Dorothy Rabinowitz writes a wonderful essay on Mike Nifong and Patrick Fitzgerald on OpinionJournal.com
[Fitzgerald] had known all along the identity of the person who had leaked the Valerie Plame story. That person, he knew, was Richard Armitage, deputy to Colin Powell. Not only had he concealed this knowledge--in what was, supposedly all that time, a quest to discover the criminals responsible for the leak of a covert agent's name--he had instructed both Mr. Armitage and his superior, Colin Powell, in whom Mr. Armitage had confided, not to reveal the truth. [....]
Why the prosecutor sought this secrecy can be no mystery--it was the way to keep the grand jury proceedings going, on a fishing expedition, that could yield witnesses who stumbled, or were entrapped, into "obstruction" or "lying" violations. It was its own testament to the nature of this prosecution--and the prosecutor.
She is equally critical of Judge Walton:
Judge Walton was impelled, at frequent intervals, to hold forth on the need for the man in the street to be persuaded that he receives equal justice.... Given a judge enamored of the image of his courtroom as an outpost in the class struggle--a judge obviously determined that this government official had to be sent to prison now--the outcome of this plea hearing was clear.