The Washington Post has a full-blown profile of Valerie Plame today. She refused to be interviewed for the article, but her husband and some friends and associates filled in the details. Here are the details of her CIA career:
Plame underwent training at “The Farm,” as the facility near Williamsburg, Va., is known to its graduates. As part of her courses, the new spy was taken hostage and taught how to reduce messages to microdots. She became expert at firing an AK-47. She learned to blow up cars and drive under fire — all to see if she could handle the rigors of being an undercover case officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, or DO. Fellow graduates recall that off-hours included a trip to the movies to watch the Dan Aykroyd parody “Spies Like Us.”
Plame also learned how to recruit foreign nationals to serve as spies, and how to hunt others and evade those who would hunt her — some who might look as harmless as she herself does now as a mom with a model’s poise and shoulder-length blond hair.
Her activities during her years overseas remain classified, but she became the creme de la creme of spies: a “noc,” an officer with “nonofficial cover.” Nocs have cover jobs that have nothing to do with the U.S. government. They work in business, in social clubs, as scientists or secretaries (they are prohibited from posing as journalists), and if detected or arrested by a foreign government, they do not have diplomatic protection and rights. They are on their own. Even their fellow operatives don’t know who they are, and only the strongest and smartest are picked for these assignments.