The Associated Press (via the NYT) reports today that:
Even if White House aides leaked a covert CIA officer's identity, they were simply passing along information they'd already heard from the news media, the administration's supporters maintain in a defense that looks increasing shaky as new evidence accumulates…
…Until this week, ''the news media did it'' was a standard defense among Republicans trying to protect the Bush administration from the political fallout of Fitzgerald's criminal investigation. Loyalists said that even if White House aides had passed on information, they didn't get it from classified sources and were simply repeating what they heard from journalists.
So the news media leaked Valerie Plame's identity to White House aides who leaked it back to the news media?
Possible, I suppose. But for the news media to have leaked it to the White House, didn't someone somewhere have to leak it to the news media first? I mean, come on, there has to be an Adam or Eve somewhere in this story.
If the original leak came from a reporter, it had to be a reporter with a security clearance, and the only person like that we know of to date is one Judith Miller of the New York Times. Of course, we only know she had a clearance because she says she did, and just how credible is anything she says these days?
Oh, wait. One other shadowy media figure had a security clearance too. Jeff Gannon.
"Mind boggling" is a tired modifier, but it sure applies when one attempts to track the media and information manipulation that's gone on in the Bush administration. You start with the Office of Strategic Influence, segue to the White House Iraq Group, then try to trace through all the players: Rove, Rice, Cheney, Card, Libby, Matalin. And who did they talk to? Novak, Russert, Miller, Cooper, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I sit back and think how organized was all this really? Did whoever actually hatched all this really think they could keep it under control forever?
Perhaps it's a good thing for my immortal soul that I can't understand how people like this think.
I'm off to celebrate what I think of as my "Dick Butkus" birthday. Maybe something good will happen while I'm away from the constant news feed (watched pots, boiling water, and all that).