Game Over:

For those of you who have enjoyed the argument about whether revealing Valerie Plame’s identity was a crime, I have bad news. The argument is over.

It was a crime. At least, it was if you believe the President of the United States. Here’s the beginning of a story from Tuesday’s New York Times.

Bush Toughens His Support of Investigation Into Leak


Published: October 7, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — President Bush said on Monday that the unauthorized disclosure of an undercover C.I.A. officer’s identity was a “very serious matter” and “a criminal action” as the White House announced that at least 500 of its 2,000 employees had responded to a Justice Department demand for documents as part of an investigation into the source of the leak.

The announcement — and Mr. Bush’s adamant words — reflected a tougher public approach by the White House to the leak, which has been attributed to senior administration officials. Democrats have criticized the administration for not treating the disclosure of the classified information more forcefully.

Here’s a bit of speculation: Bush’s comment, which makes his supporters who have been insisting otherwise look like a bunch of monkeys, was well designed to monopolize the next news cycle, thus keeping the more substantive story that White House Counsel was going to paw over the documents before giving them to DoJ [*] off the front pages. So far, it’s working.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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