O’Neill Under Investigation

O’NEILL UNDER INVESTIGATION….It took the White House over two months to shake off its apathy and start a probe of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. But when 60 Minutes showed a “secret” document provided by Paul O’Neill on TV last night they moved a bit more quickly: less than 24 hours later the Treasury Department announced that O’Neill was under investigation:

“Based on the ’60 Minutes’ segment aired Sunday evening, there was a document that was shown that appeared to be classified,” said Treasury Department spokesman Rob Nichols. “It was for that reason that it was referred to the U.S. inspector general’s office.”

….Asked if seeking the probe may look vindictive, Nichols said, “We don’t view it in that way,” according to Reuters news agency.

Heavens no, of course not. Why would anybody think such a thing?

Perhaps because the document had already been released six months previously in response to a Freedom of Information request from Judicial Watch? That’s quite a secret, isn’t it?

More generally, I wouldn’t bet on any of O’Neill’s 19,000 pages of documents being illegal leaks of classified information, as some conservatives are now suggesting. I guess you never know, but usually people who leak classified documents do it secretly, not in a blaze of nationwide publicity to promote a new book. Just a thought.