I read Anne Applebaum's Nov. 30 op-ed column, "The Value of Anonymity," and got a good chuckle out of it. Her inference of a possibility that our press system could end up like Jordan's is a classic example of journalistic hyperbole. It reminds me of the speech defending boorish frat behavior in "Animal House" that ends with "and I'm not going to stand here and let you bad-mouth the United States of America." Please.

Bob Woodward's timing certainly makes it look like an attempt to thwart the prosecution of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, thus protecting the confidential informant system.

It is, after all, how he has made himself wealthy and how Applebaum makes a living. Value indeed.

-- Tod Hale



Thank you for Howard Kurtz's Nov. 28 Style article on Bob Woodward. It gave great insight on the inner workings of The Post.

But Kurtz said that "some have even used the press to strike back against a critic of their war by revealing the identity of a CIA operative." Kurtz states that as a fact, but Woodward himself doubts that someone revealed Valerie Plame's name intentionally as a political attack against Joe Wilson (according to a Woodward interview on "Larry King Live").

This one sentence detracts from an otherwise excellent piece. Perhaps Kurtz might argue that this "fact" is well established. George Tenet could well remind him that nothing is a slam-dunk.

-- Lee Enemark