LEAKGATE: Armitage is being used as a “patsy”?

Source of C.I.A. Leak Said to Admit Role

Published: August 30, 2006

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 — Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the C.I.A. leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday.

Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, testifying to the 9/11 Commission in March 2004.

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Mr. Armitage did not return calls for comment. But the lawyer and other associates of Mr. Armitage have said he has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a Central Intelligence Agency officer.

The identification of Mr. Armitage as the original leaker to Mr. Novak ends what has been a tantalizing mystery. In recent months, however, Mr. Armitage’s role had become clear to many, and it was recently reported by Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post.

In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Mr. Armitage disclosed casually to Mr. Novak that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. at the end of an interview in his State Department office. Mr. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a written memorandum by Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby’s inquiry was prompted by an Op-Ed article on May 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof and an article on June 12, 2003, in The Washington Post by Walter Pincus.

The two articles reported on a trip by a former ambassador to Africa sponsored by the C.I.A. to check reports that Iraq was seeking enriched uranium to help with its nuclear arms program.

Neither article identified the ambassador, but it was known inside the government that he was Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ms. Wilson’s husband. White House officials wanted to know how much of a role she had in selecting him for the assignment.

Ms. Wilson was a covert employee, and after Mr. Novak printed her identity, the agency requested an investigation to see whether her name had been leaked illegally.

Some administration critics said her name had been made public in a campaign to punish Mr. Wilson, who had written in a commentary in The Times that his investigation in Africa led him to believe that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify an attack on Iraq.

The complaints after Mr. Novak’s column led to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identity.

The special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, did not bring charges in connection with laws that prohibit the willful disclosure of the identity of an C.I.A. officer. But Mr. Fitzgerald did indict Mr. Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, saying Mr. Libby had testified untruthfully to a grand jury and federal agents when he said he learned about Ms. Wilson’s role at the agency from reporters rather than from several officials, including Mr. Cheney.

According to an account in a coming book, “Hubris, the Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War’’ by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, excerpts of which appeared in Newsweek this week, Mr. Armitage told a few State Department colleagues that he might have been the leaker whose identity was being sought.

The book says Mr. Armitage realized that when Mr. Novak published a second column in October 2003 that said his source had been an official who was “not a political gunslinger.’’

The Justice Department was quickly informed, and Mr. Armitage disclosed his talks with Mr. Novak in subsequent interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, even before Mr. Fitzgerald’s appointment.

The book quotes Carl W. Ford Jr., then head of the intelligence and research bureau at the State Department, as saying that Mr. Armitage had told him, “I may be the guy who caused this whole thing,’’ and that he regretted having told the columnist more than he should have.

Mr. Grossman’s memorandum did not mention that Ms. Wilson had undercover status.

Apart from Mr. Ford, as quoted in the book, the lawyer and colleagues of Mr. Armitage who discussed the case have spoken insisting on anonymity, apparently because Mr. Armitage was still not comfortable with the public acknowledgment of his role.

He was also the source for another journalist about Ms. Wilson, a reporter who did not write about her. The lawyers and associates said Mr. Armitage also told Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post and a well-known author, of her identity in June 2003.

Mr. Woodward was a late player in the legal drama when he disclosed last November that he had the received the information and testified to a grand jury about it after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/washington/30armitage.html?ex=1314590400&en=371ecd094bbd6ae6&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

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Agent's cover 'was blown by gossip'
By Tim Reid in Washington

THE leak of information about an undercover CIA official that triggered a special prosecutor’s investigation was an inadvertent piece of gossip from Richard Armitage, the former Deputy Secretary of State, it emerged this week, undermining claims that the agent was maliciously “outed” by the White House.
The revelation that Mr Armitage, a critic of the Administration’s neoconservatives, was the official who first exposed Valerie Plame makes it harder for opponents of President Bush to claim that her unmasking was part of a White House conspiracy against her husband, a high-profile critic of the Iraq war.

Former colleagues of Mr Armitage, briefing anonymously, confirmed claims made in a forthcoming book that he had been the source of the 2003 leak, but had passed on the information to the conservative columnist Robert Novak “in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip”, according to one report.

Ms Plame is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat. He wrote in July 2003 that the Administration had exaggerated claims about Iraq’s weapons to justify the invasion. He based his allegations on a trip that he had made to Niger to investigate whether Saddam Hussein had sought uranium there.

Soon afterwards Mr Novak revealed that Mr Wilson was married to Ms Plame, a CIA operative. He suggested correctly that it was she who had recommended her husband for the Niger trip.

Colleagues of Mr Armitage, who had grave misgivings about the war, say that he had no idea that Ms Plame’s CIA status was classified when he mentioned her to Mr Novak.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2339057,00.html
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Who told ARMITAGE???

