The Corner

What Was The Motive?

People keep saying that the administration’s motive in leaking this information was payback. It certainly could have been, and anonymous administration sources have said that it was. Who knows what they know and what their own motives may be. But recall that Joseph Wilson had fostered the misimpression that the vice president had first sent him on his mission and then refused to hear his report. One way of correcting that impression would have been to tell journalists that he was actually sent at the suggestion of his wife, who works for the CIA. None of this is, however, relevant to the legal question. The law may have been broken (or followed) whatever the motive was.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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