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The CIA pushes back

Last week, we were treated to a number of articles sourced to former senior State department officials clarifying some of the facts in the Plame case, particularly as regards to the INR memo. Those articles undermine some of the anonymously (read, Luskin) sourced articles pinning Colin Powell with the memo on AF1.

Today, we’re treated to a similar pushback article, this time from the CIA.

This is similar to a number of grand narrative articles the WaPo has published recently. It offers little that is entirely new information. One detail that is technically new, for example, is an expanded list of who has been interviewed.

Prosecutors have questioned former CIA director George J. Tenet anddeputy director John E. McLaughlin, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow,State Department officials, and even a stranger who approachedcolumnist Robert D. Novak on the street.

While these names have never been published before, they should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed this closely. It was rumored when Tenet quit, for example, that he did so so he could begin to testify fully to the Grand Jury. And several news reports have told stories about investigators spending a lot of time at the CIA. If they were at the CIA, then it’s safe to assume they were interviewing people at the CIA.

And Wilson’s friend? Well, Wilson’s friend is the witness who can prove that Novak knew Plame’s identity as early as July 8. And pinpointing when Novak knew of Plame’s identity is a key step to learning who told him. Fitzgerald would have been remiss if, with all the publicity surrounding this detail of Wilson’s story, he hadn’t interviewed the friend.

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