In her first interview since Bush administration officials outed her as a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson reveals to CBS 60 Minutes that she was involved in preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. In the interview to be aired this Sunday, CBS reports that she was “involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran.” Watch it:
Plame’s role in Iran intelligence was first revealed by Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna in Feb. 2006.
KATIE COURIC: This Sunday on 60 Minutes, Valerie Plame Wilson gives her first interview since top Bush administration officials exposed her role as an undercover CIA agent four years ago. CBS News has learned she was involved in operations to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. In the interview, we talked about what it meant to have her identity revealed.
[BEGIN 60 MINUTES CLIP]
COURIC: What went through your mind when you saw your name in print?
PLAME: Oh, it was horrifying, absolutely horrifying.
COURIC: She served 20 years in the CIA, many undercover in the agency’s counterproliferation division, rising to top positions and confronting one of the most ominous threats of our time.
PLAME: Our mission was to make sure that the bad guys, basically, did not get nuclear weapons.
COURIC: When senior administration officials leaked her name to reporters, they may have exposed other spies and damaged operations targeting Iran. CBS News has learned that she was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin, and it was first revealed in a book by investigative reporter James Risen.
COURIC: Are you familiar with that?
PLAME: I don’t think I can tell you.
COURIC: He said the idea was to give the Iranians blueprints for the bomb that were seriously flawed to set them back. Does that sound like something the counter-proliferation division would do?
PLAME: I think I can say it sounds like a good idea.
COURIC: Were you surprised to read about Operation Merlin in the press?
COURIC: Is that problematic for the CIA?
PLAME: Leaks are always bad news.
COURIC: She should know, revealing for the first time that the leak of her name had serious repercussions.
PLAME: I can tell you all the intelligence services in the world were running my name through their databases to see did anyone by this name come in the country? When? Do we know anything about it? Where did she stay? Who did she see?
COURIC: And what would be the ramifications of that?
PLAME: Well, it was very serious. It puts in danger, if not shuts down, the operations that I had worked on.
COURIC: Valerie Plame Wilson also has some harsh things to say about President Bush. That and much more in our interview this Sunday on 60 Minutes.