An Oct. 19 editorial decried a "rush to judgment" concerning the grand jury investigation about the Valerie Plame leak because of "a great deal that is not publicly known."

What is publicly known is that Joe Wilson blew the whistle on the administration's false claims about Iraqi nuclear intentions and that the administration admitted that the infamous "16 words" suggesting an Iraqi nuclear threat should not have been included in the president's 2003 State of the Union speech.

What is publicly known is that the administration has never attempted to -- nor could it -- justify leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent -- an act whose serious national security implications the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit confirmed in enforcing the subpoena of reporter Judith Miller.

Despite these public facts, The Post concluded that all that has come out is evidence of normal political payback for a critic. Ignoring the fundamental truth that Mr. Wilson spoke about the false weapons claims, The Post said, without support, that some of his allegations "proved to be untrue" while cautioning that nothing has been proved.

And The Post repeated the White House-Robert D. Novak smear that nepotism rather than qualifications led to the CIA's selection of Mr. Wilson, a former ambassador, to go to Niger, when that is demonstrably untrue and, in any event, no justification for jeopardizing a covert agent, her contacts and her work to protect our country.



The writer is the attorney for Joseph and Valerie Wilson.