The husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame has a name for former Vice President Dick Cheney: “traitor.”
Plame, a former CIA officer, was outed by administration officials amidst her husband’s criticism of the evidence in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq. Cheney’s then-chief of staff, “Scooter” Libby, was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison for lying and obstructing justice about his role in the leak. Also among the leakers was former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence.
Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, had harsh words for Cheney and Libby during an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:
“They betrayed the national security of our country,” Wilson, an outspoken critic of the Iraq War and former U.S. Ambassador said. “By betraying the identity of a covert CIA operative, whose identity is kept secret because it’s in the national interests that the identity be kept secret, in order for her to be able to acquire foreign secrets on behalf of our country.”
Wilson also later went on to say that he didn’t know if former President Bush was a traitor as well.
“I don’t know what he knew,” Wilson said. “We were unable to get that in criminal court and were unable to get there in civil court because the Supreme Court denied us the right to go ahead pursue civil charges against him or a civil case against him.”
Plame, the outed CIA officer, had more measured but critical words for the former Vice President: “I think he has an extremely dark view of the world,” Plame remarked. “And his idea of the One Percent Doctrine, which was, you know, there — if there’s a one percent chance of a terrorist attack or something affecting our national security, we’re going to do everything to prevent it. And that sounds good, except what it really means is it undermines the very values that we as a country hold dear.”
Armitage was the original source for a 2003 newspaper column identifying Plame as a CIA officer. At the time, her husband was criticizing the Bush administration’s prewar intelligence on Iraq and had become a thorn in the side of the White House. Rove also discussed Plame’s employment with reporters.
The leak touched off a lengthy investigation that resulted in Libby’s conviction for obstruction and lying to investigators. Jurors found that he told reporters about Plame and lied about it to the FBI and a federal grand jury. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence before he ever served a day in prison.
Nobody was ever charged with the leak itself and [a lawsuit Plame filed in connection with the case that was dismissed by the courts] was one of the last remaining legal issues associated with the case.