Okay, no question: the Washington Post has the story about the Wilson/Plame scandal. This story, frankly, blows the whole thing wide open.
The Post got one “senior administration official” to concede that “two top White House officials” disclosed Plame’s identity to at least six journalists. (In its totality, the piece gives me a pretty good hunch who the ‘senior administration official’ is.)
Here are the five bombshell grafs in their entirety …
A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. That was shortly after Wilson revealed in July that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson’s account eventually touched off a controversy over Bush’s use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.
“Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,” the senior official said of the alleged leak.
Sources familiar with the conversations said the leakers’ allegation was that Wilson had benefited from nepotism because the Niger mission had been his wife’s idea. Wilson said in an interview yesterday that a reporter had told him that the leaker said, “The real issue is Wilson and his wife.”
The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists. The official said he had no indication that Bush knew about the calls. Columnist Robert Novak published the agent’s name in a July column about Wilson’s mission.
It is rare for one Bush administration official to turn on another. Asked about the motive for describing the leaks, the senior official said the leaks were “wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson’s credibility.”
How about just wrong, and leave out that they were ineffective?
In any case, this is truly a bombshell and for the first time I suspect someone may actually lose their job over this — though loyalty being what it is to the prez I still have my doubts. Here’s what this means, as nearly as I can see it. Clearly, the White House knows who those two people are. They also know that the wrongdoing did in fact occur. Perhaps most important, the public now knows that they know. Given all that, I don’t see how — in a climate of media feeding frenzy — it will be possible to keep their identities a secret for long. And once their identities are known …