Saturday, October 08, 2005

Focusing on the real issues of the Plame case

Lost in the recent spurt of press reporting, however, is the fact that the outing of Ms. Plame (and, as night follows the day, her carefully cultivated network of spies) has done great damage to US clandestine operations-not to mention those she recruited over her distinguished career.

Ms. Plame, a very gifted case officer, was a close colleague of mine at CIA. Her dedication and courage were made abundantly clear when she became one of the few to volunteer to asume the risks of operating under non-official cover-meaning that if you get caught, too bad, you're on your own; the US government never heard of you.

The supreme irony is that Plame's now-compromised network was reporting on the priority-one issue of US intelligence-weapons of mass destruction. Thus, it was made clear to all, including active and potential intelligence sources abroad, that even when high-priority intelligence targets are involved, Bush administration officials do not shrink from exposing such sources for petty political purpose. The harm to CIA and its efforts to recruit spies instinctively wary of the risks in providing intelligence information is immense.
Rest of article at: LARRY JOHNSON: How About Focusing on the Real Issues?
Larry Johnson worked as a CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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