September 30, 2003


Man Behind the Furor: Wilson: Envoy With an Independent Streak (Richard Leiby, October 1, 2003, Washington Post)

Former diplomat Joseph Wilson used to tell reporters he felt certain how his obituary would read. It went: "Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was the last American diplomat to meet with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, died . . . "

But "it seems to change," Wilson said yesterday, smiling across his desk in his Washington office. He has kept mentally revising the obituary to keep up with the political maelstrom over Iraq policy and White House leaks that is swirling around him.

A recent version began: "Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Bush I administration political appointee who did the most damage to the Bush II administration . . . "

The current version goes: "Joseph C. Wilson IV, the husband of the spy the White House outed, . . . "

Wilson, 53, is also now known as the man the CIA sent to Niger in February 2002 to investigate rumors that Hussein was trying to buy uranium there -- and who came back with denials from Niger officials. As President Bush repeated the allegation -- most prominently in the so-called 16 words in the State of the Union address Jan. 28 -- Wilson said, he grew increasingly perplexed. And by July, he was annoyed enough to say publicly that U.S. officials had exaggerated the public case for invading Iraq.

At the time, he said he feared that the White House would retaliate. It allegedly did when administration officials called reporters to identify Wilson's wife as a clandestine CIA operative.

As the world now knows, Wilson is married to Valerie Wilson, nee Plame. She is his third wife. She is 40, slim, blonde and the mother of their 3-year-old twins. In the photos in his office, she has the looks of a film star.

"She is really quite amazing," Wilson said. "We were just discussing today who would play her in the movie," he cracked.

Wilson himself seems to have a theatrical streak. [...]

Even though the White House has said Rove wasn't involved, Wilson made clear yesterday that he has no intention of backing off from his assertion that Rove at least condoned someone's making telephone calls to reporters about his wife. He said he took a call from a reporter who quoted Rove as saying: "Joe Wilson's wife is fair game."

Wilson said he and his wife have attended the same Episcopal church as Rove. Wilson quoted Valerie as saying, "Perhaps the next time we are taking communion I should introduce myself so he can see that I have a face and a name other than 'fair game.' "

He seems to alternate between delusions of grandeur and self-pity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 30, 2003 11:48 PM

“As the world now knows, Wilson is married to Valerie Wilson, nee Plame. She is his third wife. She is 40, slim, blonde and the mother of their 3-year-old twins. In the photos in his office, she has the looks of a film star.” Quoted by you from WaPo

“A former counter-terrorism official at the CIA and the State Department claimed Tuesday night that outed CIA agent "Valerie Plame" was under cover for three decades and was not a "CIA analyst" as columnist Bob Novak has suggested.” From Drudge

The CIA is using 10 year olds???

Posted by: JAR at October 1, 2003 9:13 AM

They may as well, given how bad our intelligence has been for the past 60 years. Good catch though. Let's give this half of the team that Jody Powell used to call "Errors and No Facts" the benefit of the doubt and assume that means 80s, 90s, & 00s.

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2003 9:18 AM

Note the "I didn't expect them to fight back" motif. Wilson feels free to do damage to the Bush administration but is shocked, shocked that Rove might fire back.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 1, 2003 9:30 AM

It's hard to follow this story but the latest I know is that the only person connecting Rove with this is Wilson. Is this going to be another falsehood that the compliant media take on as fact?

Posted by: AWW at October 1, 2003 9:58 AM

AWW--Signs point to yes. It's up on The Guardian. Whether or not it's a falsehood, well, that's for Rove's longtime friend and political advisee John Ashcroft to determine.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 1, 2003 10:04 AM

Wilson's coming-out party was 'postponed' by the Democratic Hive this morning. Even they must know how foolish he looks and how quickly the balloon will deflate once he gets in front of the cameras (especially with Pelosi & Daschle behind him). This affair will be over in 2 weeks, and Wilson will be like the guy who kept accusing Quayle of smoking dope, a fringe character who gets written up every so often in The Nation and The New Republic as a victim.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 1, 2003 1:22 PM