Submitted by Evil Ed
The title refers to a report by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “I just got off of the phone with Karl Rove. He says, and I quote, ‘Wilson’s wife is fair game.'”
The CIA sends former Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn) to Niger in order to investigate the claim that Niger sent yellowcake uranium to Iraq. Wilson’s assessment is that the claim is not credible. Further independent CIA investigations also debunk that claim.
Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is a CIA covert operative doing various high-risk missions. Among these missions is attempting to persuade Iraqi nuclear scientists to cooperate with the West. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush uses the supposed uranium sale to justify military action in his 2003 State of the Union Address. In response, Wilson contributes to an op-ed in the New York Times refuting that assertion.
Robert Novak outs Valerie Plame in a syndicated column addressing Wilson’s op-ed. Plame is fired, and Wilson goes on a media offensive, straining their marriage, with seemingly little effect on the media frenzy denouncing him and his wife. The operations that she was involved in supposedly fall apart (although the CIA has refuted that claim).
Eventually Scooter Libby (David Andrews) is convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice following a grand jury investigation into the leak. Valerie Plame appears as herself during the end credits testifying in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Post-scripts: George W. Bush commuted Libby’s 30-year prison sentence on July 2, 2007. A civil lawsuit filed by the Wilsons against Libby, Dick Cheney, Rove and others was thrown out of court. Libby’s voting rights and law license were eventually reinstated. Libby was pardoned by President Trump on April 13, 2018.
Wilson and Plame divorced in 2017. Joseph Wilson died in 2019.