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Enter Plame, Stage Left; She Coolly Surveys the Hearing Room

Valerie Plame's days as a spy ended when a newspaper column made her identity public. Flash forward 31/2 years: The former CIA agent gets revenge on the Bush administration.
Valerie Plame's days as a spy ended when a newspaper column made her identity public. Flash forward 31/2 years: The former CIA agent gets revenge on the Bush administration. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

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By Dana Milbank
Saturday, March 17, 2007

LOS ANGELES, March 3 -- Warner Bros. Studios is developing a feature film based on the lives of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame and her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson.

-- Associated Press

SCENE ONE: The protagonist

breaks her silence.

A hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building, March 16, 2007. Valerie Plame, playing herself, enters the room fashionably late, and 30 paparazzi start shooting. She walks with the slow poise of a catwalk model, pausing for the cameras on the way to the witness table. She wears a herringbone jacket, brown slacks and two-inch heels. She is tall and thin, with pink lip gloss and frosted blond hair betraying a hint of dark roots. A diamond ring reminds us of her husband, who, for once, has not accompanied her to a location where there are cameras.

As she sits upright and rests her elbows on the witness table, she smiles faintly and runs her eyes up and down the line of photographers. It is clear that she is a passionate woman; she says so herself. A sampling of her lines:

"I feel passionately, as an intelligence professional, about the creeping, insidious politicizing of our intelligence process."

"I would feel just as passionately if it happened to any of my former colleagues."

"I do feel passionately . . . you have to get the politics out of our intelligence process."

The passion is palpable.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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