In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were enroute to the United States to kill Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame. The FBI informed Valerie of this threat... As the mother of two pre-school children, her first thoughts were about protecting her kids. She took the threat seriously and asked for help.
When the White House learned of these threats they sprung into action. They beefed up Secret Service protection for Vice President Cheney and provided security protection to Karl Rove. But they declined to do anything for Valerie. That was a CIA problem.
Valerie contacted the office of Security at CIA and requested assistance. They told her too fucking bad and to go pound sand. They did not use those exact words, but they told her she was on her own.
So if you have wondered why Joe and Val are a little pissed off, this might help shed some additional light on the matter. Not only did the Bush Administration out a covert intelligence officer working on the most sensitive national security issues in a time of war, but when that officer faced a direct threat to her life and her family’s safety because of that public exposure, they did not do a goddamn thing to help.
Apparently Plame recounts this story in her new book, Fair Game. I heard Terry Gross interviewing her yesterday, and when conversation turned to the Bush Administration and the exposure of her identity to the Prince of Darkness, Plame actually dropped the T-bomb ("treason"). That's a pretty serious charge to be throwing around,* and I don't know that I've ever actually heard someone in a non-elected, non-appointed government office use that word before.
My guess at the time was that someone she knew and had been working closely with had died because of that exposure. She was mad as hell.
*-- Not that Plame's characterization of the outing of a covert CIA operative is necessarily wrong or right, mind you; it's just that it's much stronger than the language I think most people are accustomed to hearing.