WASHINGTON -- The former diplomat whose wife's identity as a CIA officer was disclosed by the Bush administration said yesterday that the leak has put her life in danger and that the government is not protecting her.
"There have been a number of other people who've come out and suggested that perhaps this does make her a target," Joseph Wilson said on the CBS news show "Face the Nation."
"We, of course, as a consequence of that, have begun to rethink our own security posture."
Shortly after Wilson published a newspaper op-ed piece challenging the administration's rationale for war in Iraq, syndicated columnist Robert Novak identified Wilson's wife as a CIA operative.
Wilson said his position on Iraq prompted the leak, now the subject of a Justice Department investigation. White House staff members face a deadline tomorrow to turn over documents that might help the investigation.
Wilson protested that "nobody has offered security from the government, although my wife is a longstanding US government employee."
Wilson had been sent in 2002 to Niger, a major exporter of uranium, to investigate a report that Iraq had sought uranium from that African country to reconstitute President Saddam Hussein's program to develop nuclear weapons.
Wilson reported that he found no evidence to support the allegation, but the allegation nevertheless appeared in President Bush's State of the Union address in January, quoting British intelligence agencies. Because of Wilson's and other findings, officials later said the 16-word statement should not have been in the speech.
"At that time, there were a lot of analysts who were speaking anonymously to the press about any number of issues related to the intelligence that undergirded the decision to go to war," Wilson said on the NBC show "Meet the Press."
"I felt that . . . however abominable the decision might be, it was rational that if you were an administration and did not want people talking about the intelligence or talking about what underpinned the decision to go to war, you would discourage them by destroying the credibility of the messenger who brought you the message. And this administration apparently decided the way to do that was to leak the name of my wife," Wilson said.
Senator Chuck Hagel, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked on CBS whether the government should provide protection for the Wilsons. "If there is the least possibility, most remote possibility, of her life being in danger, then the government owes that person protection," said Hagel, Republican of Nebraska.