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NOVAK: ARMITAGE DID NOT TELL ALL
Wed Sep 13 2006 08:37:07 ET
"When Richard Armitage finally acknowledged last week he was my source three years ago in revealing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA employee, the former deputy secretary of state's interviews obscured what he really did," Bob Novak claims in a column set for Thursday release.
Novak, attempting to set the record straight, writes: "First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he 'thought' might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson. Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column."
Novak slams Armitage for holding back all this time.
Armitage's silence for "two and one-half years caused intense pain for his colleagues in government and enabled partisan Democrats in Congress to falsely accuse Rove of being my primary source," Novak explains.
"When Armitage now says he was mute because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's request, that does not explain his silent three months between his claimed first realization that he was the source and Fitzgerald's appointment on Dec. 30. Armitage's tardy self-disclosure is tainted because it is deceptive."
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