Can Bob Novak Change Media’s View of Valerie Plame Wilson Affair?
Four years ago, syndicated columnist Bob Novak wrote an article about a man few Americans had ever heard of that included information about this man’s wife who also was practically an unknown entity.
This set off a media firestorm, and, given that the president at the time was a Republican, included the usual misinformation from the usual suspects.
Four years later, regardless of no one actually being charged with the crime of outing a CIA operative, or a special prosecutor not concluding that the wife in question actually was outed, the media, hell-bent on destroying a Republican president, refuse to report the truth.
Might this change given Novak’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” wherein he once again addressed details surrounding this scandal that seem impossible to penetrate the mental block the press have created regarding this matter (video available here, partial transcript follows, h/t Hot Air)?
MR. TIM RUSSERT, HOST: You begin the book, as you might expect, a discussion of the whole Valerie Plame situation. Let me read a little bit and talk about it.
“I was ushered into [Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s] office promptly at 3 p.m. [on July 8, 2003]. for my visit. I assumed, however, that what Armitage said would not be attributed to him but would not be off the record. That is, I could write about information he gave me, but would not identify him by name. I then asked Armitage a question. Why would the CIA send Joseph Wilson on the mission to Niger? ‘Well,’ Armitage replied, ‘you know his wife works at CIA, and she suggested that he be sent to Niger.’ ‘His wife works at’” the “‘CIA?’ I asked. ‘Yeah, in counterproliferation,’” he, he said. “He mentioned her by first name, Valerie. Armitage smiled and said: ‘That’s real Evans and Novak, isn’t it?’” Suggesting a green light to print it, in your mind.
MR. BOB NOVAK, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: That’s right, of course.
MR. RUSSERT: Then you go on to say in the book, “Senior White House adviser Karl Rove returned my call late that afternoon,” July 8th, 2003, the same day.
“I mentioned” “I had heard that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA in the counterproliferation section and that she had suggested Wilson be sent to Niger. I distinctly remember Rove’s reply: ‘Oh, you know that, too.’ Rove and I also discussed other aspects of Wilson’s mission, but since he never has disclosed them publicly, neither have I.” So you considered Rove’s comments, “Oh, you know that, too,” as a confirmation?
MR. NOVAK: Yes. And of course, there’s also a third source, and that was the public relations man at the CIA, Bill Harlow, who, who admitted, who confirmed that she worked in the counterproliferation division. But he said that she didn’t suggest the—that her husband go. That’s—I think that was an incorrect information he gave me, but I I also put that in the column, that a source from the CIA said he was—she was not suggest—he did—she did not suggest her husband make the mission.
MR. RUSSERT: In hindsight, should you have identified Valerie Plame as a CIA agent?
MR. NOVAK: There was no indication by, by the official spokesman for the CIA or anybody else that anybody was put in danger, that—I suddenly didn’t get a direct call from George Tenet, the CIA director, who I knew. And if he wanted to stop me from doing it, he could’ve, so I, I saw there was no pressure from me. They asked me not, not to use her name, but didn’t say that it was anybody in danger or there was any security violation as a result.
MR. RUSSERT: The president said early on in this that if anyone broke the law, that he would deal with it. And now he’s saying, “Well, I wish that someone had come forward and raised their hand and said this had happened, but let’s move on.”
MR. NOVAK: Well, Mr. Armitage did come forward. He, he—before a special prosecutor was even named, he had—after a story appeared in which I said there was not a partisan gunslinger who gave me the information, he identified himself to the Justice Department. So they—that did come forward. And, of course, the wrong investigation by Mr. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, came after they knew that—who had been the leaker and had made a decision, obviously, that no law had been broken. Because nobody was ever pros—Mr. Armitage was not prosecuted, nobody else was prosecuted.
Let’s try to add this all up for a seemingly brain-dead, and certainly disingenuous media:
- Armitage told Novak about Plame
- A CIA public relations man confirmed Plame worked for the CIA, and was Wilson’s wife
- Nobody at the CIA informed Novak – a reporter, mind you – that releasing information about Plame would put her at risk
- Nobody at the CIA contacted Novak to prevent him from publishing this article
- Armitage told the Justice Department that he was Novak’s source before Fitzgerald was named as special prosecutor
- Armitage was never prosecuted for “outing” Plame
- Nobody else was prosecuted for “outing” Plame
Why do the media add up this relatively simple one plus one equation and come up with three?
Maybe more important, is there anything anybody can do – including Novak – that can help them come up with two?