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November 02, 2005

"Covert" Operative

Mark Kleiman relays Matt Cooper:

Mark A. R. Kleiman: Rove told Cooper; Libby knew VWP was covert: Matt Cooper says that:

  1. He first learned about Valerie Plame Wilson from Karl Rove.
  2. Scooter Libby confirmed, not only that she worked at the CIA, but that she was covert.

Time Reporter Says He Learned Agent's Identity From Rove: Oct. 31 2005 — - One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer says he first learned the agent's name from President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove. Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with "Good Morning America," that the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative.

A grand jury charged Libby on Friday with five felonies alleging obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.... Wilson has argued that the Bush administration revealed his wife's identity in order to silence his opposition to the war. "There is no question. I first learned about Valerie Plame working at the CIA from Karl Rove," Cooper said.

Libby has since claimed that he heard the Plame rumors from other reporters. Cooper disputed that version of events. "I don't remember it happening that way," he said. "I was taking notes at the time and I feel confident." If a trial goes ahead, Cooper said he would name Rove as his source of the information. "Before I spoke to Karl Rove I didn't know Mr. Wilson had a wife and that she had been involved in sending him to Africa."

Hat tip: Crooks and Liars. (John credits Susan at Booman Tribune, but I can't find the item there.)

I must say I do wonder why Scott McClellan is still around. Shouldn't Cooper--or one of the other journalists who knew--have found a way to signal McClellan in the fall of 2003 that he should not assert that Rove and Libby were uninvolved? Shouldn't Cheney--who knew everything worth knowing--have told Scott this isn't a place he wants to be? The fact that everybody has been viewing McClellan not as a member of the team but as a patsy to be hoodwinked must be unbearably humiliating.

Posted by DeLong at November 2, 2005 09:51 AM