- The former CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose story was turned into a 2010 film, announced she’s running for Congress in an action-packed video on Monday.
- The campaign video features Plame at the wheel of a Chevy Camaro racing down a dirt road backward, in a metaphor for her stance that the country needs to be turned around. Then she whips the Camaro into a reverse 180.
- Plame was famously outed as a CIA agent during the Bush administration after her husband, the US diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, wrote an op-ed raising questions about the justifications for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- Plame is a staunch critic of President Donald Trump.
Valerie Plame, an ex-CIA officer, on Monday announced a congressional bid in a video that feels a lot like a clip from an action movie.
The former covert CIA operative is vying to replace Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, though Plame doesn’t specifically mention where she’s running in the video, which features Plame at the wheel of a Chevy Camaro.
In the video, Plame is driving the Camaro backward down a dirt road as a metaphor for what she characterises as the need to turn the country around, saying the CIA taught her to drive that way. Halfway through, Plame whips the wheel around into a reverse 180.
Luján, who is assistant speaker and the highest-ranking Latino in the House, is vacating the seat to run for Senate. Plame will face a crowded field in the run for Luján’s seat – over half a dozen Democrats are running – but her status as a nationally known figure could boost her chances.
Plame was famously outed as a CIA agent during the Bush administration after her husband, the US diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times raising questions about the justifications for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Plame’s identity was revealed in a Washington Post article that cited unnamed administration officials.
Quick facts on Plame and the scandal surrounding her:
- Before being outed, Plame focused on weapons of mass destruction in her work for the CIA.
- Though no one has ever been explicitly prosecuted for the leak, Plame has long pointed her finger at the Bush administration and, in her video, specifically laid blame on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s ex-chief of staff Scooter Libby.
- Plame and critics of the Bush administration believe her identity was leaked as punishment for Wilson’s op-ed.
- Libby in 2007 was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with a special prosecutor’s investigation into the leak of Plame’s identity.
- Former President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence, which saved him from spending time behind bars, and President Donald Trump controversially pardoned him in April 2018.
- A number of reports have pointed to former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage as one of the officials who leaked Plame’s identity.
Plame, a staunch Trump critic, got into the scandal in her campaign-announcement video – attacking Cheney, Libby, and the president.
At the video’s end, Plame stops the car and steps out onto the dusty road in slow motion. She stops in front of the camera and rips off her sunglasses.
“You’ve probably heard my name … Mr. President, I’ve got a few scores to settle,” she says.
Plame’s life was turned into a movie, but the spotlight hasn’t always been positive.
Plame’s memoir on her experience of being outed as a CIA operative was turned into a film in 2010: “Fair Game,” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
Between the far-reaching consequences of the leak of her identity and the biopic with Hollywood stars, Plame has continued to garner attention over the years. But not all of it has been positive.
In September 2017, Plame apologised after tweeting an anti-Semitic article titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” The article was from an alt-right website, The Unz Review.
Plame apologised for sharing the article in a series of tweets, including one that mentioned she’s of Jewish descent. Similarly, in her campaign-announcement video on Monday, Plame says she is a descendant of Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants.