Richard Armitage’s Role In The Plame Scandal

It’s getting to be that you need a score cared to keep straight the relationship each person involved in the Plame scandal has with the others. Joe Wilson became the topic of a lengthy discussion here on the Iraq war under my post Absurdities In Defending A Failed Iraq Policy. Newsweek reviews the role of Richard Armitage as revealed in the book As recounted in a new book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn:

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.”

Maybe this will put an end to all those conservative blogs which are spreading preposterous claims that it was Joe Wilson himself who revealed his wife’s identity.


  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Maybe this will put an end to all those conservative blogs which are spreading preposterous claims that it was Joe Wilson himself who revealed his wife’s identity.

    Care to gauge the impact on the liberal blogs who have been insisting that Dick Cheney orchestrated the Plame leak?

    (Full disclosure – this Armitage thing is old news and has generally been incorporated into the “Cheney did it” theory by arguing that Cheney piggy-backed off of Armitage’s lapse).

  2. 2
    Tom Maguire says:

    Sorry, that last comment was mine.

    Tom Maguire

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    There’s obviously a wide variety in liberal bloggers. Some are likely to continue to insist Cheney and/or Rove was behind it all regardless of what comes out.

    There’s still a lot of questions here as to Cheney’s role. We have both Libby’s criminal trial ahead (which could lead to futher indictments) as well as Plame’s civil suits. I think we have to wait to see what comes out before deciding who to put the blame on. As you note, the evidence leading to one person doesn’t necessarily exclude guilt by others.

    It certainly remains possible to speculate that Cheney was behind this, but that is just speculation at this point.

    In contrast, I’ve seen conservative bloggers which insist that Joe Wilson orchestrated the whole scandal, and that appears very hard to justify.

  4. 4
    Dave from Princeton says:

    “Maybe this will put an end to all those conservative blogs which are spreading preposterous claims that it was Joe Wilson himself who revealed his wife’s identity.”

    Ron, that was a joke wasn’t it? When has that ever stopped the right-wingers from parroting anything in the past that has proven repeatedly to be a lie, on any subject?

    Once the right-wing echo chamber starts repeating something, it is fact and reality to them and always will be, no matter what.

    As far as I can tell it’s been like that since at least the mid 90’s and isn’t ever going to change. It’s all the GOP has at this point. Well besides their right-wing Christian extremist base, who as luck would have it, also appear to have been raised to be immune to facts or reality (or Christ’s teachings for that matter.)

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:


    It was a little tongue and cheek, but there is the possibility that they might drop some of their more absurd talking points, realizing that some of those who buy them might question them from time to time. Claiming that Joe Wilson was the one behind the leak of his wife’s name is one of their more absurd talking points.

    It has been like this for longer than the 90’s. See my last comment here. (Currently comment 133–links to comments as opposed to posts for some reason often are not working correctly.)

    Regarding being immune to the facts, did you see the post on their claims of the death of science? You can’t go much further in denying reality than their claim that their religious beliefs trumps what is discovered and verified scientifically.

  6. 6
    Dave from Princeton says:


    I know it’s been going on since before the mid 90’s but that’s when I first noticed how widespread it had become and that it seemed to basically be the right-wing and GOP’s only real platform and only way of campaigning etc. Just repeating obvious lies and smears(and their constant attacking of straw men). It is all only way they have now to get enough votes to win elections, besides their extremist religious fundamentalist supporters.

    Yeah, I saw your post concerning their claims of the death of science. Well they do have to appease their wacko religious right supporters now don’t they?

    If you believe the old testament is literally true, then you can’t believe in science. Science is the enemy of your belief system, since it proves in too many ways (age of the earth, evolution etc) that the bible can’t be literally true.

    You also have some of their big business backers such as the fossil fuels industry, among others, who are too threatened by science indicating the harm their industry is causing. Such as with global warming more recently, as well as the general effects of various pollution, cancer causing agents etc etc.

    Of course attacks on science over embryonic stem cells is solely to appease the religious wackos. It seems it’s better to throw the embryos away. And of course you don’t hear anything about outlawing in vitro fertilization(I guess that’s okay because it makes more babies, which is all the church really cares about: More babies = more followers = more $ = more power = the reason for the church to exist.

    Also the attacks on science, education and intellectuals all fit in with our authoritarian right anyway. Most authoritarian totalitarian regimes always go after the intellectual educated class as soon as they gain power. The intellectual class is always a huge threat to their power over the masses and one they cannot easily appease, so they are almost always attacked, exiled or destroyed.

  7. 7
    Dave from Princeton says:

    Oops. Mmy last comment must be caught in the Dave from P long rant spam filter 🙂

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    There are now two separate spam filters. One is configurable like at Dem Daily. I do have it better tuned so that it very rarely picks up real posts any more. The problem is that track back spam is so huge, and harder to stop. I added a second plug in which isn’t configurable and which scans all posts off site. It has picked up a lot of track back spam which the main spam filter missed, but also has been picking up long posts. I can’t configure the specifics but I can tell it that something isn’t spam and it theoretically learns over time.

    If this plug in remains a problem, there are others to try also. I think I should give this a few days to see if it “learns” before starting over with another which may give the same problems.

  9. 9
    Dave from Princeton says:


    I’ll just have to learn not to rant on and on. Well Ok, we all know that isn’t going to happen. I’m just not capable of that…

  10. 10
    kj says:

    What really, really scares me about Dave’s rant is: I might actually be considered part of the intellectual class.

  11. 11
    Dave from Princeton says:


    Hate to tell you but you and JBK will be among the first to go. Though they may just try sending you to the re-eduction camps first.

    Sorry 🙁

  12. 12
    kj says:

    I never did like camp. >:-|

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:


    Agreed. I just had a reminder recently of why I hated summer camp. I have a niece from across the state who happened to be working as a counselor at a camp less than an hour from me. Therefore we wound up with some (fortunately limited) exposure to camp life this summer.

  14. 14
    kj says:

    Summer camp was the pits. Went once and never again. Nicknames were in vogue and the only nickname I had was “Al,” which the other girls, even my friend from school, thought was dumb. (What did they know? I was named after Al Lopez, of White Sox fame!)
    For me, the best part of camp was the days and days of rain. While everyone else complained, I stayed up in my top bunk, read to my heart’s content and didn’t worry about not having a girly nickname.

    Camps are too forced and too friendly and the food is awful. Plus, the mosquitoes were as big as bats. *shudder*

  15. 15
    kj says:

    If the neoconartists sent me to camp however, I could stage a rebellion. That might be fun. OR, maybe it would be more like an episode of Hogan Heroes, and actually, that really could be fun. Okay, I’ll go for the team. For one week, max. And only if I can pick my bunk mates, rabble rousers, one and all and everyone’s nickname would be just fine.

    Anyone in? Anyone?


  16. 16
    Dave from Princeton says:


    Don’t worry, a lot of people you know will be in the reeducation camps with you.

    Not me though. I’m not an intellectual so I’m safe. I’m just your run of the mill east coast elitist, so I won’t be sent to camp.

    The downside for me is that I’ll be stoned to death by their America Taliban ground troops 🙁

  17. 17
    kj says:


    I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you East Coast Elitists will be the very first to go. Then Ron with his french Tassimo. And besides, I’m not intellectual. I ranked as a geek wannabe on the geek list! If however, I have to go because JBK goes, save us a spot in your cabin. You guys can fight over who gets to be Hogan.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:


    Are you saying that they won’t let me make coffee drinks with the Tassimo in the camp? Will all lattes be banned, or only those made with European-style machines and espresso shipped from France?

  19. 19
    kj says:

    Oh Ron, you and your Tassimo will be parted with, pronto. And the fact that it was a *shudder* “European” machine will cost you BIG. If I were you, I’d shred the espresso receipes before the 2006 election.

    It will be a miracle if we all end up in the same cabin so we’d better start working on a code system. And code names. (MUCH cooler than nicknames!)

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