WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- White House staffers may have known Joseph Wilson was married to a CIA operative weeks before Wilson publicly criticized Iraq war policy.
Time magazine reports a June 2003 internal State Department memo mentioned that Wilson was married to CIA agent Valerie Plame. The memo was read by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and possibly by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the magazine reported.
Time said that prospect increases the chances that White House adviser Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from administration sources, rather than from media contacts as Rove has suggested to investigators.
A federal prosecutor and grand jury are investigating whether a government official leaked Plame's name to reporters. The investigation began after syndicated columnist Robert Novak included Plame's name in a column, identifying her as Wilson's wife.
Wilson said his wife's name was leaked as part of White House smear campaign against him because he refuted administration claims Iraq was trying to obtain nuclear materials from Niger.
The CIA requested the investigation because it is a federal crime to reveal the name of a covert CIA operative.