Now, as you've probably heard, Speaker Hastert and Sen. Frist have called for an investigation into the Washington Post story which revealed the existence of secret interrogation (torture) facilities the United States is running in Eastern Europe.
No doubt, this will spawn a wave of complaints that this is the logical result of the investigation of the White House's effort to betray a serving covert CIA operative as a way of attacking her whistle-blowing husband.
We're all supposed to go chasing our tails now, agonizing over how to distinguish between these two cases.
But actually, let's not.
It was wise of Pat Fitzgerald not to seek indictments for the mere disclosure of classified information, both on the basis of prudence and also the questionable interpretation of the law that defines such disclosures as illegal.
The most obvious way to distinguish these two cases is to observe that Congress, in its wisdom, chose to make this particular sort of disclosure a felony, different in kind rather than degree from all others.
The prosecutor apparently did not believe or does not yet believe that he has enough evidence to prosecute anyone under that law. Instead, he indicted Libby for repeatedly, and it seems unambiguously, lying to investigators and seeking to obstruct the investigation in an effort to shield the vice president, who was certainly party to the effort.
Setting aside the legal particulars, we can observe the difference between betraying the identity of own of the country's own spies as a tool of government policy and revealing information about government policy to the press.
A disntinction with no grey areas? No. But life is built on distinctions reasonable people are forced to make every day.
What we have here is an administration under the sway of men with lawless and authoritarian tendencies. Betraying one of the country's own spies to cover up revelations about dishonest actions in leading the country to war, attempts to squelch the press to hide government policy of supporting torture. These actions are all cut from the same cloth: cover-ups and secrecy to hide lies and dishonorable acts, all backed by force and disregard for the law.
Now it seems Sen. Lott is telling reporters he thinks the leaks came from Republicans, which is at least one more sign that there are a growing number of Republicans more interested in their country's honor than in the Cheney gang's governance by violence and lies.
Let them investigate Republicans, Democrats; let them take it before judges. Whatever. Lies beget coverups which beget more law breaking into a spiralling cycle. The executive is in corrupt hands. Nothing will change till that does.