It looks like Bob Woodward got there first once again.
A front-page piece in the Washington Post today reports how the investigative reporter/author/talking head has testified that - contrary to what the special prosecutor has said - he learned about CIA operative Valerie Plame from a senior administration official a month before she was outed.
He won't name the official - and it's not either I. Lewis Libby or Karl Rove. The source cleared Woodward to give a deposition, which he did, Monday.
Lots are writing about it. My favorite so far? Slate's Eric Umansky expresses Blinq's deepest thoughts when he writes:
The fact that Woodward was involved and first obviously means ... who knows?
What interests guest blogger Betsy Newmark at Michelle Malkin's site is that Woodward says he passed the info, which he didn't know was classified, along to Post investigative reporter Walter Pincus. But Pincus has a different recollection. ("Are you kidding? I certainly would have remembered that.")
Newmark asks: So, if Woodward and Pincus both testify to different memories of their conversations, how is that different from Libby and Russert both testifying to different memories of their conversations? If we can believe that the great Bob Woodward is misremembering when he told someone something, isn't it possible that Tim Russert could misremember something, too? Or that Scooter Libby could? Why is one discrepancy worthy of indictment and the other one chalked up to "confusion about the timing"?
On the other side of the aisle, Talk Left has it all figured out - or at least a scenario that makes sense.
Armando at the Daily Kos reasons that Woodward's actions will have no effect on Libby, the Cheney chief of staff indicted for perjury in the case. But it will hurt Woodward's rep, Armando says.
(Forgot the boilerplate graf: This is the case of Valerie Plame, outed as a CIA agent by someone in the Bush administration. Her husband, Joe Wilson, a former diplomat, went on a fact-finding mission to Niger to see if Saddam Hussein was seeking enriched uranium for a weapons of mass destruction program. Became a vocal critic of the administration's main plank for going to war with Iraq.)
The New York Times, whose ex-reporter Judith Miller did 85 days rather than testify about what a confidential source told her about the case, writes today that Libby's lawyers will be seeking to compel more reporters to talk about who in the government said what to them about Plame. That should be interesting.
The Times's Eric Lichtblau reports: Defense lawyers plan to seek notes not only from the three reporters cited in the indictment - Tim Russert of NBC News, Matt Cooper of Time Magazine and Judith Miller, formerly of The New York Times - but also from other journalists who have been tied to the case.
Chief among those is Robert D. Novak, who first disclosed in a column in July 2003 that Valerie Plame worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Oh yeah, him.
Usually, one can find elegant essays at the site. Today he shows his mastery of Photoshop.
The headline is Judy Woodward.