once again, this is very serious

And finally the country is beginning to understand why.

The essential story to this day, of one very-developing White House scandal, from today's editorial of the Minneapolis Star Tribune via atrios.

Call it Wilson-Plame-gate. It's not about cigars and blue dresses; it's about the security of this nation and the danger of revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative. In a word, it is serious.
And getting even more serious:
The Justice Department has responded affirmatively to Tenet's request for an investigation. But get this: When Justice informed the White House of the investigation Monday evening, it said it would be all right if the staff was notified Tuesday morning to safeguard all material that related to the case. The staff had all night to get rid of anything incriminating.

That incredible tidbit supports calls by Democrats and a slew of others for Attorney General John Ashcroft to appoint a special counsel to investigate this case. They're right: Ashcroft has no credibility in this, and neither does the White House, given its habitual effort to spin information, mislead the American people and smear anyone who disagrees with it. This developing scandal ultimately goes to the even more serious question of administration manipulation of intelligence on Iraq, where American soldiers continue to die almost every day in a campaign that looks increasingly like a bad mistake.

Read the entire editorial.

Oh yes, there's a welcome tribute to bloggers, specifically in a generous acknowledgement that it was they and their audiences that kept the Wilson/Plame story from going away.

One more thing. Can't we drop the "-gate", especially since this thing's bigger than an apartment building, and call just call it what it is, "treason"? Ok, maybe "the Plame affair" would do.