This book has been on my shelf for at least a year, but this weekend I went from the first page to the last in about one day and was still, after the last sentence, sorry to see it end. There are so many reasons to read this book.
* Plame tells her story in a way that makes you want to keep reading — a spy thriller, I remember thinking, but with a real spy! A female spy! What could be more compelling?
* How did she end up at the CIA? Plame was in college and unsure what she wanted to do afterward. Her mother saw an ad for the CIA in the paper and mailed her the ad.
* She wasn’t just any covert agent. She worked in international undercover operations – first with diplomatic immunity, and then without – until taking a year off after having twins. (during which time she suffered for months from Postpartum Depression)
* When she returned to work in 2001, just five months before 9/11, Plame was one of only two CIA Ops officers assigned to work in the Iraq branch of the Counterproliferation Division. She was a WMD expert.
* Prior to being outed, she secretly served her country for almost 20 years — during which time the only people who knew she worked for the CIA were her mother, father, brother, and husband. Imagine her shock (and the shock waves) when her name showed up in the newspaper.
Even with all the blacked-out sections (and there are ridiculously many) Plame easily guides you through the complexity of her secret life, from her first days in CIA training (fascinating) through her resignation after being “outed” as a covert officer by the Bush administration. The calculated destruction of the lives of Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson — to teach them a lesson — shows the real inter-workings of Washington D.C. Politics rules above all. Even the law.
That more people — and by ‘people’ I mean our highest-ranking, elected, government officials — were not convicted of crimes over this blows my mind.