...Mr. Rove is turning out to be the real "whistleblower" in this whole sorry pseudo-scandal. He's the one who warned Time's Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson's credibility. He's the one who told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not by Vice President Dick Cheney as Mr. Wilson was asserting on the airwaves. In short, Mr. Rove provided important background so Americans could understand that Mr. Wilson wasn't a whistleblower but was a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign.
Tinkerty Tonk has a roundup of the latest Roviana.
The whole episode makes me wonder what in hell we have a CIA for. The people who selected Wilson for a top-secret mission to Niger are to be compared in ineptitude with the bunch who hired Ward Churchill. I wouldn't hire a plumber on his wife's recommendation. Not, at least, without asking for references or doing a background check. (Our library instituted background checks on new hires after 9/11. Cost: $15.) But wait--isn't the CIA supposed to be this terrific bunch of intelligence agents? No one currently on the payroll would do? An unknown jerk is hired on his wife's recommendation for a routine mission without even a cursory look into his background. They could have googled him.
As for Ms. Plame: apparently she was no longer a secret agent, having recently been outed by someone else. Her duties seem to have included taking papers out of her inbox and putting them in her outbox. Not a file clerk--that's a higher level.
I wonder how much dead wood is in the CIA. I'd guess about 99 percent.