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

Friday, November 18, 2005 Why Woodward's Source Came Clean -- Page 1

The famed Washington Post journalist describes the series of events that lead him and his source to Fitzgerald
As reporters keep scrambling to find out who told Bob Woodward about Joe Wilson’s wife, Woodward himself has told TIME about a related mystery: what made the source finally come forward. When the Washington Post reporter went public with his involvement in the CIA leak case earlier this week, he failed to explain why his source waited silently for two years before coming clean to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. In an interview today, Woodward described the sequence of conversations with his source and Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr. that led to the latest twist in Fitzgerald’s investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Wilson.

In the final weeks before the grand jury indicted vice presidential aide I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby on Oct. 28 for perjury and obstruction of justice, Woodward says he was asked by Downie to help report on the status of the probe. In the course of his reporting, Woodward says, "I learned something more" about the disclosure of Plame's identity, which prompted him to admit to Downie for the first time that he had been told of Plame’s CIA job by a senior administration official in mid June 2003.

In his press conference announcing Libby’s indictment, Fitzgerald noted that, "Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson." Woodward realized, given that the indictment stated Libby disclosed the information to New York Times reporter Miller on June 23, that Libby was not the first official to talk about Wilson's wife to a reporter. Woodward himself had received the information earlier.

According to Woodward, that triggered a call to his source. "I said it was clear to me that the source had told me [about Wilson's wife] in mid-June," says Woodward, "and this person could check his or her records and see that it was mid-June. My source said he or she had no alternative but to go to the prosecutor. I said, 'If you do, am I released?'", referring to the confidentiality agreement between the two. The source said yes, but only for purposes of discussing it with Fitzgerald, not for publication.

Woodward said he had tried twice before, once in 2004 and once earlier this year, to persuade the source to remove the confidentiality restriction, but with no success.

Asked if this was the first time his source had spoken with Fitzgerald in the investigation, Woodward said "I'm not sure. It's quite possibly not the first time." But it is the first time Woodward had contact with Fitzgerald, even though Woodward's name shows up on various White House officials' calendars, phone logs and other records during June and July, 2003, the time frame that is critical to determining whether a crime was committed when information about Plame's employment was shared with reporters. Those White House records were turned over to Fitzgerald long ago.

Woodward expressed some surprise that Fitzgerald hadn't contacted him earlier in the probe, but had high praise for the prosecutor whose investigation he has openly criticized on television. During his time with the prosecutor, Woodward said, he found Fitzgerald "incredibly sensitive to what we do. He didn't infringe on my other reporting, which frankly surprised me. He said 'This is what I need, I don't need any more.'"

Print Story: Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings on Yahoo! News

By Adam Entous

In a sign he may seek new or revised charges in the CIA leak case, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said on Friday his investigation would be going back before a grand jury.

It was the first time Fitzgerald said he would be presenting information to a grand jury since the indictment three weeks ago against Vice President Dick Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative, which has reached into the highest levels of the White House, could be moving into a new phase that could lead to charges against other top administration officials.

Lawyers in the case have said President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, remained under investigation and could still be charged.

Fitzgerald has been investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's identity for two years and the grand jury that indicted Libby expired after it brought charges against him for perjury and obstructing justice on October 28.

Plame's cover at the CIA was blown after her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to support invading Iraq. Wilson said it was done to undercut his credibility.

"The investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Libby, Fitzgerald said in a motion he filed providing for public disclosure of some evidence in the Libby case.

The special counsel had said Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter about Plame. But this week Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward testified under oath that a senior Bush administration official had casually told him a month earlier - in mid-June 2003 - about Plame's position at the CIA.


Woodward's sworn deposition sparked renewed speculation about who first leaked Plame's identity, and sent Bush administration officials scrambling to deny involvement.

A lawyer in the case said Woodward's source had not previously testified before a grand jury.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not answer directly whether Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was Woodward's source.

White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley, in Pusan, South Korea, where Bush was attending an Asia-Pacific summit, left it to aides to put out the word that he was not the source.

Neither was Cheney nor Bush, according to current and former officials and their lawyers, none of whom would agree to be identified.

Plame's husband has called for an inquiry by The Washington Post into the conduct of Woodward, who criticized the CIA leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.

In his court filing, Fitzgerald backed off seeking a blanket order to keep all documents in the case secret and agreed to focus more narrowly on grand jury transcripts and documents containing sensitive private personal information.

