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Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

A Story of True Valor

If you are looking for a true spy story, this book is not for you. Thanks to the very heavy handed redacting by CIA censors, also a subject of the book, many interesting stories are maybe told, but you will not be able to read them. The complete picture of the years M...
If you are looking for a true spy story, this book is not for you. Thanks to the very heavy handed redacting by CIA censors, also a subject of the book, many interesting stories are maybe told, but you will not be able to read them. The complete picture of the years Mrs. Wilson spent at the CIA are finally put together in a very concise well written afterword by Laura Rozen with a lot of help, quotes if you will, from James Risen¿s book, ¿State of War.¿ An excellent book by the way, and an excellent resource for the real inside dope that was going on in our intelligence community as we geared up to the Iraq War. This book is more a personal story about one person and then one family. It is about growth, sacrifice, hope, love, patriotism and betrayal. Oh, and Post Partum Depression, 'PPD', yes that too. It is about the olio that is most people¿s lives with one enormous exception, most of us have never had the most powerful government on the planet deliberately targeting to destroy us. The Wilsons did. To give a complete picture of Mrs. Wilson, she is no shrinking violet, and no crazy liberal. She actually refuses to bad mouth William Casey and actually says he was the best CIA director of the past 50 years. Most liberals remember William Casey as the mastermind of the Iran-Contra operation and was then opportune enough to get Alzheimer¿s just as the scandal came to light, and very conveniently died soon after. She also underwent paramilitary training, and held many secret and dangerous positions within the agency. The picture that emerges is of a very patriotic American, who became disillusioned with GWB and his administration, but not her country or form of government. This book is almost a biography to date. Mrs. Wilson takes us through her childhood, upbringing and education. She then tries to tell us how and when she joined the CIA, and that is where the redacting starts. The story is later told by her mother in the afterword. The redacting gets so nick picking at points that she cannot even tell us how she met Joe Wilson. After you read it in the afterword you can see that the CIA really did not want this book out and did their best to kill it before it was published. She goes through her life at the CIA with many censor inflicted omissions. And talks about the birth of her twins and how she dealt with PPD. See a real person. Ultimately the gist of the book is a story most of us already know, and wondered how they dealt with it and what went through the Wilson¿s mind. In the process she also manages to shed some light on some of the developments of her Husband¿s trip to Niger and her outing that are not commonly known. This is an excellent account of the entire episode and what it means for our intelligence community and our national security. If you are not familiar with the story, this is an excellent inside perspective. If you are familiar with it you may be surprised at what you missed. If you can pick up a copy of James Risen¿s, ¿State of War,¿ I highly recommend that you do.

posted by Anonymous on February 4, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Beep!

The title of the review conveys the sound that listeners of the audio book will become accustomed to. I understand that she was an employee of the C.I.A., and fully acknowledge the fact that the book had to be reviewed and properly redacted in the interests of national ...
The title of the review conveys the sound that listeners of the audio book will become accustomed to. I understand that she was an employee of the C.I.A., and fully acknowledge the fact that the book had to be reviewed and properly redacted in the interests of national security. The specifics and what was and was not censored are not important, but Plame�s approach to dealing with the censorship is ridiculous. Filing a lawsuit in the name of �free speech� is all well and good, but as if it would cast the agency in a negative light, the censored material is left in the so-called memoirs, and for audio book enthusiasts, the �beep� signifying a portion blacked out in the paper version might become intolerable. Then there is the issue of content. Those that keep up with the news get the gist of the Plame affair, and it would be reasonable that she would include her past history of the agency in any attempt at a memoir. However, her style of writing is terrible, almost as if she strategically inserted adjectives in places she thought could be spruced-up in order to give the novel -which is what the book really turns out as, just written in first-person- a more �James Bond� feel. My third complaint is that the book goes from being a semi-biography to a tirade against the White House, and she stops just short of labeling herself a Democrat. Memoirs of politicians- those that have spent their whole lives in the political arena- can be political, a retrospective view on friends and enemies of the political past but Mrs. Wilson goes far beyond that, interjecting her political views, and openly supporting Kerry in 2004. She seeks to cast herself as a helpless victim and conveys here belief that Scooter Libby�s conviction and a Democratic congress will make things better. The fact is, this is no memoir, it is a book, and as is actually told in the book, was written to improve her family�s financial situation, brought up numerous times by the author herself within its pages. Bland, blackened-out, and just plain boring, this poor excuse for a memoir fails to serve up anything but a partisan and overblown view of the Plame affair.

posted by Anonymous on March 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2008

