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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her story- U.S. Government versus Valerie
This isn't a spy-intrigue-action book, so please don't expect it to be. It's Valerie Plame Wilson's story about ow she happened to become a CIA agent, what it took to reach the levels in the institution that she did. How the scandal started who was and wasn't involved. She explains how the government managed to touch every part of her being to her personal life, social...
Published on September 22, 2008 by Sweet D

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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Burn Notice
While the book certainly makes the case that Plame was a covert operative who was wronged by the administration, I think what makes it most interesting can be appreciated by anyone outside of their political leanings. We get a candid portrait of what it's like in the center of one of these media storms and Plame offers up plenty of detail on the toll this affair took on...
Published on October 5, 2008 by EddieLove


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Burn Notice, October 5, 2008
While the book certainly makes the case that Plame was a covert operative who was wronged by the administration, I think what makes it most interesting can be appreciated by anyone outside of their political leanings. We get a candid portrait of what it's like in the center of one of these media storms and Plame offers up plenty of detail on the toll this affair took on herself and her marriage. People should be outraged.

The large section of redacted passages are tough to get around -- I wish the material included at the end could have been inserted as footnotes throughout so the reader doesn't have to jump back and forth.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her story- U.S. Government versus Valerie, September 22, 2008
By 
Sweet D (Chicago, IL U.S.A) - See all my reviews
This isn't a spy-intrigue-action book, so please don't expect it to be. It's Valerie Plame Wilson's story about ow she happened to become a CIA agent, what it took to reach the levels in the institution that she did. How the scandal started who was and wasn't involved. She explains how the government managed to touch every part of her being to her personal life, social life, professional life, motherhood, finances, you name it. It's a good book, and one American's should read. Especially approaching this 2008 election.
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156 of 184 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but adds little new to the discussion, October 30, 2007
By 
J. A Magill (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
As is ever the case with books on controversial topics, particular those political, reviews of Mrs. Plame Wilson's book has attracted countless reviews, often from those who one must suspect have not read the book. Indeed, time and again one sees reviews which make assertions patently false such as that Mrs. Wilson was not undercover (the Judge in the Libby case, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, and CIA Director General Hayden have all made plain that she was), or that her husband Joseph Wilson was not an ambassador (again, he was, to Gabon). Yet such attempts by individuals to create their own facts has little bearing on what Mrs. Wilson's book offers.

There is little new here in terms of the facts of the case of Robert Novak's "outing" of Mrs. Wilson which could not be found in the court record or a simple Lexus search. This perhaps more than anything makes the frequent redactions (demanded by the CIA and published in the volume as black lines) so patently absurd; time and again matters clearly part of the public record are removed, a penchant for privacy that should give every American citizen pause. That said, Mrs. Wilson writes with gusto and given her silence up until now, one must acknowledge a certain satisfaction in seeing her get her piece.

More than anything this is a highly person memoir, recounting - to the degree the CIA's over busy redactors allowed - her years of service as well as the trauma she and her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson were forced to endure. While this book offers little new for the record of events, it does give a window into the damage done by those at the eye of the storm. I can only scratch my head in wonder at how many people have continued to sharpen their long knives after Mrs. Wilson's savage treatment.

What is incontrovertible is that Mrs. Wilson, daughter of an Air Force colonel and sister of a marine did render years of loyal service to the defense of the United States, in return for which she has seen her career ended and her reputation smeared, all for political ends in the service of an agenda that was wrongheaded both at the time and in retrospect, all of which brings to mind the iconic words of Joseph Welch: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" The answer is a tragic no.

