Amnesia Epidemic Sweeps Capitol: Like Judy, Rove Can’t Remember Who Gave Him Plame’s Name

Something in the water: Forget bird flu, there’s been an outbreak of chronic amnesia in Washington, D.C. First New York Times Judith Miller testified before the CIA Leak grand jury that she could not remember who gave her the name of CIA secret agent Valerie Flame, er, Plame – now President Bush’s top Flying Monkey Karl Rove says he can’t remember who first said her name to him either.

What are the chances of two witnesses (suspects?) in this political scandal having a memory lapse about essentially the very same thing: the identity of the person who gave them the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame?

We learn of Rove’s memory lapse, ironically, from an account of his grand jury testimony leaked to the Associated Press:

During one of his grand jury appearances, Rove was shown testimony from Libby suggesting the two had discussed with each other information they had gotten about Wilson’s wife from reporters in early July 2003.

Rove responded that Libby’s testimony was consistent with his general recollection that he had first learned Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA from reporters or government officials who had talked with reporters.

Rove testified that he never intended any of his comments to reporters about Wilson’s wife to serve as confirmation of Plame’s identity. Rove “has always clearly left open that he first heard this information from Libby,” said one person directly familiar with Rove’s grand jury testimony.

That person said Rove testified he believes he heard general information about Wilson’s wife on two occasions before he talked with reporters in July 2003 and then learned her name from syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

Rove testified he probably first heard of Wilson’s wife in a casual social setting outside the White House in the spring of 2003 but could not remember who provided the information.

What are the chances of two witnesses (suspects?) in this political scandal having a memory lapse about essentially the very same thing: the identity of the person who gave them the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame?

Answer: Zero to none.

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