Movie Review – Fair Game (2010)

After her journalist husband, Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) criticized in the New York Times the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, Valerie Plame’s status as a covert CIA agent (Naomi Watts) was leaked to the public. Wilson was one of the first to state publicly that the American government’s reasons for going to war with Iraq were based on falsehoods. Wilson claimed that the leak of his wife’s occupation occurred to punish him for telling the truth.

In 2002, Wilson was sent to Niger by the administration to find out whether Saddam Hussein was buying tons of yellowcake from Niger’s uranium mines, used in nuclear weapons production. He reported to Washington that he had found no indications of illegal uranium transactions. Despite the report, President George W. Bush stated that an Iraq-Niger weapons deal justified our entrance into the war against Iraq.

It was incorrectly stated to the Washington press that Wilson’s wife Valerie had arranged his trip to Niger. The statement was later proven to be false. Robert Novak, a journalist for the Washington Post, was the first to disclose Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent. It was later revealed that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had leaked Valerie Wilson’s name to Robert Novak.

Valerie Plame was instantly dismissed from the CIA, leaving some of her operations incomplete and endangering the lives of some of her associates overseas, as well as creating a rift in her marriage. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Richard Cheney, appears to be the fall guy for the administration, having been convicted of lying and obstructing an investigation that reached into the highest levels of the Bush administration. He was given a 30-month prison sentence which President Bush pardoned on Libby’s behalf.

These facts were mentioned in the end credits of the film and were not part of the tale that was told. “Fair Game” is the title of her memoir and of the film, taken from the expression Karl Rove used when discussing her – Valerie Plame was “fair game.”

It is extraordinary that the facts of this case were released to the public, mainly through the efforts of Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, who were maliciously discredited by the government and by the media. It is a victory for the pursuit of truth which is the hallmark of journalists as well as intelligence officers.


Movie – Fair Game (2010)

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