Washington Post Editorial
End of an Affair
It turns out that the person who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame was not out to punish her husband

…It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage’s identity been known three years ago….

…Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

The full editorial is here.

Those who suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome will still regard Joe Wilson as a courageous truth teller. They will still claim that the 16 words were false. They cannot be convinced otherwise, which is exactly why they cannot be trusted, believed or respected.

UPDATE: In my never ending drive to be fair and balanced, here is Media Matters take (HT: DougH)

UPDATE 2: Here is DougH’s take,

Bottom lineâ??and this is in the Post editorial if you look closelyâ??Rove and Libby were involved, and it was still wrong

Bottom bottom lineâ??Even people on the left agree that Wilson was out of lineâ??the whole Plame mess is something the administration brought on itselfâ??unnecessarily. They could have attacked Wilsonâ??s claims on there own merits or lack thereof. This is the same sort of thinking that created more opposition to the Iraq warâ??making up not-fully-baked rationales (premature judgment on WMD, tenuous 9/11 connections that insulted the intelligence of the voting public) when they just could have said â??weâ??re going in because we shouldâ?– than they otherwise might have encountered.

Yay for the Post for turning on Wilson hereâ??but a victory dance by the White House would look Plame (I mean plain) dumb.