Hearing on Disclosure of CIA Identity: The Context

March 16, 2007
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has just completed a hearing on whether White House officials followed appropriate procedures for safeguarding the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. The opening statements of Chairman Henry Waxman and former covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame, as well as questioning from Rep. Paul Hodes (NH-02) and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03) provide valuable context to the entire affair.

Chairman Henry Waxman:

"This was an extraordinarily serious breach of our national security. President George W. Bush's father, the former President Bush, said - and I quote - "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who expose the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."

Former covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame:

"All of my efforts on behalf of the national security of the United States, all of my training, all of the value of my years of service were abruptly ended when my name and identity were exposed irresponsibly."

Rep. Hodes:

"I'd like to show you a chart that we've prepared in the committee, you'll see it up on the screens and we're putting it up here on paper. That chart is a graphic depiction of all the ways that your classified CIA employment was disclosed to White House officials and then to the press... are you surprised that so many people had access to the classified information about your CIA employment?"

Rep. Sarbanes:

"...an Administration of bullies, in my opinion, that thinks that in order to acheive whatever ends they're seeking, any means can be justified..."