July 25, 2005


Senate Panel to Examine Use of Cover by U.S. Spies (SCOTT SHANE, 7/25/05, NY Times)

The Senate Intelligence Committee will conduct hearings on American spy agencies' use of cover to protect the identities of intelligence officers, the committee chairman said on Sunday.

The chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, said on the CNN program "Late Edition" that the committee was "going to go into quite a series of hearings in regard to cover." The practice of intelligence cover has come under scrutiny during the investigation of the disclosure of the C.I.A. employment of Valerie Wilson, who had worked under cover for the agency for 18 years before being publicly identified as a C.I.A. operative in 2003.

"You cannot be in the business of outing somebody" working under cover, Mr. Roberts said. He said, however, there were questions about the depth of Ms. Wilson's cover, because she had been based at the Virginia headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency at least since 1997.

"I must say from a common-sense standpoint, driving back and forth to work to the C.I.A. headquarters, I don't know if that really qualifies as being, you know, covert," Mr. Roberts said.

If the seven years at Langley didn't remove her from the cover of the law, sending her husband on a public CIA mission certainly did.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2005 8:56 AM

Who hired Wilson to write his infamous editorial for the NYT? Did Ms. Plame recommend him to Gail Collins? Or did John F. Kerry? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: ratbert at July 25, 2005 9:26 AM

One would think that the GOP knows Rove/Bush are clean on this issue and that the inquiry will put further dirt on Wilson/Plame/NYTimes/Dems. Then again they are the stupid party and may end up shooting themselves in the foot on this.

Posted by: AWW at July 25, 2005 9:43 AM