Ex-agents: CIA leak a serious betrayal

“The FBI is interviewing members of the Bush administration as part of its investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity. The officer’s name was revealed after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, raised questions about the pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Two former CIA operatives, Larry Johnson and Jim Marcinkowski, have asked the Senate to investigate the leak and discussed the situation with CNN’s Bill Hemmer.

The problem with this is a lot of the damage that has occurred is not going to be seen. It can’t be photographed. We can’t bring the bodies out because in some cases it’s going to involve protecting sources and methods. And it’s important to keep this before the American people. This was a betrayal of national security.” —CNN


A Foreign-Policy Emergency

Robert Kuttner: “The hallmark of the Bush foreign policy has been a naive radicalism married to an operational incompetence. A small clique with a preconceived blueprint took advantage of a national emergency and a callow president, blowing a containable threat into war while dismissing more ominous menaces. These people are out to remake the world, with little sense of risk, proportion or history. At this writing, the president’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, has seized some authority over the Iraq policy from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who responded with adolescent pique. The long-abused Secretary of State Colin Powell offered new respect for the UN. President Bush even directly contradicted Vice President Dick Cheney’s discredited claim of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

In a different administration, these shifts would signal that the chief executive, clearly in control, had recognized the misjudgments and costs of a failed policy, demoted those responsible and shifted authority to others. But Bush seems incapable of that kind of decisiveness or discernment. These are mere skirmishes, indicative of the absence of leadership at the top. Bush is as callow as ever. The man even boasts that he never reads the papers.” —The American Prospect