Former CIA operative Valerie Plame ripped into the Bush administration Friday for blowing her cover by leaking her identity to the press in 2003. Plame told Congress in her first public testimony that her name and identity were “carelessly and recklessly abused by senior officials in the White House and State Department,” pointing out the “terrible irony” of the circumstances surrounding her outing.
“It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover,” she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“If our government cannot even protect my identity, future foreign agents who might consider working with the Central Intelligence Agency and providing needed intelligence would think twice,” Plame said in response to a question.
The hearing was the first time Plame has publicly answered questions about the case, which led to the recent perjury and obstruction of justice conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Her appearance was a moment of gripping political theater as Democrats questioned whether the Bush administration mishandled classified information by leaking her identity to reporters. No one has been charged with leaking her identity.