Valerie Plame signs book deal

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose identity was disclosed in a press leak that touched off a federal probe, has signed a book deal worth more than $2.5 million, a publishing industry Web site said on Saturday.

Publishers Marketplace, where most publishers report details of their book deals, said Plame had signed a deal with Crown, an imprint of Random House, “reportedly for more than $2.5 million.”

The memoir, entitled “Fair Game,” will detail Plame’s “role in the American intelligence community, as well as the prominence of her role in the lead-up to the (Iraq) war,” Publishers Marketplace said.

Plame’s agent and representatives from Random House could not be immediately reached for comment.

Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame’s husband, maintains the disclosure of his wife’s identity was retaliation for statements he made about the Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq.

Wilson said the administration manipulated intelligence in the lead-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Soon afterward, Plame’s identity as a covert CIA operative was leaked to journalists.

A special prosecutor is investigating who blew Plame’s cover in July 2003.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and senior Bush adviser Karl Rove spoke to reporters about Plame before her identity was made public by columnist Robert Novak.

In October, Libby was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents and a grand jury during the investigation. Libby has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rove has appeared five time before the grand jury investigating the Plame leak. He has not received any indication from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about whether he would be charged, Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin said.

Depending on the nature of Plame’s book, it may have to undergo a CIA review before it is published, a CIA spokesman said.

Current or former CIA employees who publish materials like books or op-ed pieces that deal with national security or intelligence matters must clear the project with the agency’s publications review board, the spokesman said.

“The pre-publication review process is designed to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of classified information into the public domain,” he said.