News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ex-officers: CIA leak may have harmed U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eleven former intelligence officers say the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity may have damaged national security and the government's ability to gather intelligence.

The former officers made their views known in a three-page statement to congressional leaders.

They said the Republican National Committee has circulated suggestions for officials to deal with the Plame case by focusing on the idea that Plame was not working undercover and legally merited no protection.

Thousands of U.S. intelligence officers work at desks in the Washington area every day whose identities are shielded, as Plame's was when her identity was leaked by Bush administration officials, the 11 former officers said.

The former officers' statement comes amid revelations that top presidential aide Karl Rove was involved in leaking Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, also was a source for Cooper on the Plame story.

The Plame leaks followed public criticism of President Bush's White House by Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson.

Wilson, a former ambassador and career diplomat, suggested administration officials had manipulated intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq.

A criminal investigation into the leaks is under way.

"Intelligence officers should not be used as political footballs," the 11 said. "In the case of Valerie Plame, she still works for the CIA and is not in a position to publicly defend her reputation and honor."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press


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