by Danny Shea
June 19, 2013
Former CIA agent Valerie Plame said Wednesday that she views NSA leaker Edward Snowden as neither a hero nor a traitor, but that Americans should be grateful that he brought the conversation about liberty and security to the national forefront.
“I don’t think [Snowden’s] a hero, I don’t condone what he did. At the same time he’s certainly not a traitor as he was called by Dick Cheney,” Plame told HuffPost Live host Mike Sacks. “In a way, we as U.S. citizens owe Edward Snowden a thank you for having brought this issue to the forefront and so that we can begin to have a serious and genuine conversation about these issues.”
Plame also rolled her eyes at Cheney labeling Snowden a traitor, given the Bush administration’s involvement in leaking her identity to columnist Robert Novak.
“The irony of people like Dick Cheney or Karl Rove whining and bemoaning the fact of the leak of intelligence — given my history and certainly Dick Cheney’s intimate involvement with the betrayal of my CIA identity — is really something,” she said.
Plame called for the resignation of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, saying that “as a former intelligence officer” she finds it “astounding” that upwards of 60 to 70 percent of the United States’ intelligence budget is spent on private contractors.