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Novak Got Plame's Name From A Book?

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He won’t say for sure, but he’s certainly hinting at it.

From the NY Times, comes more on the Plame case:

Why did the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak identify her as Valerie Plame in exposing her link to the C.I.A. in July 2003 when she had been known for years both at the agency and in her personal life by her married name, Valerie Wilson?

Mr. Novak offered a possible explanation for the disconnect on Monday, suggesting in his column that he could have obtained Ms. Wilson’s maiden name from the directory Who’s Who in America, which used that name in identifying her as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador.

Mr. Novak did not explicitly cite the directory as his source. Nor was this his first public reference to the Who’s Who listing. In a column in October 2003, three months after he had first disclosed Ms. Wilson’s name and her role, Mr. Novak cited the published listing as evidence that Ms. Wilson’s identity was “no secret.”

My only reaction here is “so what?” The issue is that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative and he exposed that fact publicly. Whether or not he could have found his wife’s name is irrelevant.

Novak disagrees.

Any request that he withhold Ms. Wilson’s name from his column of July 14, 2003, would have been “meaningless” once he had been told she was married to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Novak wrote on Monday, because she was openly listed in the directory. But Mr. Novak also wrote that he would never have used Ms. Wilson’s name had anyone from the C.I.A. told him that doing so would endanger her or anyone else.

I still hold to my statement above. Just because he, as a journalist and privvy to a lot of “known” secrets around Washington, could put two and two together still doesn’t protect him from knowingly revealing the identity of a CIA agent.

And I must say that, frankly, I’m pretty much fed up with your games, Novak. Either admit that you got your information from this book or don’t. This “hint” tactic makes you look like a liar engaging in a very transparent display of CYA.

UPDATE: 4:54 p.m. CMT
Reader goy keeps me on my toes by calling out the fact I didn’t link to Novak’s recent column where he made the above comments. Bad oversight on my part. Thanks for the heads up.