Valerie Plame-Wilson, the former CIA officer whose cover was blown by the Bush administration in 2003, has dedicated most of the past 13 years to setting the record straight.
Her 2007 memoir, New York Times best-seller “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House,” details her 20-year career in the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division and the government scandal that led to some of the highest-profile federal court battles of the 2000s.
After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, she applied to the CIA and was accepted to the 1985 officer training program. Recognized for her intelligence and talent, she was selected to serve as a covert counterproliferation officer tasked with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and materials. For most of her career, she was stationed in countries throughout Southern Europe and the Near East, often posing as a consular officer or an analyst for various CIA shell companies.
On April 3, 1998, she married Joseph C. Wilson, who was then a U.S. ambassador. During the buildup to the war in Iraq, he was recruited to investigate claims of Iraq’s alleged purchase of yellowcake uranium from Niger.
When Wilson reported that he had found no evidence of the transaction, it marked the first event in the protracted and well-documented saga that led to the illegal release of Plame-Wilson’s classified identity by former State Department official Richard Armitage and the conviction of former Vice President Chief of Staff Scooter Libby.
Plame-Wilson’s memoir adds intimate details to the record, describing her family members’ experience of the “swirl” of turmoil those events created in their lives — one of the reasons she has cited for their relocation from the D.C. area to Santa Fe in 2006.
“It was a long journey – personally and professionally,” Plame-Wilson said. “At some times, it felt like I had fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole, where white is black and black is white. Very disorienting. The idea of the memoir was quite selfish – to take stock of the whirlwind my husband and I had just been through and to finally use my voice.”
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