Calls for Accountability Regarding Plame Unmasking

Burlington, VT, September 27, 2003

BURLINGTON—In response to news that the CIA has asked for a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the White House revealed the identity of one of its undercover employees in violation of federal law and in retaliation against the woman's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Governor Howard Dean issued the following statement:

“I applaud the CIA's request that the Justice Department investigate the Plame affair. I urge the Justice Department to investigate the matter swiftly and objectively, without the taint of partisan politics that have so plagued this Administration's conduct of foreign policy.

But this investigation should not be necessary. Those responsible should resign immediately.

“President Bush came into office promising to bring honor and integrity to the White House. Instead, the President took us to war on what appears to be false pretenses and is now using every means possible to obfuscate that fact. If the allegations are true, someone within this Administration has sought retribution against a former U.S. diplomat who sought only to bring truth to an otherwise murky situation by revealing the identity of his wife, an undercover analyst. This is a very serious charge. If it is true, they have gone way beyond petty retribution - they have undermined a key national security tenet and violated two federal laws.

“Almost three months ago, I demanded answers to sixteen questions surrounding the use of questionable evidence used to bolster the Administration's argument for war. At that time, I stated 'Mr. President, we urgently need an explanation about the very serious charge that senior officials in your Administration may have retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson by illegally disclosing that his wife is an undercover CIA officer.' I called for those involved to take the appropriate action and resign. They have not served in the nation's interest.

“Since that time, we have heard nothing. No one has been held accountable for this serious action, or for the other instances in which senior officials in this Administration have misled the public and the world about their justifications for war with Iraq. Instead, we see a continuing pattern of deceptive statements. I urge accountability now.

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