    A Story of True Valor

    If you are looking for a true spy story, this book is not for you. Thanks to the very heavy handed redacting by CIA censors, also a subject of the book, many interesting stories are maybe told, but you will not be able to read them. The complete picture of the years Mrs. Wilson spent at the CIA are finally put together in a very concise well written afterword by Laura Rozen with a lot of help, quotes if you will, from James Risen¿s book, ¿State of War.¿ An excellent book by the way, and an excellent resource for the real inside dope that was going on in our intelligence community as we geared up to the Iraq War. This book is more a personal story about one person and then one family. It is about growth, sacrifice, hope, love, patriotism and betrayal. Oh, and Post Partum Depression, 'PPD', yes that too. It is about the olio that is most people¿s lives with one enormous exception, most of us have never had the most powerful government on the planet deliberately targeting to destroy us. The Wilsons did. To give a complete picture of Mrs. Wilson, she is no shrinking violet, and no crazy liberal. She actually refuses to bad mouth William Casey and actually says he was the best CIA director of the past 50 years. Most liberals remember William Casey as the mastermind of the Iran-Contra operation and was then opportune enough to get Alzheimer¿s just as the scandal came to light, and very conveniently died soon after. She also underwent paramilitary training, and held many secret and dangerous positions within the agency. The picture that emerges is of a very patriotic American, who became disillusioned with GWB and his administration, but not her country or form of government. This book is almost a biography to date. Mrs. Wilson takes us through her childhood, upbringing and education. She then tries to tell us how and when she joined the CIA, and that is where the redacting starts. The story is later told by her mother in the afterword. The redacting gets so nick picking at points that she cannot even tell us how she met Joe Wilson. After you read it in the afterword you can see that the CIA really did not want this book out and did their best to kill it before it was published. She goes through her life at the CIA with many censor inflicted omissions. And talks about the birth of her twins and how she dealt with PPD. See a real person. Ultimately the gist of the book is a story most of us already know, and wondered how they dealt with it and what went through the Wilson¿s mind. In the process she also manages to shed some light on some of the developments of her Husband¿s trip to Niger and her outing that are not commonly known. This is an excellent account of the entire episode and what it means for our intelligence community and our national security. If you are not familiar with the story, this is an excellent inside perspective. If you are familiar with it you may be surprised at what you missed. If you can pick up a copy of James Risen¿s, ¿State of War,¿ I highly recommend that you do.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2008

    Beep!

    The title of the review conveys the sound that listeners of the audio book will become accustomed to. I understand that she was an employee of the C.I.A., and fully acknowledge the fact that the book had to be reviewed and properly redacted in the interests of national security. The specifics and what was and was not censored are not important, but Plame�s approach to dealing with the censorship is ridiculous. Filing a lawsuit in the name of �free speech� is all well and good, but as if it would cast the agency in a negative light, the censored material is left in the so-called memoirs, and for audio book enthusiasts, the �beep� signifying a portion blacked out in the paper version might become intolerable. Then there is the issue of content. Those that keep up with the news get the gist of the Plame affair, and it would be reasonable that she would include her past history of the agency in any attempt at a memoir. However, her style of writing is terrible, almost as if she strategically inserted adjectives in places she thought could be spruced-up in order to give the novel -which is what the book really turns out as, just written in first-person- a more �James Bond� feel. My third complaint is that the book goes from being a semi-biography to a tirade against the White House, and she stops just short of labeling herself a Democrat. Memoirs of politicians- those that have spent their whole lives in the political arena- can be political, a retrospective view on friends and enemies of the political past but Mrs. Wilson goes far beyond that, interjecting her political views, and openly supporting Kerry in 2004. She seeks to cast herself as a helpless victim and conveys here belief that Scooter Libby�s conviction and a Democratic congress will make things better. The fact is, this is no memoir, it is a book, and as is actually told in the book, was written to improve her family�s financial situation, brought up numerous times by the author herself within its pages. Bland, blackened-out, and just plain boring, this poor excuse for a memoir fails to serve up anything but a partisan and overblown view of the Plame affair.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    a book about a couple of patriots

    It starts slowly, but then this book becomes a fascinating read, less about details of the spy stuff, of course,and more about Plame's exposure. This is a couple with incredible patriotism, dedication and idealism that our country was so lucky to have serving us in their different capacities. The politicization of the CIA who are supposed to be gathering hard facts for our protection, is very, very scary. The redactions in the book make it all the more interesting.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    Difficult to follow...

    I just started listening to the CD version of the book. Only half way through chapter two and I am very frustrated. Almost impossible to follow a train of thought with so many 'beeps' (replacing the blacked out parts of the printed version. I'm going to keep on listening though, because it's too important a subject to give up on.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    I fear for my country when I read that someone this ignorant can obtain status within the C.I.A.

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    What we are not to know

    This book has lots of censored material. There are several interpretations for the censoring. There is indeed classified information, but I doubt that. There is material the administration does not want us to read which is probable. Material embarasses the administration which is quite likely. Considering that this administration has tried to make us believe Ms Plame was not a covert agent, it is surprising that any material is censored. I want to read the material that is censored to try to understand what the administration is trying to hide besides the obvious.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Should have gotten it from the library...

