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Let's review

Mike Kinsley's Plamegate recap reminds me why he's still one of my favorite lib'ruls.

Then there is the aide to the vice president who answers to the call of "Snooker." Or is it Smoky? Or maybe Sunshine? In the typical movie about Washington, a character labeled as an aide to the vice president might just as well carry a sign saying, "I get killed off in the first five minutes." And yet Skipper, or Snappy, starts out as an obscure minor character and floats up steadily to the point where he is the central figure of the entire drama.

Anyway, let's recap. Two and a half years ago, Robert D. Novak published the name of an undercover CIA agent in his column. He then joined Plame offstage, where he has mysteriously remained ever since. Since he has known the answer all along, he may have been murdered to ensure his silence. Although there is no evidence for this, it makes as much sense as any other explanation for his disappearance from the story line.

Enter the liberal media establishment, led by the New York Times. First seen charging up a hill, demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this outrage, it soon was charging back down, complaining that the special prosecutor was asking journalists to finger the leaker. Who else would you ask?

Judith Miller of the Times was the only reporter who declined any deal, at least at first, and went to jail rather than testify. An expert on germ warfare (the subject of her most recent book), she said that revealing her source would inevitably lead to a pandemic that would wipe out all of humankind. Or something like that. My notes are a bit hard to interpret.

Everyone assumed that Miller's source was Snapper. Him and/or Karl Rove (another great name, especially for the official bad guy). He said he didn't mind if she testified. She apparently didn't hear this, so a couple months later he said it louder and she said okay. Then she testified that she couldn't remember who told her that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent, but it wasn't Skippy. And she conceded that much of what she reported in the run-up to the Iraq war, relying on administration leaks, was wrong. So she went to jail to protect a "source" who didn't give her the crucial fact at issue for a story she didn't write, but did give her inaccurate information for other stories.