(CNN) - Another CIA official whose cover was blown by a presidential administration said the inadvertent outing of an intelligence official in Afghanistan by the White House was “colossally stupid” and will have repercussions for the intelligence community.
But Valerie Plame, whose identity was infamously leaked by the Bush administration in 2003 and touched off a scandal, said on Wednesday it’s an apples to oranges comparison as it appears to be a mistake, rather than a malicious takedown.
"Well it was colossally stupid of course," Plame told CNN’s “The Situation Room” about the misstep during President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan on Sunday. "What an error of huge proportions with tremendous consequences.”
The White House has ordered an investigation of how the name of Afghanistan’s chief of station – the covert head of U.S. intelligence in the country – wound up on a list of people at a briefing with Obama at Bagram Airfield.
The list was circulated to thousands of journalists, and corrected afterward when officials were alerted by a reporter.
CNN has not named the official.
Plame was outed by members of George W. Bush’s administration in 2003 after her husband. former ambassador Joe Wilson, was critical of the White House and Iraq war. In a July 2003 column, journalist Robert Novak, citing two senior administration officials, noted that Plame was a CIA operative.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted to first revealing Plame's name. And Novak confirmed that former President George W. Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, was the second source confirming the information.
"It all comes down to intent. What happened with me, my name was intended to be leaked in retaliation against my husband who was a fierce critic the Bush administration and the Iraq war," Plame said.
Plame said she misses her job, which involved halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and recruiting people to be U.S. spies.
"His covert career, as mine was, is finished," she said of the official in Afghanistan, pushing adamantly that he should leave the country immediately for his own safety.
No one was punished for leaking Plame's CIA role to the media. Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about the leak. President George W. Bush later commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence.
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