Karl Rove won't be frog-marched across the White House lawn, much to the disappointment of Ambassador Joe Wilson.

One supposes his wife, former secret agent Valerie Plame, might have something to say about this in her forthcoming book for which she was to receive a $2.5 million advance.

Oops, that deal with Crown Publishers evidently fell apart.

Well somebody will buy the book, one supposes, especially if she is to renew her husband's demand for Rove to be frog-marched or his head on a stick or whatever chest-thumping overstatement he has made over the last couple years of this drama.

But it begs the original question: When Joe Wilson went public that he had been sent to clear up the matter of Niger possibly selling yellowcake to Saddam and it was the vice president's office which sent him, was the vice president entitled to say: I didn't send that guy to Niger. It was his wife, and she is in that group of CIA people who are opposed to the president's policy in Iraq?

I think the vice president was entitled to do precisely that. I think we — the public — were entitled to know how Wilson got that mission to Niger, and whatever his secret agent wife had to do with sending him ought to have been out in the open.

If that required revealing that Wilson had a secret agent wife, well then, so be it. She had to be revealed.

But that notion incensed the ambassador. He raged that his wife, the mother of his children, had been targeted in political retribution and that Rove was at the bottom of it, so Rove had to be marched off to jail.

Joe Wilson was against regime changing Saddam. Had been since '91. Once his wife maneuvered to have him sent off to investigate a key reason for the war, the public had a right to know who sent him and why.

She had become a political operator by helping to arrange her anti-war husband for the mission.

Would I be wrong to suspect the people who hate Bush and Rove won't let this die? The idea of jailing anybody so close to Bush is just too precious to let it just go away.

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