Valerie Plame retiring from CIA

Valerie Plame, the woman at the center of the CIA leak investigation, will retire from the CIA after two decades, a source familiar with her plans said on Tuesday.

Plame, wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, will spend her last day at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on Friday and leave the agency formally after a final vacation, said the source, who asked not to be identified.

A longtime specialist in weapons counterproliferation in the CIA’s national clandestine service, Plame was identified in July 2003 column by journalist Robert Novak. This prompted a federal investigation into the leak that led to the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff for obstructing justice and perjury.

No one has been charged with illegally revealing her undercover status though the investigation continues.

Plame’s cover at the CIA was blown after her husband accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to support military action against Iraq. Wilson said it was deliberately intended to undercut his credibility.

The Los Angeles Times, which first reported Plame’s impending departure on Tuesday, said she had no plans to speak out about the case despite her appearance last year in an article in Vanity Fair magazine.

The CIA declined to discuss Plame’s status. “As as rule we do not comment on the personal career decisions of individual employees,” said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano.