Conservatives can't make the "Who leaked Valerie Plame's identity?" story go away.
So instead, they've tried to diminish its importance. They've suggested Plame wasn't covert, but a recently leaked 2003 memo put that falsehood to rest. They've said that senior White House officials Karl Rove and Lewis Libby merely repeated information from reporters, but as more leaks come from testimony given to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, that argument increasingly lacks credibility.
And of course, they've tried to discredit Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, though what Wilson said in a 2003 New York Times editorial, or whether he assisted 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, is irrelevant to Fitzgerald's prosecution of White House leaks.
The latest salvo from the conservatives is a New York Post story that made the rounds this morning, and which no doubt you'll be hearing a lot about from talk radio today, and probably from at least one of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson and Chris Matthews tonight.
The story, from Hardball favorite Deborah Orin but based on information on Time magazine's web site, offers the following scandal: Plame gave $372 to America Coming Together, an "anti-Bush group," for two tickets to a concert starring Bruce Springsteen.
"It's the first revelation that Plame participated in anti-Bush political activity while working for the CIA," Orin writes.
Oh my goodness!!! Stop the White House leak investigation!!! Plame is a Democrat!!! How scandalous!!!
But, as Orin notes late in the story, "CIA rules allow campaign contributions."
So, maybe it's not so scandalous after all.
But certainly the Wilsons are trying to hide the fact that they supported the "anti-Bush group," right? Nope. Wilson told Time that the anti-Bush concert was "great."
"CIA rules allow campaign contributions, but the fact that Plame gave money to the anti-Bush effort is likely to raise eyebrows," Orin writes.