Ex-CIA Agent Valerie Plame Is Running For A New Mexico House Seat

The former CIA agent outed by the Bush administration doesn't want the Scooter Libby incident to end her public service career.

Valerie Plame, the former covert CIA officer outed by the Bush administration, announced Thursday that she’s running for Congress in New Mexico’s 3rd District.

Plame, whose career was famously derailed in 2003 in apparent retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the motives behind the Iraq War, had hinted at a run to replace Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D), who’s pursuing a Senate seat. 

She formally announced her campaign Thursday, saying that access to health care and curbing rising prescription drug costs are two of her biggest priorities.

“My career in the CIA was cut short by partisan politics, but I’m not done serving our country,” said Plame, who is running as a Democrat. “We need more people in Congress with the courage to stand up for what’s right. ... I will work as hard defending my fellow New Mexicans in Washington as I did defending our country from nuclear threats.”

In 2007, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted he leaked Plame’s identity as a covert officer to The Washington Post. Ultimately, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was found guilty of lying about his role in the leak and obstructing the probe into the incident. But Bush commuted Libby’s sentence, and President Donald Trump pardoned him last year.

The leak occurred after Plame’s husband at the time, former U.S. ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed undermining President George W. Bush’s claim that Iraq’s former President Saddam Hussein had purchased materials needed for a nuclear weapon from Africa, thus justifying the Iraq invasion. 

Plame said Thursday that she doesn’t want the incident to cut her career aspirations short. 

“I moved the day after Vice President Cheney’s chief aide Scooter Libby was convicted for his role in outing my true CIA identity,” she said. “I had traveled the world as part of a military family and then throughout my career. New Mexico was the first place that felt like home and that’s what it has been ever since.”