Washington (AFP) – Valerie Plame, who was infamously outed as an undercover CIA operative during the administration of George W. Bush, announced Thursday she is running for a seat in Congress.
Plame, 55, was a covert agent working to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons when her identity was leaked in 2003, reportedly by a State Department official, in a scandal that led to the conviction of a former vice presidential advisor.
“My career in the CIA was cut short by partisan politics, but I’m not done serving our country,” said Plame, who wants to represent a district in New Mexico in the House of Representatives.
“We need more people in Congress with the courage to stand up for what’s right.”
Plame’s district that includes Santa Fe and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the country’s historic nuclear weapons facility that she says she visited regularly for her CIA work.
The incumbent, Democrat Ben Ray Lujan, is stepping down to run for a Senate seat.
Plame remains interested in national security issues but said she would also focus on expanding health care.
“Everyone is losing under the health care system we have today except for insurance and drug companies,” she said.
Plame’s name was illegally leaked to the US media after her then-husband Joe Wilson wrote a column casting doubt on Bush administration claims that Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium for use in weapons production.
After the scandal, then-vice president Dick Cheney’s chief aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the leak.
Trump pardoned Libby last year, and no one was formally charged with leaking Plame’s identity.