Fair Game (2010) Poster

(I) (2010)

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  • In 2003, when then-U.S. president George W. Bush takes military action against Iraq based on intelligence information that reveals that Saddam Hussein is amassing yellowcake uranium from Niger (Africa) and purchasing aluminum tubes, both of which could be used to build weapons of mass destruction, U.S. diplomatic ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn) writes an op-ed article titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa" in the New York Times claiming that the Bush administration had manipulated this intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. The identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), as a covert CIA operative is subsequently leaked, presumably by the White House, in an attempt to discredit Wilson and divert attention from his allegations. Plame is immediately dismissed as an operative, leaving several of her delicate operations in limbo, but Wilson refuses to take this lying down.

  • Two books actually: Valerie Plame Wilson's 2007 memoir Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House and her husband Joseph's 2004 memoir The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Displomat's Memoir. The books were adapted for the movie by English playwrights Jez and John-Henry Butterworth.

  • Certain facts are accurate, e.g., (1) then-President George W. Bush did read the "16 words" in his State of the Union Address, which led to the attack on Iraq based on intelligence information suggesting that Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons, (2) Joe Wilson did publish an article in the New York Times on 6 July 2003 claiming that the Bush administration had manipulated this intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, and (3) Valerie Plame's cover was blown a week later in the Washington Post in an article titled "Mission to Niger" by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak. Because Plame's work with the CIA remains classified, her actual involvement in the scenes that depict her work are fictionalized, e.g., the story of the family of Doctor Zahraa (Liraz Charhi) being abandoned in Iraq

  • In his January 2003 State of the Union speech, then-U.S. President George W. Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." This single sentence is now known as "the 16 words."

  • Plame decides to break her silence and testify at the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform. She takes the stand and introduces herself to the Committee. The screen suddenly goes dark, and the real Valerie Plame continues with the speech she presented to the real Committee regarding the issue of safeguarding classified information. As she speaks, notes appear that read: Scooter Libby was convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. President Bush used his executive authority to commute the court's sentence. In 2006, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted to being a source of the leak. Armitage learned of Valerie Plame's identity from a memo drafted at the request of the White House. Joe and Valerie left Washington and found a new home in Sante Fe. They live there today, with their children.


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