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John Kerry: America's National Security - Not Karl Rove's Job Security - Should be Administration's Only Priority

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Location: Washington, DC


John Kerry: America's National Security - Not Karl Rove's Job Security - Should be Administration's Only Priority

Reiterates Call for Rove to be Fired

Senator John Kerry said today, in the wake of last week's terror attacks in London and at a time when the Senate is focused on homeland security, that the White House "cares more about the job security of top aides than homeland security." Senator Kerry made the following statement at a press conference on homeland security today after he was asked about senior White House aide Karl Rove's involvement in the outing of a CIA agent.

Below is a Statement by Senator Kerry:

"It is now evident, through email and through other sources, that Karl Rove released information to a reporter which made it patently clear who Valerie Plame was -- blowing her cover as a covert operative and endangering her, those she works with, and any foreign intelligence sources she may have had. It has been the stated policy of the White House for the past two years that they would fire anyone who released that information.

"Even if Karl Rove didn't say her name point-blank, by identifying Ambassador Wilson's wife as working for the CIA, he revealed classified information. All anyone has to do then is go his biography or his curriculum vitae, and boom -- you've got her name. So this administration deliberately released her identity. That is clear. "Yesterday at Quantico the President said very clearly to CIA folks that they have a dangerous job and that they need assistance. Well, the President has to mean his words. If their policy is that outing and jeopardizing a covert CIA agent is unacceptable behavior, the president will fire Karl Rove.

"Then the question is what are the White House's fundamental values? Is it the value of day-to-day politics, the value of political advice? Is the value of Karl Rove's position greater than the value of the national security of our country? Is he more important than the protection of the identity of CIA agents or even George Bush's own word?

"The White House's credibility is at issue here, and I believe very clearly that Karl Rove ought to be fired."

Background on Leak Investigation:

In the past, Karl Rove has denied having any knowledge of the leak.

Karl Rove has testified to the grand jury three times in this case.

According to news reports, the grand jury has subpoenaed all of the White House Iraq Group's documents from July 6, 2003 to July 30, 2003. The group was formed in August of 2002 by White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to deal in part with the public relations campaign around Iraq. The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Condoleezza Rice, and Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby.

Summary of the Case:

In 2002, Ambassador Joseph Wilson traveled to Niger on a CIA-authorized trip to investigate the connections between Niger and Iraq in the war on terror, and determined that Saddam Hussein had not attempted to buy "yellow cake" uranium from Niger. However, George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address in 2003, claimed that "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," directly contradicting the information which had been found by Ambassador Wilson. In response, Wilson penned a New York Times op-ed piece stating his disagreement with the Administration's stance, and three days later, Robert Novak, relying on two sources within the administration, exposed Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent, claiming that Wilson's views were suspect since he had been sent to Niger on the advice of his wife.

http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=240485

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