Novak: I'd print Valerie Plame Wilson's name again
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday July 4, 2007
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When Robert Novak publishes his memoir, The Prince of Darkness, 50 Years Reporting in Washington, the conservative political pundit will seek to settle some scores with colleagues in the nation's capitol. But he won't be expressing any regrets for printing the name of and 'outing' covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, according to a Tuesday report in 'Washington Whispers,' a blog published by US News and World Report.

"Novak was investigated in the CIA spy case, slammed by fellow journalists for 'outing' an agent, the subject of what he calls false stories, kicked off his regular CNN gig, and barred from Meet the Press for two years-and out $160,000 in legal fees," Paul Bedard, who acquired a copy of the forthcoming book, writes. "Still, he writes, 'Judging it on the merits, I would still write the story.'"

The pundit also has choice words for Ambassador Joe Wilson, Plame's husband, who was sent by the CIA to investigate claims that Niger was selling uranium oxide or yellowcake to Iraq.

"He kept saying, 'We did this'' and 'We did that.' The 'we,' I soon surmised, consisted of the National Security Council staff in the departed Clinton administration. He was making clear that 'we' handled affairs better than 'they'--the Bush NSC--did now," Novak reportedly writes. "In view of what followed, I hope I can be excused for the vulgarism that crossed my mind: 'What an asshole!'"

Novak also reiterates that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was his sole source for Plame's identity. He insists that the 'leak' was not a deliberate act on the part of a White House out to get the Wilsons.

"After mentioning her first name, 'Valerie,' Novak says that Armitage even joked, 'that's real Evans and Novak, isn't it,' a reference to the type of insider gossip Novak and his deceased former colleague Rowland Evans used to traffic in," Bedard reports Novak saying.

Novak reportedly adds, "I am sure it was not a planned leak but came out as an offhand observation."

Bedard's full report can be accessed at this link.