Sunday, July 24, 2005

Republican Gives Democratic Radio Address

When the walls come tumblin' down
When the walls come crumblin' crumblin'
When the walls come tumblin' tumblin' down

- John Mellencamp

Larry Johnson, a retired CIA agent, formerly of the State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism and a registered Republican, gave the Democratic radio address yesterday. This followed a week in which 11 former CIA officers publicly blasted the White House for leaking Valerie Plame's identity as a covert CIA operative.

Here's the text of his address – it's worth reading.
Good morning. I'm Larry Johnson, an American, a registered Republican, a former intelligence official at the CIA, and a friend of Valerie Plame.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 with Valerie. We were members of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch wrote the letter of recommendation for me which I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA.

From the first day we walked into the building, all members of my training class were undercover, including Valerie. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife.

I knew the wife of Ambassador Wilson, Valerie, as Valerie P. Even though all of us in the training class held Top Secret Clearances, we were asked to limit our knowledge of our other classmates to the first initial of their last name.

So, Larry J. knew Val P. rather than Valerie Plame. I really didn't realize what her last name was until her cover was betrayed by the Government officials who gave columnist Robert Novak her true name.

I am stunned that government officials at the highest level have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak's compromise of Valerie led to scrutiny of CIA officers that worked with her. This not only compromised her "cover" company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department.

Val only told those with a need to know about her status in order to safeguard her cover, not compromise it. She was content with being known as an energy consultant married to Ambassador Joe Wilson and the mother of twins.

I voted for George Bush in November of 2000 because I was promised a President who would bring a new tone and a new ethical standard to Washington.

So where are we? The President has flip-flopped on his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby are implicated in these leaks and may have lied during the investigation.

Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson.

This is wrong and this is shameful.

We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

I am Larry Johnson. Thank you for listening.
Here's a link to the audio if you would like to listen to it.