it's clear from the story that novak didn't learn plame's identity from rove: in fact it somewhat weakly tries to suggest that rove learned her identity from novak. but the actual facts in the article directly refute that idea. so the nytimes piece probably would have benefitted from an editor to point out and remove the blatant contradictions:
Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said.
Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.
After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."
(emphasis mine.) okay, it is possible that rove didn't know her "name" before speaking to novak. that might in itself be true. but the second bold phrase proves that rove didn't really learn all that much from novak: he basically alreday knew all this stuff. so this "a-ha!" moment was probably more like "i knew she was wilson's wife, but i didn't know valerie was her real name! eureka!"
let's keep on quotin':
The person who provided the information about Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak declined to be identified, citing requests by Mr. Fitzgerald that no one discuss the case. The person discussed the matter in the belief that Mr. Rove was truthful in saying that he had not disclosed Ms. Wilson's identity.
the "person" here is either full of shit or delusional. this revelation does not change the fact that rove leaked plame's identity to matt cooper.
Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, said Thursday his client truthfully testified to the grand jury and expected to be exonerated.
"Karl provided all pertinent information to prosecutors a long time ago," Luskin said. "And prosecutors confirmed when he testified most recently in October 2004 that he is not a target of the investigation."
come on, timesy times... all this statement shows is that rove wasn't a "target" 9 months ago. it does not show whether rove is now or was then a "subject" of the investigation (he probably was and is), nor does it show whether rove transformed from subject to target in the past 9 months.
On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Novak wrote another column in which he described calling two officials who were his sources for the earlier column. The first source, whose identity has not been revealed, provided the outlines of the story and was described by Mr. Novak as "no partisan gunslinger." Mr. Novak wrote that when he called a second official for confirmation, the source said, "Oh, you know about it."
That second source was Mr. Rove, the person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Rove's account to investigators about what he told Mr. Novak was similar in its message although the White House adviser's recollection of the exact words was slightly different. Asked by investigators how he knew enough to leave Mr. Novak with the impression that his information was accurate, Mr. Rove said he had heard parts of the story from other journalists but had not heard Ms. Wilson's name.
so who was novak's first administration source? could it be that rove isn't the only official facing possible indictment? also, who was/were the journalists who allegedly first told rove about plame? i have a hunch it was judith miller, which could explain why she's in jail right now.
Mr. Novak began his conversation with Mr. Rove by asking about the promotion of Frances Fragos Townsend, who had been a close aide to Janet Reno when she was attorney general, to a senior counterterrorism job at the White House, the person who was briefed on the matter said.
Mr. Novak then turned to the subject of Ms. Wilson, identifying her by name, the person said. In an Op-Ed article for The New York Times on July 6, 2003, Mr. Wilson suggested that he had been sent to Niger because of Mr. Cheney's interest in the matter. But Mr. Novak told Mr. Rove he knew that Mr. Wilson had been sent at the urging of Ms. Wilson, the person who had been briefed on the matter said.
pay attention here: the article makes it extremely clear that novak referenced plame by name. so rove's later assertions that he "didn't know her name" are apparently absolute bullshit. though his claims that he didn't "leak her name" might be factually accurate, although irrelevant and misleading.
but let's continue to the following paragraph:
Mr. Rove's allies have said that he did not call reporters with information about the case, rebutting the theory that the White House was actively seeking to intimidate or punish Mr. Wilson by harming his wife's career. They have also emphasized that Mr. Rove appeared not to know anything about Ms. Wilson other than that she worked at the C.I.A. and was married to Mr. Wilson.
this is another assertion that is disproved by other assertions in the article. we know this is false because we know that rove at least knew plame's name, as well as because when novak said all this crap to rove, rove's response was "i heard that too" or "oh, you heard about that" (depending on whether you use rove's or novak's wording).
but let's quote one more paragraph (the one immediately following my previous blockquote) and then we'll be done with this nytimes piece. i quote this because i have been tempted to blog about this fact for a couple days, and now i won't have to:
This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to re-elect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove had been the source.
just a little bit of history repeating.¶