In response to questions emailed to him, former ambassador Joseph Wilson has clarified that Post reporter Bob Woodward was not himself present at the
Also in emails,
A phone message left with Woodward and messages for his office via other offices at the Post, left the week before Thanksgiving, have not been answered. Reportedly Woodward has also not agreed to be interviewed by other Post reporters, although he and editor Len Downie have had some form of communication, and he has responded to some questions relayed by the new and very good Post ombudsman.
Meanwhile, big media wagons are being circled. Two Sundays ago, two different talking heads, on two different morning talk shows at ABC, both suggested that Richard Armitage might be Woodward’s unnamed source. This would have the effect of discrediting the State Department, as one of the talking heads pointed out, along with the Cheney-Rumsfeld axis in the administration. This past Sunday, the CIA leak or plant was all but ignored on the talk shows.
The Washingtonian magazine is about to publish a feature, complete with photo line-up, of the 50 most influential media figures in
Many questions arise from the text of Woodward’s published statement. Some of the more detailed questions have already been printed; some will come out in days and weeks ahead. Larger and broader questions also lie ahead.
Several commentators, including me, have already noted questions for Woodward that are similar to questions for Judith Miller, formerly at the NYTimes. If some administration figure passed along a damaging item to Woodward and he sat on it, then he was in effect sitting on a story – not about Mrs. Wilson, but about how the administration was going after its critics. Why did he do so?
Both Woodward and Miller have made the argument, or had the argument made for them, that they were not even writing about the Plame leak story. So, in keeping the story (of administration tactics) quiet, were Woodward and Miller acting as journalists?
And how is keeping the aggressor’s name a secret the same as protecting a source? This was not protecting a whistleblower, exposing governmental wrongdoing. If anything, it was protecting a public official who indulged in behind-the-scenes retaliation against
On top of Mrs. Wilson’s name, we still do not know from the Woodward statement printed in the Post whether the name of the CIA front company Brewster-Jennings came up, or with whom, or in what context. All we know about the front company as of now, aside from its role in regard to Saudi oil, is that Robert Novak outed it too, after outing Mrs. Wilson.
We know that Bush had big problems re
Was that why the unnamed administration official called Woodward? – Or did Woodward call him? Was the interview itself in person or by phone? How hurried was it? How urgent was it?
Following that conversation, Woodward included mentions of
Woodward says in his statement that he has no recollection of asking about Mrs. Wilson. Is it possible that indeed he did not ask about her, because he knew perfectly well that the item was a plant? – And therefore that the administration was indeed, in all probability, engaging in retaliation against
Did he ever make, or try to make, an appointment with Vice President Cheney, about this matter?
Woodward’s statement says that Libby brought up the
The entire narrative about