Digging through Old Articles…

Steven Clemons asks a question many of us (not least Swopa) have been asking for two years. Who is the SAO in the WaPo’s September 28 article?

But Jeff has gotten me re-examining an even more intriguing article, the October 12 WaPo article the followed up and elaborated on the earlier WaPo article.This article is interesting because while it largely aligns with what we know from Libby’s indictment, it also suggests there is a lot more right under the surface. The article is sourced to "sources familiar with the probe" (Wilson appears to have been interviewed, the famous SAO from the September 28 article was interviewed again, and someone from CIA was interviewed). Here are some random interesting tidbits from the article.

  1. Anonymous says:

    EW: Think Progress has some advance quotes from the latest King/Woodward debacle. Here’s one where he adds a bit more specificity to the big â€mid-June†question:

    The day of the indictment, I read the charges against Libby, and looked at the press conference by the special counsel and he said the first disclosure on all of this was on June 23rd, 2003 by Scooter Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff to New York Times reporter Judy Miller. I went whoa whoa, because I knew I learned about this in mid-June, a week, ten days before. Then I say something’s up. There’s a piece that the special counsel does not have in all of this. Then I went into incredibly aggressive reporting mode…

  2. Anonymous says:

    well, â€a week to 10†would narrow it down to 14, 15, 16.

    What are the cutoff dates for the various theories?

  3. emptywheel says:

    I think he said more directly (I finally sucked it up and watched TV). He said it came out after Pincus’ article, which means it’s after the critical June 12 date.

  4. reticulant says:

    Shedd’s familiarity with Plame might be intriguing in the context of proximity to Hadley, Rice etc; but remember — Cheney apparently knew of Plame (through Tenet) on or before June 12 — when, per Libby’s notes, Cheney first apprised Libby of Plame.

    That SAO reported â€heightened†OVP or WH interest in Wilson after Pincus’ June 12 story could be largely or partly explained by Cheney’s disclosure to Libby on June 12.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Okay, since it’s now established to be after the critical June 12 date, which of the many theories does this rule out and which does it support?

  6. whenwego says:

    I found the Woodie interview informative. Woodie said his source was not Cheney (â€I did not speak with him during this periodâ€), but also volunteered who he DID speak with: â€the book is about Rumsfeld and Bushâ€. Since I have not heard any speculation that Rummie was involved in this, it only leaves one suspect standing. Explains that morning visit of Fitz to someone’s lawyer! Is this a bombshell or what?

  7. Tom Maguire says:

    No one brought up Wilson’s wife, and her employment at the agency was not known at the time the article was published.

    How in the world would the WaPo reporters know this?

    FWIW – the SOA who sprung the 1 x 2 x 6 theory gets demoted to a mere â€administration official†in this account.

    Digby’s theory was that it was Andy Card, and that Card had no problem knifing Rove and Libby.

    I had a similar view – that the leakers were in a â€protect the Vice Prfesident†mode, and Card wanted to protect the President by putting too much of the story out there for a cover-up to be considered.

  8. emptywheel says:


    Yes, Allen and Pincus demote SAO for the reiteration of his past statement. But probably not entirely. This passage:

    “After the June story, a lot of people in government were scurrying around asking who is this envoy and why is he saying these things,†a senior administration official said.

    Could only come from someone with the same kind of access as SAO has. It couldn’t have come from Grossman. Maybe Tenet (who remains one of the best candidates for SAO anyway). But not Grossman.

    FWIW, I don’t buy the Card line. The Novak October 1 column is obviously a direct response to the September 28 article. Novak clearly responds to six reporter allegation. But that column is also, if you believe Waas’ reporting, the product of deliberate obstruction on the part of Novak, Rove, and Libby. If NOvak wrote that article at the direction of Rove, then why would Card be pushing back in the opposite direction?

    Furthermore, I can’t imagine that person would remain employed at the WH. That article devastated the WH, because it made it clear that the leak was deliberate and malicious–it legitimated the IIPA accusations when no one else in DC took it seriously.

  9. antiaristo says:

    How fortunate that those articles are still available.
    That October 4 piece by Pincus and Allen I’ve been screaming about?
    It’s no longer there. Removed during the last three weeks.
    Clearly the Washington Post management can see the significance, and took what they considered appropriate action.

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