Saturday :: Dec 15, 2007

More of the Valerie Plame Wilson Story

by Mary

So when Valerie Plame Wilson wrote her book telling her story, she had to get the CIA's buyoff on the content. After being sent to the CIA, the book came back with 20% of the material redacted because the CIA said it was classified. This meant that Valerie could not write about her own history. Fortunately the publisher didn't think this was right and hired the crack investigative reporter, Laura Rozen, to fill in the holes that CIA had left in Valerie's story.

The publisher's solution was to hire a reporter to write an 80-page "afterword" for the book (which was published in October under the title Fair Game: My Life As a Spy, My Betrayal By the White House), based on interviews and any information that could be found in the public domain. Which is how, in May, I ended up with a draft of Plame's memoir, with all of the CIA's blacked-out redactions, and about six weeks to learn as much as I could, write and deliver essentially a biography of the famous former spy.

There was just one person I could not contact for the project: Valerie Plame Wilson, who had signed an agreement with the CIA that she would submit to their censorship for the rest of her days. It was a firewall that everyone involved with the book project took extremely seriously—making for a somewhat paradoxical situation: publishers, editors and writers, plus armies of lawyers and a literary agent, all sweating to make sure they were abiding by the rules of government censorship.

Interesting how hard it is to keep everything secret when things happen in the real world.

Mary :: 4:55 PM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!