Chicago Tribune, in which any leak story is gonna be buried in favor of World Series ticker-tape parade coverage, nonetheless calls this one a wallop to the White House:
As much as anything, the fact that the leak case continues on is troublesome for the White House. It keeps alive for a year or more the question of whether the U.S. should have gone to war, and focuses on actions by officials at the highest level, including the vice president.
While Friday’s results fell short of worst-case scenarios, they were negative enough to darken the political clouds hanging over the White House and to ensure that the internal debate over President Bush’s controversial decision to go to war in Iraq will be aired in public.
The indictment of Libby, a key national security and political adviser, held out the possibility that Bush, Cheney, former CIA Director George Tenet and other top officials might be called to testify at his trial and recount the reasons why the administration pushed so hard to go to war.
It would create the kind of political drama that no White House would want, particularly one already under siege for its appointments to the Supreme Court, mishandling of hurricane disasters, surging energy prices, and the mounting death toll in Iraq.
That’s gonna leave a mark.