    I picked up this book hoping that it would be a page turner. The subject was one I wanted to explore and the price was right. I didn't really browse the book itself before buying it and that was my mistake. The introduction seemed interesting and clearly stated that some parts of the book were deleted after the book had been reviewed by some agency but that the author and the publisher felt the book still had enough merit to publish as is. Unfortunately that was not the case. In some sections, there were just a few things blacked out and although it interupted the flow of what was written, I still got the gist of what was being said. However, in several sections of the book large quantities where blacked out and missing. I felt that these missing sections did severely interrupt the story line and left holes in what was actually happening. This book was not the page turner I'd hoped it to be and I'm actually having trouble even finishing it. It is slow moving and uninteresting in parts. Save your money and get it from the library.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Government Corruption Unveiled

    This was a truly great book that explains the corruption of the White House and top leaders. Since Valerie Plume Wilson was a CIA operations officer any material she had published had to be approved by the CIA. Hence, a lot of sentences are deleted. The government would like to portray Mrs Wilson as a secretary not a covert operations officer and wanted to exclude such details as her yrs of service with the agency. The epilogue in the back of the book which is written by someone else explains some of the gaps that the censors excluded. I applaud her and her husbands bravery in taking on the corrupt government. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to know what really goes on in Washington.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Had all the makings of a great book-should have looked up redacted text

    unable to follow story line-way to much text blocked out-even chapter names. waiting for a refund or credit-what a shame !!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fair Game

    I was listening to the book on CD while driving, but had to shut it off because all of the actual story was beeped out. There wasn't a story left to tell. I was going to look at the actual book to see if it was made up of page after page of black bars throughout. Even the lines between the story were beeped out so you couldn't imagine anything but the annoying beeping in your head after a while (which I am thinking is the reason why the book on CD was in the clearance area). Next time, if a book is almost entirely beeped out, I recommend not publising or selling it at all. I would still like to find the book to see what it looks like, but will need to go to the library to see it, because it isn't worth fifty cents at a garage sale. It sounds like a typical government operation that hides the true story and leaves nothing to argue.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    Our Government Obviously Is Still Corrupt - When Are We Going to Learn?

    I found the book to be very informative and I commend Valerie Wilson for coming out with it. The thing I didn't like about the book was all the 'blackout' sections that the CIA said was classified. It made it difficult to follow the book and it really broke up the flow of the story. As an American I'm getting fed up with the lack of integrity shown by our top leaders and this has been going on for many years. You think we would have learned after the Nixon fiasco. I'm a Texan and I'm a Republican, but I have not been happy with the Bush Administration. It appears the reasons for entering Iraq and starting a war were bogus and evidently the CIA thought so, as well. The war has caused many thousands of unnecessary deaths of young Americans and we have very few friends and allies around the world. Whoever will take over as our next President will really have their work cutout for them. I just hope they're more honest with the American people and stop the insanity of putting our most dedicated public servants lives at risk.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Somewhat disappointing

    Only half way through the book, but find it difficult to read with all the sections blocked out by the CIA.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Great insider look on corruption and politics

    Listening to Valerie tell her story had me on all ends of the spectrum. At times I would be happy for her, then sad, then mad. How could the people that claim to have our best interests at heard allow for someone to be outed like this? This book really opened my eyes to some of the things going on behind closed doors and how its easier to place blame and cover up what's going on then to actually admit you were wrong. Valerie did a great job in this book really making me feel like I was right there with her, feeling her struggle and heartache. Some mornings it was hard to get out of the car and stop listening to this book. It was an easy listen, answered many questions and kept me engaged. I would certainly recommend this to anyone that has a little interest in politics or just wants to hear an honest story from an honest woman. The only problem I had was during the "black out periods" of the book that the CIA would not allowed to be published, the sound was a bit loud and would also be frustrating because I really wanted to know what was going on and what she was not allowed to tell us. The questions seem to be all answered at the end, however the wait to hear it was a little bothersome.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    Too much censored material

    I was eager to read this book to finally hear Mrs. Wilson's side of the story. Unfortunately the heavy-handed censors at the CIA have succeeded in destroying the flow and cohesion of this book by censoring massive blocks of text.I really feel that it's not a case her divulging sensitive material, but rather the long arm of Darth Vader Cheney once again squashing the truth to cover up the nefarious and reckless activities of the Bush administration.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A life revealed

    The only challenge in reading this memoir is it is heavily redacted-blacked out as she was required to sign a CIA confidentiality agreement which was upheld on appeal. Otherwise the story of a gorgeous woman who loved serving her country as a CIA Officer for nearly twenty years is compelling. There are insights into the CIA and the players in the Bush Administration who believed they were untouchable but when her cover was blown it's the emotional effects on Valerie, her family and her career that make this story memorable.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2010

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