There's been a rush of egregious commentary about the Niger uranium story in the last couple days. And one point we hear again and again is that if Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, played a role in recommending him for the trip to Niger, as the SSCI report
clearly states, then this wholly changes the legal and political implications of the administration officials' decision to reveal her identity in the press.
As I pointed out a couple days ago, legally it is clearly irrelevant
. Political impact is of course both subjective and unpredictable. So, though we might all venture opinions, there's very little way to know.
But, really, why argue?
If there's no legal case and no political problem, why don't the senior administration officials who leaked her identity just come forward?
If their rationale is a good one and they face no legal jeopardy, what's the problem?
It seems like a great opportunity to clear the air, settle the story, ascertain the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
Doing so will save much of the money being spent on the investigation Mr. Fitzgerald is running. They can save themselves a lot of attorneys' fees. And they can have a free opportunity to explain the rationale behind their decision and why they believed it was the right thing to do in the context.
I can only assume by their silence that they're rather less confident about the quality of their explanation and the degree of their legal jeopardy than their many voluble defenders in the conservative press.