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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Senator Chuck Schumer Calls for Independent Investigation

Aired September 30, 2003 - 11:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to go to the floor of the U.S. Senate. That's where Senator Chuck Schumer is speaking out over the leak coming from the White House, naming an alleged CIA operative.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: ... because what we've learned is that intelligence is key. When you reveal the name of an agent, it's like putting a gun to that agent's head. You are jeopardizing their life, in many cases. You are jeopardizing the lives of the contacts that they have built up over the decades. You are jeopardizing the security of America.

SCHUMER: So the seriousness of this crime is obvious when, in addition, we learn that it was done in all likelihood for a frivolous, nasty reason, namely that somebody was angry at Ambassador Wilson for speaking the truth, at least as he saw it.

I tend to agree with him, I don't think anyone disputes it -- in fact, the administration has admitted it about the yellow cake sale from Niger to Iraq, that the documents were indeed forged and the president was incorrect to use them in the State of the Union. This was a way of getting back at him through his wife, or perhaps to coward him, to make sure he didn't speak any further -- nasty, not just nasty, it was like knee capping.

And in fact, John Dean, who has been through this, just wrote an article in something called Truth Out editorial, dot editorial, and the title is, "The Bush Administration" -- that's assuming it was done by the administration, but that's what all the reports are -- "Adopts A Worse Than Nixonian Tactic: The Deadly Serious Crime of Naming CIA Operatives." And I would ask unanimous consent that Mr. Dean's entire article be added to the record.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without objection, so ordered.

SCHUMER: Now -- so this is serious stuff. And I was furious -- I had no idea who had done it at that point in time. High administration official can mean a whole lot of things. And so I wrote the letter to Mr. Mueller, publicly called on him for an investigation, and I learned shortly thereafter that for such an investigation to proceed, the CIA had to fill out, I think it is an 11-point questionnaire about the person named, what they did, and what was revealed.

KAGAN: We've been listening in to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. He is calling for an independent investigation into alleged leaks that might have come out of the White House, naming a woman who could be a CIA operative, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson. The Justice Department will make the final decision on whether or not there will be an independent investigation.

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