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Valerie Plame: 'I'm alarmed' over escalation with Iran

Valerie Plame: 'I'm alarmed' over escalation with Iran
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Valerie Plame, the former CIA operative who is now running for Congress, said she is “alarmed” by escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, saying she fears the Trump administration is making the same mistakes that led the U.S. to war in Iraq. 

“An ‘imminent threat.’ Fabricated intelligence that will lead to the loss of American lives. A cynical attempt to become a 'wartime president' to ensure re-election. We’ve seen all of this before,” Plame said in an email to supporters. 

“I had a front-row seat to the disinformation campaign that led us into the Iraq War -- the consequences of which are still with us. I’m alarmed that we’re on the brink of repeating our past mistakes, especially with Iran abandoning the nuclear deal.” 

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Her email comes amid the aftermath from last week’s U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general who was in charge of directing the country’s international network of proxy forces. Iran said late Tuesday that it launched a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops in response to the killing, though no Americans or Iraqis were killed.

Plame said President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE is ratcheting up tensions to distract from domestic controversies such as impeachment, saying the Soleimani strike was “not about national security.”

“Trump is willing to ignite a war that could cost the lives of thousands of American troops and innocent civilians around the world in a cynical attempt to distract from impeachment and become a ‘wartime president’ to boost his re-election,” she wrote. 

Trump administration officials have defended the killing of Soleimani, saying the general was responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops and claiming without providing evidence that he was planning imminent attacks on U.S. interests. 

Plame was first thrust into the national spotlight during the George W. Bush presidency over her and her husband’s role in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

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As an undercover CIA operative, Plame recommended sending her husband, the former diplomat Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonObama said his 'initial instinct' during '09 outburst from Joe Wilson was to 'smack this guy on the head' Democrats raise alarm about new US human rights priorities Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez defeats Valerie Plame in New Mexico primary MORE, to Niger to investigate Bush administration claims that then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium for use in weapons production. Wilson later published an op-ed casting doubts on the administration’s claims, which had been used to back up assertions that Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction. 

An aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff later leaked Plame’s identity as a way to undercut Wilson’s conclusions. 

Plame slammed the former president and vice president over the Iraq War, saying in her email that Trump was “trying to do it again.”

“Bush and Cheney betrayed the American people by lying us into a disastrous war with Iraq. Now the most deceitful president in American history is trying to do it again,” said Plame. 

Plame also said she is rejoining Twitter after a hiatus over the platform's “toxicity,” adding that she’s hoping to share her “personal view on the abuse of power by a dangerous president.”

Plame is running for the House seat held by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who is waging a Senate bid.