Shuffle off to the Buffalo News
Here's a nice piece that keeps Rovegate on the front burner, where it belongs...
CIA's Tenet was 'furious' over leak, Schumer says
By DOUGLAS TURNER
News Washington Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON - Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., revealed Friday that two years ago he discussed the blown cover of CIA operative Valerie Plame with then CIA director George Tenet and that Tenet "was furious."
Tenet promptly called the Justice Department to demand an investigation into who in the Bush administration leaked Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak, Schumer said at a hearing held by House and Senate Democrats.
Novak revealed Plame's identity in July 2003 in a column in which he said she played a key role in having her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, sent to Niger to investigate reports that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had tried to buy materials for a nuclear weapon there.
The Democratic panel heard from five former CIA operatives who said the disclosure of Plame's classified identity was a breach of the law that forbids government officials from revealing the identity of an undercover intelligence officer and a violation of trust that has harmed America's intelligence-gathering capabilities.
"What is important now is not who wins or loses the political battle or who may or may not be indicted," said Jim Marcinkowski, a central intelligence agent in the 1980s.
"Rather, it is a question of how we will go about protecting the citizens of this country in a very dangerous world. The undisputed fact is that we have irreparably damaged our capability to collect human intelligence and thereby significantly diminished our capability to protect the American people."
Another former CIA operative, Larry Johnson, said "we must put to bed the lie that (Plame) was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover, then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department."
Johnson said that "despite the repeated claims of representatives for the Republican National Committee, the Wilsons' neighbors did not know where Valerie really worked until Novak's op-ed appeared."
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., said Bush is "affirmatively" required by several presidential directives to discipline any official in his administration who had a role in leaking classified information.
Bush cannot wait for an indictment and trial to determine whether leakers committed a crime, Waxman said. Presidential directives mandate he discipline all who had a role.
Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper has revealed that Bush's deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, and Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., had told him that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Rove has not disputed that he told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the agency but has said through his lawyer that he did not mention her by name.
Bush, who once said he would discipline anyone who leaked the information, now says he will wait to see who is convicted in the investigation run by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, said at worst the leak is treason and at best, an abuse of power.