Valerie Plame Wilson’s New Book Sheds Light on “the CIA Leak”
Valerie Plame Wilson is known as the CIA officer whose identity was leaked to the press, setting off a firestorm of controversy involving members of the Bush administration.
But in her new book, “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House,” Wilson goes beyond the media hype.
Wilson gave a history of her work with the CIA leading up to her January 2006 resignation during a Washington, D.C., promotional appearance sponsored by the Women & Politics Institute, part of American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Wilson spoke about her extensive CIA training, which included psychological testing, hostile interrogation and escape and evasion exercises.
“It was induced pressure, it was simulated, but that didn’t make it any less real,” Wilson said.
Wilson worked for the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.
“Our job was to get good intelligence to senior policymakers so that they could make good decisions,” she said.
However, Wilson did not believe the United States had sufficient information leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In his January 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said that the British government had learned that Saddam Hussein “sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” This statement, Wilson said, was not supported by solid evidence.
In July 2003, Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote a New York Times editorial titled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.” In the piece, he detailed a trip he made to Niger in February 2002 to investigate a report that the African nation had sold uranium yellowcake to Iraq in the late 1990s.
Joe Wilson found that given the country’s mining infrastructure, “it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq.”
Based on information from two “senior administration officials,” columnist Robert Novak identified Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA operative in a July 14, 2003, column.
“Frankly, we never considered that this administration would go and use treason to get back at one of its critics, and that’s exactly what it did,” Wilson said.
“Fair Game” has black lines in place of text the CIA deems classified. Wilson and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, have filed suit to have the content included in the book.
Wilson and her husband have also filed a civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, presidential aide Karl Rove, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Richard Armitage.
Hundreds filled the seats and dozens more lined the walls at American University to hear Wilson speak.
Caitrin McKee was surprised by the lack of major media coverage at the event, but was grateful to hear Wilson’s story from Wilson herself.
“I guess I just got a clearer understanding of what her view was, because most of the coverage didn’t talk about her perspective on things, just that she was outed,” McKee said.
American University freshman Sydney Taylor said she was surprised to learn “that the government could be so vindictive against someone who was trying to tell the truth.”