Valerie Plame: President didn't keep word

Valerie Plame Wilson
Valerie Plame Wilson

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- Valerie Plame Wilson chides President Bush for not firing anyone for the leaking of her covert CIA identity, which caused a national scandal and an investigation resulting in a perjury and obstruction of justice conviction against Vice President Richard Cheney's chief of staff.

She also tells Katie Couric that she has learned of the damage that the leaking of her identity caused agents of the clandestine service and it is serious. Wilson speaks to Couric in her first interview for a 60 Minutes report to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Plame Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accuse the Bush administration of leaking her identity to the press as retaliation for her husband's public charge that the administration was manipulating intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs.

No one was ostensibly punished directly because of the leak, though Karl Rove, President Bush's close adviser who was involved, resigned some months later. One high administration official, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff for Vice President Richard Cheney, received a jail sentence for lying to investigators probing the leak.

This irks Plame Wilson. "I don't know about (President Bush knowing about the leak beforehand). But I, like most other Americans, saw President Bush say on TV that he would fire anyone from his administration found to be involved in leaking my name," she says. "It turns out the president is not a man of his word."

Plame Wilson's 20 years at the CIA put her in touch with many individuals with whom she linked up secretly while pursuing intelligence on her mission to keep rogue nations from obtaining nuclear weapons. Did she ever hear if any of these individuals suffered because of the leak of her identity? "Yes I have. That's all I can say," she tells Couric, who then asks if it was bad news. "I have heard -- I have had some news," she replies.

Asked to assess the damage to these individuals, Plame replies, "It would be serious."

Plame says the morning her identity was made public in the column of conservative newspaper columnist Robert Novak, the world's intelligence services went to work.

"I can tell you all the intelligence services in the world that morning were running my name through their databases to see, did anyone by this name come in the country? When? Do we know anything about it? Where did she stay? Who did she see?" she tells Couric. "(The leak is) very serious. It puts in danger, if not shuts down, the operations that I had worked on."

Only the CIA knows the full extent of the damage. "There was a damage report done by the CIA. I never saw it. I certainly didn't reach out to my old assets and ask them how they're doing, although I would have liked to," says Plame Wilson.

Plame Wilson has written a book, "Fair Game," published by Simon & Schuster, which like, is owned by CBS Corp.

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.