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Lest we forget the "confusion" of Joseph Wilson

By Vincent Fiore
web posted July 18, 2005 

The bombing in London by terrorist and the continuation of the war in Iraq were of secondary importance to official Washington and the mainstream media this week.  Even the prospect of the president having to replace two vacancies upon the Supreme Court received short shrift.

Joseph WilsonInstead, the continuing saga of Karl Rove, Joe Wilson, and Valerie Plame and who-outed-who electrified the media in what has to be one the biggest non-stories in politics to date.  While the country has been deluged with Rove’s supposed dark and “traitorous” vendetta against former CIA agent, sometime Vanity Fair cover girl Valerie Plame, I thought it might be useful to remind all just who is most responsible for the tangled web of intrigue we find ourselves in today.    

Memo to the masses: When you see the words “misspoken,” “erred,” and “confused,” in relation to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, know this:  These words are typical beltway qualifiers that seek to say in essence that “I lied,” without ever having to say the word “lied.”  

As surely as the sun rises and sets upon another Democratic chapter of “The conspiracies of President Bush,” Joe Wilson has broken the hearts of many a Democrat in Washington--not by lying but by getting caught. 

It seems like ages ago that columnist Robert Novak first alerted the public to the doings of the innocuous and relatively unknown Wilson.  But in a column written on July 14, 2003, Novak wrote of Wilson’s trip to Africa in February, 2002, to see if Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was trying to buy Uranium, or “yellowcake” from Niger. 

Forward to January 28, 2003, and the president’s State of the Union address:  “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” 

It is here in these now-famous 16 words that Democrats in Congress then and now talk themselves into near apoplexy, saying that Bush “misled” the country about pre-war intelligence.  But until Wilson went public with a 1400-word op-ed titled “What I Didn’t Find in Iraq” in the New York Times on July 6, his findings regarding Iraq trying to purchase uranium went little noticed.  It was Wilson’s op-ed that not only ignited Congressional Democrats into a political frenzy, but tipped his hand as an official “Kerry for President” acolyte. 

In his New York Times op-ed, Wilson brazenly declared: “Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”  

But as the Senate Intelligence Committee’s July 9, 2004, report shows, it is Wilson who twisted intelligence to actually downplay Iraq’s nuclear threat, thereby meeting his own political agenda of helping Kerry win the election in November. 

Consider the Senate committee’s findings:

  • The panel found that Wilson’s report, “rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, actually bolstered the case for most intelligence analysis.” (www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39834-2004Jul9)
  • To this day, British intelligence maintains that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa, recently underlined by a report from The Financial Times of London.  The British government states “European intelligence officers have now revealed… human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger.” The New York Times paraphrased the above with a clear-cut story titled: “Intelligence Backs Claim Iraq Tried to Buy Uranium.” The essay leaves no doubt as to the claim of Bush in January 2003 that Saddam Hussein was not only was trying to procure uranium, but had been for years. (www.nytimes.com/financialtimes/business/FT1087373295002.html)
  • Ambassador Wilson’s wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, “specifically recommended” Wilson for the trip to Africa.  In a memo from Plame dated February 12, 2002, to the deputy chief of the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) from Plame, the Senate report concludes that according to the CIA testimony, Plame “offered up his (Wilson’s) name.” (www.gopusa.com/news/2004/july/0713_wilson_plame_intel.shtml)
  • Wilson misled the Washington Post in June 2003, when he told the paper that the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."  In fact, Wilson had never seen the reports.When the Senate committee staff asked Wilson how he could have come to that conclusion, Wilson replied that he may have “misspoken” (See first paragraph) to reporters. (www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39834-2004Jul9)
  • Contrary to Wilson’s claim’s that the Bush administration understood that it was knowingly passing along questionable information to the American public, the Senate committee found in its investigations that the CIA did not tell the White House it had its own doubts about an Iraq/Niger connection for the procuring of uranium.

Joseph Wilson has had extensive ties to the Democratic Party throughout much of his time in Washington.  Wilson is an unabashed supporter and donor to the Kerry/Edwards campaign for the presidency.  In 2000, he donated to Vice President Gore’s election, as has his wife, Valerie Plame.  In the mid-eighties, Wilson worked for Gore as a congressional staffer.  He has donated money to such liberal stalwarts as Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.  He has in the recent past spoken to liberal “527” groups like Win Without War, which is a part of MoveOn.org, the premiere liberal hate group that is renowned for its coarse and hate-inspired political sloganeering.

Joe Wilson, like former terrorist czar Richard Clarke, who also tried to spin a web of deceit against Bush, have shown to be seriously lacking the moral character that one would expect from such once-trusted government officials.

It is chilling to me just what the acquisition of power means to the party out of power.  In this case, it is the Democratic Party.  It has shown that it and its supporters, like Clarke and Wilson, would willingly throw the country into political disarray all in hopes of attaining political power and favor.

It is unclear whether honest news can travel fast in a media mired in political self-interest reporting.  I suspect not, as I’m sure this surprises no one interested in the truth.  One would hope that the country learns of the mendacity of Joe Wilson, and his willingness to inject his political viewpoints in a time of war, all in the hopes of seeing a Democrat in the White House.

The prolific architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, said “The truth is more important than the facts.” I would amend his words to say “The truth is that much more important because of the facts.” In Joseph Wilson, the fact of the matter is that the truth is not important, regardless of the facts. 

Vincent Fiore is a freelance political writer who lives in New York City.  He receives e-mail at anwar004@aol.com.

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