Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson
Valerie Plame Wilson, the former covert CIA agent unmasked after husband Joe Wilson wrote an op-ed critical of Iraq WMD intelligence, gives her side of the story in the new book Fair Game. Wilson, now living with her family in Santa Fe, N.M., talked to PEOPLE about being outed and the strain that it put on her marriage – as well as her advice for her 7-year-old twins and her struggle with postpartum depression.
How did you feel when you realized you had been outed?
I read Robert Novak's column in the Washington Post on July 14, 2003, very early in the morning. Joe came in, put the paper on the bed and said, "Well, the SOB did it." I felt as if I'd been sucker-punched. You think about your family, your career, about your network, your assets, their physical security. How did he get my name? Why was he using my maiden name? It's a jumble. And it all happens in a fraction of an instant.
Do you miss being a spy?
I loved my job. I was proud to have served my country. Yeah, I miss it. If Mr. Novak hadn't written his column, I'd still be there. I'd be working in Washington or overseas, doing things that really matter.
In your book, your anger seems muted. Why?
I haven't been told that. I certainly don't want to appear to be anyone's victim. I don't want anyone's pity. I am furious and outraged at what happened. But my personality is not one to rant and rave, except on occasion with the kids. But that's another story.
Would you want your 7-year-old twins to be spies?
Well, I hope they would think about public service of some sort. That's one way. There are many other ways to serve your country. It will be a good 20 years until they are ready, and I am hopeful that some much needed change comes to our intelligence apparatus by that time.