Hints of Intrigue, Betrayal And Intersection...
Several former officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby had several areas of intersection. Mr. Libby also held the rank of a presidential adviser, and he stood in for Mr. Cheney frequently on domestic and foreign policy meetings. Both men had a hand in the marketing, and later, the defense, of the Iraq strategy. But they approached it from different angles. Mr. Libby was involved in developing and assessing intelligence about Iraq and using it to build the case for the war, and then defending that case as it began to unravel. Mr. Rove built a re-election strategy for Mr. Bush that relied heavily on his prosecution of the war against terrorism and the Iraq invasion.
Both men had their own contacts among journalists. Mr. Rove dealt mostly with political reporters, including the conservative columnist Robert Novak, who first disclosed Ms. Wilson’s identity. Mr. Libby tended to speak with reporters who focused on national security matters, including Judith Miller, then of The New York Times.
Mr. Fitzgerald has also introduced a new player into the mix, Ari Fleischer, Mr. McClellan’s predecessor as White House press secretary. Mr. Fleischer, Mr. Fitzgerald said in court on Tuesday, had been informed by Mr. Libby about Ms. Wilson’s identity as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson, the former diplomat whose criticism of pre-war intelligence about Iraq had set off the case. Mr. Fleischer had later discussed Ms. Wilson with reporters including David Gregory of NBC News, according to the account.<more>