Saturday :: May 20, 2006

On Richard Armitage and Plame Investigation

The New York Daily News reports today that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage may be a key witness for the Government in the case against Scooter Libby and may have incriminating evidence against Karl Rove.

More: http://talkleft.com/new_archives/014894.html

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Interesting Posts:

The Powell-Armitage-Wilkerson Cabal
The American Thinker ^ | 8/30/06 | Ed Lasky

Posted on 08/30/2006 1:02:09 PM PDT by the Real fifi

Draw your own conclusions from the fact that Armitage’s best friend Colin Powell called Dick Cheney’s supporters (including Scooter Libby, Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz) the “Gestapo Office” (quite insulting considering that there is a history of relatives lost in the Holocaust among them).

Factor in that Powell called Doug Feith “a card-carrying member of the Likud Party” and referred to the Likudnicks in the White House controlling policy during his “exit interview with Bush” (see Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq) – thereby showing his support for anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1692722/posts

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There's something very telling in the fact that Armitage met with Libby for 15 minutes about Pakistan and spent 1 hour to schmooze with Woodward. For those who don't recall, India and Pakistan had just agreed to normalize relations in May 2003 (after almost starting a nuclear war a year earlier) and Musharraf was coming to D.C. in about 3 weeks (June 24, 2003).

Just so everybody has this clear, let's review the Plame chronology:

May 29 - Libby calls up Grossman to ask about "the unnamed former ambassador". Why didn't he call Armitage? INR reported to Armitage, not Grossman.

June 6 - Libby meets with Armitage for 15 minutes to talk about Pakistan. Despite the fact that Libby's been getting updates from Grossman about the Wilson mission that obviously depend on information from INR, Libby doesn't raise the issue with Armitage. Grossman just happens to be in Europe/North Africa at the time of this Armitage/Libby meeting.

June 9 - Libby gets CIA fax about Wilson trip and Libby writes "Wilson" and "Joe Wilson"
June 10 - INR memo produced.

June 11 - Libby talks to Grenier(?) about Wilson's trip and Plame's employment
June 11 or 12 - Grossman meets with Libby (and others?) at the White House and briefs him on the INR memo.

June 12 - Pincus article is published. Libby and Cheney discuss Plame's undercover status.

June 13 - Armitage meets with Woodward. Somebody, presumably Armitage, tells Woodward that Wilson's wife is an analyst.

http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2006/08/the_armitage_ne.html
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Think it was Armitage...as the CONFIRMING source, only?
Perhaps as one of two or THREE confirming sources. But make no mistake, this shit originated at Sixteen Hundred Penn...and Novak KNOWS it. Odds are good Novak heard it FIRST from Libby, and went elsewhere for more juice. It's probably why Libby is in such deep shit. There had to be a BOLD lie up in there somewhere....
Remember the phone call from Tweety to Wilson? "Karl Rove says your wife is fair game." Matt Cooper and Kkkarl???
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8445696/site/newsweek /
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x2801281#2801287
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Please allow me the luxury of a repost on this one.

It amazes me that the press and the reading public continue to accept one after another admission of <oops!> innocent, idle “gossip” which “just happened” to be about the same low level CIA agent, and all “coincidentally” occured within a one to two week timeframe and <wink wink> just managed to get to as many as SIX different reporters!

Whoopsie!

C’mon...how much evidence do we need to conclude that this was a coordinated campaign? And Cheney - he...SHAZAYUM”...looks under his desk and finds...GLORYOSKY!...a copy of the Sunday Times with Wilson’s op ed article and his ruminating handwritten notes about whether a trip to Niger is a boondoggle. Are you kidding, Dickie? Do you know what Niger is like? You think that’s second choice to Palm Springs?

Please understand who these people are. They are greedy, imperialistic warmongers who lusted for the war in Iraq long before 911. They ginned the intel to make their case - all LYING to the American people in doing so, and they have spent the last four years covering their tracks. Outing Valerie Plame was a warning to the intel and diplomatic corps - “Fuck with us and you get fucked.” After all, you can’t give EVERYONE the Medal of Freedom, like they did George Tenet, to buy his silence.

Think I’m wrong about Dick Armitage being a Cheney stooge? Well, as I wrote in my last post on this subject, do the research.

Take a look at the website for the Project for the New American Century ("PNAC") - http://www.newamericancentury.org. Then look at the “Letters/Statements” section. Then check out the 1998 letter to President Clinton. This letter has been discussed at some length in the blogosphere (i.e. why should we believe it was 911 that motivated this crowd to attack Iraq when they were lusting to do so in 1998?). But the signers have not. Look at the signators of the letter.

