These two blogs, thanks to the Daily Kos:
"Valerie Plame Wilson's Opening Statement
"Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:29:07 AM PDT
"Valerie Plame Wilson's opening statement before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
"Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee. My name is Valerie Plame Wilson and I am honored to have been invited to testify under oath before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the critical issue of safeguarding classified information. I'm grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight. I've served the United States loyally and to the best of my ability as a covert operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. I worked on behalf of the national security of our country, on behalf of the people of the United States until my name and true affiliation were exposed in the national media on July 14, 2003, after a leak by administration officials. Today, I can tell this Committee even more.
In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counter Proliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer, whose affiliation with the CIA was classified. I raced to discover solid intelligence for senior policy makers on Iraq's presumed weapons of mass destruction programs. While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.
"I love my career because I love my country. I was proud of the serious responsibilities entrusted to me as a CIA covert operations officer. And I was dedicated to this work. It was not common knowledge on the Georgetown cocktail circuit, that everyone knew where I worked. But 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.
"In the course of the trial of Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, I was shocked at the evidence that emerged. My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials in both the White House and the State Department. All of them understood that I worked for the CIA, and having signed oaths to protect national security secrets, they should have been diligent in protecting me and every CIA officer. "The CIA took great lengths to protect all of its employees, provided at significant taxpayer expense, painstakingly devised creative covers for its most sensitive staffers. The harm that is done when a CIA cover is blown is grave, but I can't provide details beyond that in this public hearing. But the concept is obvious. Not only have breaches of national security endangered CIA officers, it has jeopardized, even destroyed entire networks of foreign agents, who in turn risk their own lives and those of their families to provide the United States with needed intelligence. Lives are literally at stake. Every single one of my former CIA collegues, my fellow covert officers, to analysts to technical operations officers, even the secretaries, understand the vulnerabilities of our officers and recognize that the travesty of what happened to me could happen to them.
"We in the CIA always know that we might be exposed and threatened by foreign enemies. It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover. Furthermore, testimony in the criminal trial of Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff, who has now been convicted of serious crimes, indicates that my exposure arose from purely political motives. Within the CIA, it is essential that all intelligence be evaluated on the basis of its merits and actual credibility. National security depends upon it. The tradecraft of intelligence is not a product of speculation. I feel passionately as an intelligence professional about the creeping, insidious politicizing of our intelligence process. All intelligence professionals are dedicated to the ideal that they would rather be fired on the spot than distort the facts to fit a political view. Any political view or any ideology. As our intelligence agencies go through reorganizations and experience the painful aspects of change, and our country faces profound challenges, injecting partisanship or ideology into the equation makes effective and accurate intelligence that much more difficult to develop. Politics and ideology must be stripped completely from our intelligence services or the consequences will be even more severe than they have been and our country placed in even greater danger. It is imperative for any President to be able to make decisions based on intelligence that is unbiased. The Libby trial and the events leading to the Iraq War highlight the urgent need to restore the highest professional standards to intelligence collection and analysis and the protection of our officers and operations. The Congress has a Constitutional duty to defend our national security and that includes safeguarding our intelligence. That is why I am grateful for this opportunity to appear before this Committee today and to assist in its important work.
"Thank you and I welcome any questions."
Discuss (333 comments)
My comment is that "Loose lips sink ships!" Don't the people running our government know that you don't publish the names of your spies? Some people claim this is wartime. Don't the people running our government know that you don't publish the names of your spies in newspapers during wartime? A famous American spy, Nathan Hale, before he was hanged by the British for being an American spy in the American Revolution, said his famous last words, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." I know the Administration considered it politically expedient to leak the names of our spy Valerie Plame, to get even with her husband for not backing up their tale of nuclear weapons for Iraq. Well, the American people fell for their ploy to get us into war in Iraq, and they should not be leaking the names of spies to get even with people who did not help their evil schemes. I hope that whatever American leaked the name of our spy Nathan Hale to the British is burning in hell, now. Kenneth Stepp.
This also from the Daily Kos:
"Escalating the Escalation
"Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 06:59:03 AM PDT
"On January 10th, George Bush announced that he was sending an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq. Since then we've learned that that number didn't include 6,000 to 7,000 additional support troops, and today?
"The top US commander in Iraq has requested another Army brigade, in addition to five already on the way, as part of the controversial "surge" of American troops designed to clamp down on sectarian violence and insurgent groups, senior Pentagon officials said yesterday.
"The appeal -- not yet made public -- by General David Petraeus for a combat aviation unit would involve between 2,500 and 3,000 more soldiers and dozens of transport helicopters and powerful gunships, said the Pentagon sources. That would bring the planned expansion of US forces to close to 30,000 troops.
"This even as the White House continues to insist that the initial results of their escalation are "encouraging."
Discuss (115 comments)
My comment is bring the troops home and shut down the U.S. military occupation of Iraq. A majority of the people in Kentucky and throughout the South voted to "stay the course" in the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, by re-electing the "stay the course" candidates throughout the South--with a minority of exceptions. The U.S. military occupation of Iraq will continue until we the people decide that we have had enough, and elect public officials who will put an end to it. Kenneth Stepp