Wash. Post headline, lede on Libby's alleged falsehoods: "Libby Left Out Some Facts"


A February 2 Washington Post article on the trial of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby bore the headline, "Libby Left Out Some Facts In Interviews, FBI Agent Says," referring to FBI agent Deborah S. Bond's testimony the previous day. According to the Post's lead paragraph, Bond testified that Libby "did not acknowledge disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters" during interviews with Bond in 2003. However, it was not until much later in the article that the Post noted that Bond testified that Libby actually denied having leaked Plame's identity or having had any knowledge of Plame -- not that he simply "left out" or "did not acknowledge" that fact.

In contrast, a February 2 New York Times article on the trial, headlined "F.B.I. Agent Says Libby Denied Being Leak Source," began: "An F.B.I. agent told a jury Thursday that I. Lewis Libby Jr. 'claimed' during formal interviews she conducted that he had not disclosed to two reporters the identity of Valerie Wilson," and noted in the third paragraph that the two reporters in question -- former New York Times reporter Judith Miller and former Time magazine White House correspondent Matthew Cooper -- had already testified that Libby did leak Plame's identity to them.

Libby faces five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements relating to the federal investigation into the leak of Plame's identity. Plame is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who, in a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, cast doubt on President Bush's claims that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium from Niger.

From the first paragraph of the February 2 Washington Post article:

One of the FBI agents who interviewed I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby during the CIA leak investigation testified yesterday that the vice president's then-chief of staff did not acknowledge disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters, asserting that he was surprised when another journalist later told him about her.

It was not until the article's 11th paragraph that the Post noted Libby's alleged denial:

According to Bond, Libby told her that he did not recall discussing Wilson's wife with Miller. In Cooper's case, Bond testified, Libby said he had simply told Cooper that other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA but that Libby did not know whether that was true.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Intelligence, War in Iraq
The Washington Post
CIA Leak Investigation
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