I think it's the height of patriotism to continue to exercise your right as a citizen and to hold your government to account. Isn't that what the very essence of democracy is about?

Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame

Profession: Writer
Nationality: American

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I did a book event with a former colleague, Bob Bauer, and was so relieved that he said I got all the CIA stuff right.

My CIA colleagues were smart, dedicated, funny, and creative. Yes, there was sometimes stifling bureaucracy, boredom, colleagues who never should have been there, and later, deeply disturbing stories of the CIA's involvement in torture. Still, I got to do work I thought was incredibly important and, many times, had fun doing it.

Any time you're a poster child for the CIA, there are a lot of people that are - either have ideological or they are mentally unbalanced - that are going to try to find you and perhaps cause you harm.

So many times, genuine health workers and genuine NGO folks are really just trying to help other humans in whatever capacity they can. But they are perceived as being CIA, and therefore, it blocks their effectiveness.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in 1996 set out to ban nuclear tests, is an important step, but we need to do more - and we can.

I believe in much more diplomacy, not less.

When I was outed on July 14th, 2003, I was, until that moment, covert. That means no one outside of a very small circle knew where I really worked.

Donald Trump has done a lot of horrible things on Twitter. From emboldening white supremacists to promoting violence against journalists, his tweets damage the country and put people in harm's way.

When you're in the CIA, you anticipate the possibility that you'll be betrayed by a foreign government or a source, but you never anticipate that it would be by your own government.

How lucky are we to have Naomi Watts and Sean Penn playing us? We've seen the final cut now a couple times, and the scenes with the marriage fraying at the edges are still very difficult to watch. However, our hope was that no matter your political persuasion, you're taken with the idea that it's important to hold power in check.

Of course, when you're a parent, that's your paramount concern, for your children, and there were some very credible and frightening threats, and the agency declined to provide any security, and it felt like a betrayal all over again. It was really painful.

I didn't appreciate how special and sometimes strange my CIA world was - until it suddenly and spectacularly ended in a newspaper column.

These are issues we've been grappling with since the Constitution was written: how you hold your government to account for its words and deeds. It's all about power and the abuse of power.

She was very kind to us when Joe and I went through the darkest days of the leak of my name in 2003. And, of course, Joe worked in the Clinton White House.