Former CIA agent Valerie Plame is surely experiencing a sense of deja vu lately. On Monday, she took to Twitter to express her surprise at the news that the White House had accidentally released the name of the CIA’s top intelligence official in Afghanistan to journalists.
Plame’s Tweet referred to the mistake as “astonishing” and gave the link to a Washington Post article about the incident. According to that article, the White House had e-mailed a list to the press which gave the names of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.
The error was recognized and quickly addressed. A revised list was then released that did not include the agent. Journalists have agreed to withhold the name of the individual at the request of President Obama, who has cautioned that the agent and his family could be at risk of harm if the name is made public.
It is an extremely rare occurrence that a CIA agent working overseas has his cover blown by his own government. The only other instance in recent history is the case of Valerie Plame. In July 2003, Plame was a covert officer for the CIA when her true identity was leaked to The Washington Post by Richard Armitage at the US State Department. The scandal, which is known as The Plame Affair, led to a criminal investigation, but no one was ever charged for the actual leak itself.
Since retiring from the CIA in December 2005, Valerie Plame has relocated to New Mexico, according to ABC News. She authored her memoir, Fair Game, which was adapted into a major motion picture using material from her husband Joseph Wilson’s book, as well. The film was released in November 2010 starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
Plame is currently authoring a series of spy novels with mystery writer Sarah Lovett. The first book, Blowback, was released in October 2013. The books feature a main character who is a strong female CIA officer, with the second in the series currently being written.
Plame has been a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and was recently a guest at a fundraising event for the pro-Hillary Super PAC called Ready For Hillary. Last week, during an interview with ABC News about the event, the topic turned to the CIA and Plame said “…there’s a global mistrust in statements made by the CIA and NSA. Through the missteps of the intelligence community at large, their trust has been severely eroded.”
Ms. Palme’s comment may be seen as a bit of an understatement. What do you think?
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