Trilogy of Women Spies Part III - Valerie Plame

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Thursday, December 12, 2019
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"I'm running for Congress because we're going backwards on national security, health care, and women's rights.

We need to turn our country around."

                                                                                         Valerie Plame 

 

The Spy Running for Congress 2

 

SANTA FE, N.M. — Valerie Plame angled her face toward the sun. As someone who spent so much of her life in shadows, concealing her identity as an undercover operative for the CIA, she seemed to have gotten used to the golden light of New Mexico, energized by it, even. Energized enough — or perhaps foolish enough — to give up the privacy that was once so brutally ripped from her to run for Congress.

 

Valery Plane 

 

Speaking at town halls in high school gymnasiums. Visiting Native American reservations. Hearing concerns about irrigation. This is the new fabric of Plame’s second life in New Mexico, the life she was forced to create when senior officials in the George W. Bush administration publicly leaked her covert CIA identity, destroying her career and thrusting her into the center of a political scandal about the rationale for going to war with Iraq, a scandal that reached deep into the White House.

 

 Plame with then husband Joe Wilson who died in September at the opening of the 2010 movie Fair Game.


Plame wasn’t a whistleblower back then. She just happened to be married to one. Her husband at the time, former U.S. ambassador Joe Wilson, had written a scathing op-ed accusing the administration of manipulating intelligence to make it seem as if the possession of a nuclear weapon by Saddam Hussein was imminent. The next week, he and Plame opened up The Washington Post to see a conservative columnist naming Plame as Wilson’s wife — who worked for the CIA in nuclear counterproliferation.

 

 fair plame

 

In many ways, the exposure of her secret identity became her whole identity, the thing she could not escape no matter how hard she tried. The year that she left Washington, Plame published a book, “Fair Game,” about her ordeal. The CIA censored it so heavily that it might as well carry the subtitle, “Text Has Been Redacted Here.”

 

Plame with actress Naomi Watts who played her in Fair Game

Plame with Actress Naomi Watts who Played Her in Fair Game at the

Cannes Film Festival

 

 Valerie Plame had made a new life before, when she’d signed up for the CIA all those years ago. And in June 2020, she’ll know what this new life will look like. Win or lose, she’ll have created something different, something her own.