Oliver North

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Stop the presses! There has been a leak to the news media in our nation's capital, and Democrats are demanding a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of it all.

Even Hillary Rodham, who you would think had her fill of special counsels, wants a full-fledged inquisition with lawyers, judges, investigators, subpoenas, etc. All this because the identity of a CIA employee -- whose status as an agent, operative or analyst remains a mystery -- was leaked to the press. Democrats place special importance on a CIA request for the Justice Department to open an inquiry on the matter, something former CIA Director James Woolsey says is a "relatively routine thing" that happens, on average, about once a week.

With William Jefferson Clinton out of town, the Washington chatter class has been in scandal rehab. They now apparently believe they're entitled to a full dose of dueling press conferences, grand juries, televised testimonies, high-priced attorneys and leaks from investigators. The scandal addicts have jumped off the wagon and rushed to the microphones as if Pablo Escobar had set up shop in the lobby of the Betty Ford Clinic.

Newspapers are splashing stories about cover-ups, conflicts of interests and criminal investigations all over their front pages and editorials. The Washington Post and ABC News immediately called their pollsters to confirm their suspicions that White House heads need to roll. After interviewing 505 randomly selected Americans, the Post/ABC poll concluded that 69 percent believe a special counsel should be named. This, from the same public that overwhelmingly supported legislation to eliminate so-called independent counsels in the aftermath of the Clinton scandals.

The hypocrisy in Congress is overwhelming. This is the same body that in 1987 divulged the names of three CIA Clandestine Services officers and two foreign government officials who were working with our government undercover. One of the CIA officers had his wife and children overseas at the time; one of the foreign officials was subsequently assassinated; and the other official's son was gunned down in front of his house while waiting for a school bus.

Now, liberal hypocrites in Congress demand in high dudgeon that the person(s) who told Bob Novak that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA be prosecuted. Where was this righteous outrage when members of this same institution, less than 30 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaked classified material to the press potentially endangering U.S. troops?

Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.