Who leaked Libby’s letter?

My guess: someone in Cheney’s office. Who else, other than Libby’s lawyers, had access to a draft?

Never mind. I take it all back. See update below.

Jane Hamsher asks an excellent question to which there’s no obvious answer: who leaked the “aspens” letter from Scooter Libby to Judith Miller?

Notice that what leaked wasn’t the final letter, but a draft. Unless Libby’s lawyers and Miller’s were negotiating over the terms of the letter and exchanging drafts, no one other than Libby, his lawyers, and people working for or with Libby or his lawyers would have had access to the draft.

People who work for law firms, even those who aren’t themselves lawyers, are fanatical about keeping confidences. So if I had to make a guess, it would be that someone in Cheney’s office had it in for Libby and decided to release the draft, thus virtually guaranteeing that Libby would be indicted.


A reader points out that the above is way too hasty. The Libby letter is signed; the fact that it isn’t on letterhead doesn’t mean (as I hastily assumed it meant) that the document must be a draft. Never mind.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com