WASHINGTON – No one in the Bush administration has been stripped of security clearances over the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity to reporters three years ago.
In a letter to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the Central Intelligence Agency said it had no record of anyone in the administration who is no longer privy to the most sensitive U.S. secrets because of the Plame leak.
The CIA also disclosed it has not yet completed a formal assessment of the damage to national security that may have been caused by Plame's outing in 2003. The assessment won't be completed until a criminal investigation of the leak has been concluded, Christopher J. Walker, the CIA's director of congressional affairs, said in the July 19 letter to Lautenberg.
For more than a year, Lautenberg and other Democrats have been calling on President George W. Bush to fire presidential adviser Karl Rove and any other aides who discussed Plame's CIA status with reporters — or, at the least, to revoke their security clearances.
So far, only I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, has been charged in the investigation. Libby faces trial in January on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges for lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury about how he learned about Plame's CIA status and what he later told reporters.
Rove's lawyer revealed in June that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald had decided not to seek criminal charges against the senior White House aide, who was the architect of Bush's presidential election campaigns.
Plame's identity as a CIA officer was classified information when it was revealed in a July 14, 2003, article by syndicated columnist Robert Novak. The Novak column appeared eight days after Plame's husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.
Earlier this month, Plame and Wilson filed a lawsuit accusing Cheney, Rove, Libby and 10 unnamed administration officials of leaking Plame's identity and wrecking her career to punish Wilson for his criticism of the White House's motives in Iraq. Plame left the CIA in January and is writing a book about what happened to her.
"We know that members of the administration were leaking classified information, so it makes no sense that no one has had their security clearances revoked," Lautenberg said.
"President Bush should not allow anyone who has divulged sensitive information to have continued access to national secrets."