Just when I was beginning to believe that the outing of an undercover CIA agent for political revenge was going to slip from memory without any heads rolling, apparently there are some who haven’t forgotten and are putting the pressure back onto the Administration. Senators Daschle and Levin, in no uncertain terms, are demanding an accounting of the progress made so far by the Justice Department on the investigation in their LETTER of December 22, 2003 to Ashcroft.
“On September 29, 2003, we wrote to you and to the President requesting the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the unauthorized disclosure of the identity of an undercover CIA officer. You rejected this request, stating that the Department of Justice would initiate a criminal investigation of this matter instead. However, based on what we have seen to date, it is far from clear that the Administration and your department are truly committed to taking the steps necessary to apprehend the person or persons responsible for this grave national security breach.
“More than five months have passed since the first press report disclosed the name of the CIA officer and more than two months since your investigation was initiated…Given your refusal to name a special prosecutor and the fact that you are a political appointee of the President, receiving briefings on an investigation of officials of this Administration creates, at a minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest…
“We believe it is essential that you give our intelligence community personnel, the Congress, and the American people confidence that the Justice Department is thoroughly and aggressively pursuing all leads in this case without concern for its political ramifications. Recognizing that this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we request that you provide us with an overall status of the investigation, including the number of people the Justice Department has interviewed, the number of briefings you have received, the general types of information you are briefed on, what conditions you have placed on the scope of these briefings to ensure the independence of this investigation, and whether you have discussed this case with senior Administration officials outside the Justice Department…” (see rest of letter)