PLAME UPDATE….This is just bizarre. According to the Washington Post, a “senior administration official” talked to Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003 about Valerie Plame. That’s prior to Scooter Libby’s conversations with Judith Miller, and therefore marks the earliest date that anyone in the administration talked about Plame to a reporter.

So who is this mysterious Mr. X that blabbed to Woodward? We don’t know. It’s not Libby, and Karl Rove’s spokesman says it’s not Rove. No other names were mentioned.

And why do we suddenly know all this? Because Woodward testified about it on Monday to Patrick Fitzgerald.

Why did he do that? Because Mr. X fessed up to Fitzgerald about the conversation a couple of weeks ago, and Fitzgerald subsequently asked Woodward to testify about it.

And why did Mr. X suddenly confess? No one knows.

Did Woodward tell anyone about this conversation back when it happened? He didn’t tell his editor, but he says he did tell fellow Post reporter Walter Pincus. Pincus, however, says Woodward is delusional: “Are you kidding?” he says. “I certainly would have remembered that.”

I can’t begin to make sense of this. The only thing that’s clear is that Mr. X must have had some reason to suddenly come clean, and that reason must have had something to do with Fitzgerald’s ongoing investigation. Perhaps Mr. X is a cooperating witness, or perhaps he’s someone who started to feel some heat and decided to come forward because he got scared. Who knows?

But what this does tell us is that the Plame investigation is alive and well and continuing to make progress. Fasten your seatbelts.

Woodward’s statement is here.

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