September 28, 2003

Is Powell Leaking?

Josh Marshall is keeping up on this White House CIA leak scandal. He's of the opinion that the person leaking the scandal details to the press is CIA director George Tenet. Makes sense on a lot of levels, but something is missing, a motive. Well Tenet has a few, but they are a bit nasty, revenge and power. The Washington Post article cites "a senior administration official" as fingering "two top White House officials" in releasing the agents name to the press. Which opens up a question:

Which senior administration officials have a vested interest in pushing this story to the public?

Tenet does as head of the CIA, but he started the inquiry, does he need to push it further?

Lets also look at this quote:

It is rare for one Bush administration official to turn on another. Asked about the motive for describing the leaks, the senior official said the leaks were "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."

Now Tenet is right to be furious about the leaking of a CIA agents identity, but would he really be saying he's talking because the actions "were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility"? Maybe, not going to rule it out, but it sounds like some other sort of political operation going on...

So who else has motives? Allow me to suggest Colin Powell. Earlier this week a video surfaced of him in 2001 talking about how the sanctions on Iraq had worked and there was no WMD threat in Iraq. And they were edging into the mainstream media. His credibility was potentially about to take a hit. On top of that he's a bit a of a victim of the Bush administration. Its pretty clear he was against the Iraq war and only joined up in the media campaign due to political pressure. The neocons got him to support a cause he didn't believe in and his political credibility is shot because of it. If the WMD videos became a big time story he'd be close to his political deathbed. Its not exactly hard to see how he might be angry at the likes of the head political strategist Karl Rove.

By pushing this story Powell could get some real revenge. More importantly there is a good chance that the scandal around the WMD statements might fade away. The CIA leek is juicier then the WMD video, way juicier. It buys Powell some time, makes him look better, and if he's lucky his blatant lies will be forgotten.

Its just a theory of course, the good money is still on Tenet leaking. But lets not rule out Powell. Could be someone else too, perhaps there is another angle?

High drama in DC, life is stranger then fiction, no?

addendum:

There maybe even more to this. This story has been circulating in slightly less credible journalistic circles for a while now. I first saw it written up by someone named Al Martin, just reread his article from September 2. Please note I have no idea how credible this guy is, but he's got lots of info that indicates that Powell would have access to all the necessary info know what went down:

When Ambassador Wilson was asked how he knew it was Rove, he had documents in his possession identifying Rove as the leaker from a secret investigation of the State Departmentís Internal Security Unit. It was from a small clique, four Clinton holdovers in that department of the State Department that were sympathetic to what had happened to Wilson.

These investigations could not have possibly been made without at least the tacit acquiescence of Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Posted by Abe at September 28, 2003 04:01 PM

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