Do you think it's more important to find out who leaked Plame's name... or.... find out who leaked that two officials from the white house did indeed release the name?
They would rather find the person exposing them... which isn't a crime at all.http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1008-04.htm
Two-thousand White House staffers had been told to review their records for possible leak details. It was quite telling how the request was framed.
They were asked about all connections with Novak, of course. But they were also told to reveal any contacts with two other journalists - Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps, both of Newsday.
Royce is a veteran reporter in the paper's Washington Bureau, well-wired in the world of spooks and spies. Phelps is our Washington Bureau chief.
They had not blown anyone's cover. They had not revealed anybody's name. Novak took care of that.
Royce and Phelps had simply done a follow-up after Novak's piece ran, pinning down an ambiguity in the columnist's reporting. They nailed the fact that Plame hadn't been some mere analyst or researcher at the CIA. She was an undercover operative overseas, whose vengeful unmasking risked terrible consequences - to her safety, her sources and her country.
So by probing contacts with Royce and Phelps, the White House could only be trying to discover who in the CIA helped embarrass the White House.
It's a way of pointing fingers. ("If we leaked, so did you.") It's a way of settling bureaucratic scores. ("You undermined our case for war.")
But all leaks aren't illegal.
Some are in the highest tradition of truth-telling and journalism.
And embarrassing the administration is not yet a crime, despite what some in the White House seem to believe.