Valerie Plame released her first televised ad last week in her congressional bid for New Mexico’s third congressional district. The ad shows her expertly driving down a dirt road, with a voiceover explaining her career as a CIA officer and the 2003 Plame Affair. The ad was glowingly received by Democratic operatives and political observers.
Plame was working as an undercover agent in 2003 when her identity was leaked and published in the Washington Post by Robert Novak. Revealing Plame’s covert role to a news reporter was illegal and in violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Joseph Wippl, who worked as a CIA officer for thirty years and currently teaches at Boston University, is positive that the leak was politically motivated. “It was brought on, essentially, by an article her husband [Joe Wilson] wrote, which, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I mean, really. It was regarding the yellowcake uranium purchases from Niger, which did not happen,” explained Wippl. “Her husband, who had been put on a contract to go out there . . . to monitor and find out if this had really happened. Apparently, his conclusion was it had not happened, but it was one of the arguments for the attack on Iraq.”
“The whole argumentation for the Iraq War was falling apart anyway, but somehow, they wanted to get back at Wilson through his wife, Valerie Plame.”
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was ordered to investigate the leak. Eventually, Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, was convicted of perjury and other procedural crimes. President George W. Bush commuted his sentence from thirty months in prison and he paid a $250,000 fine. President Donald Trump issued an official pardon for Libby in 2018.