So in the end, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the BDS*-suffering left over the leak of Joe Wilson’s wife’s name to the press comes to nothing.
According to a new book, the original source of the leak was Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State under then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Armitage, described by columnist Robert Novak as “not a partisan gunslinger”, apparently had no political motive in revealing Plame’s name. Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby then merely confirmed this already-known information in brief conversations with a couple of other reporters.
The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.
So it was not an effort by the administration to punish Joe Wilson for “speaking truth to power.” There was an effort of course to refute Wilson’s false claims about his trip to Niger, but those efforts were completely legitimate; they were not “punishment”. As we noted before, debunking Lyin’ Joe Wilson is not a crime. The revelation of Valerie Plame’s name was a barely-signifiicant side issue.
Now, it’s past time for Patrick Fitzgerald to wrap up his inquiry and end this thing.