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Sunday, July 17, 2005

We Smell a Ratfucker 

Here's a breathtaking catch by Josh Marshall of TPM. According to current wisdom, a classified State Department memo, carried onto Air Force One by Colin Powell, was the likeliest source of the dirt on Valerie Plame that somehow found its way into Robert Novak's column. However:
[S]ources said the CIA believes that people in the administration continue to release classified information to damage the figures at the center of the controversy, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, Valerie Plame, who was exposed as a CIA officer by unidentified senior administration officials for a July 14 column by Robert D. Novak . . . .

Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it.

CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.
The "conservative news outlet" to which the dubious INR document was leaked was Talon News, and the seasoned investigative reporter who promoted it in print was that indefatigable bloodhound -- or should we say bulldog? -- J.D. Guckert, aka "Jeff Gannon."

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