Plame-Wilson’s memoir adds intimate details to the record, describing her family members’ experience of the “swirl” of turmoil those events created in their lives — one of the reasons she has cited for their relocation from the D.C. area to Santa Fe in 2006.
“It was a long journey – personally and professionally,” Plame-Wilson said. “At some times, it felt like I had fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole, where white is black and black is white. Very disorienting. The idea of the memoir was quite selfish – to take stock of the whirlwind my husband and I had just been through and to finally use my voice.”
But that did not come easily, as a contractual obligation required that Plame-Wilson submit a draft of the memoir to a CIA review board before it could be published. It came back heavily expurgated, with many names and dates – including Plame-Wilsons’ exact dates of service – struck out with black lines that are still printed with each copy today. Plame-Wilson and the book’s publisher, Simon and Schuster, contended that the redacted information was public knowledge and eventually filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against J. Michael McConnell and Michael V. Hayden, former national intelligence officials. When their attempt to appeal the decision was dismissed, Plame-Wilson hired national security reporter Laura Rozen to write an afterword, which provided context for the redactions.
On April 3, 1998, she married Joseph C. Wilson, who was then a U.S. ambassador. During the buildup to the war in Iraq, he was recruited to investigate claims of Iraq’s alleged purchase of yellowcake uranium from Niger.
When Wilson reported that he had found no evidence of the transaction, it marked the first event in the protracted and well-documented saga that led to the illegal release of Plame-Wilson’s classified identity by former State Department official Richard Armitage and the conviction of former Vice President Chief of Staff Scooter Libby.