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Is Robert Novak an Agency "Asset"?

By Tom Hayden

I am distracted from the trials of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper because of the larger shadow of Robert Novak, whose apparent immunity from prosecution is unexplainable. Is Novak the protected asset of one of our intelligence agencies?

It may be that his musings over the past 45 years merely parallels the inner world of the intelligence community, but his present protected status is eerie.

He's not really a journalist, nor is he a party liner. But over the years there has been a pattern.

I remember in the civil rights movement when he wrote 1963 columns alleging infiltration of the movement by "far left" elements (as recalled in his own recollections, May 15, 2003). Who were his sources?

Then during the anti-Vietnam movement, he and partner Rowland Evans were the first to write that Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had drawn up a secret and sinister plan to "sabotage the war effort" by draft refusal, a "calculated effort to illegally undermine" the Johnson Administration. On cue, Senator Stennis of Mississippi rose on the floor the next day to ask the government to "jerk this movement up by the roots and grind it to bits." (Oct. 14, 1965 column, Herald Tribune).

And so on, over the years. The Washington Post accused him of leaking for Richard Perle in 2003. ("Novak Leak Has Familiar Sound", Oct. 7, 2003). Last year Novak announced that his son was director of marketing for Regnery, publishers of the Swift Boat veterans' book which Novak was touting on the air. According to a biographic source, he is a converted Catholic and member of the secret organization Opus Dei. (google wikipedia, see Walsh, The Secret World of Opus Dei for evidence of funding and connections between the CIA and Opus Dei in Latin America).

Such evidence is enough to indicate that Novak enjoys the company and perhaps is a fellow traveller of intelligence agency sources he's interviewed over the years. But it is well-known that the CIA and FBI have paid covert media "assets" over the years. Novak's recent bizarre silence, and his enjoyment of immunity despite being the source of Bush Administration leaks against Valerie Plame, point more clearly than ever to a special relationship which compromises his ethics as a journalist.

Perhaps protecting their own, the media has done little to investigate Novak. It should begin now. Will anyone try to out Robert Novak, or would that reveal too much?


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Robert Novak should be investigated!

This whole episode is shameful. Novak knows who outed Valerie Plane...if he didn't/doesn't expose whom it was, he is the one who should be going to jail. Ashcroft picked the wonder it's ending up like this.

People are dying EVERYDAY and you are concerned if Novak is lying? Please, stay focused. Do you want to talk about Novak, or do you want to bring our brothers, sisters, family and friends home today?
PLEASE STAY FOCUSED - bring our troops home first then start worrying about if someone is lying.

Concerned Citizen

People are dying every day and that gouhl Novak helped send them by quoting party rhetoric and lies ( that's redundant isn't it )for that reason I agree he should be revealed as an operative. He doesn't seem to think it is a problem to name undercover agents even though Bush 1 said that was a crime. I have asked CNN repeatedly to fire that slime .

You have to start somewhere... The odds of successfully taking down the walls protecting this Administration and its cronies in a single blow seems slim to none... However, if we can start unravelling more lies and deceipt such as in this case, and finally get it out into the public and MSM, support for ending this war and ending the unaccountability of the white house will continue to grow.

I apologize for my last comment. I'm really upset that our media is not covering the most important thing in history, and it's not getting reported. Everyday, i see these B.S commercials trying to convince parents to let their child join the army and good folks wouldn't think twice to not question our government.
Bush's administration doesn't care about us.
Please continue to keep us informed, with your findings. Is it possible that our media is in on this? If so, can their be any reform, for them to not have so much power?
Concerned Citizen

Bush: "This is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don't know if we're going to find out the 'senior administration official'." Posted OCTOBER 2003

"In my judgment, [Rove's] behavior, even if it is not criminal, it is certainly below the standards of ethics we have a right to expect from our senior White House leadership," Wilson said. "It's an outrageous abuse of power."

"I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this," O'Donnell said, seemingly unfazed by the federal prosecutor's unusual intent to force journalists to reveal their sources. "But the source for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine is going to do with the grand jury."

Karl Rove was little known outside Texas political circles, he was fired from George H.W. Bush's 1992 reelection campaign for leaking information to syndicated columnist Robert Novak. According to newspaper reports at the time, Rove was terminated for passing information to Novak from a meeting of the president's chief advisors. Rove denied he was the leaker.

Today, with another Bush in office, a journalist is being jailed to protect a source that led Novak to name a CIA operative, Valerie Plame. There is fevered speculation that Novak's source was, once again, Karl Rove.

If Rove, George W. Bush's deputy chief of staff, knowingly revealed Plame's name, he could be charged with committing a felony. The same source that revealed the operative's name to Novak reportedly also spoke to two other journalists, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, confirmed to reporters on Saturday that Rove spoke with Cooper days prior to the publication of Novak's column in July 2003. But Luskin denied that Rove named Plame.


It might say that Bush's thugs are actually in control of the Plame case investigation, and therefore not really in any danger from it at all.

Novak and Cooper published the story, as ordered in pursuit of the administration's vengeance. Miller refused to participate in their crime, though she had served as their journalistic hit-man in many other cases. Maybe they control the investigation and are punishing her for insubordination, as you might expect the mafia to punish a member who refused to follow orders to commit a crime.

All of the above should be investigated for all their alleged crimes, and the President should be prosscuted for war crimes. I have been wondering why Robert Novak is running around free.

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