Valerie Plame Wilson on life as a CIA agent

02/13/08 Reif Russell Anderson
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Last night at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome, an audience of several hundred gathered to hear a lecture by former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. In her speech, Wilson shared details of how and why she believes her secret identity as a covert operative within the spy agency was betrayed by members of the Bush administration in 2003.

USF’s rules for the lecture series prohibited the recording of last night’s event beyond its first five minutes.

In front of a very supportive audience that included her own parents, Valerie Plame Wilson recounted the sequence of events that led to her much publicized “outing” and the subsequent federal inquiry that resulted in the conviction of Lewis “Scooter” Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Ms. Wilson shared many of the details described in her book, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, which was published in the fall of 2007.

Wilson’s book has been heavily redacted, with many pages completely blacked out. She believes that the redactions, ordered by the CIA, are meant more as vindictive punishment than as an attempt to protect classified information.

Wilson answered questions and detailed the rigors of her training to become a CIA operative.

At the end of last night’s speech, Valerie Plame Wilson urged the many young people in the audience to get involved politically, to educate themselves as fully as possible about current events and even to consider a career in public service.

She ended with a quote from Thomas Jefferson, that a country in which the citizens are afraid of their government is tyranny, but one in which the government is afraid of its citizens is a democracy.

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