He says he was reading Novak's newspaper column again, on Oct. 1, 2003, and "he said he was told by a non-partisan gun slinger."
"I almost immediately called Secretary Powell and said, 'I'm sure that was me,'" Armitage says.
Armitage immediately met with FBI agents investigating the leak.
"I told them that I was the inadvertent leak," Armitage says. He didn't get a lawyer, however.
"First of all, I felt so terrible about what I'd done that I felt I deserved whatever was coming to me. And secondarily, I didn't need an attorney to tell me to tell the truth. I as already doing that," Armitage explains. "I was not intentionally outing anybody. As I say, I have tremendous respect for Ambassador. Wilson's African credentials. I didn't know anything about his wife and made an offhand comment. I didn't try to out anybody."
He is also really, really sorry:
"Oh I feel terrible. Every day, I think I let down the president. I let down the Secretary of State. I let down my department, my family and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson," he says.
When asked if he feels he owes the Wilsons an apology, he says, "I think I've just done it."
But not sorry enough to tell the president what he had done, or save the bacon of Libby,Cheney or Rove:
That was nearly three years ago, but the political firestorm over who leaked Valerie Plame's identity continued to burn as Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald began hauling White House officials and journalists before a grand jury.
Armitage says he didn't come forward because "the special counsel, once he was appointed, asked me not to discuss this and I honored his request."