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Valerie Plame Stands Tall

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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…

One Republican congressman said today at the hearing that well, this is the problem of the CIA, not the White House…

What the president and vice president have never understood, what the apologists and flacks and hacks and partisans and “oppo” players and smear artists have never understood, is this: To protect our men and women who serve covertly is a sacred trust, written in blood, sanctified by oath, etched in stone, that should be seared into our souls with honor…

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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