The Mix

Answering Arianna

Arianna Huffington has 15 questions for Bob Woodward. I'm pretty sure I can answer one on Woodward's behalf.
Arianna Huffington has 15 timely questions for Bob Woodward.

I think I can answer her second question on Woodward's behalf, which is: "Why were you afraid of being subpoenaed in 2003? Subpoenas of reporters didn't begin until 2004. And how would telling [Post editor] Downie lead to your being subpoenaed?"

Here's what I'm going with: He thought he might be subpoenaed because he knew that there was a possibility that a crime had been committed when Plame's identity had been divulged, and that a legal investigation could ensue. David Corn figured this out pretty quickly after Bob Novak's column came out in July 2003. Woodward was afraid of this possibility because -- thinking about the predominance of self-interest in human decision making -- he didn't want it to get in the way of his book writing and precious stable of White House contacts. Woodward didn't tell Downie because he thought Downie would have ordered him to share that information in some way.
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.
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