News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Rice and Rumsfeld deny role in leak of CIA secret

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Monday November 21, 2005
The Guardian

Senior members of the Bush administration yesterday scrambled to deny that they leaked the identity of a CIA operative to the Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward. The secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, travelling in Asia with President Bush, denied that she had told the veteran reporter that the wife of former diplomat Joseph Wilson, a critic of the invasion of Iraq, was a CIA operative. "Secretary Rice wasn't Woodward's source," her senior adviser, Jim Wilkinson, told reporters.

Ms Rice was joined yesterday by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who also said that while he had had conversations with Woodward, the subject of Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, had never come up. The rekindled interest in the leak came after Woodward revealed that he had testified before the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, last week. Woodward said he was told of Ms Plame's identity before Lewis "Scooter" Libby revealed it to columnist Bob Novak.
Woodward, who made his name with the Watergate investigation, has come under attack for keeping the information secret for two years. The Washington Post's ombudsman criticised him yesterday for withholding what he knew about the leak investigation from his editor and for making public statements that were dismissive of the Plame investigation without disclosing his involvement. Deborah Howell said the newspaper took a "hit to its credibility" and called for Woodward's work to be overseen. "He has to operate under the rules that govern the rest of the staff - even if he's rich and famous," she wrote.

Lawyers for Mr Libby argue that the revelation weakens the case against him.


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