Who’s the Real CIA Leaker? Tapes Tell the Story

By Jason Ryan And Brian Ross

Feb 12, 2007 6:29pm

A tape recording made by investigative reporter Bob Woodward tells the story of who provided him with the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame, and it’s not Scooter Libby. Libby is on trial for lying to a federal grand jury but not charged with the crime of divulging the name of a secret CIA operative. The official who provided Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak was then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (pictured). He also provided the name to Woodward during an interview that Woodward recorded on June 13, 2003. The pertinent portion of the recorded interview is one minute long, and it was played for the jury in the Libby trial today with Armitage’s expletives deleted. Woodward: …What’s Scowcroft up to?
Armitage: [ ] Scowcroft is looking into the yellowcake thing.
Woodward: Oh yeah?
Armitage: As the PFIAB.
Woodward: Yeah. What happened there?
Armitage: They’re back together. [coughs] They knew with yellowcake, the CIA is not going to be hurt by this one—
Woodward: I know, that’s—
Armitage: — Hadley and Bob Joseph know. It’s documented. We’ve got our documents on it. We’re clean as a [ ] whistle. And George personally got it out of the Cincinnati speech of the president.
Woodward: Oh he did?
Armitage: Oh yeah.
Woodward: Oh really?
Armitage: Yeah.
Woodward: It was taken out?
Armitage: Taken out. George said you can’t do this.
Woodward: How come it wasn’t taken out of the State of the Union then?
Armitage: Because I think it was overruled by the types down at the White House. Condi doesn’t like being in the hot spot. But she —
Woodward: But it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency. I mean that’s just —
Armitage: His wife works in the agency.
Woodward: — Why doesn’t that come out? Why does —
Armitage: Everyone knows it.
Woodward: —that have to be a big secret? Everyone knows.
Armitage: Yeah. And I know [ ] Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody. He’s pissed off because he was designated as a low-level guy, went out to look at it. So, he’s all pissed off.
Woodward: But why would they send him?
Armitage: Because his wife’s a [ ] analyst at the agency.
Woodward: It’s still weird.
Armitage: It—It’s perfect. This is what she does, she is a WMD analyst out there.
Woodward: Oh she is.
Armitage: Yeah.
Woodward: Oh, I see.
Armitage: [ ] look at it.
Woodward: Oh I see. I didn’t [ ].
Armitage: Yeah. See?
Woodward: Oh, she’s the chief WMD?
Armitage: No she isn’t the chief, no.
Woodward: But high enough up that she can say, "Oh yeah, hubby will go."
Armitage: Yeah, he knows Africa.
Woodward: Was she out there with him?
Armitage: No.
Woodward: When he was ambassador?
Armitage: Not to my knowledge. I don’t know. I don’t know if she was out there or not. But his wife is in the agency and is a WMD analyst. How about that [ ]? Armitage freely admitted to prosecutors that he had revealed Plame’s name, not realizing she was still functioning undercover at the CIA. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was aware of Armitage’s admission but continued his investigation to see if others in the White House were also involved. Armitage was not charged with any crime.

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