A reader over at TPMCafe suggests that the Plame case may end up being tied to John Bolton, because of some evidence that strongly suggests the particular piece of information about Plame came out of a classified memo from State.
I suspect that's likely true. But it's only a part of the story.
If you go back and trace out just what happened as the phoney Niger papers, and the reports based on them, made their circuitous way through the executive branch -- and this using both public information and stuff from reporting -- an odd and at first hard to explain pattern emerges.
Confidence in the documents kept getting knocked down. But someone or some group kept giving them fresh life. And, improbably, those someones seemed to be at the State Department.
That's odd because, institutionally, State was the least hawkish in the lead up to the war and their in-house intelligence shop, INR, turned out to be the only outfit in the intelligence community that got most things right about Iraqi WMD.
And yet it was at State that the docs kept seeming to gain new life.
The evidence is circumstantial. But all of it points to Bolton's as, shall we say, the invisible hands.
There was actually, if memory serves, an internal investigation at State into whether Bolton had played some nefarious role in the drama. But apparently the investigators didn't come up with anything, or at least not enough. Bolton's proxies in turn chatted this point up widely around Washington to reporters and others, arguing he'd been cleared in every way.
But the State Department link still bears a lot of investigating. And I suspect if the scrutiny was thorough, Rove wouldn't be the only Bush appointee with trouble on his hands.