No, Scooter Libby didn’t learn that Joseph Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA from some journalist. He learned it from his boss Dick Cheney, who in turn had learned it from her boss (several levels up), George Tenet.
And Libby took notes. And Fitzgerald has them. And Libby seems to have worked his forgettery too hard in his testimony.
Other than getting rid of Judith Miller and “Pinch” Sulzberger, the best way for the New York Times to rehabilitate itself is to keep publishing this sort of work from David Johnston, Richard Stevenson, and Douglas Jehl.
Update This AP story, which otherwise just recites what the Times reported, reminds me of something that could be crucial:
Cheney has said little in public about what he knew. In September 2003, he told NBC he did not know Wilson or who sent him on a trip to Niger in 2002 to check into a intelligence — later deemed unreliable — that Iraq may have been seeking to buy uranium there.
“I don’t know who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back,” Cheney said at the time. “… I don’t know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn’t judge him. I have no idea who hired him.”
But the Times reports that, before Wilson’s op-ed, Cheney was asking Tenet for information about him. I wonder whether Cheney told the same story to Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigators in June of 2004 he told NBC the previous September.
If so, that was a no-no. But his only alternative was to ditch his own chief of staff, who was still playing dumb back then.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave …
Update Looks as if Tom Maguire’s “headwaters” question has now been answered.