Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bob Novak Says President Knows Leak Source

This is from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON - Columnist Bob Novak, who first published the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, says he is confident that President Bush knows who leaked Plame's name.

Novak said that "I'd be amazed" if the president didn't know the source's identity and that the public should "bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is."

Novak's remarks, reported in the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer, came during a question and answer session Tuesday after a speech sponsored by the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Now this is interesting. Novak was the original journalist who leaked Plame's name as a covert CIA agent, starting this entire investigation in the first place. Novak is a conservative columnist--you could almost say he's one voice in the right-wing echo machine. And now Novak is publicly saying that President Bush also knows who the leak is. Continuing on:

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) urged Bush to identify Novak's source or to say that he does not know who it is.

In 2003, Novak exposed Plame's identity eight days after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of manipulating prewar intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. In the column disclosing Plame's CIA status, Novak said the sources for his column were two administration officials.

The identity of Novak's sources has been one of the secrets in the CIA leak investigation.

Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, is one of Novak's sources, according to people close to the investigation, but his other source is not publicly known.

Novak apparently is cooperating with the criminal investigation of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, though the journalist has never said so.

Novak has two sources here--one is Bush's political advisor Karl Rove, and the other source is unknown. Is that the non-partisan gunslinger? We don't know yet. And I'm certainly not sure how credible Novak is, regarding his statement that Bush knew who his sources are. But there has always been questions regarding who leaked this story out, and why this story was leaked in the first place. Who benefited from this leak? In the short run, the Bush White House benefited, destroying Joe Wilson's credibility as a critic and allowing the continued White House marketing plan for the Iraq invasion. The "why" of this scandal has never been answered fully, but has been speculated endlessly.

And now we hear from the journalist who first started this scandal that Bush knew who his sources were. If this is true, then when did President Bush know the names of Novak's sources? What is the president's involvement in the Plame affair? And is the White House trying to cover-up this scandal?

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