The right wing is already beginning to build their defense of Karl Rove…or whoever it was that leaked to Bob Novak. According to TPM, Tucker Carlson is saying that Valerie Plame wasn’t really a covert agent, and therefore leaking her name wasn’t a crime. I am unaware of Mr. Carlson’s service with the Central Intelligence Agency that would make him an expert in the field of who is or who is not a covert agent — or what makes an agent covert or not. However, the fact that it was the CIA that asked the Justice Department to investigate this leak should be a clue as to the status of Ms. Plame. On top of that, this sort of rationalization that Mr. Carlson is using is the same kind of parsing and obfuscation that the Republicans blasted the Clinton administration for on the Lewinsky story. We kept hearing over and over that it’s not the deed itself but the complete lack of morality that was the guiding force behind the drive to remove Mr. Clinton. Anyone who would commit adultery while in the Oval Office didn’t deserve to be there. (If so, then we would have missed out on several presidents, including Warren G. Harding — okay, no great loss there.) Well, what kind of morality does it say about an administration that would tolerate someone who would compromise the intelligence community for political payback, regardless of whether or not there was technically a crime committed or not? Even the appearance of improper conduct should be enough to cause some concern among those of the GOP who have, in the past, pursued Democratic administrations with the ferocity of the Spanish Inquisition over questionable dealings.