Victoria Plame, former CIA Agent and author of “Fair Game,” spoke at Western New Mexico University in October. Plame told the crowd about her CIA career and how it came to a sudden end in 2003 after her cover was leaked to the press.
Plame began her career with the CIA in 1985 after being accepted in the officer training class. Plame was given various roles overseas which included non-official cover (NOC) and undercover assignments.
In 1997 Plame returned to the United States, accepting an assignment at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia where she met Ambassador Joe Wilson. Wilson became Plame’s husband in 1998 and the couple welcomed twins in 2000. By 2001 Plame was already deep in her work again, resuming her overseas travel throughout the next three years.
Plame’s assignments included meeting with nuclear industry workers and cultivating relationships to ensure that Iran wasn’t able to obtain nuclear weapons. During a trip to Niger, Plame’s husband – Joe Wilson, investigated the claim that Saddam Hussein had access to uranium materials. Wilson reported the claims as false but after President Bush announced the opposite facts in January, 2003, the Ambassador was dismayed.
In July, 2003 Wilson published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “What I Didn’t Find in Iraq.” The op-ed caused chaos within the Republican leadership and within two weeks, a Washington Post columnist revealed Plame’s role as a covert operative in the CIA – effectively blowing her cover and ending her career.
“Suddenly I knew that everything that was to come in my life would be different from what had come before,” Plame said. She expressed her fear for her safety and that of her children as well as her undercover European contacts.
Plame officially retired from the CIA in 2006 and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is now an advocate for Global Zero, an international organization which aims to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons across the globe.