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Victim of CIA Leak Scandal Says White House 'Recklessly' Exposed Her Identity

16 March 2007

The woman at the center of the CIA leak scandal has told a congressional panel that senior White House and State Department officials "carelessly and recklessly abused" her name and identity as a covert operative.

Former CIA officer Valerie Plame is appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Friday.

She said she worked covertly in counter-proliferation for the Central Intelligence Agency until her name was released in a nationally syndicated column on July 14, 2003. Plame said covert operatives know that foreign enemies might expose them, but that it was ironic that members of her own government exposed her for what appear to be purely political motives.

Committee Democratic chairman Henry Waxman said the panel is trying to determine how the White House handles highly classified information and how such a serious breach of national security could occur.

No one has been charged with leaking Plame's identity.

Plame is married to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the U.S.-led war on Iraq. The couple says the administration disclosed her identity to reporters in order to discredit him.

The Wilsons have filed a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney, his former chief-of-staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, presidential advisor Karl Rove and other administration officials.

Libby was recently convicted on charges of lying and obstructing justice in the investigation of who leaked Plame's identity.

No one from the White House or State Department allegedly involved in the leak is scheduled to testify before the panel Friday.

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