Who Is the Third Man?
Time Magazine is reporting that if Rove et. al. are indicted, the opportunities for Karl to take time off from work to spend time snorkeling in Aruba will be limitless, or — as they put it — "fight aggressively ‘any bull___ charges.’" Well best of luck with that one, Karl.
But they also bring up something that I’ve been hearing from people close to the investigation, i.e, that there is a third man in all of this, not Rove and not Libby, who was out there spreading Plame’s name in the media:
Fitzgerald’s intentions aren’t the only mystery. Another character in the drama remains unnamed: the original source for columnist Robert Novak, who wrote the first piece naming Plame. Fitzgerald, says a lawyer who’s involved in the case, "knows who it is and it’s not someone at the White House."
I don’t know myself who this person is, but I’ll tell you what I do know.
The person (and it could be a man or a woman, I just liked the easy title and wanted an excuse to post a picture of the film) appears to have been well-liked (which probably rules out John Bolton — although I am by no means ruling out the possibility that Bolton had a hand in this) and the identity seems to be common knowledge amongst journalists in DC, who seem reluctant to expose his or her identity. The comment about "it’s not someone at the White House" is ambiguous — it could mean "someone who never worked at the White House," or "someone who no longer works at the White House."
From Bloomberg, July 18, 2005:
On the same day the [July 7 INR] memo was prepared, White House phone logs show Novak placed a call to White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, according to lawyers familiar with the case and a witness who has testified before the grand jury. Those people say it is not clear whether Fleischer returned the call, and Fleischer has refused to comment.
The Novak call may loom large in the investigation because Fleischer was among a group of administration officials who left Washington later that day on a presidential trip to Africa. On the flight to Africa, Fleischer was seen perusing the State Department memo on Wilson and his wife, according to a former administration official who was also on the trip.
We know that one of the things the White House has refused to turn over to Patrick Fitzgerald in his investigation are the phone logs from that Air Force One trip that would have ostensibly shown if Ari was on the phone with journalists.
Remember, Lawrence O’Donnell said at least three people would go down, plus one unindicted co-conspirator. We know about Libby and Rove, and the fact that Fitzgerald is opening up that pile of sores that is Darth Cheney with Judy Miller before the grand jury is a good indicator who that unindicted co-conspirator may be. But that leaves one unaccounted for.
Recently, beltway bore Andrea Mitchell has taken it upon herself to plant one in Ari’s back every time she opens her mouth. Mitchell on Hardball last Tuesday:
We also know that, that paragraph, that document was circulated on Air Force One as the president was flying to Africa, that Ari Fletcher saw it, Colin Powell testified to that. And that could be one of the key facts in this.
Now, Mrs. Greenspan always has an agenda, and hoping for any kind of candor or forthrightness from a woman who rarely if ever mentions that she herself was subpoenaed in the case is a real long shot, but it just may be that she is salting a sea of dissembling with some actual truth (who’d ever think to look there) so that when and if indictments come down and Ari himself gets one she can look back and say "see, I told you so" and pat herself on the back for being a bold investigative journalist.
Whoever it is — CW says Fitzgerald has the goods on them. (BTW, I’ve got side bets on Fleitz and Hadley.)
That’s it, that’s everything I know. So cast your votes, who’s going down?