The government has a right to its secrets. But the government does not have a right to use its secrets to construct a false case for war. That, though, is precisely what the Bush administration did. And now the administration is pursuing a policy of chasing down leaks by chasing down the reporters who get those leaks. The most famous of these cases involved Judith Miller of the New York Times -- and leftist critics of the war mindlessly cheered on the special prosecutor, thinking (if that's the right word) that his investigation would somehow bring down the administration. All it did was bring down Miller.
I know he's had others point out to him the fallacy of this argument. That the Bush Administration used selective "high level" leaking to feed a willing Miller into selling the public on their little war -- the exact opposite of what Cohen whines about today. But further, Cohen, doesn't see that the selective leaking was then done either deliberately or recklessly to the point that a NOC was outed for pure political purposes.
That Dickie-boy is the difference between violating national security and whistle-blowing.
When an anonymous bureaucrat lets you know that he or she believes the government is violating the law, that's whistleblowing. When Dick Cheney does it to buttress war mongering that's not whistleblowing, although it certainly is another kind of blowing.