Ex-CIA Operative Valerie Plame Running for Open New Mexico Congressional Seat

Plame plagued by accusations of anti-Semitism

Valerie Plame
Valerie Plame / Getty Images

Activist and ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame is running for New Mexico's open 3rd Congressional District seat in 2020, she announced Wednesday.

Plame, who was outed while serving the George W. Bush administration in 2003, joined a crowded field of Democrats hoping to win the seat being vacated by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D., N.M.), who is running for the state's open Senate seat.

"I hope to represent Northern New Mexico as your Democratic Congressional Representative," she said on her website. "Over 10 years ago, I chose to make New Mexico my home and it has become my heart. I have lived all over the world and have never felt more connected to a place and its special people than in The Land of Enchantment."

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Plame will likely face questions about accusations of anti-Semitism that came to light in 2017.

Plame tweeted an article in 2017 that accused "American Jews" of "driving America's wars." Written on the fringe site UNZ Review, it stated Jews "own and run the media" and recommended Jewish supporters of Israel like Bill Kristol be labeled as such when they appear on television: "That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison."

She initially defended herself against criticism about sharing the piece, at one point tweeting "many neocon hawks ARE Jewish" before eventually apologizing and claiming to have not read the article carefully. Because of the controversy, she resigned from the board of the Ploughshares Fund, a left-wing nonprofit that aggressively promoted the Iran nuclear deal on behalf of the Obama administration.

The Washington Examiner reported that over the course of thee years she shared nine UNZ articles, including one titled "Why I Still Dislike Israel" and another about "Dancing Israelis" on 9/11.

Since leaving government, she has become an author and liberal activist. In 2017, she tried to CrowdFund an effort to gain a majority stake in Twitter and ban President Donald Trump from the platform, to no avail.

Plame and her husband Joe Wilson divorced in 2017. After the CIA sent him on a "fact-finding mission" to Niger to investigate whether Saddam Hussein purchased yellowcake uranium there, Wilson wrote a New York Times op-ed in 2003 undercutting the Bush administration's case for the Iraq War by saying he found no evidence. Plame's name was leaked by a Bush administration official to Washington Post columnist Robert Novak in what Plame called retribution for her husband's writing.

Top Dick Cheney staffer Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction over the investigation into the Plame affair. He was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2018.