Story of outed CIA agent Plame optioned by Warner Brothers

valery.jpgYou may remember a little New York Times article hitting the news stands a few years ago that basically said that the Bush administration had lied about there being WMD.

What happened afterwards to the person who wrote that story and his wife is slightly lesser known; Joseph Wilson’s CIA agent wife Valerie Plame was outed to the media by angry anonimous White House officials in a frantic attempt to discredit Wilson.

Now their story will be told by Warner Brothers. The good people over at give us more:

The studio, reports Variety, is developing a feature film drama on the lives of Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple whose lives were turned upside down by administration insiders and key journalists…The film will be a co-production between Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Jerry and Janet Zucker of Zucker Productions. Jez and John Butterworth are writing the screenplay, reports Variety. The studio also will use Plame’s memoir, “Fair Game,” if the CIA permits her to publish it.

IF the CIA permits her to publish. That must be hard to swallow for Plame, she and her husband are presently suing Dick Cheney, and the CIA and going to be going over her memoir to make sure there isn’t anything that could threaten national security, like that isn’t a conflict of interest.

I am very interested in this story, it needs to be told. It is insane what has happened to this couple. The director talked a bit about the respect that Plame still gives to her country, even though she has gotten little back.

Jerry Zucker said to Variety. “Valerie has been incredibly careful with what she tells us, it’s almost like she is still working for the CIA. The biggest element of the movie to us is the story of two people who spent their lives in service of their government, and were then betrayed by that government.”

I want to see this movie, but more importantly, I want this movie to be seen. The sooner this comes out the better in my opinion. The M&C article also said that the writers are going to be gathering a lot of the information for the script through news articles so even if Plame’s own memoir is white washed by the CIA there is a lot of public knowledge that should keep this film from being soft. I hope it hits hard.

It would be great it the film had a The Insider or Goodnight and Good Luck feel to it. This movie should show grit. I have no idea who they will cast for Plame and Wilson. Looks wise Naomi Watts could certainly play her (of course her new pregnancy may deter casting), for her husband (who is a lot older than her) we could get Alec Baldwin.

Whoever they cast though I will be seeing this film, the story is far to important to ignore

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15 thoughts on “Story of outed CIA agent Plame optioned by Warner Brothers

  1. Intelligentright –

    You write, “Whoever leaked [Plame’s name], is still sitting in the administration. (Lest, of course it was Rumsfeld or Powell.) And some people seem to be okay with this.”

    Are you actually unaware that the “leaker” was Deputy Secretary of State (and Bush critic) Richard Armitage, and that anyone who has even remotely followed this story has alreday known this for several months? You seem to suggest that it is somehow unknown who first mentioned Plame’s name to reporters. Nobody contests the fact that it was Armitage (including Armitage himself). I don’t see how that makes for a compelling movie (unless it simply ignores historical fact and crafts a completely fictional account), but I suppose that writers can somehow try.

    You also write that it “surprises” you that “right-leaning” people read this blog site. Why?? Are you somehow under the impression that moderate conservatives don’t like movies???

    With all due respect, both of those comments speak volumes about the political/social bubble that you are living in.

  2. Even the Washington Post admitted that Wilson was a liar.

    But don’t let those facts get in your way Intelligentright. The only person pushing the “red/blue” agenda here is you.

    Plame’s Input Is Cited on Niger Mission
    Report Disputes Wilson’s Claims on Trip, Wife’s Role

    By Susan Schmidt
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, July 10, 2004; Page A09

    “Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, dispatched by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program with uranium from Africa, was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly.

    Wilson last year launched a public firestorm with his accusations that the administration had manipulated intelligence to build a case for war. He has said that his trip to Niger should have laid to rest any notion that Iraq sought uranium there and has said his findings were ignored by the White House.

    Wilson’s assertions — both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information — were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

    The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.

    Yesterday’s report said that whether Iraq sought to buy lightly enriched “yellowcake” uranium from Niger is one of the few bits of prewar intelligence that remains an open question. Much of the rest of the intelligence suggesting a buildup of weapons of mass destruction was unfounded, the report said.

    The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him.

    Plame’s role could be significant in an ongoing investigation into whether a crime was committed when her name and employment were disclosed to reporters last summer.

    Administration officials told columnist Robert D. Novak then that Wilson, a partisan critic of Bush’s foreign policy, was sent to Niger at the suggestion of Plame, who worked in the nonproliferation unit at CIA. The disclosure of Plame’s identity, which was classified, led to an investigation into who leaked her name.

    The report may bolster the rationale that administration officials provided the information not to intentionally expose an undercover CIA employee, but to call into question Wilson’s bona fides as an investigator into trafficking of weapons of mass destruction. To charge anyone with a crime, prosecutors need evidence that exposure of a covert officer was intentional.”

