Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who was outed as a spy during the George W. Bush administration, speaks with Collegian Assistant Marketing Director Mikayla Brennan in this Roundtable.

Valerie Plame Wilson served on the Collegian advertising staff and as its business manager before graduating in 1985 and immediately being recruited by the CIA. She served as a covert operations officer until her identity as a CIA officer was improperly leaked in 2003.

Plame Wilson’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, wrote an op-ed titled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” that was published in The New York Times on July 6, 2003, four months after the United States invaded Iraq. Conservative political commentator Robert Novak revealed Plame Wilson’s identity as a covert intelligence officer a week later in a scandal that would become known as the Plame affair. The disclosure forced Plame Wilson to resign because her position no longer was a secret.

Richard Armitage, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said in 2006 that he inadvertently disclosed Plame Wilson’s identity to Novak. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury for lying to investigators about the incident.

Plame Wilson co-wrote a book about the experience titled Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. That book, and her husband’s memoir, The Politics of the Truth, were made into a movie titled Fair Game in 2010 starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Plame Wilson has since co-written two spy novels.

Categories: BoardNews

Barbara Stack

I started my journalism career at The Daily Collegian, where I covered cops, "radicals and minorities," and served as editorial page editor. After graduation, I worked as a reporter and feature writer for two community papers, The Tribune-Review and the Beaver County Times, before being hired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I worked for the Post-Gazette for 27 years as a reporter, assistant city editor and editorial page writer. For a decade I covered issues regarding children and families, and a series of stories I wrote, along with a court case I persuaded the Post-Gazette to pursue, led to an order opening to the press and public dependency hearings in Pennsylvania juvenile court. In 2007, I began working as a blog writer for the United Steelworkers Union, composing blogs and op-eds that were published in the name of the union's international president. I am now retired and working as a consultant for The Pittsburgh Foundation's communications department.