NOW HE TELLS US: Patrick Fitzgerald says Plame was covert.

Tom Maguire is unconvinced: “Folks who think the prosecutor gets the first and final word will be satisfied with the current state of play. For myself, I would at least like to see the defense response (Newsweek says we will get one this week) and I continue to hold out hope that the CIA Counsel will respond to Congress, which will then generate a leak to Novak, if he likes the answer, or to Newsweek otherwise.” I’d just like to see this kind of outrage generated on behalf of leaks that actually hurt the war effort.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Unless her cover identity was ‘Valerie Plame’, MSNBC is drinking some pretty weak beer.”

Regardless, given the many obviously more damaging leaks that no one seems to care about, I’m finding it hard to get excited about this one.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Just talked to a reporter from Salon who wanted to know if I was going to “retract” an earlier blog post in which I said it looked as if Plame wasn’t covert. I noted that one normally issues a retraction for original reporting, not commenting upon other people’s news stories. (I think he meant this post — I guess I shouldn’t have paid attention to Joe Wilson. Or maybe this one.) But I also suggested that he ask Richard Armitage for a comment on Plame’s covert status and what it means . . . .

MORE: A reader emails: “It seems pretty lame for Fitzgerald to say so now. Since his tenure is over, he doesn’t have to explain why he never indicted anybody for the crime which he was investigating in the first place.”

Par for the course with Fitzgerald’s lame investigation, I’m afraid.