Plame: US Intelligence is 'Ripe for Abuse'
Snowden's leaks should come as no surprise, write Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2013 2:03 PM CDT
Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, left, and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

(Newser) – If there's anyone who knows about intelligence leaks, it's former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, and she tackles the Edward Snowden NSA leaks along with husband and former US ambassador Joe Wilson in the Guardian. Snowden's leaks shouldn't be treated as such a surprise, they write, because "we are now dealing with a vast intelligence-industrial complex that is largely unaccountable to its citizens" and "ripe for abuse." And whether Snowden is a traitor or a hero, at least he has exposed this.

More than 1.4 million people in America hold "top secret" security clearances, and 60% of the country's intelligence budget goes to subcontracting its work. "When that many have access to sensitive information," write Wilson and Wilson, "is it really so difficult to envision a leak?" Instead of politicians just telling us to trust them because they're keeping us safe—and citizens just accepting that things like phone and email snooping are doing that—we instead need to have an open discussion about national security versus personal privacy in this country. Click to read the full column at the Guardian.

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Jun 24, 2013 6:42 PM CDT
I think Valerie Plume is correct although others have already said it. As a nation, we need to decide how much more of our privacy we're ready to give up in the name of national security. We already know that we all give up a lot of it every time we use a credit card or go on the internet. We lose that privacy not only to the government but to businesses who want to market products to us. I think the Patriot Act was written way too broadly to allow just about whatever the government wanted in collecting information. This obviously is abuse waiting to happen. The law itself may turn out to be unconstitutional if it makes illegal any disclosure of what and how the government does the collecting because then no one has the opportunity to even question any of these practices. They are all secret. I would love to see the constitutionality of the law itself challenged instead of just pieces of it like collecting names and phone numbers.
Jun 23, 2013 9:16 PM CDT
I wonder if I might know something she would like to get from me? I'm here, call anytime. If I don't know, I'll wing it.
Jun 23, 2013 6:07 PM CDT
Not only is she smart, she is beautiful!