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.

Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame

Profession: Writer
Nationality: American

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North Korea is the errant teenage child, aren't they? Or toddler - they're holding their breath until they get their way.

I think the Bush Administration was bound and determined on regime change, and we will be paying the price of that for some time to come.

Hollywood does tend to portray CIA officers as totally the honey trap. Looks matter as they do in any profession. But the most important thing for me when I was working was blending into my environment.

Hair and make-up always helps. I did always try to be well-groomed, professional at all times. Take your job seriously - but not yourself.

When an issue is so fraught with partisanship, a special counsel provides some modicum of transparency and accountability rather the the veil of politics.

Joe and I are still very aware of the fact that we live in a country where he criticised the government and lived another day. That trumps all. To paraphrase Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government apart from all the other forms of government. You constantly have to fight for it; you have to keep your government honest.

When I was happily married and found myself pregnant, I just thought that this would be just the next, normal chapter. I was absolutely thrilled. So what a surprise it was when it turned out to be the hardest thing I've ever done.

Our mission was to make sure that the bad guys, basically, did not get nuclear weapons.

The entire intelligence community is so bloated and so reliant on contractors. There's no question there's many tasks that make sense to outsource, and yet, we have followed blindly this dogma that if it's private contracting, it must be better.

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.

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.

I certainly didn't reach out to my old assets and ask 'em how they're doing, although I would have liked to.

My take is, privacy is precious. I think privacy is the last true luxury. To be able to live your life as you choose without having everyone comment on it or know about.

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.