The CIA has requested that the Justice Department investigate a possible leak in the White House that revealed the name of an agent in a sensitive position, and may have compromised numerous CIA field officers and assets, possibly endangering some of them. Former acting ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger in 2002 to investigate whether or not Saddam Hussein was trying to buy enriched uranium there.
Ambassador Wilson reported that the information was not credible, but it nevertheless appeared in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech. CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for the information's presence there when it was revealed that it was not true.The White House later blamed British intelligence for the false information.
However, Wilson published an article saying the White House knew the charge was false before they put it in the speech. "We spend billions of dollars on intelligence," Wilson wrote."But we end up putting something in the State of the Union address, something we got from another intelligence agency, something we cannot independently verify, in an area of Africa where the British have no on-the-ground presence."
The next week, columnist Robert Novak published an article in which he revealed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA agent specializing in weapons of mass destruction. He wrote, "Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate." Wilson says other reporters told him White House officials leaked Plame's identity to Novak. Revealing the identities of undercover agents is a violation of two laws, the National Agents' Identity Act and the Unauthorized Release of Classified Information Act.
There have been some reports that investigators will take a special interest in Presidential adviser Karl Rove and his staff.
Understand how the government uses secrecy as a means of abusing its power with Jim Marrs' Rule by Secrecy.
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