I’ll keep that title from Brad De Long’s blog. He is oddly unclear of concept of the process of discovery. How does he expect Bush to have taken action on an issue of which the seriousness of it wasn’t clear until recently? True, the facts of what happened between White House staffers and Mr. Novak haven’t changed since two months ago, but the label of the events has. For example, in July I was a aware that Novak had outted Plame’s wife, but I certainly didn’t know that it was a felony to do so and I certainly wasn’t aware that the white house was the one that was doing the outting. If the president knew those things, he would be to blame. What De Long is oddly unclear of is that the events aren’t new, but the characterization and the context of the allegations, are.
The Washington Times has an editorial that is oddly unclear on the concept of timing:
Out the outers — now – The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED: The outing of Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife as an undercover CIA agent… would be contemptuous… not to say felonious. As former President Bush said… “insidious traitors.” We fully agree… what is beyond doubt is that “two senior administration officials” did the deed…. The president has days, not weeks or months, to snap into action. He does not need a Justice Department investigation…. Yesterday, his spokesman reiterated that there’s no need for an internal investigation, while the president said, “I want to know the truth”… too passive a stance. He has all the authority he needs to question his staff, seize phone logs, e-mails and vacation schedules. He must do all in his power, immediately, to identify and fire the malefactors — whomsoever they may be. There is a need for an internal investigation — now….
[T]his is beyond politics. It is a simple matter of right or wrong. And it is precisely at such moments that the moral and ethical measure of a statesmen is taken…
But the White House knows nothing more now about the Plame Affair than it knew at the end of July. The moment for an internal investigation was two months ago. The moral and ethical measure of these statesmen has already been taken.