by MoveOn.org –
According to the Washington Post, “two top White House officials” committed a high crime in the first weeks of July. They handed over the identity of an American secret agent to journalists. They blew her cover, risking the lives of colleagues and contacts and possibly erasing years of intelligence work. Why? “Purely and simply for revenge,” an administration official told the Post. The spy’s husband was a vocal critic of the Iraq war. (Sources below.)
The White House and the Justice Department have known about this crime for months — after all, the agent’s identity was published in scores of newspapers in early July. But until a few days ago, they did nothing about it. And even now, President Bush has said he has no plans to ask his staff whether they were connected to it.
Republicans contend that an investigation by the Justice Department will reveal any wrongdoing. But Justice Department chief John Ashcroft — who was appointed by President Bush and who employed key Bush advisor Karl Rove — is hardly neutral. Already, there are signs that the investigation will give the White House room to cover the crime up.
The simple fact is that the truth will only come out under pressure. If we don’t speak up now, the investigation could be left in John Ashcroft’s hands, and the perpetrators and the crime could be swept under the rug. Please tell John Ashcroft and Congress that you want a special prosecutor — someone who isn’t tied to the Bush Administration — to investigate this illegal and vindictive act.
Join us now at:
Although almost 7 in 10 Americans believe that Ashcroft should appoint a special prosecutor to handle the investigation, he currently refuses to do so. But he had a point back in 1997, when he said that “A single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor. If you’re abusing government property, if you’re abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that.”
It certainly appears that people in the Bush White House abused their status in office.
On July 6th of 2003, Valerie Plame’s husband Joe Wilson wrote an editorial in the New York Times. Joe Wilson was a former Ambassador to Iraq, appointed originally by President George H. W. Bush, who had been sent in 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger.
He concluded that “based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
On July 14th, conservative columnist Robert Novak revealed that according to “senior administration officials,” Wilson’s wife was “an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction.” Up to this point, Valerie Plame’s identity was a carefully kept secret, but Novak blew her cover.
Then, last Sunday, the Washington Post printed an article titled “Bush Administration is Focus of Inquiry.” The article contained a revelation: “Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak’s column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. . . . ‘Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,’ the senior official said of the alleged leak.”
In 1999, President George H. W. Bush said that “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”
Right now, it looks like possible traitors in the White House are being given a free pass. Please call on Attorney General Ashcroft and Congress to appoint a special prosecutor today. We need to get to the bottom of this.
Sign now at:
1. “two top White House officials” and “Purely and simply for revenge”:
BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS FOCUS OF INQUIRY
By Mike Allen and Dana Priest, Washington Post, 9/28/03
2. Leak was published in scores of newspapers in early July:
MISSION TO NIGER
By Robert Novak, multiple papers, 9/14/03
3. Bush has no plans to ask his staff:
BUSH AIDES SAY THEY’LL COOPERATE WITH PROBE INTO INTELLIGENCE LEAK
By Mike Allen, Washington Post, 9/29/03
4. Ashcroft employed Karl Rove; signs of room for a cover-up:
ATTORNEY GENERAL IS CLOSELY LINKED TO INQUIRY FIGURES
By Elisabeth Bumiller and Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, 10/2/03
5. 7 in 10 Americans want a special prosecutor:
OUTSIDE PROBE OF LEAKS IS FAVORED
By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen, Washington Post, 10/2/03
6. “A single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor”:
CNN’s Evans and Novak, 10/4/97
7. Joe Wilson’s New York Times editorial:
WHAT I DIDN’T FIND IN AFRICA
By Joseph C. Wilson 4th, New York Times, 7/6/03
8. “I have nothing but contempt and anger”:
REMARKS BY GEORGE BUSH AT THE DEDICATION CEREMONY FOR THE GEORGE BUSH CENTER FOR INTELLIGENCE
26 April 1999