We have another known about a known unknown. We don’t know who the first administration official was to spread gossip about Plame, but we do know -with a fair degree of certainty- that it wasn’t Libby or Rove. Interestingly that facts seemed unimportant to TIME Magazine editors who buried this tidbit from Woodward’s interview with the mag:
Asked if this was the first time his source had spoken with Fitzgerald in the investigation, Woodward said “I’m not sure. It’s quite possibly not the first time.”
That sort of lets the air out the raving left’s “Rove Did It” theory. Certainly Woodward knows Rove has spoken to Fitzgerald multiple times.
So we don’t know who did it but it wasn’t Rove.
Also in the story another very interesting bit of information.
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 The source said yes, but only for purposes of discussing it with Fitzgerald, not for publication.
So the source has already gone to Fitzgerald. Talk about a blind squirrel finding a nut.
Fitzgerald spends 2 years on this and gets nowhere. Then when he goofs the name of who did it first, apparently that spurred the real gossip to come clean. So it was not Fitzgerald’s skills as an investigator that cracked the case but the lack thereof.
No matter which side of the aisle you are on, you must admit that it is ironic that it was Fitzgerald’s incompetence that saved him.