The No. 2 State Department official met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003, the same time the reporter has testified that an administration official talked to him about CIA employee Valerie Plame.
Official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a one-hour meeting marked “private appointment” with Woodward on June 13, 2003.
And why is a June 13, 2003 meeting important?
Let’s look at a time line:
Now, we know why the Fitzpatrick prosecution of Karl Rove has been dismissed. But, what about Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff?
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame’s identity as a one-time CIA covert operative to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the administration’s march to war with Iraq.
When contacted at home Monday night, Woodward declined to discuss his meeting with Armitage or the identity of his source in the CIA leak case. Instead, he referred to his statement last year that he had a “casual and offhand” discussion about Plame with an unidentified administration official in mid-June 2003.
The “LEAK” or “OUTING” of Valerie Plame occurred a few weeks before Joseph Wilson’s column in the New York Times and Robert Novak’s column.
So, this entire FLAP has been about NOTHING – an off-hand comment by Richard Armitrage on background to Washington Post Bob Woodward prior to the supposed Bush Administration vendetta to GET Plame and Wilson.
Bob Woodward is seen Monday, Dec. 5, 2005 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show a one-hour meeting marked ‘private appointment’ with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003. The mid-June 2003 meeting occurred the same time the reporter has testified an administration official talked to him about CIA employee Valerie Plame.
A person familiar with the information prosecutors have gathered, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the material remains sealed, said Woodward’s meeting with the confidential source was June 13, 2003.
The calendar released to the AP is the first confirmation that Woodward and Armitage met during the key time in the CIA leak case that was the focus of Fitzgerald’s probe.
The identity of Woodward’s source remains one of the big mysteries in the case because the Post reporter is the first member of the news media known to have discussed Plame’s CIA employment with an administration official.
Woodward’s former Post editor, Ben Bradlee, has speculated publicly that Armitage was the reporter’s “likely source.”
And defense attorneys for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the lone administration official charged in the CIA leak case, also have suggested that Armitage could have been Woodward’s source when they unsuccessfully tried to persuade a court to order the release of State Department documents.
Fitzgerald’s office declined to comment Monday. Reached at his home in Virginia, Armitage said he could not discuss his cooperation with Fitzgerald’s office, the meeting with Woodward or any details of the case.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage pauses while meeting Russia’s Security Council chief Igor Ivanov in Moscow in this Oct. 28, 2004, file photo. Armitage’s official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show a one-hour meeting marked ‘private appointment’ with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003. The mid-June 2003 meeting occurred the same time the reporter has testified an administration official talked to him about CIA employee Valerie Plame.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, faces trial in January on charges that he lied to authorities about conversations he had with reporters about Plame.
Libby’s lawyer, William Jeffress, said Monday that Armitage’s calendar only bolsters the defense’s argument that information about the State Department official’s role in the CIA leak affair should be released.
So, shouldn’t the prosecution of Scooter Libby be halted?
The entire prosecution has been a WASTE of taxpayer money. But, then Flap has said this before. Why is Fitzgerald stubbornly proceeding? No jury will convict Libby.
Woodward has said Plame came up incidentally during an interview he was conducting for a book he wrote on the Iraq war. He said the source told him that Plame was a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and no evidence has emerged in public that Woodward’s source actually knew she had been a covert agent. Fitzgerald has signaled there are no plans â€” beyond the Libby indictment â€” to prosecute any other officials for releasing Plame’s identity.
Armitage’s calendar also shows that a week before Woodward’s meeting with Armitage, the deputy secretary of state met for 15 minutes with Libby.
Two people familiar with the meeting, however, said the Libby-Armitage meeting dealt with issues involving Pakistan and said the subject of the CIA leak case wasn’t raised. Both spoke only on condition of anonymity because some information about the meeting remains classified.
NO PLOT and NO CRIME
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald should END this two year plus investigation.
Captain Ed has Was Armitage The Plame Leaker?
If Armitage sourced the Plame connection, it would also explain the lack of prosecutorial interest on the part of Patrick Fitzgerald. An Armitage lead pretty much stops at Armitage, given his relationship with the rest of the administration. The fizzling of Fitzmas becomes more comprehensible.
Of course, no AP report on this subject would be complete without a little misinformation:
Wilson reported back to the Bush administration that he was unable to
verify the claim, but the administration continued to use the
information to bolster its argument for war. Wilson has cited the
decision to rely on the bad intelligence in his criticisms of the
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has long established that this version is nothing more than fiction. Wilson reported that the Nigerien PM believed that an offer from Iraq for secret trade involved uranium, and that he had rejected the overture. The Bush administration said that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium, based on British intelligence that the UK still insists is accurate. Wilson twisted his report to claim that Iraq had not purchased uranium, which was true — but the Bush administration never claimed it had.
Maybe once we establish the actual source of the Plame leak, we can get the press to establish the truth about Wilson’s claims. Unfortunately, we will probably wait at least as long for that development as we did for the Armitage/Woodward meeting to come to light.
Technorati Tags: RichardArmitage, BobWoodward, ValeriePlame, JosephWilson, CIA, CIALeakCase, PatrickFitzgerald, RobertNovak, ScooterLibby