There’s Dick Armitage. And also the following people, listed with their positions in the first Bush administration:

Elliott Abrams - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations

John Bolton - Under Secretary of State, Arms Control and International Security (now you-know-who)

Paula Dobriansky - Under Secretary of State, Global Affairs

Francis Fukuyama - Member, President’s Council on Bioethics

Zalmay Khalilzad – US Ambassador to Afghanistan, headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department in 2000 and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.[2]

Richard Perle – Member and former chairman of the Defense Policy Board

Peter W. Rodman - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Donald Rumsfeld – Secretary of Defense

William Schneider, Jr. - Chairman of the Defense Science Board

Paul Wolfowitz – Deputy Secretary of Defense

R. James Woolsey – Member of the Policy Advisory Board to the Secretary of Defense

Robert Zoellick - U.S. Trade Representative, member of President Bush’s cabinet.

The administration is crawling with PNAC people, including Mr. Armitage.

So...what’s this got to do with Cheney? After all, he didn’t sign the letter.

Oh...just this. Cheney is a cofounder of PNAC.

It’s so sad that this administration is so emboldened by the fecklessness demonstrated by the press in the runup to the war, and the sad, uninformed nature of our voting public (more knowing the names of the Three Stooges than two of our USSC judges) that they think...no, KNOW...that they can get away with this charade.
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20060829_armitage_cia_leak/
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Latest in the CIA Leak case: Another Shoe Drops on Armitage


Written by Biloxi
Mittwoch, 23 August 2006
Here is the latest spin from the media: Then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with reporter Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003, the same time Woodward had testified an "administration official" discussed CIA employee Valerie Plame with him. Once again, the media is a year late and dollar short on this news. Jason Leopold from Truthout.org beat everyone to the scoop of this story.

According to Jason's article from November 22, 2005, reporter Bob Woodward "made a stunning announcement when he revealed that he was told about Plame Wilson in mid-June 2003 by ‘current or former administration officials" in a interview on CNN's Larry King Live on November 21, 2005. After watching Special Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald's news conference on October 28, 2003, Woodward said:
"I went, 'Whoa' because I knew I'd learned about this mid-June, a week, 10 days before. I then went into incredibly aggressive reporting mode and called the source the beginning of the week."
According to Woodward, his source told him at least three times that "he had to go to the prosecutor." Woodward narrowed the date of his conversation with the unnamed administration official to between June 13 and June 16, 2003. According to Jason, "the list of suspects can be easily boiled down to two: National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage."
According to a person familiar with the information prosecutors gathered, Woodward's meeting with his unidentified source was June 13, 2003. So, we know that Armitage was Woodward's source. Stephen Hadley was rumored in several newspapers as being Woodward's source. We know that reporters always have to have at least two sources. If Armitage was Woodward's source, then who was Woodward's other source? That remains a mystery.


Armitage and Woodward's meeting centered on the events of June 10, 2003. On this date, the head of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the State Department, Carl Ford, drafted a classified State Department memo containing information about Valerie Plame for Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman. This memo was sent to Scooter Libby. The memo "identified Plame's married name as Valerie Wilson which was listed in the second paragraph of the three-page memo." It was marked "SNF" for secret, non-foreign.


Two days after the INR memo was sent to Libby (June12, 2003), Walter Pincus published the story of Wilson's Niger trip and questions that raised doubts about documents showing an attempt by Iraq to purchase uranium from Niger. The INR shared their doubts about the authenticity of the Niger documents with Powell and Armitage.

The best question is why Armitage talked to Woodward. According to Woodward, he thought that the information about Plame Wilson was passed along to him in a "casual" matter by his source while he was doing research for his book, Plan to Attack.

Woodward said that most likely "if Armitage told me anything, it would have been something along the lines of how the agency disagreed with the administration's intelligence on Iraq and the infighting that took place behind the scenes." And would Armitage give confidential information regarding intelligence to a reporter?
Woodward leaves a lot of holes in his story. According to Armitage's calendar, he met with Woodward from 2:00-3:00 for a "private appointment." It certainly doesn't sound like the meeting was a "casual matter." According to the Washington Post, Woodward answered questions from Fitzgerald under oath for more than two hours on Nov. 14, 2005.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Fitzgerald that the "unnamed official casually told me in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive."
Yet, Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about a "previously undisclosed conversation after the unnamed official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3, 2005 -- one week after Libby, was indicted in the investigation. " As far as Armitage, he discussed a classified covert identity with a reporter. He did warn Woodward to do the right thing and go to the prosecutor. But Woodward did not heed to the warnings.


