Recap - in July 2003 former Ambassador Joe Wilson published an op-ed piece discussing information he found on a trip to the Niger river delta. He'd been sent by the CIA to investigate one of the claims the Bush Administration used to justify the war in Iraq, that Iraq had been secretly buying uranium ore. He found the claim was false and had told the administration this, but they continued to use that claim as part of the evidence to support the war. He finally, once the war was underway, revealed what he had learned.
It might have remained one of the little blips that those of us who yearn for the truth would remember, and record in a list of Bush Administration misdeeds. But one thing happened to sidetrack that revelation to something else.
Someone leaked to several journalists the identity of Wilson's wife, revealing that she is a CIA agent, and attempting to undermine Wilson's story by claiming that his wife arranged the trip as a special boondoggle. In other words, this is one of the times the administration didn't like what someone said in public, and went to extreme ends to bash them and try to destroy them. But in this case the method, revealing the identity of his wife, led to an illegal act. See, his wife is (or was) an undercover secret operative, and disclosing the identity of a secret agent is a huge crime.
Ever since an independant investigator, Fitzgerald, has been looking into the matter. And it appears the investigation is nearing the stage of filing indictments.
The question has been, who did the leak? Well, it seems from the information that's leaked from the investigation the actual culprit was either I. Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff) or Karl Rove (Bush's chief advisor). But does it stop there?
e.g. Cheney told Libby about CIA officer, lawyers report (By David Johnston, Richard W. Stevenson and Douglas Jehl The New York Times, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2005, seen on iht.com)
White House sidesteps questions about Cheney NYT: Vice President told top aide CIA officer's identity (Tuesday, October 25, 2005; Posted: 11:32 a.m. EDT (15:32 GMT), CNN.COM)
This report details how Scooter Libby learned of Valerie Plame's identity. Cheney told him.
Clearly both would have the proper security clearances to allow them to know such matters.
What's of interest in this story is a picky little detail. Namely, Libby had told one story, under oath, to the Grand Jury, but his notes revealed a different story. His testimony did not reveal a meeting with Cheney where Cheney told him about Wilson's wife, but instead claimed that Libby learned of that from journalists.