Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Open letter to Congress re: Valerie Plame

From Josh Marshall, we have the text of an open letter to Congress from eleven former intelligence officers. It includes some harsh words for the leadership of the Republican party:

The Republican National Committee has circulated talking points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this campaign a common theme is the idea that Ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection....

These comments reveal an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover. The fact is that there are thousands of U.S. intelligence officers who "work at a desk" in the Washington, D.C. are every day who are undercover. Some have official cover, and some have non-official cover. Both classes of cover must and should be protected.

While we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation and that the U.S. Attorney General has recused himself, we believe that the partisan attacks against Valerie Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men and women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation's security.

The writers also point out that as a current CIA employee, Plame is not in a position to defend herself. (According to the New York Times, Plame "drafted an op-ed article to correct what she felt were distortions of her and her husband's actions, but the C.I.A. would not authorize its publication.")

This is a case where moral values and national security concerns coincide. The Republican party is supposed to be strong in each of these areas. Under President Bush, it's not.


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