STATE DEPARTMENT MEMO UPDATE….Walter Pincus is too subtle for me, but I think Armando at Daily Kos may have correctly deconstructed the point of Pincus’s story today about who sent Joe Wilson to Niger. Here’s the nickel version:
In July 2003, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby told reporters that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, had been responsible for sending him on his fact finding trip to Niger the previous year.
However, virtually every source says that’s not true. The CIA maintains that senior officials in the counterproliferation division chose Wilson, and that Plame’s only role was to write a memo about his credentials that they asked her to write.
In fact, as of July 2003, there was only one source that said the trip was Plame’s idea: the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which had written a memo in June about the affair.
Therefore, that State Department memo must have been Rove and Libby’s source of information about Plame ? and if that’s the case, it’s bad news for the White House since the memo clearly marked the information about Plame as classified. (Further tidbit: Is it possible that this memo was what Rove was talking about when he told Time’s Matt Cooper that “material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson’s mission”?)
Do I believe this theory? Maybe. It certainly sounds plausible. Do I believe this was Pincus’s point in writing his article? Possibly. In any case, click the links and decide for yourself. Background on the State Department memo is here, here, and here.