Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fair Game

Fair Game is a movie directed by Doug Liman and is based on the true story of CIA agent Valerie Plame, played by Naomi Watts, whose cover was revealed to the press by the White House. In these conditions she couldn’t work at the CIA anymore. Valerie Plame is the wife of ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn) and she was working in the Counter-Proliferation division, which prevents and controls the proliferation of weapons. At that time she was leading an investigation to find out whether there were actually weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The CIA had to find evidence of an uranium sale from Niger to Iraq and Valerie’s husband himself was sent on a mission to Niger to find evidence of a deal between Saddam Hussein and Niger but he found nothing. According to him, it was impossible that Niger made a deal with Iraq because it was not to its interest to break the current relations with the USA. But Wilson was not the only one to be sent to Niger, many others were as well and had to make a report. However, Wilson’s assertions were not taken into account. Not long after this, President George W. Bush pronounced thefollowing famous 16 words: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” When Wilson heard this, he reacted against this allegation and wrote the truth in an article called “What I didn’t find in Africa”, published in the New York Times to be read by a great number of people. But to protect the president and maintain his credibility, Vice-president Dick Cheney and other members of his office revealed to the press that Joseph Wilson was CIA agent Valerie Plame’s husband. After this “leak” Valerie Plame’s career as a CIA agent was over. From this moment onward she received death threats every day while her husband was fighting this injustice on TV. But the Vice-president’s office didn’t stop there and did everything to ruin Valerie Plame and her husband’s reputation.

The real Valerie Plame wrote a book. It is called: Fair game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. Fair game is a metaphor: « If you say that someone is fair game, you mean that it is acceptable to criticize or attack them, usually because of the way that they behave. » In short, it was acceptable to attack Valerie Plame and her husband because they were threatening the Bush government. Seeing this movie can be very interesting because it can help us to understand what happened beyond Valerie Plame's life: the film does not only tell us her story, it also reveals some real power relationships in our society, the manipulations of citizens by governments and the big influence that media has on people. The most revolting thing in this whole story is that, by the revelation of her cover-up, Valerie Plame was not the only one to be endangered: all her current operations were ruined because of it and many people who were depending on her were killed. Basically, to protect one man, some others are ready to do anything, even if that means the sacrifice of innocent lives.

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