At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.
The operative's identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush's claim that Iraq had tried to buy 'yellowcake' uranium ore from Africa for possible use in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.
The intentional disclosure of a covert operative's identity is a violation of federal law.
A few interesting things about this:
1. This is not cheating on one's spouse. This is a federal crime of a high degree. More than one senior administration official is thought to be involved, with Karl Rove on the hot seat.
2. The media has been curiously slow to investigate. Don't look for much from Fox News or the WSJ.
3. Several journalists declined to use the leaked information, they thought it was a security risk and irrelevant to the story. Robert Novak was the administration shill. His credibility as a journalist may be shot.
4. If Bush was involved, this is an impeachable offense -- no doubt.
With the Washington Post weighing in, the blood is in the water. Now, loose the sharks of print!