If you blinked you would have missed it.

I’m speaking of the news coverage about who really leaked Valerie Plame’s identity as a non-covert CIA agent.

The leaker, former Colin Powell aide Richard Armitage, was a vocal critic of the war in Iraq. Perhaps the media “overlooked” Armitage and his role in this scandal precisely because he shared their disdain for the war in Iraq.

Did you happen to notice that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby didn’t receive that same consideration – even though they were innocent?

Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars for an investigation into something that didn’t matter. Plame was not a covert agent – her identity was known to many – and a CIA report indicates there were no plans to send her overseas for future missions requiring her identity to be concealed.

As former chief counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Victoria Toensing noted in a column for OpinionJournal, Patrick Fitzgerald “knew from the day he took office that the facts did not support a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; therefore, there was no crime to investigate.”

But what if there were a case of important top-secret classified information that was being deliberately leaked, and what if we knew that it had already hurt national security? Wouldn’t that be something that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald should investigate?

Treason at the Gray Lady’s house

Readers of the nation’s Gray Lady of newspapers, the New York Times, will no doubt know that there is in fact such a case, and it involves the paper’s repeated leaking of top-secret classified national security programs.

It’s hard to keep up with all of the incidents where the New York Times has revealed classified information in an effort to undermine the Bush administration’s war on terrorism.

The two most glaring examples are the Dec. 16, 2005, story on the U.S. wiretapping of suspected terrorists and the June 23, 2006, story about the U.S. review of SWIFT banking records to monitor financial transactions by terrorists.

In both of these instances, individuals employed by the federal government broke the law and gave top-secret information on America’s war effort against terrorists to the New York Times for the express purpose of undermining these programs.

The newspaper happily advanced this criminal behavior by publishing breaking news stories – in between their repeated editorials criticizing the war on terrorism.

As Ann Coulter has pointed out time and again, investigators used the terrorist wiretapping program to monitor phone calls made by associates of 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

The commander in chief of our nation explained to Bill Keller, the New York Times’ editor, that detailing such information makes Americans more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

But the New York Times showed the White House who really is in charge of making national security decisions. Not the person elected by the public through the democratic process, but the person who runs the press room at the bastion of America’s leading liberal hub of journalism.

The arrogance of the Times in flouting our nation’s laws relating to national security during a time of war should raise the interest of Department of Justice prosecutors, don’t you think?

Think again.

This week, New York magazine published a sympathetic tribute to Keller titled “The United States of America vs. New York Times Editor Bill Keller.” Keller was made out to be the victim – a hero and a martyr who was suffering such great pain from public criticism. Poor Bill. Please excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes.

Similar defenses for Keller appeared in Editor & Publisher and the American Journalism Review.

Red Hot Chili Peppers or gas chamber?

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and I suspect this statement to be especially true in this case.

Bill Keller and his ilk at the New York Times have done more to harm the United States in the war against terrorism than many of the Islamic jihadists who have been rounded up and shipped to the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Our military can defeat the jihadists. But our military cannot win if on the home front leading institutions like the New York Times are essentially spying on our intelligence agencies and passing on word of what they are doing to America’s enemies.

People have no doubt lost their lives in the war on terrorism because of the actions of Bill Keller.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If tried and convicted of treason, Bill Keller should be executed. But first, the Department of Justice needs to get cracking and begin the investigation into whether there are actionable charges.

When I’m feeling charitable, sometimes I soften my position. Maybe Bill Keller should merely spend the rest of his life in a tiny, cold prison cell at Guantanamo Bay. And then I like to imagine the guards blaring the Red Hot Chili Peppers and issuing Keller a prayer mat and a copy of the Quran.

Spinach salad, Mr. Keller?

If you want to write to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and encourage his office to investigate the leaking of national security matters in the war against terrorism, you can do so by emailing him.

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