Remember back in 2006 when a pair of loose lips in or near the White House blabbed to a New York Times reporter that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA? An immediate eruption of calls for a special prosecutor resulted in one being empowered to investigate Bush the younger's team for this grievous, horrendous, potentially disastrous compromise of a vital national secret.
Eventually Scooter Libby would be convicted of lying to Congress and sentenced to three years in prison, which sentence Bush commuted in the nick of time before leaving office.
But can you recall what a big deal this "outing" of Plame as a CIA agent was supposed to be? One would have thought that terrorist organizations were just lining up to google the map to Valerie Plame's house and race to assassinate this woman whose value to American intelligence world wide was beyond calculation.
In reality, Ms Plame was not a field agent. She was an analyst, one of tens thousands who draw down six figures and enjoy cushy pensions after years of eyestrain reading reams of paper and generating more reams. The main job of people like her is to produce endless memos to other people like her and attend at least one committee meeting a day. If Valerie Plame called in sick for a month it may or may not have been necessary for a temp to fill her shoes.
No terrorist organization on the planet will waste its resources on a person like that, but none-the-less we had to have a special prosecutor and a big investigation to embarass Republicans, even try to send one to prison.
Today we have another series of major security leaks of highly sensitive information to the New York Times. Three major stories in 45 days have appeared that relate in remarkable detail how effectively the USA is using cyberwarfare to confound Iran and how the President of the United States himself is calling the shots on drone surveillance and fatal missile strikes.
These leaks by some sheer accident happen to enhance the public perception of President Barack Obama's steady hand on the wheel of American national security interests in a dangerous world. However, these leaks are also clearly, undeniably revealing truly important secret information and compromising the ability of on-going programs and methods to be successful. No less than Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein (who chairs the Intelligence committee in the Senate) is speaking out strongly against the leaker in extraordinarily harsh language.
So, will we get a special investigator appointed to get to the bottom of this? When hell freezes over, we will.