On a final note, to avoid confusion readers should begin with Laura Rozen's afterwards to the book which reviews the public record and all of the details that are available, but which the CIA insisted Mrs. Wilson could not write.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defending Truth Despite Politics, December 16, 2008
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This is a really fascinating look at how politics became a battlefront in the war on intelligence. Wilson's role in assisting the CIA becomes a firestorm with repercussions that surround the globe. This is an amazing look at what the toll of speaking up took, and should be a call for all Americans, of all political leanings, to stop, look past party loyalties, and question everything, even it it comes from your own candidate. I found the additional section at the end very helpful for filling in those blank pages. For anyone who is questioning this story you need to ask yourself, what were they going to gain by making this stuff up? Thank you Valerie for speaking up. You've made many Americans more determined to be forthright and honest.
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258 of 333 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before posting a review, please make sure you actually read this book, October 23, 2007
I'd avidly followed Valerie Plame's nightmare, so I knew a lot about the story and the various players involved. But it was so interesting to be able to peek behind the scenes and see what it was like for Valerie personally: As a mother of young children, as a woman, as a professional who put her life on the line for her country. A fascinating read.

Now that's my opinion, of course, and you're free to disagree. But if you're going to bash this book in a review, please make sure you actually READ it first. It is obvious that some of the reviewers here have not done so. The purpose of the review section is to give potential buyers an idea of the book being sold, not to advance one's political views.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing Some parts ..., December 23, 2009
By 
JackoH (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This book actually started out pretty good. It would have been 100% better if the "feds" hadn't censored it. Some of the chapters had the majority of the pages blanked out. However, it did give an insight into the world of working for the CIA, FBI, etc. If I had known that many of the pages were blanked out, I would have passed on buying the book.
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37 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2...2...2 Books in One, June 16, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Hyattsville, MDUSA) - See all my reviews
Another recorded book..and another comment that it's not my favorite medium as I have too few specfics to refer to.

The first portion of the book is autobiographicalesqe. (!) Val talks about her time in the "Farm," her early tenure in the CIA, etc. It's interesting, and she does include items of dubious ethicality of the Bush administration. (You'll recall that's what put her on the map, that someone had exposed her role with the agency, as a vendetta for her husband's revealing that the Niger uranium scare was a bad hoax.)

That part of the book was okay. But, frankly, there's a little too much name dropping to make me comfortable. Might I do the same if I were in such a position? Maybe. But that she's met Tim Robbins is inconsequential, and I'd rather the author not include what could be construed as tabloid news.

The second half of the book, the "afterward," is actually of more substance. It's simply a narrative of the whole experience, including the CIA's activities--and what one may infer as their negative influence on our foreign policy. I remember a little about the US relationship with Greece, for example, only because many years ago I spent some time with some Greek expatriots. They told me of the what purported to be a democracy there, in reality a military junta with a ghastly human rights record. What a surprise, they were a US ally.

In short, if you have time, you might want to read the book, and learn a little. But it's not one I'd put on the top of my list.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cross the Boss...Go in Alive and Come out Dead, February 12, 2010
By 
H. F. Miglino "bert miglino" (Old Bridge, New jersey United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I give the book 4 stars and Valerie's story 5 stars. I know there are two sides to each story but I do not think Valerie or Joe had any idea what was going to happen after Joe came back from his Africa trip or Valerie maybe should have told Joe it is not a good idea to go on this trip. Who really knows what goes on in ones mind. Anyway the book is a very quick read. I followed this story in the papers and on TV but did not get the nuts and bolts from TV or the newspapers or did not know that much about Valeroe's life or family. Valerie did lead a great life and really did nothing wrong. Bottom line is Scooter Libby went to jail, or was supposed to but got pardoned (was probably a fall guy). If Joe Wilson would have submitted a report against the current leadership in some sort of third world dictatorship type of country for both he and Valerie the least of their problems would have their jobs or the government. Valerie lead a terrific life and I admire her, I really do.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plamegate - Just One Piece of a Colossal Story, March 10, 2012
By 
Robert M. Perrine (Virginia Beach, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
While focusing on her dilemma and her husband's, Valerie Plame omits critical pieces of information (or else it was redacted) that leaves the reader wondering how the suspicion of the Nigerian sale of yellowcake uranium to Iraqi originated in the first place, and what the Whitehouse's motivation in exposing Valery Plame actually was when it was so politically risky. Just getting back at Joe for his New York Times op-ed article doesn't cut the mustard. In setting the record straight about Plamegate, the following should clarify things for readers.

