Eli Lake and Bill Gertz report:
Covertly taken photos of CIA interrogators that were shown by defense attorneys to al Qaeda inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison represent a more serious security breach than the 2003 outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, the agency's former general counsel said Wednesday.
John Rizzo, who was the agency's top attorney until December, said in an interview that he initially requested the Justice Department and CIA investigation into the compromise of CIA interrogators' identities after photographs of the officers were found in the cell of one al Qaeda terrorist in Cuba.
"Well I think this is far more serious than Valerie Plame," Mr. Rizzo said after a breakfast speech. "That was clearly illegal, outing a covert officer. I am not downplaying that. But this is far more serious."
"This was not leaked to a columnist," he added. "These were pictures of undercover people who were involved in the interrogations program given for identification purposes to the 9/11 [terrorists]."
Mr. Rizzo's remarks are the first public comments by someone who was involved in the probe on the still-secret investigation.