Ex-CIA Agent Slams 'Reckless' US Gov't

A former CIA spy has accused the Bush administration of recklessly blowing her cover after her husband criticized the Iraq war, and accused aides of President George W. Bush of tainting the intelligence services.

Ex-CIA Agent Slams 'Reckless' US Gov't
A former CIA spy has accused the Bush administration of recklessly blowing her cover after her husband criticized the Iraq war, and accused aides of President George W. Bush of tainting the intelligence services.

"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," Valerie Plame told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reported The Washington Post on Saturday, March 17.

Plame was at the center of the so-called CIA leak case in which Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice over the outing the identity of the CIA operative.

Plame's identity was revealed after her husband Joseph Wilson wrote a July 2003 opinion piece in The New York Times criticizing Bush's case for war against Iraq.

In the Times article, Wilson also warned top US officials may have ignored data which contradicted the case for war.

Wilson was sent to Niger in February 2002 to investigate claims Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear bombs but concluded it was doubtful such transfers took place.

On July 7, 2003, the White House admitted the Niger claim rested on flawed intelligence, and should never have made it into a State of the Union address by Bush.

Plame said that White House officials then deliberately leaked her name to the media, to ruin her career, and punish Wilson for his actions.

"I felt like I had been hit in the gut. It (my career) was over in an instant," she said, of the moment when she saw her name emblazoned across a newspaper column.

"I immediately thought of my family's safety, the agents, networks that I had worked with," said Plame, saying she had made many secret foreign intelligence missions on behalf of the CIA.

Careless

The former CIA operative said the top White House political adviser was behind the controversy, and blamed Bush for refusing to fire anyone implicated in the case.

"Karl Rove clearly was involved in the leaking of my name, and he still carries a security clearance to this day," Plame said.

She also accused Bush aides of tainting the intelligence services.

"I feel passionately as an intelligence professional about the creeping insidious politicizing of our intelligence process."

She said such actions by White House aides could wreak lasting damage on America's crucial intelligence capacity.

"If our government cannot even protect my identity, future foreign agents who might consider working with the Central Intelligence Agency and providing needed intelligence would think twice," she warned.

Palme's testimony was part of a hearing called to examine the White House's handling of classified information.

Democrats, who wrestled control of both Houses of Congress, accused the White House of a national security violation and of failing to conduct an internal investigation of the leak, as Bush once promised.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), portrayed Plame as a hero betrayed by her government.

"They made you collateral damage," Waxman said.

"Your career was ended. Your life may have been in jeopardy, and they didn't seem to care."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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