I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury investigating the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative. Charges included making false statements, obstruction of justice, and perjury, court documents showThese are serious charges, and Libby should be tried, and if convicted, punished for them. Of course there are some interesting angles here. No indictments about the actual unmasking of Plame. Rove, while still under investigation hasn't been charged, and I would bet probably won't be. That makes this a minor, not a major scandal and means it probably won't have much electoral effect at all. From a larger perspective, the whole mess is troubling. To begin with, it seems pretty clear to me that Wilson and Plame crossed the line from providing unbiased information to trying to control policy. They did so by being fairly dishonest and used some unethical, although probably not illegal, tactics. It is also pretty clear that the Whitehouse, while perhaps avoiding illegality it outing Plame, did potential damage to our intelligence service because of this fight. NOCs are important, and all they really have is trust that the government won't 'burn' them, or at least won't burn them unless it is really important. The Plame affair damages that trust, and the fact that Plame brought it on herself to an extent only slightly minimizes that damage.