W.H. Mum On New Leak Disclosure

In this photograph provided by 'Face The Nation', former Amb. Joe Wilson pauses after talking about the grand jury investigation into the leak of the identity of his wife, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, during the taping of 'Face the Nation' Sunday, July 17, 2005 at the CBS studios in Washington. (AP Photo/Face The Nation, Karin Cooper)
AP/Face The Nation/Karen Cooper
The White House is maintaining silence over the leak of a CIA officer's identity despite a journalist's disclosure that Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was a source for a story about the intelligence agent.

A role for Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby is among details revealed Sunday by Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who wrote a first-person account in this week's issue.

Recounting a July 11, 2003, conversation with senior Bush political adviser Karl Rove, Cooper recalled that Rove told him, "I've already said too much" after revealing that the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently worked at the CIA.

Cooper speculated that Rove could have been "worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else."

"I don't know, but that signoff has been in my memory for two years," Cooper wrote.

Until it refused to issue more denials last week, the White House had insisted for nearly two years that Libby and Rove had no connection to the leak of the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame.

On Sunday, Bush administration spokesman David Almacy declined to comment about Libby, citing an independent counsel's ongoing investigation of the case.

Cooper said the 2003 phone call with Rove was the first time he had heard anything about Wilson's wife.

He said he had a subsequent conversation about Wilson and his wife with Libby.

According to Cooper, "Libby replied, 'Yeah, I've heard that too' or words to that effect" when Cooper asked if Libby had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to the African nation of Niger to investigate the possible sale of uranium to Iraq for nuclear weapons.

As part of Patrick Fitzgerald's criminal probe of the identity leak, Cooper testified about his conversation with Libby in a deposition at his lawyer's office in August 2004. Libby, as Rove did this month, provided a specific waiver of confidentiality. In a grand jury appearance last Wednesday, Cooper gave his account of what Rove told him.

Cooper also said there may have been other government officials who were sources for his article. Time posted "A War on Wilson?" on its Web site on July 17, 2003.