April 30, 2004

"I did my civic duty and held my government to account for statements it had made."

At least two more US soldiers died in Iraq within the last 24 hours. For what?Well over 700 soldiers have died so far, over 600 of these deaths have occured since the incredible shrinking _resident declared "Mission Accomplished!" Now stories of US-perpetrated torture and massacres have begun to surface. And are you safer today than you were on September 11? No. You are in greater danger. Because the incredible shrinking _resident's disasterous policies have only swollen the ranks of Al Qaeda-style terror groups and drained away our intel and military resources into the quagmire of Iraq. Joe Wilson's name, of course, was scrawled on the John O'Neill Wall of Heroes awhile ago. Hopefully, his book will circulate among enough of us to contribute to the Electoral Uprising that is coming in November 2004.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson, www.buzzflash.com: I wrote
my article only after I had given the government
several months, both in terms of talking to people
close to the Administration, as well as some people
within the Administration, and by talking on
background to the press. I urged the government to
come clean with this story that was patently not true.
I did so because I fully understood that it is a
penchant of this Administration, and it is a modus
operandi of Karl Rove, to attempt to destroy the
messenger who brings bad news.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/04/04/int04023.html

April 30, 2004
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Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, Author of "The Politics
of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed
My Wife's CIA Identity."

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

"I did my civic duty and held my government to account for statements it had made. The government
acknowledged that the sixteen words about Iraq
purchasing uranium from Niger did not rise to the
level of inclusion in the State of the Union Address.
And then the Administration went out to savage my
family and myself.... Somebody close to the President
of the United States decided that in order to defend
Bushís political agenda, that individual or
individuals would violate the national security of the
country and expose my wifeís name and her profession.

That was absolutely unexpected. That this government
would take a national security asset off the table,
working in an area that is of primordial importance to
the national security of the United States Ė the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction into the
hands of rogue states and non-state actors."

Ambassador Joe Wilson

Okay, for the umpteenth time, let's get this straight:
In order to send a message to any Bush Cartel
whistleblowers and truth tellers, Karl Rove or Scooter
Libby (or both) authorized the outing of a CIA
operative. But this wasn't just any CIA operative.
This was a woman who specialized in tracking the
illicit trade in Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Well, the WMD-specializing outed CIA agent was Valerie
Plame. Why was she outed and our national security
threatened by the Bush Cartel? Because her husband,
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, had the temerity to
reveal that the Bush Cartel mischaracterized a key
piece of alleged (i.e., phony) evidence that Saddam
Hussein was purchasing nuclear material from the
nation of Niger (not to be confused with Nigeria).

So, America's national security has been jeopardized
because a man who showed heroism in the diplomatic
corps told the truth about the Bush Cartel and the
Bush Cartel sought revenge.

The story is mind boggling, and it is even more
tragically ironic as you read the details in this
personal memoir by Ambassador Joe Wilson, "The
Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies That Led to War and
Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity-A Diplomat's Memoir."

Ambassador Joe Wilson is, like Richard Clarke, one of
the heroes of our time.

* * *

BuzzFlash: You have a new book coming out titled, "The
Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and
Betrayed My Wifeís CIA Identity." Could you start off
by telling us a little bit about whatís in your book
and why you decided to write it?

Ambassador Wilson: The book is the story of my foreign
service career, which included service in Iraq during
the first Gulf War, as well as many other postings in
Africa and in Europe. And of course, it deals a lot
with the debate and the run-up to this second war in
Iraq, and the positions that I took in the run-up to
the invasion.

I guess the part that everybodyís interested in is the
trip I took out to Niger on behalf of the
Administration, to check out whether there was any
truth to the allegations that Iraq had attempted to
purchase significant quantities of uranium. I detail
what the Administration did or rather did not do with
my report from Niger, and how I responded to what I
felt was a lie in the Presidentís State of the Union
Address that needed to be corrected. I did my civic
duty and held my government to account for statements
it had made. The government acknowledged that the
sixteen words about Iraq purchasing uranium from Niger
did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of
the Union Address. And then the Administration went
out to savage my family and myself.

BuzzFlash: You were a member of the diplomatic corps
for many years. In fact, the first President Bush
praised you for your heroism and your work when Iraq
invaded Kuwait.

