Tuesday, February 07, 2006

John Dickerson Wants a Subpoena, John Dickerson Needs a Subpoena

From slate.com:

Where's My Subpoena?
Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, and me.
(Part 1)

Where's My Subpoena?
Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, and me.
(Part 2)

[His story takes place traveling with the President in Africa, in July of 2003, shortly after Joe Wilson's op-ed questioning the 16 words was published.]

While the president finished his meeting with Museveni, I hung out with a "senior administration official" by an old yellow school bus. This was the first of my two conversations about Wilson. []

The senior administration official spoke to me on background about Wilson and the president's amazing decision to blame the CIA. [] The official walked me through all the many problems with Wilson's report: His work was sloppy, contradictory, and hadn't been sanctioned by Tenet or any senior person. Some low-level person at the CIA was responsible for the mission. I was told I should go ask the CIA who sent Wilson.

An hour later, as Bush spoke at an AIDS treatment center, I chatted with a different senior administration official, also on background. We talked about many different aspects of the story—the fight with the CIA, the political implications for the president, and the administration's shoddy damage control. This official also pointed out a few times that Wilson had been sent by a low-level CIA employee and encouraged me to follow that angle. I thought I got the point: He'd been sent by someone around the rank of deputy assistant undersecretary or janitor.

At the end of the two conversations I wrote down in my notebook: "look who sent." [] What struck me was how hard both officials were working to knock down Wilson. []

[] [I received] an e-mail from Matt Cooper telling me to call him from a land line when I had some privacy. At some time after 1 p.m. his time, I called him. He told me that he had talked to Karl Rove that morning and that Rove had given him the same Wilson takedown I'd been getting in Uganda. But Matt had the one key fact I didn't: Rove had said that Wilson's wife sent him.

So, that explained the wink-wink nudge-nudge I was getting about who sent Wilson.


[] I came back from the trip harboring a suspicion that only fully made sense when I learned Plame's CIA cover had been blown. It seemed obvious that the people pushing me to look into who sent Wilson knew exactly the answer I'd find. Yet they were really careful not to let the information slip, which suggested that they knew at the time Plame's identity was radioactive.

Wonder who those two senior administration officials were? Let the guessing begin. Let the indictments fly.

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