The Valerie Plame leak story has been, in my opinion, the most boring, useless, deplorable story of the year. Despite the numerous lies that Joseph Wilson told, despite the twists and turns of the trial, despite the fact that no apparent laws were broken, it continues to get mainstream news coverage (though mostly from MSNBC
...is that still considered "mainstream"?). Yet, despite my utter boredom of the case, Victoria Toensing's
article in the Post today was very interesting, and very insightful, summarizing the many flaws in the prosecution, and many of those involved, including Joseph Wilson himself.
On Dec. 30, 2003, the day Fitzgerald was appointed special counsel, he should have known (all he had to do was ask the CIA) that Plame was not covert, knowledge that should have stopped the investigation right there. The law prohibiting disclosure of a covert agent's identity requires that the person have a foreign assignment at the time or have had one within five years of the disclosure, that the government be taking affirmative steps to conceal the government relationship, and for the discloser to have actual knowledge of the covert status.
From FBI interviews conducted after Oct. 1, 2003, Fitzgerald also knew that then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage had identified Plame as a CIA officer to columnist Robert D. Novak, who first published Plame's name on July 14, 2003.
From my examination of the situation, the only thing that this Kangaroo court has determined is that Wilson is a bit of a liar (though many take his lies as proof
that Bush lied), and that Patrick Fitzgerald needs a hobby other than attacking conservatives.