Dec 2001 - Michael Arthur Ledeen, having long ties to Italian intelligence agency operatives, orchestrated a plan to have Italians break-in to the Niger embassy in Rome to steal letterhead and seals. He used these letterheads to forge papers alleging Saddam Hussein had cut a deal to get yellowcake uranium from Niger. Eventually these papers were turned over to the CIA in Rome.

Feb 2002 - As a consequence to the information received by the CIA in Rome, former ambassador to Niger, Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, Valerie Plame, were dispatched to Niger to investigate the sale of low-grade uranium to Iraq.

Jul 2002 - In response to Whitehouse claims of a Niger-Iraq connection, Joe Wilson wrote in the New York Times, "What I Didn't Find in Africa." He concluded that Saddam Hussein had in the recent past sought no uranium purchases from Niger.

Jan 2003 - Using the Ledeen forged papers, rather than the CIA's denial of any uranium purchases from Niger, President Bush declared in his State of the Union Address, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Mar 2003 - Based heavily on a Iraqi nuclear threat, Operation Iraqi Freedom started the United States-led eight year invasion of Iraq.

July 2003 - The White House decided to leak the identity of Plame since her team was about to uncover A.Q. Khan's nuclear technology assistance to Iran. The Whitehouse wanted to keep the spotlight on Iraq, not Iran. To destroy Wilson's credibility of his report from Niger, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage leaked intelligence to Robert Novak who in turn published Plame's CIA identity. The leak was intended to diminish Wilson's credibility and paint him as just a cover for his wife who was the real brains behind the investigation into the sale of low-grade uranium from Niger to Iraq.

Feb 2006 - Almost 90% of US soldiers in Iraq believed the war was retaliation for Saddam's role in 9/11. Six months later President Bush admitted Iraq had no WMDs and nothing to do with 9/11. Yet a year later a Newsweek poll found 41% of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Mar 2007 - Scooter Libby, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. Patrick Fitzgerald was never able to gather enough evidence to formally charge any other official with a crime. He had to settle for the sacrificial lamb in the name of Scooter Libby.

Consequences. When the Whitehouse blew Plames's cover, severe damage resulted to her secret network of informants in Bagdad and other Middle Eastern cities at a time when one of her her teams was about to uncover A.Q. Khan's supply of WMD and nuclear technology to Iran. So America invaded the wrong country because of the Whitehouse's preoccupation with Iraq, a preoccupation that had festered ever since President George H. W. Bush called off the pursuit of Iraqi forces in the 1991 final days of Operation Desert Storm. America prosecuted the wrong war for eight years to the tune of $1.3 trillion dollars, 4,000 causalities, and 30,000 wounded, not to mention one million Iraqi civilians killed. The damage done to Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame is overshadowed by the tragedy of a war prosecuted under false pretenses known from the beginning by the Whitehouse. President Bush's Aug 2006 announcement of finding no WMD only adds insult to injury. By going to war against a country whose neighbor Iran was quietly developing a nuclear capability, a country that is now posed to destabilize the world, makes Plamegate just one piece of evidence in unwinding an orchestrated plot by the Whitehouse. The consequences to date have been colossal and may yet be devastating.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite parts had to do with her initial training and impressions, February 22, 2011
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Aside from all the politics, this was a compelling story simply to find out how she got into the CIA, got trained and how the rules work for such an employer. I spent enough time around people in this business to think I knew something, but there's no substitute for a long narrative that explores such a career. Also, it's interesting to read about a very good-looking female agent.

There are some excellent books by former CIA agents and appointed personnel. A very long book that I'd recommend is the biographical one by George Tenet: At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. Tenet explains the politics associated with intelligence from the highest levels. He shows how intelligence is shaped by politics in the real world, not the other way around as in textbooks.

I highly recommend all of Robert Baer's books, especially: See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. Baer shows how the real agents operate far from home and with high professionalism and sacrifice that you can't find at headquarters (to be honest, not critical).

The most entertaining CIA biography in my opinion is that of Antonio Mendez: The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA. Mendez was a tradecraft guru.

Fortunately, there are a lot of good books available to understand how intelligence agencies operate and in particular to know the kind of sacrifices made by the agents and operatives.
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Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government
Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government by Valerie Plame Wilson (Paperback - October 26, 2010)
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