In dramatic testimony, the “outed” CIA agent spoke to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying “I,m honored to be invited to testify under oath…..on the critical issue of safeguarding classified information. I’m grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight. My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials in both the White House and the State Department.”
She goes on to say how she felt like she was ‘hit in the gut” when she heard about her name and identity being leaked. She also, under oath, denied that she had anything to do with selecting her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, sent to Niger on his mission to investigate the possible sale of yellow cake uranium to agents of Saddam Hussein. The supposed potential sale was used by President Bush and then Secretary of State Colin Powell to help justify the attack on Iraq.
In a compelling and poised testimony, she held the rapt attention of everyone in the room. When asked if she believed if there were still people in the current Administration who had anything to do with her being outed, she responded “Yes Congressman, as we know -for one, Karl Rove-clearly was involved in the leaking of my name and he still carries a security clearance to this day despite the President’s words to the contrary that he would immediately dismiss anyone who had anything to do with this.”
Valerie Plame Wilson must still comply with CIA classified information policy and could not completely testify to the entirety of the damage done. Still, she was able to say “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.”
The dramatic political theater that was her testimony would not even be possible had the Democrats not taken a majority in Congress last November. A fact that many in the White House were counting on before the election, when they were sure they would hold both houses. Today’s testimony will surely not be the last. As this case unfolds, it is ever more apparent that the highest levels of the Bush Administration played a part in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson.
In what was was a very sad commentary on those who leaked her secret status, she acknowledged that she knew her identity might be discovered by foreign governments. She knew it was a risk that went with the job. She then adds “It was a terrible irony that Administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover.”
Listening to talk radio throughout the day, I was impressed by her entire testimony. And the fact that it was under oath, something those who allegedly outed her will not likely do unless they are taken to Congress in chains. She was very believable as someone who worked for years to fight nuclear proliferation around the globe. With grace and poise, even though she was viciously attacked by an Administration that thinks so little of her fight that they traded nuclear technology to India for mangoes. People that would forfeit the possible safety of America to grab political gain.