WOODWARD’S SOURCE….Why did Bob Woodward’s source suddenly decide to come forward earlier this month and tell Patrick Fitzgerald that he had revealed Valerie Plame’s CIA status to Woodward in mid-June 2003? Because Woodward himself suggested it:

In his press conference announcing Libby?s indictment, Fitzgerald noted that, “Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.” Woodward realized, given that the indictment stated Libby disclosed the information to New York Times reporter Miller on June 23, that Libby was not the first official to talk about Wilson’s wife to a reporter. Woodward himself had received the information earlier.

According to Woodward, that triggered a call to his source. “I said it was clear to me that the source had told me [about Wilson’s wife] in mid-June,” says Woodward, “and this person could check his or her records and see that it was mid-June. My source said he or she had no alternative but to go to the prosecutor. I said, ‘If you do, am I released?’”, referring to the confidentiality agreement between the two. The source said yes, but only for purposes of discussing it with Fitzgerald, not for publication.

I’m struggling to make sense of this. Why did Mr. X have no alternative after he got Woodward’s call? Had he completely forgotten about all this until Woodward reminded him? That doesn’t seem likely.

Regardless, the implication here is that it really is important news that Libby wasn’t the first person to reveal Plame’s status to a reporter. But why? That has nothing to do with the perjury charges Fitzgerald brought against Libby.

And yet, somehow it was important enough that both Woodward and Mr. X immediately decided that it needed to be revealed to Fitzgerald. For two years neither of them felt they needed to come forward to Fitzgerald, but as soon as Libby was indicted they did.

Why? What possibilities are there for this? Think, dammit, think!