PLAME UPDATE….I know I’m supposed to be on vacation, but we can’t allow the Valerie Plame content of this blog drop completely to zero, can we? There were two new tidbits released on Monday.
Tidbit #1: Remember the State Department memo about Joe Wilson’s Niger trip that was being passed around Air Force One a few days before Novak’s column first appeared? The Wall Street Journal reports that the passage discussing Plame’s role was specifically designated as sensitive:
The paragraph in the memo discussing Ms. Wilson’s involvement in her husband’s trip is marked at the beginning with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn’t be shared, according to the person familiar with the memo. Such a designation would indicate to a reader that the information was sensitive. The memo, though, doesn’t specifically describe Ms. Wilson as an undercover agent, the person familiar with the memo said.
Josh Marshall has some additional speculation about the State Department memo here, but the bottom line is that it probably got seen by a lot of people, and anyone who read it would have a pretty good idea that talking about Plame to reporters was a no-no.
Of course, Karl Rove says he never saw this memo. Should we believe him? Tidbit #2 is in the American Prospect, where Murray Waas says that investigators have reason to believe that Rove has been less than forthcoming:
White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove?s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.
I guess Rove must have forgotten all about Cooper. For a guy with a reputation for having a steel trap mind, he sure does seem forgetful lately, doesn’t he?
That’s your Plamegate update for the day. You may now return to speculation about John Roberts, a person I know nothing about ? which makes it pretty lucky that I’m on vacation this week. However, I’m sure Lindsay and Michael will be all over Roberts in the morning….