Now that Bob Woodward has moved to center stage of the CIA leak investigations, like the fat lady near the end of an opera, I have to say that in my opinion, his involvement isn’t nearly as important as everyone would have us believe. Sure, it means that there is another “Senior White House Official” involved in leaking the identity of a CIA operative. But Scooter Libby still lied, and Patrick Fitzgerald seems to have a carefully laid plan to root out all the other participants, with or without Woodward coming forward. Sure, he brought Woodward in for a 2-hour deposition on Monday, but how much could be covered in a 2-hour deposition of Bob Woodward anyway?
seenos has used double super-secret confidential sources to obtain a copy of the transcript of Monday’s deposition and here is how it begins:
Fitzgerald: Would you state your full name for the record?
Woodward: Rob-bert Wood-ward.
Fitzgerald: And would you state your occupation?
Woodward: I’m the Ass-sis-tent Man-na-ging Ed-did-dor of the Wash-shing-ton Post.
Fitzgerald: And do you understand that your statements here today are being recorded and will be given the same weight as testimony in a court of law?
Woodward: Yes, Mis-ster Fitz-ger-rald. I have part-tic-cip-pat-ted in dep-pos-sit-tions bef-fore.
Fitzgerald: Well, we’ve been at it for about 50 minutes now. I think we should take a 10-minute break and then resume the deposition.
So, you see how unlikely it is that there was much time for anything of substance in the 2-hour deposition! Frankly, I think Woodward may just be making up stories anyway. He didn’t want to see a major historical event pass by without being able to write his own first-person account of being in the middle of it. In fact, rumors abound that he already has a book written and ready for publication, in which his secret source is known only as “Debbie-Who-Did-Dallas!”
All kidding aside, I could say a lot more about the implications of Woodward’s involvement in the case, and of its affect on his reputation, but much of it has already been said far better than I could here, here, and here, among other places.
I just want to say that it is striking how someone like Woodward, who came on to the scene as a tough, gutsy, dedicated reporter who helped topple a corrupt administration, is going to go out as a pathetic, cheerleading, apologist for an even more corrupt administration!
Actually, after distilling all of the information available today, I’m left with the feeling that the real reason Woodward came forward at the last minute is simply part of the Bush Administration plan to run out the clock on this investigation until after the 2008 elections. I mean, what better way to make sure the case drags on beyond 2008 than to have Bob Wood-ward on the list of wit-nes-ses who are sched-du-eled to test-tif-fy?