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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Telephone, Telegraph, Tell Karl 

An update from our formerly-BARBARic colleague John of Blogenlust, who suspects that Judith Miller is covering not for Karl Rove, but for the person who told Karl Rove about the connection between Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame:
[P]arsing and obfuscation has been part of the plan all along. Remember, more than a year ago when Bush claimed that he wanted to "get to the bottom of this," he used very specific language:
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.
[...]
He added that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."
Now I'm of the opinion that Bush has known all along who leaked the information on Plame, or rather, who gave that information to Rove. Rove, for one, would never have let the President make the above statements if he knew it could be used against them in the information, epecially considering how Rove was very much involved in the leaking process. Bush's statements were carefully crafted, and they might suggest some clues as to who the original leak is.

One possibility may be what I suggested earlier: that Judy Miller gave the information to Rove, who shopped it to other reporters. Earlier I speculated that Miller got the information from someone in the State Department, and that still may be true, particularly if that person could be considered outside of "the administration." It also may be true that Miller's source came from someone outside the government, especially considering her notorious past of publishing-as-fact gossip from the shady Ahmed Chalabi.

So the more I think about it, the more I think that Judy Miller holds the key to this investigation. She's not going to prison to protect the same source Cooper was going to go to prison to protect (Rove). She's going to prison to protect the source that actually leaked Plame's cover, and my guess is that that person is someone that needs to be protected at all costs.
We think there's a simpler explanation. Miller may well be protecting some other source, but unless that source is Dick Cheney or Condi Rice, we are hard-pressed to imagine that he (or she) could be a bigger fish than Rove.

However, if John's hypothesis is correct, and Miller is the one who told Rove about the Plame-Wilson connection, it's altogether likely that their discussion would have touched on Ms. Plame's covert status. Miller's testimony might then establish that Rove knew Plame was an undercover operative before he shopped the story to Matt Cooper et al, and was therefore in direct violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Lawrence O'Donnell explains why that information might be crucial to the case here. (And our eminent colleague Digby demurs here.)

UPDATE (courtesy of Steve Soto at the Left Coaster): A new wrinkle, from Daily Kos diarist Kant -- the Espionage Act of 1917. (Well, not exactly new: John Dean was on it in 2003.)

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