It took three decades for the world to learn the identity of Deep Throat. How long will it take to uncover the name of the Bush administration official who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Bob Woodward?
Assuming that everyone is being truthful -- and at this point, in this story, that's a very big assumption to make -- the New York Times helps narrow the list today. A "senior administration official" says it wasn't George W. Bush, Andy Card or Dan Bartlett. Spokesmen for Colin Powell, George Tenet and John McLaughlin say it wasn't them, either. Woodward says it wasn't Scooter Libby. Karl Rove's lawyer says it wasn't him.
So who was the first administration official to leak Plame's identity to a reporter? Check out this paragraph from the Times: "Mr. Cheney did not join the parade of denials. A spokeswoman said he would have no comment on a continuing investigation."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.