Former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s career was upended when her identity was leaked by the George W. Bush administration. But now she’s back on the political circuit, and as her action-packed new campaign video proves, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Have you ever wondered what a female James Bond would look like? Well, call off the search, because real-life former spy Valerie Plame just arrived in town.
If the name sounds vaguely familiar, your memory is correct. Plame is an ex-CIA agent whose identity was illegally leaked by the George W. Bush administration in 2003, a move she called an “act of revenge” against her then-husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, who wrote a New York Times op-ed publicly criticising President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.
Now, Plame is back on the political circuit, with a brand new mission in her sights: Congress.
Plame may not be an action hero starring in a Hollywood blockbuster, but you’d certainly be forgiven for thinking so given her kickass new “Undercover” campaign video, which she released yesterday to coincide with her congressional run to challenge Representative Ben Ray Luján in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.
In the movie-inspired commercial, Plame drives a Chevy Camaro backwards on an empty road in rural New Mexico, as she tells the story of her high-stakes former career, and the political scandal that led to her downfall.
“I was an undercover CIA operative,” she says. “My assignment was preventing rogue states and terrorists from getting nuclear weapons.”
“I come from Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. My dad was in the Air Force, my brother almost died in Vietnam. My service was cut short when my own government betrayed me,” she continues.
Plame’s identity was reportedly leaked by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Washington Post columnist Robert Novak. Plame’s campaign video, however, suggests that Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who was convicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice after an FBI investigation into the scandal in 2007, was the one who blew her cover. Last year, Donald Trump added Libby to the list of right-wing figures to receive a residential pardon.
Getting revenge on the people who ended her career isn’t what’s motivating Plame to run as a Democrat in New Mexico, though.
“I’m running for Congress because we’re going backwards on national security, health care and women’s rights,” she says in the video before doing a 180-degree turn in the car.
“We need to turn our country around,” she said.
At the end of the video, Plame gets out of the car and walks slowly towards the camera, taking her glasses off her face in a move that seems to suggest she’s about to tell her story on her own terms.
“You’ve probably heard my name,” she says, walking in slo-motion.“ And Mr. President, I have a few scores to settle,” she adds as a direct challenge to Donald Trump and his pardon of Libby.
“And yes, the CIA really does teach us how to drive like this,” she concludes.
A progressive candidate who has already endorsed the Green New Deal, and called for a radical overhaul of public healthcare and the American public education system, Plame stands a good chance of challenging Luján’s seat, given that at the last FEC deadline she’d already outraised everyone else in the race with just over $236,000. As the title of her 2007 memoir says, Fair Game.