Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Woodward Bombshell

Seems that Bob Woodward was a recepient of a leak from an official other than Rove or Libby, identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. As others like Josh Marshall have said, don't know what to make of this. Here's a man who openly disparaged the Fitzgerald investigation, and yet did not tell anyone of his complicity in the leak until a month ago. And here's the really weird part of the whole thing:

Woodward's statement said he testified: "I told Walter Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the CIA as a WMD analyst."Pincus said he does not recall Woodward telling him that. In an interview, Pincus said he cannot imagine he would have forgotten such a conversation around the same time he was writing about Wilson.

"Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would have remembered that."

Pincus said Woodward may be confused about the timing and the exact nature of the conversation. He said he remembers Woodward making a vague mention to him in October 2003. That month, Pincus had written a story explaining how an administration source had contacted him about Wilson. He recalled Woodward telling him that Pincus was not the only person who had been contacted.

Woodward, who is preparing a third book on the Bush administration, has called Fitzgerald "a junkyard-dog prosecutor" who turns over every rock looking for evidence. The night before Fitzgerald announced Libby's indictment, Woodward said he did not see evidence of criminal intent or of a substantial crime behind the leak.

"When the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're going to find out that it started kind of as gossip, as chatter," he told CNN's Larry King.

Woodward also said in interviews this summer and fall that the damage done by Plame's name being revealed in the media was "quite minimal."

"When I think all of the facts come out in this case, it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great," he told National Public Radio this summer.

Now, let me tell you something. I am a repoter. By the time he was my age, Woodward had already scored the biggest story in American politics in a generation. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the work Woodward has done.

But somewhere along the line, it has become quite clear that Bob Woodward has crawled into bed (figuratively!) with his high-level sources. Look at that above mumbojumbo that Woodward utters. It sounds like it came from the RNC fax blaster.

Further, Bush at War, as most agree, was a book-length work of stenography. Indeed, I distinctly remember hearing an interview with Terry Gross in December of 2002, and nearly drove my car off the road when I heard this exchange: When asked if he thought we were going to war with Iraq, he hemmed, he hawed, he stalled. And then, he gave it a "50 percent chance." Now, either that's self-delusion, or that's buying the transparent crap Bush was mumbling about the U.N. and inspectors and resolutions. It doesn't pass the laugh test.

As for burning those sources, that is another matter altogether. This is an exceedingly painful and difficult case for reporters, and I can sympathize with Woodward on this.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:48 PM

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?