The following letter was sent by all nine Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, urging President Bush to suspend Karl Rove’s security clearances pending a thorough investigation.
July 13, 2005
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, one of our critically important responsibilities is to support the individuals who risk their lives as undercover intelligence officers for the United States.
In recent days, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has acknowledged, through his attorney, that he disclosed the identity of an intelligence officer to Matt Cooper, a reporter for Time Magazine. Because this officer was undercover, her identity could only be known through access to classified information.
We abhor the disclosure of the identities of undercover officers. Former President Bush has called those who expose our human sources “the most insidious of traitors.” Ten former intelligence officers signed a letter calling the disclosure of this particular officer’s identify a “shameful and unprecedented event in American history.”
There is ample precedent for suspending the security clearances of people under suspicion of leaking classified information. In addition, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald is investigating whether the leak in this case was a felony under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. His investigation is still ongoing.
In light of the above and Mr. Rove’s status as a senior official, we urge you to suspend any and all of Mr. Rove’s security clearances at least until the Fitzgerald investigation is complete.
Robert E. (Bud) Cramer, Jr.
Anna G. Eshoo
Rush D. Holt
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
John F. Tierney
It’s really hard to argue with this modest, reasonable request… though I’m sure my righty readers will try.