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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Plame Gossip - Woodward/Hadley edition

The Financial Times says Woodward's source was Hadley. The tone implies certainty.

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......

A White House official said the national security adviser’s ambiguity was unintentional and repeated that Hadley was not Woodward’s source. But others close to the investigation insisted that he was.

And, I would just like to revisit the idea that, despite Woodward's claim that it was his "conscience" that brought this forward, that it was, in fact, Rove's eleventh hour "new information" that forced Woodward forward. In the first version of the Woodward story, he claims that his source contacted him to issue a confidentiality waiver. By Friday's Time piece, the story had reversed and it was Woodward's conscience that prompted the disclosure. Quite frankly with the ethical level shown by Woodward in all this, I'm far more likely to believe he was forced.

In his "eleventh hour" desperation to stave off indictment, did Rove turn on Woodward's source? Sure looks that way.

UPDATE: This is a very long and complex piece at The Next Hurrah which also theorizes Rove's eleventh hour new information as leading to Woodward's attack of conscience. It's pretty good in that it offers the more subtle proposition that Rove turned the pressure on Woodward by partially informing on him to the prosecutor, and then leveraging him with the threat in order to buy some time. If you're deep in this, it's worth a read.

UPDATE 2: Although this entry is decidedly pro Hadley as Woodward's leak source, I definitely do not want to shut the door on Armitage as a second significant possibility. I spoke with someone I know who recently retired out of Washington Republican circles, not top level by any means, but certainly in enough to know what the speculations are, and he emphasized Armitage. I am reminded of this because the Left Coaster is making a pitch for Armitage.

UPDATE 3: Firedoglake has a pretty interesting argument for Cheney. Boiled down a bit, Woodward decided to tell his editor about his source the morning after a night released NYTimes story first reported that Libby got Plame's name from Cheney.

Don't know anymore, but the blog consensus list seems to have narrowed to three: Hadley, Armitage, and Cheney.

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