The Note: When The Dog Bites

Various reports cite CNN execs saying his job there is safe.

For a case predicted to chill the use of anonymous sources, we've certainly seen more than our share of "lawyers who spoke on the condition that their names not be revealed because they were discussing secret grand jury testimony."

The Plame leak investigation: best of the weekend:

"By Matt Cooper" … LINK

The Four Key Paragraphs from Howard Fineman's Newsweek cover opus:

"Meanwhile, in transatlantic secure phone calls, the message machinery focused on a crucial topic: who should carry the freight on the following Sunday's talk shows? The message: protect Cheney by explaining that he had had nothing to do with sending Wilson to Niger, and dismiss the yellowcake issue. Powell was ruled out. He wasn't a team player, as he had proved by his dismissive comments about the 'sixteen words.' Donald Rumsfeld was pressed into duty, as was Condi Rice, the ultimate good soldier. She was on the Africa trip with the president, though, and wouldn't be getting back until Saturday night. To allow her to prepare on the long flight home to D.C., White House officials assembled a briefing book, which they faxed to the Bush entourage in Africa. The book was primarily prepared by her National Security Council staff. It contained classified information—perhaps including all or part of the memo from State. The entire binder was labeled TOP SECRET." LINK

" . . . . no one in the administration seems to have noticed the irony—or the legal danger—in assembling a TOP SECRET briefing book as guidance for the Sunday talk shows."

"And if Rove knew Plame's identity, as Novak says, how did Rove learn it? A source close to Rove has said Rove never saw the State memo. The same source told NEWSWEEK last week that Rove 'doesn't remember' where he heard the crucial information about Wilson's wife. But, the source said, Rove is 'pretty sure he heard it directly or indirectly from a media source.' The source close to Rove later acknowledged that Rove had been questioned by investigators about conversations he may have had with Libby, Cheney's chief of staff. Rove couldn't recall any specific exchange with Libby about Wilson's wife, the source said."

"(Rove did not initially discuss the conversation with Cooper in his first interview with the FBI, a source close to Rove, who declined to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, told NEWSWEEK. But Rove later testified about it, the source said.)"

Time Magazine raises the question of whether Rove received the information through conversation with someone else who had received the information from a media source. LINK

"According to the source, Rove replied, 'I've heard that too,' and told Fitzgerald that he had heard it from a reporter--or perhaps from someone else in the Administration who said he got it from a reporter--Rove just couldn't be certain or remember which one."

The Los Angeles Times recapitulates an early denial from Ari Flesicher: LINK

"Fleischer declined to comment for this article, referring all questions to prosecutors. But in a Sept. 29, 2003, e-mail to The Times, Fleischer denied he was the source of the leak. 'I have no idea who told Novak, but it was not me,' he wrote."

Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen walked through what is known, what is not known, and what the White House did or did not do to make "it" known.

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