The rumored indictments expected today cover false statements but not the outing of a covert agent or misuse of classified information. Might that be because Ms. Plame's status, while technically classified, was simply not that big a deal?
Bob Woodward addressed that point on Larry King last night:
WOODWARD: ... They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.
So people have kind of compared -- somebody was saying this was Aldridge James or Bob Hanson, big spies. This didn't cause damage.
That jibes with this old Kristof column which told us that the CIA believed that Aldrich Ames sold her name to the Soviets; she was brought home in 1994, and her operations wound up as best they could be.
It also jibes with what I wrote a few days ago. The short version - the CIA was not making much of an effort to conceal her status: her Brewster-Jennings cover was not constructed with any great verve, neither she nor the CIA were exhorting her husband to keep quiet about the news (sure to be of interest to foreign spy-chasers) that he did contract consulting for the CIA, and the CIA press office did not know her status when Novak called, or exert themselves to prevent publication afterwards.
The nine-thousand word version of that is here; the full version is available on request.
Hat tip: Jane Hamsher of firedoglake.
More at this earlier post.