While it was fine to read that Bob Woodward has apologized to his editors ["Woodward Apologizes to Post for Silence on Role in Leak Case," front page, Nov. 17], it would be more satisfying if he extended a similar apology to Post readers.
Woodward had inside information about the Bush administration's campaign to discredit an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war. Yet instead of offering that information to readers, Woodward made media appearances in which he dismissed the relevance of this information without revealing the degree to which he was involved. His actions have damaged the credibility of his reporting and The Post.
-- Terje Anderson
Would someone please tell me where I can find a copy of the journalism ground rules? On Thursday I learned that for Bob Woodward, the ground rules reporting on information from confidential sources apparently are distinct from the rules for his colleagues. Further, I learned that confidential sources can change the parameters of their secrecy agreements with reporters at their own discretion.
Is The Post blind and deaf to the perception of manipulation that such incidents present?
-- Gisele McAuliffe
In the Nov. 17 news story "Woodward Could Be a Boon to Libby," Randall D. Eliason, former head of the public corruption unit for the U.S. attorney's office in the District, cast doubt on the idea that Bob Woodward's account of an administration source leaking information in the Valerie Plame case would have any significant effect on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's case. Eliason said that any such theory is "defense spin." Given the article's headline, it looks as though the spin worked.
-- James Noon
Bob Woodward asserts that he kept silent to protect his sources. That strains credulity when other facets of his behavior are considered.
In the many months since the leaks, Woodward has called the special prosecutor a "junkyard dog," claimed that the leak about Valerie Plame did no "real" harm, and said that, in retrospect, the criminal investigation of the leak would look laughable.
Most troubling is the absence in Woodward's rhetoric of any comment on the ostensible reason for the leaks -- i.e., to smear Joe Wilson.
-- Hal Holzman