Friday, November 18, 2005

Woodward versus Pincus

I wonder about this quote "I got a call from somebody in the CIA saying he got a call from the best New York Times reporter on this saying exactly that I supposedly had a bombshell."

Who was this CIA agent and how did he know? Presumably he was aware that Fitzgerald had interviewed the SAO about this and that the SAO had alerted Woodward. So how could the CIA know this unless a CIA man was told by the SAO? Or could he have been one of the CIA agents involved in the story already?

Also examining Woodward's previous stories might give an idea on which Senior Administration Officials had been talking to him in the past. For example was there any indication Cheney ever gave stories to Woodward?

Also why would Woodward say this to Pincus in such an off hand manner (while walking past his desk) instead of discussing it like they were both trying to make a story? Usually if one reporter told another about information like this then they would talk more about making a story, otherwise why mention it at all. So this implies Woodward might have been trying to seed the idea with Pincus but not discuss it. This implies Woodward knew not to get involved in talking about this. So this then implies Woodward was wary about spreading this information.

Also the only reason a journalist like Woodward wouldn't try to make a story about this before Novak is because he knew Plame was covert. No other reason makes sense. Therefore the SAO told Woodward Wilson's wife was in fact covert.

Some more questions on this. Woodward's story about talking to Pincus sounds bogus, but so might Pincus's story.

Consider this scenario. Woodward discusses the story with Pincus. Pincus asks Woodward if Wilson's wife is covert. Woodward says No, maybe, or yes. If no, then Pincus and Woodward may have thought it was irrelvant but that doesn't excuse them from reporting it later when it became relevant.

Say Woodward said maybe. Then Pincus might have said it was too risky to write about, or asked Woodward to ask around or ask his SAO. So Pincus decides not to write about it and later is talked to by Fitzgerald. He says nothing about this assuming his conversation with Woodward will never come out and anyway it doesn't matter if he heard it from another reporter.

Then Woodward starts talking and fingers Pincus. Why? Why does Woodward need Pincus to remember a conversation like this? How does that help Woodward? He can't say he passed on the story to Pincus because he must have noticed the story wasn't published. So his work as a journalist wasn't done by talking to Pincus.

It sounds to me Fitzgerald leaned heavily on him as to who he talked to, and for some reason he couldn't tell Pincus about Fitzgerald. Or more likely he talks to Pincus about Fitzgerald and they concoct this ridiculous way Woodward told Pincus between them. This way Pincus can deny hearing the story which stops him being accused of lying to Fitzgerald. It also stops Woodward having to lie about Pincus and rely on Pincus not to rat him out later.

So now Pincus will be talked to by Fitzgerald, and will rely on not hearing Woodward as to why he lied to Fotzgerald earlier or to protect who else he might have told.