Four counts, not one: Why did your column minimize the charges Libby was convicted of -- namely, one count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and one count of lying to the FBI about how he learned Plame's identity and whom he told? You only mentioned "perjury," but isn't the obstruction charge the most venal? It hampered the investigation and stymied investigations of others involved in leaking Plame's name and CIA employment. Isn't that so?
Richard Cohen: No. I didn't mean to minimize it, I just meant to write in shorthand because it's a column and I have a maximum amount of words. But the special prosecutor knew immediately who leaked to Novak -- and it wasn't Libby. Let me just say that I put my name on my column, so I don't even know why I'm responding to someone without a name, but since I'm answering to other people, I'll say that the ability of the press to ferret out information and use anonymous sources and to guarauntee to those sources that they'll remain convidential has been shredded by this case. Reporter after reporter was compelled to give up their sources. This has been a very bad case for the American press and for the American public and it's all about nothing. A leak. And I think the people who were pressuring the DoJ to appoint a special prosecutor were angry about the war and were hoping pulling the string could unravel the whole thing. They lost sight of the basic principles involved taht had to do with the ability of the press to cover a story. You had the jailing of a reporter and now the jailing of a White House aide that almost no one had heard of before this started.
It must be nice to be so mighty, and so pathetic to have to wallow in the mud with the rest of us.