In July, two White House officials, in retaliation for former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s criticism of Bush’s false WMD info, revealed that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA operative. To reveal something like this is illegal and a breach of national security. Apparently these two officials called six different reporters for different papers to illegally leaking the information; it was eventually printed by syndicated columnist Robert Novak. See the Washington Post story, and the New York Times story on this.
The Justice Department is now investigating. Atrios has an interesting post speculating on who it might have been in the Administration. His short list is: 1) Dick Cheney � Vice President, 2) Karl Rove Senior — Advisor to the President, 3) Condi Rice — Assistant to the President for National Security, 4) Andy Card � White House Chief of Staff, 5) Ari Fleisher — Press Secretary, 6) Dan Bartlett � Assistant to the President for Communication, 7) John Gordon — Assistant to the President and Homeland Security Advisor, 8) Scooter Libby � Vice President�s Chief of Staff
So what did the President know, and when did he know it? Stay tuned for an independent counsel investigation. But since all this happened several months ago, and since Bush has knowledge of it since then but has not fired the two administration officials involved: “Misprision of felony: Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
The other question of importance is, how the hell did the white house know that Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative? Who told them about it? There’s a much deeper story here.