Now Wilson, along with several Democrats, has accused the White
House of purposely leaking his wife's name in order to punish
him for criticizing President Bush's policies on Iraq.
"The idea, it seemed to me, in going after me and then later
making these allegations about my wife, was clearly designed to
keep others from stepping forward," Wilson told CNN last
president's charges against Iraq, which he made during a State
of the Union Address in January, have also led to criticism from
foreign leaders, who accuse the American and British governments
of hyping pre-war intelligence in order to gain support for the
war. To date, U.S. military inspectors have found no evidence
of nuclear weapons in Iraq.
The White House has denied Wilson's claims, but says it will
support a "thorough" investigation by the Justice Department.
"The president believes leaking classified information is
a very serious matter and it should be pursued to the fullest
extent by the appropriate agency and the appropriate agency is
the Department of Justice," White House spokesman Scott McClellan
Democratic members of Congress have asked for an independent
counsel to lead the investigation, saying Attorney General John
Ashcroft who heads the Justice Department and is a Bush-appointed
administrator, is unfit because of his relationship to the president.
is a real concern about objectivity," said Senate Minority
Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
Though the reporter, Robert Novak, has denied any wrongdoing
in the matter, he too has been criticized for printing the name
of the agent. He has refused to give the names of the White House
officials he quoted in his column.
"Novak may be really just an instrument of Republican revenge
here," said Los Angeles Times and MSNBC media critic Tom