A statement attributed to the former CIA spokesman indicating that I deliberately disregarded what he told me in writing my 2003 column about Joseph Wilson's wife is just plain wrong.
Though frustrated, I have followed the advice of my attorneys and written almost nothing about the CIA leak over two years because of a criminal investigation by a federal special prosecutor. The lawyers also urged me not to write this. But the allegation against me is so patently incorrect and so abuses my integrity as a journalist that I feel constrained to reply.
In the course of a front-page story in last Wednesday's Washington Post, Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei quoted ex-CIA spokesman Bill Harlow describing his testimony to the grand jury. In response to my question about Valerie Plame Wilson's role in former Amb. Wilson's trip to Niger, Harlow told me she "had not authorized the mission." Harlow was quoted as later saying to me "the story Novak had related to him was wrong."
This gave the impression I ignored an official's statement that I had the facts wrong but wrote it anyway for the sake of publishing the story. That would be inexcusable for any journalist and particularly a veteran of 48 years in Washington. The truth is otherwise, and that is why I feel compelled to write this column.
The guy who outs a CIA operative and helps his GOP buddies now says he "eagerly await[s] the end of this investigation" so he can "correct other misinformation about me." Just before he's hauled off in cuffs for compromising national security.