Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who has repeatedly declined to discuss his role in disclosing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, said in a speech this week that he is certain President Bush knows who his mystery administration source is.
Novak said Tuesday that the public and press should be asking the president about the official rather than pressing journalists who received the information.
Novak also suggested that the administration official who gave him the information is the same person who mentioned Plame and her CIA role to Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward in the summer of 2003.
"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, according to an account published yesterday in the Raleigh News & Observer. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."
"So I say, don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is," Novak said.
A major question here, is Novak just speculating that there is no way the President doesn't know, as I might speculate about such matters? Or does Novak actually know something in this regard. I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Novak, but his point about bugging the President is very true. Fitzgerald would likely never have had to subpoena journalists if the Administration was being straightforward about the leak instead of actively obstructing. The President and VP both refused to testify under oath, and Libby as we know is under indictment for obstructing the investigation. We should be bugging the President about this, Novak is absolutely right about this, but he's wrong about something else. Because of the fact that the Administration refuses to be straightforward with the American people we are forced to bug reporters and hacks like Novak who might have information. The obstruction by the Administration needs to end, but until it does, we're forced to inconvenience Bob Novak. Sorry Bob.
This tells me something else, that it is now a certainty (whereas it was just well informed speculation before) that Libby while a leaker was not the one who leaked Plame's identity to Novak or Woodward. The entire implication of this speech (at least the part noted by the Post) is that Bush knows who the leaker is and has not been either forthcoming with information or taken action against the leaker. Republicans celebrated when Rove didn't get indicted the first time arround. It is abundantly clear that this is far from over.