Friday, March 16, 2007

Valerie Plame Stands Tall

Brent Budowsky
March 16, 2007

First. I spent a number of years of my life working on the Intelligence Identities Protection Act with its original sponsor, then-Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

Second. It should now be clear even to the most rabid partisan apologist for Bush administration wrongdoing that Valerie Plame was a covert operative, that her identity and status were classified, and that she had performed abroad within the last five years.

Third. I know and admire Valerie Plame and consider her an American hero, an American patriot, and an invaluable national resource in defeating global terrorism who has been compromised by shameless and despicable acts, by partisans and ideologues.

The president of the United States owes Valerie Plame and every covert officer a profound apology.

The president of the United States owes the vice president and Karl Rove an aggressive, severe, and public reprimand, at a minimum.

The president of the United States owes the American people, our covert officers and the rule of law an ironclad commitment that he will not issue a pardon to anyone convicted in this case.

Having been involved in writing this law for so long, I have, unlike some others, avoided comment on legal guilt or innocence and have avoided any public discussion that could have even remotely reached or influenced the jurors in this case.

When The Washington Post ran thousands of words on its editorial page, its opinion page, its “Outlook” section and even its “Style” section in the hours before the case went before the jury, and I was offered a modest 170 words representing so many not taking the pro-Libby position, even then I avoided discussion of guilt or innocence to make the larger point.

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