Rhymes with Puskin
These two strange, single-sourced, anonymous stories, in today's WaPo and NYT, both claiming that Karl Rove was actually told Valerie Plame's name by Robert Novak, were so oily that it was difficult to read them without them sliding away. Anyone wondering who this source was? Let's see, a source familiar with the case, who believes "that Mr. Rove was truthful in saying that he had not disclosed Ms. Wilson's identity?" I'll give you three guesses who that source is.
(UPDATE: WaPo has now changed the story to admit their source was, in fact, Rove;s lawyer Robert Luskin; I don't think that was there in the edition I read last night.)
The claim is that Rove was the second source for Novak's original story; he confirmed Novak's question about Plame being a CIA agent by saying "I heard that." Someone's lying here. Rove said in the recent past he didn't know Plame's name when he talked to Matt Cooper; this conversation with Novak happened earlier. Also, Novak repeatedly claimed in the aftermath of the original leak in 2003 that "they gave it to me, I didn't have to dig it out." (The "it" referring to Plame) Now the story is that Rove merely confirmed it, that it was the other way around.
The New York Times and the Washington Post don't typically run the same story, using the same source, unless it was shopped to them. Luskin, I'm guessing, went to reporters and peddled this information in the hopes that it would help his client. For a guy in the midst of a federal grand jury case, he sure is being chatty. Then again, this is a guy that was once paid in gold bars for his services, so I'm not thinking he has a lot of modesty in him.