The great question here is Robert Novak. It was he who published, in his column, that Mrs. Joseph Wilson was a secret agent of the CIA. I am too close a friend to pursue the matter with Novak, and his loyalty is a postulate. What was going on? If there are mysteries in town, that surely is one of them, the role of Novak."Who Did What? Covert Questions" (William F. Buckley, National Review, Nov. 1, 2005)
The importance of the law against revealing the true professional identity of an agent is advertised by the draconian punishment, under the federal code, for violating it. In the swirl of the Libby affair, one loses sight of the real offense, and it becomes almost inapprehensible what it is that Cheney/Libby/Rove got themselves into. But the sacredness of the law against betraying a clandestine soldier of the republic cannot be slighted.