Plame vs. Wilson
Kevin Drum finds it interesting that Ari Fleischer today testified that Scooter Libby told him, four days before Bob Novak’s story was filed, about Valerie Plame’s role in sending her husband, Joe Wilson, to Niger.
Not “Valerie Wilson,” the name she used socially, but “Valerie Plame,” her maiden name and one that she used only on agency business. . . . Novak’s use of the name “Plame” has always been one of my pet obsessions in this story, and I continue to think it’s the key to something. Maybe eventually we’ll find out what. Maybe even today.
There are two problems with this.
First, we already know that Richard Armitage was Bob Novak’s source, not Scooter Libby. Not only does Armitage admit this and Novak confirm it, but prosecutor Patrick Fitgerald made a point of emphasizing it during opening arguments.
Second, none of the testimony thus far about the timeline provides any evidence that Libby knew “the wife” as anything other than “Valerie Wilson” or “Mrs. Wilson.” That’s the name in the file Marc Grossman got from INR and that Craig Schmall had written in the margin of his notes.
So, either Fleischer’s “I believe” is simply wrong–likely swayed by press accounts which have referred to her as “Plame” all these years–or there is some missing piece in the prosecution timeline.