Today’s New York Times updates an unlikely story of personal survival and perseverance:
Valerie Plame Wilson, America’s best-known ex-spy, was looking chic in black bustier and flowing white pants, posing for paparazzi on the red carpet earlier this month at a film festival in Deauville, France.
A few days later, she was standing in her Santa Fe dining room, sans makeup, in sneakers and sweatshirt, fighting off jet lag as she presided over some run-of-the-mill domestic chaos. She had children — 10-year-old twins Samantha and Trevor — to hustle to school and a frisky dog to walk. Her husband, Joe, a former ambassador, had just returned from a business trip to Baghdad and was on the phone, squabbling with the airline over lost luggage. . . .
Even for a former undercover CIA officer used to leading a double life, Plame must be surprised to find herself in this situation. But she knows what she’s doing:
The woman who spent decades guarding her privacy has found a new voice through a very public enterprise, the movie business, which is why she was in Deauville. “Fair Game,” a film based largely on her 2007 autobiography of the same name (starring Naomi Watts as Valerie and Sean Penn as Joe), is set to open this fall.
. . . Ms. Wilson is smart enough to know that Hollywood has a bigger megaphone than Washington does, and she is making adroit use of it to reclaim her own narrative and burnish her credentials. . . .
That’s what it comes down to. Even though the Wilsons no longer live in Washington and have started rebuilding their respective careers, they’re not in a rush to surrender in the battle that was forced on them by Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and company.
And so Plame willingly travels to promote the new movie, as she did with the anti-nuclear documentary released earlier this year that she appeared in — and as she and Joseph Wilson continue to make smaller personal appearances to tell their story. (The Times story describes one before a group of senior citizens at a church, where the first question asked after their presentation was, “Why aren’t Dick Cheney and George Bush in jail?”)
There’s something to be said for that kind of persistence.