Here's another of my little pieces sure to stir up some controversy. It defends Bob Woodward and makes the point that Woodward's silence hasn't betrayed the nation, the Washington Post readership, or anyone else. Legally speaking, all Woodward's discretion did was force Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to do his job. The real discussion here shouldn't be about why Woodward didn't come forward; it should be about why Fitzgerald didn't call.
iven the administration's outrageous conduct in leaking Plame's name, and allowing for Woodward's special place in the pantheon of modern journalism, it is easy to feel betrayed both by his silence and by his seemingly unnecessary public pronouncements. But make no mistake about it: Patrick Fitzgerald is a tenacious prosecutor. He found Judith Miller despite the fact that she (unlike Matthew Cooper) hadn't gone public with what she'd been leaked; he found creative ways to pressure potential targets and witnesses into signing confidentiality waivers, and when that didn't work, he showed no compunction about jailing journalists, all in the pursuit of the information he wanted. Fitzgerald had all the power here. The failure was his—not Woodward's.