Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI during its investigation into who leaked to the news media that Plame, the wife of a former ambassador critical of the Bush administration, worked for the CIA.Maybe Cheney and Libby made mistakes, but Powell's behavior was much more reprehensible. Powell cooperated in a scheme to entrap White House officials into making misstatements about the leaking of Plame, when Powell secretly knew all along that Armitage was the leaker.
Powell said that when Armitage realized he was the anonymous source cited by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in an article that revealed Plame's CIA connection, Armitage contacted Powell and they spoke to the Justice Department and the FBI for the probe ordered by Bush.
"If the White House and the operatives in the White House — on Mr. Cheney's staff and elsewhere in the White House — had been as forthcoming with the FBI as Mr. Armitage was, this problem would not have reached the dimensions that it reached," Powell said.
Instead, Powell said, the FBI continued for two more months trying to find out what had happened in the White House and that a special counsel ended up conducting a two-year probe of what he called a "mess."
I really don't see anything legally or ethically wrong with leaking Plame's name, and I think
that it was a public service because it was necessary to rebut Joe Wilson's lies about how we got into the Iraq War. Libby was only convicted of claiming that Tim Russert knew about Plame, but was not accused of leaking or of covering up a leak.
Powell was a traitor. As Secretary of State, he worked for the President, and he should have told Pres. Bush about the leak. Powell was the highest official who knew the story. Instead, he resigned and let prosecutors harass the White House for two years.