Letter Sent to Bush Today Requests 'No Pardons' Pledge, Suspension of Security Clearance for Officials Who Spoke to Reporters About Valerie Wilson's Identity
Asks Bush to 'Restore Honor' to White House
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2005, 10:42pm PT  

A group of 16 former intelligence officials sent a letter to George W. Bush earlier today expressing their outrage over "the breach of trust between this Administration and members of the intelligence community that has resulted from the Valerie Plame case."

The letter is described by former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson as having been signed by a "bipartisan" group "representing a variety of political views."

"We are agreed on one thing," said Johnson in an Email receved by The BRAD BLOG this evening, "we are Americans and believe this country is worth defending."

Johnson had been a classmate of Valerie Plame/Wilson's during training at the CIA.

The missive, sent late this afternoon from a variety of former and retired officials, calls on George W. Bush to keep his "promise to restore honor to the White House," and demands accountability for any staff members "implicated in the leak of Valerie Wilson's classified identity." It goes on to decry the "bond of trust" that was "shattered with the exposure" of Wilson's identity.

One White House official, so far, I. Scooter Libby, has been indicted on charges relating to an ongoing investigation into the matter by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

The former intelligence officials express that whether her exposure was "unwitting or intentional" the action's by Administration officials has destroyed both Wilson's career and her intelligence network "which was devoted to protecting this country from the threat of weapons of mass destruction."

They call on Bush to "immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personelle" who spoke to reporters about Wilson's CIA affiliation while taking the occassion to remind Bush about Dick Cheney's dismissal of the Air Force Chief of Staff who inadvertantly disclosed classified information to the press.

The letter, which was CC'd to several members of Congress, follows in its entirety...

15 November 2005

President George W. Bush
Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Most respectfully, we, the undersigned, as former intelligence officers who have served this nation in a variety of capacities, both undercover and in the open, are writing to deplore the breach of trust between this Administration and members of the intelligence community that has resulted from the Valerie Plame case. Moreover, this nation's clandestine intelligence service will be seriously undermined if those culpable of disclosing or discussing her identity are pardoned after being found guilty or allowed to continue holding security clearances.

Mr. President, you entered office with the promise to restore honor to the White House and in the spirit of that pledge later promised to hold accountable anyone on your staff implicated in the leak of Valerie Wilson's classified identity. Mr. President, we are asking you to keep your promises.

As intelligence professionals our allegiance has been first and foremost to protecting the Constitutional government of the United States. This commitment supersedes partisan politics. We have worked undercover, out of the limelight, and employed clandestine methods to gather information about individuals and nations who have sought to harm the United States and its citizens. In carrying out these duties we rely on you and the members of your administration to protect our secrets and safeguard our identities.

Inexplicably, this bond of trust was shattered with the exposure in July 2003 of the identity of Valerie Wilson, a CIA case officer working under non-official cover. It is clear that at least two members of your staff—I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove—were implicated in this act. Most of us are not lawyers and we make no claim as to whether any law was violated. However, the actions of these senior White House officials have compromised and destroyed valuable intelligence assets. It does not matter whether their disclosure of Valerie Wilson's identity as a CIA officer was unwitting or intentional. Their actions destroyed both her career and her intelligence network, which was devoted to protecting this country from the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Therefore, we are asking that you immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personnel who spoke to reporters about Mrs. Wilson's affiliation with the CIA. They have mishandled classified information and no longer deserve the level of trust required to have access to this nation's secrets.

We also ask that you make it clear that any individual, who is convicted of a crime stemming from the leak of the classified identity of Valerie Wilson, will not receive a pardon. The refusal, so far, of I. Lewis Libby to heed your call for full cooperation with the prosecutor raises the specter that he will try to stonewall the investigation in hopes of ultimately being pardoned by you.

We believe that the President, in his role as Commander-in-Chief, has a duty to demonstrate the highest standards when it comes to protecting our nation's secrets. We are reminded that Vice President Cheney, when he was Secretary of Defense, dismissed the Air Force Chief of Staff for inadvertently disclosing classified information to the press. The Vice President recognized correctly that the mishandling of classified information, regardless of intent, must be punished.

If you take these steps you will be sending a clear message that your first priority is the nation's security rather than your aides' well being. You will demonstrate that you will not tolerate people in your Administration who mishandle our nation's secrets and send an unambiguous message to the American people, as well as our enemies, that you are serious about protecting the security and safety of America.

Respectfully,

The undersigned current and former intelligence professionals— (listed alphabetically):

A. Dale Ackels, Col. USA (ret.)
Robert Baer, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Vincent Cannistraro, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Brent Cavan, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
Philip Giraldi, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Melvin A. Goodman, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
Mike Grimaldi, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
Karen Kwiatowski, political military staff analyst, retired Lt Col, USAF, Ph.D.
Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
W. Patrick Lang, Col. USA (ret), Chief of DIA Middle East Division, Director Defense Humint Services
Melissa Boyle Mahle, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Jim Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
John "Jack" McCavitt, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Ray McGovern, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA
David Rupp, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA
Bill Wagner, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

cc:
The Honorable William Frist,
The Honorable Harry Reid
The Honorable Pat Roberts
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller, IV
The Honorable Denny Hastert
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Peter Hoekstra
The Honorable Jane Harman