    But hey…don’t let the Washington Post persuade you. Check out the original bi-partisan report itself (pages 4-12 and 37-39 are the most relevant) –

  3. “Despite all the hype, it appears that Plame works a desk job at the CIA. That’s an admirable and important line of work. But it doesn’t make her a covert operative, and it didn’t make her a covert operative when Bob Novak mentioned her in his July 14, 2003, column, or the five years preceding the column’s publication, during which time she hadn’t served overseas as a spy, either. And even if Plame had been a covert operative, as I read the statute, Karl Rove or anyone revealing her identity, would: 1) have had to secure the information from classified information; and 2) intended to use the information to expose her identity. There’s no information on the public record to support this, either.”

    “Plame started this phony scandal. And so far, she’s gotten away with it. Plame has shown herself to be an extremely capable bureaucratic insider. In fact, we know she’s accomplished — she accomplished getting her husband, Joe Wilson, an assignment he desperately wanted: a trip to Niger to investigate a “crazy” report that Saddam Hussein sought yellowcake uranium from Niger (her word, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, not mine). And she was dogged. She asked not once but twice (the second time in a memo) that her husband get the job. And there’s more. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also found that a CIA “analyst’s notes indicate that a meeting was ‘apparently convened by [the former ambassador’s] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger issues.”

    “Now, Wilson didn’t have an intelligence background. Indeed, the committee revealed that Wilson didn’t have a “formal” security clearance, but the CIA gave him an “operational clearance.” The fact is that there was little to recommend Wilson for the role, other than his wife’s persistence.”

    “Why Wilson? This is the real scandal. Plame lobbied repeatedly for her husband, and she knew full well that he was hostile to the war in Iraq and the administration’s foreign policy. She had to know his politics — and there can no longer be any pretense about him being a nonpartisan diplomat who was merely doing his job. By experience and temperament, Wilson was the wrong man to send to Niger. Plame affirmatively stepped into what she knew might become a very public political controversy, given her husband’s predilections (and her own) about that “crazy” report of yellowcake uranium.”

    The missed story is the increasing evidence that Niger, in West Africa, was indeed the locus of an illegal trade in uranium ore for rogue states including Iraq.

  4. Well, if you had only written the law books, then maybe what you’re saying would be applicable. Because look at it, it’s still a crime.

    I am impressed that you’ve been hanging outside the CIA building everyday to see her though.

  5. Even if you were correct, being covert doesn’t mean you’re hidden from view, your identity as an agent is kept a secret. Regardless of what job she held on some particular month, her name being released to the public identifying her as such is still an illegal act or else there wouldn’t be internal investigations into the matter.

    It’s still a crime. And it still makes a good story for a movie plot line – despite people going all fuck-stick-I-Hate-Blue all over the place.

  6. She wasn’t a covert agent anymore. In fact, she would pull up, each morning, to the CIA parking lot, get out and walk into the CIA Building. Hardly covert.

  7. I think that many of the right wing leaning people here (which surprises me actually) are forgetting, that REGARDLESS what the reasons were, regardless of who is thought of as “attention getting whores”:

    The bone, non-partisan facts of the matter are:

    1) For, let’s say “whatever reason”, the identity of a covert CIA agent *was* leaked to the media.
    2) The reporter himself has said it came from a high ranking official in the Bush administration.
    3) Revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent to the public, *is* in fact, an act of Treason.

    Be blue, be red, be whatever you want. That’s the bottom line.

    Whoever leaked it, is still sitting in the administration. (Lest, of course it was Rumsfeld or Powell.) And some people seem to be okay with this.

    But by all means, let’s keep it a blue/red issue because I guess that’s all there is in life. Gimme a break.

  8. Hmmm…another political movie set to sell someone out for the upcoming elections…how utterly convinient. Yet another stupid movie where someone expressed their right to freedom of speech and then got pissed when they were found out…here is the moral of the story people…IF YOU CAN”T HANDLE WHAT’S GONNA COME BACK, THEN LEARN TO SHUT THE FUCK UP. Does anyone around here actually do some of their own research to find out what the real story is or does everyone really fall for all this bullshit these media loving cry babies are putting out. This is almost as bad as all the horse-shit Al Gore put into his “documentary.”

  9. It’s a fascinating story (regardless of what ditto-heads say), but this story probably won’t be done with the conclusion of the Libby trial, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this film takes a few more years to get made.

  10. Shame that Joe Wilson was a liar and that that the Niger story was indeed true.
    But leave to Hollywood to glorify and lionize what will go down in history as a liar and the real Plame-gate instigator.

  11. hi since naomi watts will be filming “need” with nicole kidman in late fall (after her deleivery of the baby), so it’s unlikely timing-wise that she’ll be cast for this role unless the film won’t start until 2008. btw where do you get the info that she’ll be cast for this role? or is it only your own thinking?

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