The blanket protective order was challenged by Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and The Associated Press and a hearing was scheduled for later on Friday.

"We still have concerns but this goes a long way to addressing the major problems," said attorney Theodore Boutrous, who is representing Dow Jones.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Will Dunham)

Print Story: Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings on Yahoo! News

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.

In filings obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fitzgerald said "the investigation is continuing" and that "the investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Fitzgerald did not elaborate in the document. For two years he has been investigating the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. The grand jury that indicted Libby expired after the charges were filed late last month.

President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, was not indicted along with Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove remained under investigation and may still be charged.

Earlier this week Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward disclosed that he testified under oath to Fitzgerald that a senior Bush administration official had casually told him in mid-June 2003 about CIA operative Valerie Plame's position at the agency.

Fitzgerald's comments about bringing proceedings before a different grand jury were contained in court filings in which he backed off seeking a blanket order to keep all documents in the CIA leak case secret.

The Raw Story | Sources who identified Hadley as Woodward's source dismiss denials

Filed by Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna

Despite news reports Thursday asserting National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley was not the source who told Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent, sources with direct knowledge of the case still maintain that Hadley was the “senior administration official” who met with Woodward.

The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters published stories late Thursday in which anonymous officials denied that Hadley was Woodward’s source. Asked Friday if he was the source, Hadley remarked, "I've also seen press reports from White House officials saying that I am not one of his sources." Leaving the room, he refused to answer directly.

“It is what it is,” he quipped.

Earlier this week, Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose investigative stories on the Watergate scandal forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon, said he had first learned about Plame’s identity in June 2003. The name was divulged in a period when Vice President Dick Cheney and his aides had sought to find out who she was in an attempt to discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson, who had called into question the veracity of the administration’s prewar intelligence.

Attorneys close to the CIA leak investigation reasserted late Thursday that Hadley approached Fitzgerald after Libby’s indictment and alerted him to the June 2003 conversation he had with Woodward, and that he subsequently told Woodward he could testify.

When pressed further, the sources told RAW STORY there is a record at the National Security Council of Hadley’s meeting with Woodward.

A White House spokesperson denied Friday that Hadley was Woodward’s source. The individual declined to go on the record by name, saying the issue is sensitive, but denied categorically that the National Security Adviser had told Woodward of Plame.

The official asked that RAW STORY not use direct quotes, and said they had given similar instructions to other reporters. When asked about Hadley's comments to the press Friday, the official said ambiguity was not intended.

Lawyers familiar with the case said that Hadley spoke to Woodward in June 2003 about Plame and had revealed her identity in an off-handed manner during an interview Woodward was conducting for his book, “Plan of Attack.”

The sources did not, however, have information as to what prompted Hadley to suddenly come forward.

The individuals said Hadley was the senior Bush official who met with Woodward Wednesday. They previously identified Cheney aides John Hannah and David Wurmser as individuals cooperating in Fitzgerald’s probe; said that Libby and senior Bush advisor Karl Rove were targets; and were the first to reveal that the grand jury was probing Cheney’s role.

Hadley was privy to a June 10, 2003 Intelligence and Research memo prepared by INR head Carl Ford for Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman at the request of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements related to his role in the leak.

Reporters at the Times and Reuters told RAW STORY their sources were anonymous White House officials. The Wall Street Journal cited an NSC aide. None acquired denial directly from Hadley’s office.

Leonard Downie, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, declined to comment on the Hadley report.

"There's no discussion of confidential sources," he said.

Post Editor Foresees Possibility of Naming Leak Source - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 - The executive editor of The Washington Post said on Thursday that if other reporters at the newspaper independently discovered the identity of Bob Woodward's confidential source in the C.I.A. leak case, the newspaper might decide to publish the source's name.

Mr. Woodward, an assistant managing editor at the newspaper and best-selling author, apologized on Wednesday for failing for two years to tell his Post bosses that he had learned from a government official about the C.I.A. officer Valerie Wilson. He testified under oath on Monday in the leak case after receiving permission to do so from his source, but the source has so far refused to permit Mr. Woodward to name him publicly.

"Each reporter is bound only by his own promises of confidentiality," The Post's executive editor, Leonard Downie Jr., said.

While a decision on whether to print the identity would depend on a number of factors, Mr. Downie said, "if the information is found independent of our source relationship, sure we'll print it."

