Armitage, a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy tidbits about Washington characters, apparently hadn't thought through the possible implications of telling Novak about Plame's identity. "I'm afraid I may be the guy that caused this whole thing," he later told Carl Ford Jr., State's intelligence chief. Ford says Armitage admitted to him that he had "slipped up" and told Novak more than he should have. "He was basically beside himself that he was the guy that f---ed up. My sense from Rich is that it was just chitchat," Ford recalls in "Hubris," to be published next week by Crown and co-written by the author of this article and David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine.
As it turned out, Novak wasn't the only person Armitage talked to about Plame. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has also said he was told of Plame's identity in June 2003. Woodward did not respond to requests for comment for this article, but, as late as last week, he referred reporters to his comments in November 2005 that he learned of her identity in a "casual and offhand" conversation with an administration official he declined to identify. According to three government officials, a lawyer familiar with the case and an Armitage confidant, all of whom would not be named discussing these details, Armitage told Woodward about Plame three weeks before talking to Novak. Armitage has consistently refused to discuss the case; through an assistant last week he declined to comment for this story. Novak would say only: "I don't discuss my sources until they reveal themselves."
The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.
Indeed, Armitage was a member of the administration's small moderate wing. Along with his boss and good friend, Powell, he had deep misgivings about President George W. Bush's march to war. A barrel-chested Vietnam vet who had volunteered for combat, Armitage at times expressed disdain for Dick Cheney and other administration war hawks who had never served in the military. Armitage routinely returned from White House meetings shaking his head at the armchair warriors. "One day," says Powell's former chief of staff Larry Wilkerson, "we were walking into his office and Rich turned to me and said, 'Larry, these guys never heard a bullet go by their ears in anger ... None of them ever served. They're a bunch of jerks'."
Hot off the presses and we now know who leaked Valerie Plame's identity. I know most of you who don't follow politics probaly won't care but I find this entire situation freaking hilarious. For months now the hippie blogosphere and assorted other granola-chewing nutjobs have been foaming at the mouth about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. Their latest wet-dream fantasies involve a hopeful investigation and indictment of Cheney. The fact that the leaker ends up to be Armitage is just too funny for words. The very guy that dems supported in the administration because he was against Cheney and Rumsfeld was the person who spilled the beans in the first place. How funny is that?
Anyway, the hippies are already spinning, ducking and weaving trying to avoid what any rational person sees as a death blow to their dreams of a merry Fitzmas. I'm sorta curious how Jason Leopold at TruthOut will spin this new revelation. To my knowledge, he's never admitted to be full of shit the last time around with the seekrit Karl Rove indictment. These things just never seem to work out for them. It makes you wonder if Scooter hadn't hemmed and hawed about things, perhaps it would have been completely much ado about nothing. Of course, the article seems to point out that this was actually a well kept secret that Armitage was the source. No doubt everyone was in CYA-gear and worried the shit cake would blow up on them.