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April 12th, 2010
12:17 PM ET

Nuclear terrorism is most urgent threat

The Natanz facility in Iran, where highly enriched uranium is being developed.

The Natanz facility in Iran, where highly enriched uranium is being developed.

Valerie Plame Wilson
Special to CNN

The story of how I became a national figure in the media is widely known, but few people know what I actually did for the CIA.

I was a covert operations officer specializing in nuclear counter proliferation - essentially, making sure the bad guys didn't get the bomb.

My job was to create and run operations that sought to peer into the procurement networks and acquisition chains of rogue nations. It was intense, tactical, creative and demanding. I believed that there was no more important work to be done.

I resigned from the CIA in 2006 because it was no longer possible to do the covert work for which I was highly trained and which I loved. This happened because in 2003, my covert identity was revealed in retaliation against my husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, who wrote an op-ed piece in which he accused the White House of distorting the intelligence that was used to draw us into the Iraq war.

But I did not lose my belief that the danger of nuclear terrorism was the most urgent threat we face. Nor did I lose my passion for working, albeit in a new way, to address that threat. I am working on this issue now as part of the international Global Zero movement, in which political, military and faith leaders, experts and activists strive for the worldwide elimination of all nuclear weapons.

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Filed under: Nuclear Weapons • Technology • Terrorism
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