A TWN reader just sent me this CNN Inside Politics transcript of an interview with Michael Isikoff. (I can’t hyperlink well from France so will try and do so later)
CROWLEY: Right. So what we are seeing here it looks like is some pushback from the White House, going, well, wait a minute, first of all, it’s not right that the CIA send him. His wife sent him over there. So it could be something…
ISIKOFF: But the problem that people in the White House, Rove among them, may have is how did they know that Valerie Plame, or Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA? What we do know is there was a classified State Department report that said this, that was taken by Secretary of State Powell with him on the trip to Africa that President Bush was then on, and many senior White House aides were on.
That classified State Department report appears to have been — or may well have been the source for the information that Rove and others were then dishing out to reporters. And if that’s the case, there still may be — we don’t know yet, but there still may be an instance where classified information was provided to reporters.
I would like some of you in the intelligence industry to send me notes as to whatever you might know — or might have an educated guess — regarding the likelihood that such a brief, held by Powell, would have come from the Bolton/Fleitz shop.
Fleitz continued to hold a CIA portfolio while working at State as Bolton’s acting Chief of Staff. He is clearly the person who empowered Bolton’s abilities to cherry-pick intelligence and to outmaneuver on some occasions and intimidate other State Department intelligence analysts.
Henry Waxman, in March 2005, sent Chris Shays a letter documenting concerns about Bolton’s office’s role in promulgating the Niger/Uranium story in the administration. Bolton tried to cover his tracks as this post on TWN works through — but there may be links to the Rove/Plame story that are worth sniffing out. Any assistance from intel observers would be helpful however.
One thing that bothers me about the potential link is that Fitzgerald has not sought to subpoena or interview either John Bolton or Fred Fleitz. He’s a smart guy — and if there was a connection between Bolton and Plame — one would think we would have seen inclusion of these personalities in the grand jury investigation.
More sure to come.
— Steve Clemons
(ed. note: Thanks to AW for CNN transcript material.)