Tulane University to Host Former CIA Officer Plame

January 14th, 2011

The Tulane Hullabaloo

By Nicholas Chedid
Jan 14th, 2011 Issues

Former CIA Operations Officer Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, will speak at Tulane Jan. 25.

TUCP’s Direction Series will present the free public event “The Politics of Truth: Inside the Valerie Plame/CIA Leak Controversy” in McAlister Auditorium.

The Direction Series recently brought speakers such as Lt. Dan Choi, Morgan Spurlock and Ehud Olmert to Tulane in the past year.

“This will expose the student body to a different type of speaking event and will continue our ‘controversial speakers’ theme,” TUCP President Matthew Simmon said. “We think that the event will be insightful, and we believe that it is not biased and that there will be something in it for everyone.”

TUCP Direction Chair Michael Lewis organized the event. Plame and Wilson’s agent e-mailed Lewis that Plame and Wilson were looking for speaking engagements to promote the new film based on their lives, “Fair Game,” starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. The film addresses Plame’s operations in Iraq, her husband’s New York Times op-ed concerning his investigation in Niger, the resulting revelation of Plame’s identity as a CIA agent and the wider implications of this controversy.

TUCP decided to set up the speaking engagement because of the renewed interest in the Plame controversy due to the recent film and the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. As the December withdrawal deadline draws nearer and the Iraq war looms to a close, the events that led the United States to enter Iraq are receiving additional focus and coverage.

“I think that the renewed attention to the Plame affair is due to the new movie and the privacy-versus-transparency issues raised by WikiLeaks and the increased atmosphere of partisanship and distrust in America,” said Morgan Furtado, TUCP vice president of public relations.

Plame and Wilson will speak mostly about the Plame affair itself, their resulting personal struggles, their books about the controversy and “Fair Game.” Time will be allotted for audience questions once the speakers have finished.

More information about the event can be found on the Facebook page: “An Evening with Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event will start at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.