Sunday, July 17, 2005

When is a "leak" a "plant"?

Talk show guests on Sunday are rehashing and spinning the revelation to reporters of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. Who leaked the information? Why?

Did it come from Karl Rove to get even for the truth Plame's husband had published concerning President Bush's false story of Saddam's buying enriched Uranium from Africa? Was it an inadvertant revelation by Rove, who admits having said, "Ambassador Wilson's wife.." not realizing that Wilson had but one wife and her identity would be easily found out? Rove seems smarter than that. But he argues now that he did not reveal her name! It depends on the meaning of "name,"perhaps.

It is typical Washington D.C. strutting and ducking by people involved. If the evidence plays out as it seems today, one wonders how long before someone calls the despicable outing a "plant" rather than a "leak."

And so far no one has answered the question adequately about why Robert Novak, who first printed the story, is not being questioned and, perhaps, jailed.

He contends he has broken no laws. Could that mean he doesn't realize how badly he has been used by whoever fed him the information for his story? Or that he knows, but accepts his Bush League role. He also has said that he printed the story because, "The public has a right to know."

That may be legally true. But it is hard to see why if we, the public, have a right to know the identity of CIA operatives, we don't also have the right to know who is compromising their effectiveness on the job and, perhaps, endangering their lives by "leaking" those identities to the public.