This is old news but during the Scooter Libby trial it became pretty obvious that Richard Armitage was the "original leaker" as to telling the press that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie, was a CIA covert operative. Of course, after that, Libby repeated the statement to 9 or so other reporters.
After receiving an immunity agreement, Fleischer testified that he had revealed Plame's identity to reporters after learning it from Libby.
Of course, it was fairly obvious from the trial that it was all a grand plan by Karl Rove to undermine Wilson, in retaliation for writing a op-ed piece concerning lack of evidence of Iraq's efforts at obtaining weapons.
Now, many "tough on crime" republicans are going soft. They are screaming that convicted felon Libby should be pardoned. He hasn't even been sentenced yet.
Another irony of all of this is this -- we still mean whining about Clinton giving a pardon to Marc Rich, a fugitive who stole millions. Guess who his lawyer was --- some liberal? No, Rich's lawyer, who I assume had something to do with getting the pardon for his client was---Scooter Libby.
Bush and his cronies like to talk tough - but then wilt when it becomes obvious the real corruption is coming from inside the White House. Do you think Armitage, Cheney, or Rove will be held accountable for their sleazy spin job they did on Wilson and his wife? Not by Bush - but I hope the Wilso's win millions in their civil suit. Of course many Republicans view this is "not big deal" and of course will bring up sins from the Clinton years, and probably Carter and Johnson as well. Apparently, if a Democrat ever does something wrong - ( which they have and will again I'm sure) then that makes it ok for any Republican to do worse. These are the same types that didn't think Watergate was a big deal either. Its all about arrogance, hubris and power - but sometimes, as Scooter Libby has found out, it doesn't mean you can always get away with it.
In the extended entry is an article about what tough-talkin Bush was going to do about anyone he found out was leaking secrets.
President vows to fire anyone who committed a crime
Tuesday, July 19, 2005; Posted: 3:47 a.m. EDT (07:47 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush appeared to backtrack Monday from his 2004 pledge to fire anyone involved in leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
"I think it's best if people wait until the investigation is complete before you jump to conclusions," Bush said at a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts. And if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration," Bush said.
That appeared to differ from a response Bush gave in June 2004, when he was asked whether he stood by his promise to fire whoever was found to have leaked Plame's name. "Yes," Bush said at the time.
Democrats pounced on Monday's apparent shift.
"The president has moved the goal posts. Americans understand changing the rules of the game; they don't like it," said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.
"This apparently is now a whitewash. The president has to come clean on this issue."
Democrats contend Plame's identity was released by the White House to retaliate against her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, for a July 2003 article in The New York Times.
In the article, Wilson criticized Bush's inclusion in that year's State of the Union address of a claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa.
Wilson said he had been sent to Niger to investigate the claim and determined that any such transaction was unlikely to have occurred.
Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper said Sunday that Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told him Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and that Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, confirmed that piece of information.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether the revelation of Plame's identity was a crime. Cooper testified before a grand jury last week in connection with the probe.