Ambassador Wilson: Thatís correct, and he made me an
ambassador to two African countries.

BuzzFlash: Tell us what was your experience like in
Iraq at the time just before Saddam invaded Kuwait in
the first Gulf War?

Ambassador Wilson: I was based in Baghdad, and I was
in charge of the embassy. Our ambassador, April
Glaspie, had left the post on vacation and
consultations. We were watching as the Iraqi troops
started massing along the Kuwaiti border. We were
giving it our best shot to corroborate information. We
had Saddamís assurances that he had no intention of
invading Kuwait so long as there was a negotiating
process ongoing. And then, of course, he violated that
pledge that he had given to Ambassador Glaspie.

Shortly thereafter, the Iraqi government took about
150 Americans hostage and about 400 hostages in total
from other countries including French, British,
Japanese, and Germans. We went around and offered
another 65-70 Americans safe harbor in our diplomatic
quarters, and we housed them and fed them, and took
care of them so that they would not be taken hostage
by Saddam. And then we worked for the following six
months between the invasion of Kuwait and the sort of
counter-attack which we called Desert Storm to get all
Americans out of harmís way. And we were successful.
We lost two Americans over those six months Ė one who
was an employee of the embassy who died of a cerebral
hemorrhage the night of the invasion of Kuwait, and
the other was an American businessman who died of a
heart attack several days after the invasion.

BuzzFlash: People such as yourself who make a career
in the State Department are known as people who donít
rock the boat. Letís talk about what compelled you to
write the column in The New York Times that dispelled
the Niger uranium accusation that Bush included in his
State of the Union Address. You had to know before you
submitted that column that there would be consequences
both personally and professionally.

Ambassador Wilson: First of all, I had been retired
for several years from government. But secondly, with
respect to this idea of diplomats not rocking the
boat, I think itís important to understand that the
American diplomatic service is full of people who are
patriots, and who serve their country with great
distinction. These people carry out their governmentís
foreign policy irrespective of which party happens to
be in power at any given time. Now that means that
they are generally very bright and very knowledgeable
about the practicality of doing international
relations and foreign policy, since most of them spend
a good part of their career overseas.

I wrote my article only after I had given the
government several months, both in terms of talking to
people close to the Administration, as well as some
people within the Administration, and by talking on
background to the press. I urged the government to
come clean with this story that was patently not true.
I did so because I fully understood that it is a
penchant of this Administration, and it is a modus
operandi of Karl Rove, to attempt to destroy the
messenger who brings bad news.

It was important that the government correct the
report that Iraq obtained uranium from Niger. And it
was important that if, in fact, the government was
going to come after me, which I fully understood they
would, that the story was fully understood by the
American people before they in fact destroyed the
messenger. In urging the government to come clean on
this Niger business, I was doing nothing more and
nothing less than any American has been taught from
social studies in seventh grade -- it is the
responsibility of any American citizen in our
democracy. We have checks and balances, and we have
rights, and we have protections to ensure that we hold
our government accountable for its actions. And thatís
exactly what I was doing.

Now understanding that they would come after me, I
didnít feel that I had anything personally to worry
about. After all, as you correctly pointed out, the
former President Bush had called me an American hero
and had written me any number of laudatory handwritten
letters. What did shock me and I think shocks most
Americans was what this Administration decided when
they couldnít discredit me to their satisfaction.
Somebody close to the President of the United States
decided that in order to defend Bushís political
agenda, that individual or individuals would violate
the national security of the country and expose my
wifeís name and her profession.

That was absolutely unexpected, that this government
would take a national security asset off the table,
working in an area that is of primordial importance to
the national security of the United States -Ė the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction into the
hands of rogue states and non-state actors. Yet for
some reason, either because they wanted to discourage
other people from stepping forward and telling the
truth, or out of simple revenge, as was reported in
the Washington Post, this government decided that it
would go ahead and take that national security asset
off the table.

It was truly un-American. It was a betrayal of the
country, irrespective of whether they can prosecute
this through conviction. It was treasonous and clearly
the act and the subsequent pushing of the story, and
trying to sort of promote this lie, was un-American in
every sense of the word.

