A trip down memory lane

Remember how all the apologists yammered that it was “widely known” that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative? Well, there’s a little more to the story:

MR. RUSSERT: And we are back talking to Ambassador Joe Wilson. His book, “Politics of Truth.” Here’s the book. “According to my sources, between March 2003 and the appearance of my article in July” — in The Times — “the workup on me that turned up the information on Valerie was shared with Karl Rove, who then circulated it in administration and neoconservative circles.”

So you’re saying as early as March the information about your wife being a CIA operative was being distributed by the White House?

AMB. JOSEPH WILSON: That’s the information I have. That also would explain how Mr. Novak got information so quickly, how to — a decision was made for two people to call six journalists and leak the information within a couple of days. And it also explains how Cliff May, who wrote for the National Review online, suggested in a matter of days after my article appeared and a leak appeared, that it was widely known in Washington that my wife worked for the CIA. It was not widely known. None of my friends, for example, knew it. So it’s hard to believe that it was widely known unless somebody else put that story out.

So it’s a tautological excuse: it was “widely known” because Karl Rove was going around telling people.