Armitage came clean with the prosecutor after Fitzgerald's press conference, but Woodward suffered the consequences for not coming forward soon. Both paid a price for their failures. Because Armitage's name has now been revealed as Woodward's source, the Wilsons are now considering suing Armitage in their civil lawsuit case. Heldi Sloan, Wilsons' attorney, said that based on Armitage's calendar entry, "it sure sounds like he was Woodward's source."


Sloan said that her real concern is whether "Armitage revealed Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak, who was first to get the information into print." Also, Sloan said that this new information about Armitage doesn't let Libby and the others off the hook on the civil case but "it widens conspiracy."


The Wilsons' attorneys plan depositions from Libby, Rove, Cheney, and the 10 unnamed government officials, including Armitage. Armitage, Woodward, and the individuals named in the Wilsons lawsuit really paid a huge price for their silence and not holding themselves accountable in the leak case. It is too little too late.

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Posted August 22, 2006 09:53 PM
Plame Threatens To Sue Fmr. Deputy Secretary Of State Armitage…

Plame Considering Suing Armitage

Aug 22, 6:47 PM (ET)

By MATT APUZZO

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former CIA officer Valerie Plame is considering suing the recent No. 2 State Department official in a case accusing members of the Bush administration of conspiring to leak her identity to the media, Plame's attorney said Tuesday.

Official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a one-hour meeting marked "private appointment" with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003.

That was the same day Woodward met with a confidential source who spoke to him about Plame, according to a person familiar with information gathered by prosecutors. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the material remains sealed.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame's identity as a one-time CIA covert official. Nobody has been charged with the leak but former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been accused of lying to investigators and to a grand jury.

Plame has sued Vice President Dick Cheney, White House aide Karl Rove and Libby, saying they leaked her name to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the administration's march to war with Iraq.

The calendar released to the AP is the first confirmation that Woodward and Armitage met during the key time in the CIA leak case.

Plame attorney Melanie Sloan said she was considering adding Armitage's name to the suit. Based on the calendar entry, Sloan said, "it sure sounds like" he was Woodward's source.

The real question, Sloan said, is whether Armitage revealed Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak, who was the first to get the information into print. If so, she said that doesn't get Libby or others off the hook in the civil case, but it widens the conspiracy.

"Then I think maybe Armitage was in on it," Sloan said. "The question is just what was Armitage's role?"

Neither Woodward nor Armitage would discuss the meeting.

Plame's attorneys plan to seek depositions from the defendants and others, including Armitage, about the leak.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/08/22/plame-threatens-to-sue-fm_n_27806.html?p=5

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Insiders: Richard Armitage Will NOT Be Indicted

May 19, 2006



Bobby Ray Inman's claims are "BS", claimed one very prominent Washington insider after reading TWN's report on Inman's claim that Richard Armitage would be indicted in the Valerie Plame Wilson outing probe.

Another well-placed insider who has interacted directly with many of the key personalities involved in the investigation wrote this to me:

I'm sure Inman is wrong on Armitage. But I am also sure we'll hear more about Armitage's direct involvement. I am additionally sure we will hear about Armitage as a witness against Rove if he is indicted.
Another person whom I can't identify but has direct knowledge of the direction of Fitzgerald's investigation as it pertains to Armitage and Rove stated that what Inman claims "is not the case". This source offered further that one "would be on 100 percent solid ground" with the claim that Armitage would NOT be indicted.

I can't disclose this source, but I completely trust the veracity of this comment.

That said, I have learned from several other sources that Richard Armitage was neck deep in the Valerie Plame story. According to several insiders, as soon as Armitage realized mistakes he had made, he marched into Colin Powell and laid out "everything" in full detail.

As others have written and reported, Richard Armitage is a major part of the story and engaged in indiscreet discussions regarding Valerie Plame Wilson and her alleged role in the Joe Wilson trip to Niger.

However, unlike what Admiral Inman asserted, Richard Armitage is in no legal jeopardy -- none.

Two sources have reported that Richard Armitage has testified three times before the grand jury and has completely cooperated and has been, as one source reported, "a complete straight-shooter" and "honest about his role and mistakes".

Another person with deep knowledge about this investigation called to say that Fitzgerald seems to have abandoned any interest in securing indictments regarding the "outing" of Plame and has invested his efforts in challenging the "white collar cover-ups" involved. According to this source, the information provided by Richard Armitage is -- more than any other information -- what has put Karl Rove at major risk of indictment.

I felt that these other insider perspectives are important as they are so uniformly consistent that Inman's claims are wrong, that Armitage made mistakes and immediately owned up to them, that Armitage has been completely forthcoming in the investigation, and that Karl Rove remains a prime indictment target for Patrick Fitzgerald.
http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001399.php

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