Mona Charen

Beyond that, there is the mystery of the leaker's motive. Why would the White House suppose that mentioning Wilson's wife's employer would in any way discredit him? Republicans tend to believe that working for the CIA is a credit to a person, not a disqualifier. If the accusers are making the darker allegation that Rove or whoever actually wanted to put Mrs. Wilson in physical danger, well that's a bit hard to swallow. Mrs. Wilson apparently toiled at CIA headquarters, not out in the field. More to the point, the Bush administration doesn't strike me as the Russian mafia.

Leave it to Washington to erupt over a trifle when a serious matter -- the possible incompetence of our intelligence services -- cries out for attention. It does now appear that we were mistaken in believing that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction primed and ready for use. The Democrats are trying to say that Bush lied, which is absurd. President Clinton made the identical arguments about Iraq.

Both relied, as did we all, on what our intelligence services (and other nations') were reporting. If they were wrong about this, they may be in need of a complete overhaul.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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