In investigations, the key to getting to the truth is to sometimes "back track" over all the information you have gathered so far. That's because as you gather new information, you always find old information much more clearer.

In this post, I'm going back to Bob Novak's article - no not the July 14th one, but the "clarification" he wrote on October 1st, 2003. There are a few key portions that now makes things crystal clear in light of some of my new documentation I've received.

"WASHINGTON -- I had thought I never again would write about retired diplomat Joseph Wilson's CIA-employee wife, but feel constrained to do so now that repercussions of my July 14 column have reached the front pages of major newspapers and led off network news broadcasts. My role and the role of the Bush White House have been distorted and need explanation.

The leak now under Justice Department investigation is described by former Ambassador Wilson and critics of President Bush's Iraq policy as a reprehensible effort to silence them. To protect my own integrity and credibility, I would like to stress three points. First, I did not receive a planned leak. Second, the CIA never warned me that the disclosure of Wilson's wife working at the agency would endanger her or anybody else. Third, it was not much of a secret.

The current Justice investigation stems from a routine, mandated probe of all CIA leaks, but follows weeks of agitation. Wilson, after telling me in July that he would say nothing about his wife, has made investigation of the leak his life's work -- aided by the relentless Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. These efforts cannot be separated from the massive political assault on President Bush."

Now I've bolded that last statement, because beginning right after 9/11 and right through the Spring, Summer, Fall of 2003, the CIA sprung leaks all over the place. It seemed that every day some "new revelation", cited by an "anonymous CIA person", about the War or the lead up to the war was coming to light. I remember thinking, "Wow! The 'Game is On'

Fact is that for the the last 2 1/2 years everybody has been talking about the "one leak", of a Langley Desk Jockey, but there were in fact many leaks - "designed leaks" - during that period with far more reaching consequences.

After all, was not our preliminary War Plans were published(thanks to the NY Times), before it started. How did the NY Times come upon those plans except that they were leaked?

The fact is that the intitial resistance to our involvement in Iraq came from the "bowels" of the Agency, as It has become increasingly clear that in fact CIA ops forged the Niger Docs and funneled them through to Italian Intelligence. How they ended up in the possession of an anonymous Nigerian female staffer, who gave them to Rocco Matino isn't clear, but it is clear who had a 'hand' in working them up.

The fact that they were were basically written on older Nigerian Stationary, the kind staionary say any "Businessman with "extensive contacts in the region" may have had lying around, say from previous trips to the region say oh, about 1999.

I would say, very convenient. Just a little "cutting and pasting" needed.

For the record, I reject Josh Marshalls assertion that Italian Intel - specifically an active agent in service - forged the documents - especially since his source is ''Mr. documento" Rocco Martino. Sorry, no dice.

Funny that in his October 1st, article Mr. Novak, said that the whole reason he got interested this "Game":

"This story began July 6 when Wilson went public and identified himself as the retired diplomat who had reported negatively to the CIA in 2002 on alleged Iraq efforts to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger. I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one."

This story smelled funny from the get-go. How did Wilson get this job when he wasn't even remotely qualified and in the end didn't talk to anyone anyway. Not withstanding he didn't sign a standard NDA, or even file a decent report.

Nope, at this point all roads lead to Langley, and to the office of CPD all the way to the heart of the Plame Game - Valerie Plame herself.

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