Capitol Hill Democrats hold informal hearing on Plame leak

Saturday, July 23, 2005

United States Capitol building

Democrats on Saturday turned over their radio broadcast to a former CIA agent and Republican, Larry Johnson, who accused President George W. Bush of flip-flopping on his pledge to fire anybody on his staff involved with the Valerie Plame leak.

Johnson, a participant in yesterday's Democratic hearing on Capitol Hill, said "We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example to the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth."

House and Senate Democrats held a highly partisan hearing Friday where four retired U.S. intelligence officials aired views that were critical of the Plame leak itself, and then critical of Bush administration and Republican efforts to minimize damage caused by the controversy.

Former CIA case officer, Jim Marcinkowski, testified that the current administration policy of setting a criminal standard for dismissal was too high, and that Bush should take action on those persons involved. "Each time the political machine made up of prime-time patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere paper-pusher, or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers, or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it's a disservice to this country," he said.

Representative Henry Waxman

The hearing was not an official proceeding of Congress. Democratic lawmakers organized it after Republican leaders in congressional committees with jurisdiction in these matters rejected their request for a legislative oversight hearing. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, said "A special standard seems to apply to Karl Rove: There will be no questions asked, and no accountability."

Meanwhile, a Vermont native Dennis Morrisseau, 62, plans a Republican run for a soon to be vacated seat in the House of Representatives. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt) will leave the post in his run for a Senate seat. Central to Morrisseau's bid is his pledge to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.