser Stephen Hadley was not Woodward's source on Plame. According to current and former administration officials and lawyers, neither was: President George W. Bush himself, top political adviser Karl Rove, Libby, White House chief of staff Andrew Card, counselor Dan Bartlett, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former CIA director George Tenet, and former deputy CIA director John McLaughlin.

Got to love the idea that just about everyone in the White House denied that they were not Woodward's source.

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