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By Toni Morrison

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Ear to the Ground

Alleged Armitage Leak is Biggest Irony of Plamegate

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Posted on Aug 28, 2006
Richard Armitage

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was apparently the first person to tell reporters that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent (but not that she was an undercover operative).

The first person to tell reporters that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA was not, apparently, someone in Dick Cheney’s circle out to smear Plame as a way of getting back at her husband, who had criticized the administration. Rather, it was then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who didn’t have an ax to grind, who didn’t know Plame was an undercover operative, and who was apparently just passing on gossip, according to a new book.

  • This is not to say, of course, that Dick Cheney’s gang was blameless….

  • Michael Isikoff in Newsweek:

    ... 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.


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    By Alfred D Kulik MD, July 7, 2007 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What is “ironic” is that those of us who do research are called “conspiracy nuts”, when the PNAC members signed their mission statement with the pride of the founding fathers signing the Dec. of Independence!

    Report this

    By Lance, August 29, 2006 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Todd -

    Sorry, but you’re wrong on this.  There is no doubt that Armitage is in Cheney’s “camp,” and his admission that he was one of the many “gossip mongers” who “just happened” to be “gossiping”... about the same person at the same time to as many as six different reporters…well, it smells to high heaven.

    It sure isn’t “ironic.”

    Please take a look at the website for the Project for the New American Century (“PNAC”) -  Then look at the “Letters/Statements” section.  Then check out the 1998 letter to President Clinton.  This letter has been discussed at some length in the blogosphere (i.e. why should we believe it was 911 that motivated this crowd to attack Iraq when they were lusting to do so in 1998?).  But the signers have not.  Look at the signaters of the letter.

    There’s Dick Armitage.  And also the following people, listed with their positions in the first Bush administration:

    Elliott Abrams - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations

    John Bolton - Under Secretary of State, Arms Control and International Security (now you-know-who)

    Paula Dobriansky - Under Secretary of State, Global Affairs

    Francis Fukuyama -  Member, President’s Council on Bioethics

    Zalmay Khalilzad – US Ambassador to Afghanistan, headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department in 2000 and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.[2]

    Richard Perle – Member and former chairman of the Defense Policy Board

    Peter W. Rodman - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

    Donald Rumsfeld – Secretary of Defense

    William Schneider, Jr. - Chairman of the Defense Science Board

    Paul Wolfowitz – Deputy Secretary of Defense

    R. James Woolsey – Member of the Policy Advisory Board to the Secretary of Defense

    Robert Zoellick - U.S. Trade Representative, member of President Bush’s cabinet.

    The administration is crawling with PNAC people, including Mr. Armitage.

    So…what’s this got to do with Cheney?  After all, he didn’t sign the letter.

    Oh…just this.  Cheney is a cofounder of PNAC.

    This Armitage “mea culpa” is a part of a broader but oh-so-transparent effort to cover up what actually happened - a Cheney-organized effort by multiple members of the administration to punish Joe Wilson and to WARN other members of the diplomatic and intelligence corps -

    “You talk against us, you pay.”

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    By todd, August 28, 2006 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Armitage is not in Cheney’s camp and it looks like he never was, being a Powell man and all.  The article we’re responding to above mentions irony for a reason.  It’s ironic because we all thought that this was more evil than it turned out to be.

    Report this

    By Lescoeurs, August 28, 2006 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Certainly more subterfuge and disinformation. It’s what they do.  I wouldn’t trust Isikoff(or Woodward) as far as I can throw them.

    Report this

    By joe, August 28, 2006 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What absurd nonsense! To think that anyone in the Bush administration just quite by accident “leaked” a CIA operative’s name whose husband was a critic of the administration to another Bush operative like Woodward. Woodward has certainly traveled a long ways backwards since Watergate, and his keeping quiet about Armitage’s leak is just another demonstration of collusion.

    Report this

    By kevin99999, August 28, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    But what was the reason for Armitage to bring up wilson’s wife name? Why was it important to the story of what Joe Wilson was saying? This is all hogwash!

    Report this

    By Lance, August 28, 2006 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Armitage IS MOST DECIDEDLY IN Dick Cheney’s “Gang.”  He’s a PNAC member who signed the 1998 letter to Bill Clinton begging him to invade Iraq.

    Report this
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