Richard Armitage, the Forgotten Man

Wednesday's lead editorial, "A Libby Verdict," included this vague reference to the heart of the case, the question of who actually leaked Valerie Plame's name and CIA employment to columnist Robert Novak (it wasn't Libby): "What we still do not know is whether a government official used Ms. Wilson's name despite knowing that she worked undercover. That is a serious offense, which could have put her and all those who had worked with her in danger. We also do not understand why the federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, chose to wage war with the news media in assembling his case, going so far as to jail a Times reporter, Judith Miller, for refusing to reveal the name of a confidential source."

Why doesn't the Times' editorial page name the "government official" who actually leaked Plame's name? That would be Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell an administration critic and the opposite of a White House henchman. If leaking Plame's name truly was a "serious offense," why not name the person who did the leaking? Or perhaps that would have distracted the Times from its real target - the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

The Washington Post editorial page had a more balanced, pox-on-all-their-houses take on the Plame name game, and carried the subhead "The serious consequences of a pointless Washington scandal."