The fifth thing that I would do is to prosecute whoever is responsible for outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.
Yes, there are a number of other issues that would seem to be equally as important, if not more so, than the Plame case. Infrastructure, taxes, agriculture, clean water, trade deficits, election protection and on and on. But the Valerie Plame issue strikes at the very heart of what is most wrong with our current government and creates an inescapable mandate for Bush's successor. Lying is one matter. Destroying the career and good name of an intelligence officer of this country for the purposes of some sick political retribution is another. The issue is one of morality on the deepest level and it is this government's betrayal of Plame that reveals how corrupt and immoral this administration truly is.
Plame herself was innocent of any wrongdoing. There was never any intimation that she had behaved in a way that was inappropriate or unprofessional. Plame's husband did his job as a State Department official in exposing the truth about bogus reports of Iraqi access to uranium and he did his duty to his countrymen to amplify those statements in the pages of The New York Times. What did the Bush White House do? Worse, in my opinion, than any other U.S. administration had ever done before. To expose the identity of this woman was one of the greatest acts of cowardice I have ever seen in my lifetime and our nation's outrage over this must travel with any new administration in 2008.
Robert Novak will go to his grave with the disgrace of having served as the handmaiden of this heinous act, but his time has already passed. Those in government who are responsible must be prosecuted. The integrity of our government is always imperiled when men like Bush and Cheney are at the wheel. But the Plame affair puts all of us on notice. Political acts of this nature are the bailiwick of communists and fascists, not Americans whose country fights for freedom and democracy this very day in a foreign land, spending billions upon billions of dollars and sacrificing the lives of brave men and women in the process. Valerie Plame was a soldier in that war, too. We owe her all that we owe any American who serves this country.