BuzzFlash: When the Administration falsely claimed
that Iraq was seeking enriched uranium from Niger, I
think some people in their minds didnít fully
understand what that meant. It seems to me that most
people thought that meant the transfer of a suitcase
of highly explosive material or something. And in
reality, what weíre talking about was a very
large-scale operation.

Ambassador Wilson: Sure. Weíre talking about 500 tons
that would have had to cross the Sahara Desert, been
loaded onto a ship in West Africa, transported to some
destination, and then further transported into
Baghdad. Five hundred tons is a lot of poundage.

BuzzFlash: And essentially that could not happen
without somebody noticing something, right?

Ambassador Wilson: Thatís correct. And I lay all that
out in the book and why I concluded that it could not
have happened.

BuzzFlash: Right now, the Department of Justice
investigation into the national security leak that
exposed your wife is in the hands of a U.S. prosecutor
from the Northern District of Illinois. And Attorney
General Ashcroft has claimed that he is no longer
involved in the case. Is there anything that you can
add about the status of the Department of Justice
investigation, since thereís essentially been no real
media coverage of this important national security
issue?

Ambassador Wilson: Let me just say that the
investigation is in the hands of the professionals.
The prosecutor is a career prosecutor whom I hold in
the highest esteem, and the FBI people who are looking
into this are also professionals. So long as theyíre
handling it, I know for a fact that theyíre doing
everything they can to get to the bottom of it. Now
the fact that they havenít yet been able to get to the
bottom of it suggests that there is a fair amount of
covering up and stonewalling going on over at the
White House, despite the Presidentís claim that he
wanted his senior government officials to cooperate.
Either he has no control over them, or theyíre just
simply not doing it.

Weíre not talking about hundreds of senior government
officials in this case. Weíre talking about a few who
have both the means -- i.e., a national security
clearance that gives them access to the sorts of
conversations, and the building, where they might find
these secrets -- and the motive and political agenda
to carry this out. And finally that they have
sufficient seniority that a senior reporter in
Washington would actually listen to what they had to
say.

BuzzFlash: You are a member of a club of individuals
that include Richard Clarke, John OíNeill, John
DiIulio -- people who have come forward to tell the
truth about the Bush Administration, and then are
smeared as liars. It seems that thereís something
Orwellian about this practice. And the Bush
Administrationís strategy is clearly to attack the
messenger and not refute the message. Whatís your
advice to other individuals who are thinking of coming
forward with information that they think would be
vital for the American public to know about the
Administration?

Ambassador Wilson: Iíll tell you the ones that Iím
most proud of, as I look out at this, are the Jersey
girls -- the widows of those Americans who gave their
lives in the World Trade Center. These brave women
have insisted since 9/11 that the U.S. government come
clean on what it knew before the attacks and what it
might have done to prevent this from happening. I
think that they have been profiles in American
courage. And it sickened me when I saw them savaged by
Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard in a television
appearance, and then subsequently in a Wall Street
Journal editorial by Dorothy Rabinowitz.

But what I have to say to people who might come
forward is that one of the great things about our
democracy is freedom of the press. And if we donít
exercise that, we run the risk of losing it. One must
always keep oneís government under control. The
government serves the people -- not vice-versa.

BuzzFlash: Do you think that the Bush Administration
is just exercising raw brute power by trying to
silence people like yourself or is there some greater
good that they foresee in trying to strike voices such
as yours down?

Ambassador Wilson: Itís hard to see what greater good
they achieve by lying to the American people and then
ruthlessly trying to destroy those who call them on
their lies.

BuzzFlash: Youíre continuing to speak out on behalf of
the truth and democracy. And the White House would
want you to just go away into your private life. After
everything youíve been through, how do you forge on
when the attacks on you are relentless?

Ambassador Wilson: Because this is my country, and it
is a great country, and the American people have every
right to know what their government is doing and what
their government has done with the false pretenses
under which this government launched this war on Iraq.
And trust me when I tell you that once this battle is
won, I have every intention of retiring back to
private life.

BuzzFlash: Ambassador, thank you so much for your
time. We appreciate it.

Ambassador Wilson: My pleasure.

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Posted by richard at April 30, 2004 01:13 PM