Thursday, November 17, 2005

What About Woodward?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what to make about all the permutations of Bob Woodward’s revelations in the CIA leak case other than it now sounds like we have two reporters instead of just one — Judith Miller — who kept things from their editors. But a couple of things seem pretty clear to me.

Scooter Libby’s attorneys seem to be heartened by the news that someone else other than Mr. Libby leaked the name of Ms. Plame to a reporter. I suppose that would be good news if Mr. Libby was under indictment for leaking the name of Ms. Plame, but he isn’t. He’s been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice; Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald specifically didn’t indict anyone for leaking.

Also, the Conventional Wisdom seems to be that since there was more than one person leaking the name to more reporters, that somehow gets Mr. Libby and Karl Rove off the hook. Huh? All that means is that there are more people to investigate; the “everybody did it” defense doesn’t exonerate one person; anyone who watches Law and Order knows that if three people conspire to commit a murder, they’re all culpable, not just the guy who pulled the trigger.

This kind of defense coming from a White House that prided itself in being secretive and leak-proof is, to quote the immortal bard, “passing strange.” But I suppose when they consider that it is perfectly acceptable to do whatever it takes to obliterate their opponents for political gain and revenge, anything goes.