First let me get something straight. If the exposure of Valerie Plame, a desk clerk-analyst of little consequence at the CIA is allowed and it beomes known to apparently the only people who didn't know who she was, those outside of DC, it is a matter of National Security and needs to be investigated. Even if it appears there was no illegality found or charged. If covert CIA flights and even tail numbers and the names of employes and the Company is exposed, it is just the media doing their job. If the locations of covert detention facilities used by the US to house and interogate terrorists, it is not a security breach, it is just the media doing their job. If several current and former intellegence officers leaks to the press about an apparently legal though covert operation to trace terrorists phone calls and contact to and from people here in the US and elsewhere, it is not a National Security breach, it is just the press doing their job. Is that about it?
It seems to me that there needs to be a massive investigation of the CIA. They are no better at keeping a secret than Aunt Ethel the town gossip. They also seem to be better at covert operations against our own government than against our enemies. There is much here that does not pass the smell test.
According to the Washington Post:
Bush said the program is reviewed every 45 days by the attorney general and White House counsel and that he must then reauthorize it to keep it active. He said he has reauthorized it more than 30 times "and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups."
The president also said the administration has briefed key members of Congress on the program a dozen times. Classified programs are typically disclosed to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
...The president criticized the media for reporting on the NSA surveillance as well as the officials who "improperly" provided the information. "As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk," he said.
So the Senate Intellegence Committee was fully aware of this as was the Justice Department and the FISA judges. I have no doubt the Administration was very sensitive about sharing NSA programs with Congress after this intel debacle involving NSA intercepts and Senator Shelby.