PLAME UPDATE….The Wall Street Journal story that supposedly points to Vice President Dick Cheney as a target of the Plame investigation is now up, and it doesn’t mention Cheney anywhere. In fact, it doesn’t say very much at all. Out of a thousand words or so, this is pretty much the only new speculation:

There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.

….Mr. Fitzgerald’s pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent’s name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy.

Unfortunately, this speculation appears to be based solely on the fact that Judith Miller recently turned over notes about a conversation she had with Scooter Libby on June 23, two weeks earlier than anything Fitzgerald has been investigating until now. Or so it seems. In any case, the authors don’t explicitly source their speculation to anyone aside from themselves, saying only that “there are signs” that Fitzgerald is expanding the scope of his investigation.

Take it for what it’s worth. It sure isn’t good news for Rove, Libby & Co., but beyond that it’s hard to say whether there’s anything really new here.

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