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
Plame: US Intelligence is 'Ripe for Abuse'
Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, left, and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

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. (Read more Valerie Plame stories.)

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