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DRUDGE REPORT 2003®

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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX TUES SEPT 30, 2003 20:52:37 ET XXXXX

FORMER CIA OFFICIAL TELLS PBS: OUTED OFFICER 'HAS BEEN UNDER COVER FOR THREE DECADES'

A former counter-terrorism official at the CIA and the State Department claimed Tuesday night that outed CIA agent "Valerie Plame" was under cover for three decades and was not a "CIA analyst" as columnist Bob Novak has suggested.

Larry Johnson made the charge on PBS's NEWSHOUR.

"I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been under cover for three decades."

[The WASH POST reported on Wednesday that "Valerie Plame" is 40 years old]

MORE

Johnson continues: She is not as Bob Novak suggested a "CIA analyst." Given that, i was a CIA analyst for 4 years. I was under cover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the CIA unti I left the Intelligence Agency on Sept. 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it. The fact that she was under cover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous. She was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she works with overseas could be compromised...

"For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal... and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that, well, this was just an analyst. Fine. Let them go undercover. Let's put them go overseas. Let's out them and see how they like it...

"I say this as a registered Republican. I am on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear, of an individual who had no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it because the entire intent was, correctly as Amb. Wilson noted, to intimidate, to suggest taht there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision-making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy, and frankly what was a false policy of suggesting that there was nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend it was something else, to get into this parsing of words.

"I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this."

[REALAUDIO OF THE INTERVIEW]

Developing...

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