The Post, where Mr. Woodward's aggressive reporting on the Watergate scandal helped define for many Americans the importance of journalists' confidential sources, is now caught between two competing interests.

The identity of Mr. Woodward's source, the first official known to have revealed to a journalist Ms. Wilson's secret C.I.A. employment, is clearly newsworthy - the kind of fact The Post or many other newspapers would put on the front page. And the source's identity is known not only to Mr. Woodward and top Post officials, but to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the case.

But the newspaper, bound by Mr. Woodward's promise of confidentiality, has not shared the source's name with its readers.

"Both values are legitimate - the public's need to know about the conduct of government officials, and the confidentiality of sources," said Bob Steele, who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. "But they're in conflict."

Eugene Roberts Jr., a former managing editor of The New York Times and former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, said The Post's predicament was only one example of difficulties posed by reporters' acceptance of waivers of confidentiality in the leak case to permit them to identify sources to the special prosecutor.

"I don't think we've even begun to see the awkwardness that this will create," Mr. Roberts said. "It leads you inevitably back to the very simple rule that confidentiality should be granted very sparingly, but when it's granted, you can't take it back."

Mr. Roberts said one consequence might be that "people in the know simply won't talk to us because there is a heavy element of risk." He added that one reason Mr. Woodward "has been so successful is that he's had one of the best records in the business of not breaking a confidence."

"What are we giving up if we start intruding on that?" Mr. Roberts said.

Having revealed Mr. Woodward's involvement in the case in an article and a statement from Mr. Woodward on Wednesday and two follow-up articles Thursday, Mr. Downie said he no longer believed that The Post was "in a bind or a dilemma" simply because it had not published the source's name.

"There are often things we know that our readers don't know," he said. "Sometimes it's for reasons of national security or public safety. Sometimes it's because we don't have it confirmed to our satisfaction. It takes us time to get information into publishable form."

Mr. Downie noted that another Post reporter, Walter Pincus, had testified in a deposition about another source in the leak case whom the newspaper had not identified because of a promise of confidentiality.

Mr. Downie said Mr. Woodward was continuing to press his source for permission to print the name, as well as continuing to report on the leak case. "He's always reporting," Mr. Downie said. "I don't know if it'll become a story for him or for another reporter."

In The Post's newsroom, opinions were divided about the Woodward revelation, said Jeff Leen, assistant managing editor for investigations.

"I think some people have been upset and appalled at how the whole thing unfolded and how it affects the paper's reputation," Mr. Leen said. "But the hard-core investigative types are completely behind Woodward. When some people say the sky is falling, others are saying, 'Hold on a minute, this is Bob Woodward, who gave us modern investigative reporting.' "

Mr. Leen said Mr. Woodward, as a prominent author, public speaker and television commentator, "has a complicated role here."

"But the man delivers for this paper and has for many years," Mr. Leen said.

Michael Getler, who recently left the ombudsman's job at The Post for a similar post at PBS, said Mr. Downie must define Mr. Woodward's relationship with the newspaper more clearly if they are to avoid similar episodes in the future.

"Leonard has to have a much more precise set of ground rules with Bob," Mr. Getler said, "or it may be that Bob's relationship with the paper should change. It's essential that the newspaper be first, that the credibility and reliability of the newspaper is paramount, as opposed to the situation of one reporter."

For Benjamin C. Bradlee, The Post's top editor during Watergate and now vice president at large of the newspaper, a question about the Woodward affair was how far interest spread beyond the newsrooms of The Post and its competitors.

"We're so interested in our own selves, especially in these two papers in this city," Mr. Bradlee said in an interview. "Outside the Beltway I feel this story has very minor interest."

Print Story: Hadley Won't Say if He's Woodward's Source on Yahoo! News

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley won't say if he was the source who told Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. But Hadley volunteered on Friday that some administration officials say he's not the leaker.

Accompanying President Bush at a summit here, Hadley was asked at a news briefing whether he was Woodward's source.

Referring to news accounts about the case, Hadley said with a smile, "I've also seen press reports from White House officials saying that I am not one of his sources." He said he would not comment further because the CIA leak case remains under investigation.

Leaving the room, Hadley was asked if his answer amounted to a yes or a no. "It is what it is," he said.

Woodward, in a sworn deposition Monday, said a senior administration official told him in mid-June 2003 that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction.

Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 by columnist Robert Novak, eight days after her husband, a former U.S. ambassador, accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.