An Editor and Publisher article released late last night came to an aggressive conclusion from a front-page New York Times story by Todd Purdum. In E&P’s estimate, since Purdum reported that Vice President Dick Cheney has not specifically denied being the newly revealed source of Valerie Plame’s name to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, this suggests that Purdum was “[wondering]” if Cheney could be the source:
“In an article for Thursday's New York Times, reporter Todd Purdum, through the process of elimination, leaves Vice President Cheney still standing as a high ranking Bush administration official who has not denied being Bob Woodward's newly revealed key source in the Plame/CIA leak case.”
As E&P reported, Purdum gave a list of White House officials that have come forward through spokesmen to deny that they were Woodward’s source. These included President Bush, White House chief of staff Andrew Card, deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, White House counsel Dan Bartlett, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former CIA director George Tenet, and former deputy director of the CIA John Mclaughlin.
"Vice President Cheney did not join the parade of denials. A spokeswoman said he would have no comment on an ongoing investigation. Several other officials could not be reached for comment."
From this lack of a formal denial, E&P concluded that the Times is wondering if Cheney is Woodward’s source. Yet, Purdum never actually suggested this. In fact, Purdum listed other government officials who are believed to have known who Plame was. These included: “Marc Grossman, then the under secretary of state for political affairs; Carl Ford, then the head of the State Department's intelligence bureau; and Richard L. Armitage, then deputy secretary of state.” According to Purdum, "Mr. Grossman declined to comment on Wednesday, and Mr. Ford did not reply to a telephone call and an e-mail message."
Furthermore, Prudum addressed others that were referred to by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who had allegedly spoken with Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis Libby about Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger:
“Others mentioned in the indictment as having discussed Mr. Wilson's trip with Mr. Libby in June or July 2003 include Eric Edelman, then Mr. Cheney's national security adviser; Catherine Martin, then his director of public affairs; Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary; Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's political adviser; and David Addington, the counsel to the vice president. Other administration officials known to have been interviewed by investigators include Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser and is now secretary of state; Stephen Hadley, then deputy national security adviser and now the national security adviser; Mr. Card; and Mr. Bartlett.”
Oddly, E&P neglected to include this information in its article.