Photograph by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images
This controversy involved the unauthorized identification of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer. Her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, had gone to Niger in 2002 to investigate rumors that the country was selling uranium in Iraq. He then wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," in which he argued that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify an invasion. A July 14, 2003 Washington Post column entitled "Mission to Niger" suggested White House officials had illegally leaked Plame's identity as a CIA officer to retaliate against Wilson for his op-ed.