Leaking the names of CIA agents is not politics; it is a crime. Lying to congress about evidence for a war is not politics; it is a crime. Failing to tell a grand jury that you met with a reporter and talked about the CIA agent is not forget fullness; it is a crime. Deceiving your entire nation and frightening children and adults with images of nuclear explosions in order to get them to support a bloody invasion of another country is not politics; it is a crime. Anyone other than Karl Rove and Lewis Libby and Tom Delay who does not get this, please raise your hand. The three of you will need to stay after class for further instruction in civics.
Fortunately, as the leaves of the Aspens continue to turn in Colorado the suspects are also turning in Washington. Targets will be pleading and dealing and soon will be singing. We are, hopefully, seeing the beginning of an investigation that will broaden until it disabuses the final few million Bush supporters of their naivete. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald must surely just be at the beginning of rendering justice. An indictment or two will hardly serve to answer the critical questions. The leak and any lies to the grand jury were most likely motivated by a deep and abiding fear that a much greater crime was at risk of being uncovered. Karl Rove is vindictive, yes. But he is not stupid. Rove would never risk treason unless he thought it served a political purpose. And this was the most important political purpose of all: protecting his most precious asset, George W. Bush. Ethics have never been a consideration of Rove's and he sees the law as only marginally instructive. Karl might have been more concerned about the leak and talking to reporters if somewhere along the line he had been held accountable for any of his other political tricks.