More embarrassment for Bush as hero of Watergate enters "row" over outed agent
THE mysterious source who gave America’s foremost journalist, Bob Woodward, a tip-off about the CIA agent at the centre of one of Washington’s biggest political storms was Stephen Hadley, the White House national security adviser, according to lawyers close to the investigation.
[What the hell's going on in the world of sources yo?]
Woodward said the unnamed official told him about Plame in “an offhand, casual manner . . . almost gossip” and “I didn’t attach any importance to it”. He never wrote up the story.
With more journalists in the loop than previously identified, it will be harder for
Fitzgerald to prove Libby was deliberately lying when he said he first learnt of Plame from a journalist rather than the CIA.
Two years ago, when Plame’s identity was first revealed, Hadley was Condoleezza Rice’s deputy at the NSC. He is also thought to have been a key source for two books by Woodward on the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
"Obviously, the White House thought they were through with this investigation," said Steven Reich, who was a senior associate counsel to President Bill Clinton. "It appears now that that information came out earlier than anyone previously thought and it potentially could have come from a source no one previously knew about."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was not the senior Bush administration official who told Washington Post editor Bob Woodward that White House critic Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, a Rice aide said Saturday.
"Secretary Rice wasn't Woodward's source," Rice senior adviser Jim Wilkinson said.
Rice was President Bush's White House national security adviser in June 2003, when Woodward says a highly placed official told him of Valerie Plame's CIA connection. Woodward has said the source was someone other than I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and the only person indicted in a federal probe of the leak case.
Rice took over from Colin Powell as the nation's top diplomat in January. She is traveling with Bush in Asia this week, as is her successor as national security adviser, Stephen Hadley.