Sunday, November 11, 2007


On CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Richard Armitage admits the he was wrong to talk about Valerie Plame to Robert Novak. Crooks & Liars has the video clip and here's the transcript:

VALERIE PLAME WILSON, AUTHOR, "FAIR GAME": Mr. Armitage did a very foolish thing. He has been around Washington for decades. He should know better. He's a senior government official. Whether he knew where exactly I worked in the CIA, he had no rights to go talking to a reporter about where I worked. That was strictly off-limits.

BLITZER: Those are strong words from Valerie Plame Wilson.

ARMITAGE: They're not words on which I disagree. I think it was extraordinarily foolish of me. There was no ill-intent on my part and I had never seen ever, in 43 years of having a security clearance, a covert operative's name in a memo. The only reason I knew a "Mrs. Wilson," not "Mrs. Plame," worked at the agency was because I saw it in a memo. But I don't disagree with her words to a large measure.

BLITZER: Normally in memos they don't name covert operatives?

ARMITAGE: I have never seen one named.

BLITZER: And so you assumed she was, what, just an analyst over at the CIA?

ARMITAGE: Not only assumed it, that's what the message said, that she was publicly chairing a meeting.

BLITZER: So, when you told Robert Novak that Joe Wilson, the former U.S. ambassador's wife, worked at the CIA, and she was involved somehow in getting him this trip to Africa to look for the enriched uranium, if there were enriched uranium going to Iraq, you simply assumed that she was not a clandestine officer of the CIA.

ARMITAGE: Well, even Mr. Novak has said that he used the word "operative" and misused it. No one ever said "operative." And I not only assumed it, as I say, I've never seen a covered agent's name in a memo. However, that doesn't take away from what Mrs. Plame said, it was foolish, yeah. Sure it was.

BLITZER: So you agree with her on that.

ARMITAGE: Yeah. Absolutely.

It's refreshing to hear someome who was in the criminal Bush regime admit wrongdoing and it's even more amazing that at least some of the wingnuts take his admission at face value because one of the standard wingnut defenses of the Bush regime is that Plame wasn't covert. Byron York, writing in the National Review Online, states of Armitage that "He took the blame for leaking Valerie Plame Wilson's identity..." If she wasn't covert, there would be no need for Armitage to take the blame.

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