This leaves two possibilities. One is that the mission was intended to result in the New York Times oped all along, meaning that the CIA didn't care much about Plame's status, and was trying to meddle in domestic politics. This reflects very badly on the CIA.
The other possibility is that they're so clueless that they did this without any nefarious plan, because they're so inept, and so prone to cronyism and nepotism, that this is just business as usual. If so, the popular theory that the CIA couldn't find its own weenie with both hands and a flashlight would appear to have found some pretty strong support.
Reynolds is exactly right. This seems to me to be the crux of the entire Plame affair. Porter Goss has his work cut out for him in cleaning house there. I wonder what he has to say about the entire kerfuffle?
Roger Simon has more; as does INDC Journal.