According to this Washington Post story, top White House officials may be facing criminal charges for revealing the identity of an undercover CIA agent:
A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. That was shortly after Wilson revealed in July that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson’s account eventually touched off a controversy over Bush’s use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq. “Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,” the senior official said of the alleged leak.
I have to agree with Kevin Drum here. He’s summed up my feelings on the matter. Ditto.
What I would also say, though, is that Robert Novak, who was the only journalist to actually print the information, should be seen as a pariah. Press or not, he clearly violated a federal law. He was implored by a CIA spokesman not to print the CIA agent’s identity, and did so anyway. Why isn’t he being shunned by media circles? Why is he still employed by the Chicago Tribune and CNN?