Ken Mehlman, the current chairman of the Republican National Committee, says that anyone who complains about the outing of a CIA agent is simply following the lead of the "far-left, MoveOn wing" of the Democratic Party." His predecessor seems to have had a different view.
As noted at Daily Kos, in September 2003, then-RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie told Hardball's Chris Matthews that "to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent and it should be a crime, and it is a crime." When Matthews asked if such an action wouldn't be "worse than Watergate," Gillespie seemed to agree: "It's -- yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.