Just a couple of thoughts that occurred to me as I was talking to a coworker about the Plame investigation:
1) How is it that there doesn't appear to be any criminal statute that simply covers revealing classified information, regardless of intent? Also, law aside, how many employees could avoid being fired for revealing confidential information with the excuse that they didn't know it was confidential? I know if I tried that with my boss, the response would be, "You should have checked.
(Note: I don't buy that that this is actually the case here. It seems highly unlikely that Libby did not know Plame was covert. I believe Josh Marshall pointed out that Libby knew that her counterproliferation group was under the Directorate Of Operations, which is Spyworld, plus if he was on that Air Force Two flight with the memo about her, there's a good chance he saw the notation that explicitly stated that her identity was secret.)
2) What would have happened if Novak declined to report that Plame was CIA? Would Rove & Libby have just shrugged and said, "Oh well, we did our best to out a covert operative for cheap political payback, but it was just not to be," or would they have just kept shopping it around to progressively less scrupulous "journalists" until a Drudge or Limbaugh or Coulter or Hannity or Malkin (Phew! There sure are a lot of them, aren't there?) took the bait? Would they trust them to display the same kind of *snort* journalistic integrity as Judy Miller? *snicker* Would they have paid Armstrong Williams or one of their fake news anchors to get the word out? Held a press conference? What?
Update: I talked to my coworker again, and he suggested that they simply would have searched for new ways to slander Wilson, once their first choice (treason is always the first option that comes to my mind, but I'm a liberal) fell through.