If you listen to the calls for the resignation of White House adviser Karl Rove, you are likely to get the impression that the Fitzgerald investigation of Plamegate has presented evidence that Mr. Rove leaked the covert status of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

But, of course, after two years of probing the leak, the investigation has done nothing of the sort. The press and others on the American left are (unless evidence is unearthed at this late date) trafficking in wishful thinking.

Is the investigation ending with one paltry indictment?

A piece in the increasingly indispensable American Thinker suggests that the real investigation into the Plame affair has yet to be launched. The article, written by Clarice Feldman, suggests a scenario straight out of spy novelist John Le Carre–but it is intriguing:

“The mainstream media, of course, is entirely uninterested in determining why the Wilson Gambit was undertaken. Once upon a time, the New York Times and the rest of the American liberal establishment worried about CIA dirty tricks aimed at influencing domestic politics. The more effervescent leftists fulminated about a ‘secret government’ and muttered darkly about a threat to democracy itself, emanating from Langley.

“How times (and The Times) have changed! Today, the darlings of the American left and its house organ are a CIA employee and her husband, who set up and implemented a highly irregular operation which, if not explicitly designed to do so, has had the net effect of discrediting an elected leader and his foreign policy. The Wilson Gambit was a stealth operation undertaken outside normal procedures and supervision, used as a political weapon, complete with lies spread by a cooperative media establishment interested in bringing down a leader and his policies which they detest.”

In other words, were Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, out to discredit the administration from the outset of his mission to Niger?

It is unusual, Feltman notes, that Wilson was not asked to sign a confidentiality agreement about his work in Niger. And, moreover, “the questions Wilson posed were essentially meaningless.”

Sounds far-fetched, yes, but maverick Democrat Zell Miller suggests the same thing in an article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (unfortunately, the piece is now only available with registration):

“It’s like a spy thriller. Institutional rivalries and political loyalties have fostered an intelligence officer’s resentment against the government. Suddenly, an opportunity appears for the agent to undercut the national leadership. A vital question of intelligence forms the core justification for controversial military actions by the current leaders. If this agent can get in the middle of that question, distort that information and make it public, the agent might foster regime change in the upcoming election.

“But the rules on agents are clear. They can’t purposely distort gathered intelligence, go public with secret information or use their position or information to manipulate domestic elections or matters without risking their job or jail.

“But their spouse can!”