As I compare this in my mind to Watergate and the Lewinsky affair, I have to say that the basic act underlying these charges is worse than the burglary and subsequent coverup of Watergate or the lie about having sex with Lewinsky. To knowingly reveal the identity of someone who is working undercover for the CIA, potentially risking her life or the lives of those working with her--just to score political points against someone who spoke out about the truth--shows an amazing disregard for the good of our country. It goes far beyond trying to get information to win a political campaign or hide your adulterous affair from your wife. It is fortunate that Valerie Plame wasn't in the middle of a highly sensitive and critical operation for the CIA involving other agents and that the damage was mostly to her career. Yet imagine that someone in the government torpedoed your career in the name of their political agenda! Personally I hope she enjoys a nice fat settlement in a civil suit. She deserves it.
Underlying all these leaks and lies is the fact that the administration knew before Bush's State of the Union address that Saddam was not seeking nuclear materials in Africa. Either Cheney's office knowingly let him tell this lie or he knowingly told that lie. That was one of the key pieces of information that led to our going to war and Congress approving the use of force. We now have 2004 soldiers dead and over 14,000 seriously wounded or disabled. I don't even have the figures for the Iraqui loss of life (I have to wonder how accurately they are kept). It surely dwarfs our losses, as the Iraqi citizens are far more vulnerable. All for a lie.
The conservative commentators are talking regretfully about the "criminalization of politics." I say if you don't like the criminalization of politics, stop commiting criminal acts or electing those who do.
This is going to go down as the worst political scandal in our history so far and President Bush is going to go down as the worst president.