Plame Scorecard

PLAME SCORECARD….I’m trying to keep score here, but I’m not sure my memory is complete. So help me out. We now know the names of at least five reporters who were told by administration officials that “Joe Wilson’s wife” worked at the CIA:

  1. Bob Woodward (“In mid-June 2003 [an administration official] told me Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA on weapons of mass destruction as a WMD analyst.”)

  2. Judith Miller (“On the afternoon of June 23, 2003…Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson’s wife for the first time. I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson’s wife might work for the C.I.A.”)

  3. Matt Cooper (“I told the grand jurors that I was curious about Wilson when I called Karl Rove on Friday, July 11….As for Wilson’s wife, I told the grand jury I was certain that Rove never used her name….Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the “agency”….I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, ‘I’ve already said too much.'”)

  4. Walter Pincus (“On July 12, 2003, an administration official…veered off the precise matter we were discussing and told me that [Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger] was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction.”)

  5. Robert Novak (July 14, 2003: “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report.”)

And we know there were at least four administration officials involved in leaking this information:

  1. Scooter Libby

  2. Karl Rove

  3. Bob Woodward’s “senior administration official”

  4. Robert Novak’s original source

(It’s possible that #3 and #4 are the same person, but I suspect they’re not. Woodward’s source mentioned only “Joe Wilson’s wife” while Novak’s source actually gave him the name “Valerie Plame.”)

Am I missing anyone? Every one of these reporters has testified that the mention of Wilson’s wife was “casual,” not part of a calculated effort to spread this information. But four officials and five reporters sure sounds like some planning went into this, doesn’t it? And of course, two years ago the Washington Post reported that White House officials called “at least six Washington journalists” to spread this information.

So: Just a coincidental series of offhand remarks about the exact same information ? all off the record ? or a calculated campaign to leak Plame’s status? You make the call.

UPDATE: Lots of comments on this. A few notes:

  • I added Walter Pincus to the list of reporters. I’d forgotten about him.

  • Tim Russert and Glenn Kessler have specifically denied being told about Plame. Karl Rove famously told Chris Matthews that Plame was “fair game,” but this was after Novak’s column appeared.

  • Tom Maguire’s list of people who allegedly knew about Plame via the DC gossip circuit includes Andrea Mitchell, High Sidey, Martin Peretz, and Cliff May. However, none of them has claimed that administration officials specifically told them about Plame, only that it was supposedly common knowledge among the cognoscenti.