An unidentified source made calls to major news outlets last night attempting to spin the CIA agent leak scandal story to benefit Karl Rove. In course of the spin, however, the source may have inadvertently outed the fact that Rove spoke with rightwing pundit Robert Novak when Novak was writing his infamous column in which the name of secret CIA agent Valerie Plame was revealed.
The Associated Press described the leaker they spoke with as “a person briefed on the testimony.”
The New York Times described the leaker as ” someone who has been officially briefed on the matter.” And said, “[the] person who provided the information about Mr. Rove’s conversation with Mr. Novak declined to be identified, citing requests by Mr. Fitzgerald that no one discuss the case. The person discussed the matter in the belief that Mr. Rove was truthful in saying that he had not disclosed Ms. Wilson’s identity.”
The Washington Post received a call, too, whom they described as “a lawyer involved in the case.”
Let’s see. A “lawyer involved in the case” who was “officially briefed” on Rove’s testimony. Why didn’t they just say, “and whose initials are “Robert Luskin.”
The source described testimony that Rove gave to the grand jury investigating the leak of the undercover operative. The Times regurgitated it this way:
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.”
So what is Karl Rove thinking? Surely he knew any reasonable person would know he’d sent his lawyer out to spin the spin.
And how does this benefit him? Now we know what we all suspected, Karl was busy on the phone getting the word out on his political enemy and the fact that he was risking national security in doing so simply did not matter.
There is a distinct odor of desperation emanating from all this.