Skip to comments.Joe Wilson's Book: Questions That Need to Be Asked
Posted on 04/29/2004 2:24:35 PM PDT by kattracks
The White House is said to be bracing for Uraniumgate accuser Joe Wilson's new book, "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity" - set for release on Friday.
Perhaps the press should do a little bracing of its own, for if there was ever a political memoir that deserved a healthy dose of skepticism, Wilson's screed is surely it.
The disgruntled former diplomat is set for a whirlwind tour of TV interviews to tout his charge that President Bush knowingly misled the nation in Jan. 2002, when he said Iraq had sought uranium from the African country of Niger.
And that White House officials retaliated for his going public with the charge by revealing his wife's identity as a CIA undercover agent.
While we don't expect too much from upcoming Wilson grillers Katie Couric and Larry King, we can only hope that NBC's Tim Russert has his ducks in a row when Wilson shows up on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.
Here's some topics Russert would do well to cover with the so-called Uraniumgate whistleblower:
* We in the press routinely dismissed accusers of the former administration when they sold their stories for money. How much have you been paid for your book? Is there a movie deal? And why should anyone believe you, now that you have a financial motive in speaking out.
* You said the White House put your wife's life in danger when it revealed she worked for the CIA. But then you allowed a photo of her - disguised only by sunglasses and a headscarf - to be splashed all over the centerfold of Vanity Fair magazine. Didn't that further put her in danger?
* In your comments to Vanity Fair, you reveal that your wife told you she was a CIA agent during what you said was "a heavy make-out session" on your "third or fourth date." If she was in the habit of telling her dates that she worked for the CIA, was her identity really all that secret?
* If her identity was indeed that sensitive, did your wife violate CIA secrecy rules by telling you who she worked for?
* Former CIA agent Larry Johnson told PBS in October that your wife has been an undercover CIA agent for three decades. Yet the Washington Post has reported that she's just 40-years-old, which would mean she was ten when she joined the agency.
How long did your wife spend undercover and was she still truly undercover at the time she was outed?
* In October, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported: "The C.I.A. suspected that Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson's name [along with those of other spies] to the Russians before his espionage arrest in 1994."
At the time, Kristof noted, your wife was brought home for safety reasons and "was already in transition away from undercover work to management, and to liaison roles with other intelligence agencies. So this year, even before she was outed, she was moving away from 'noc' which means non-official cover."
If true, how could she have still been undercover when she was outed?
* Doesn't some of the harsh rhetoric you've directed towards the Bush White House also call into question your objectivity? For instance, well before your wife was outed, you wrote in the Nation magazine that under George Bush, "America has entered one of it periods of historical madness."
Then, according to Slate Magazine, after she was outed you called the Bush White House a bunch of "f--king a--holes and thugs." By publicly expressing such vitriol, haven't you thoroughly compromised your credibility?
* You've repeatedly said that there's no evidence that Iraq purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger. But President Bush never claimed it did. What Bush said was, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Are you saying there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, especially since it purchased hundreds of tons of yellowcake from Niger in the 1980s?
* You and other Bush critics have repeatedly said that British intelligence on Iraq's attempt to purchase yellowcake uranium was based on forged documents. But Tony Blair has specifically said his intelligence relies on separate information that has nothing to do with the forged documents.
How can you say that there's no evidence unless you know what evidence Tony Blair has?
If Mr. Russert asks Wilson even a few of the above questions, we suspect that the Uraniumgate scandal - along with sales of Wilson's book - will collapse of like a house of cards.
1. When did you start working for John Kerry?
2. Is it true you wear a beret when it rains?
3. Are you familiar with the organization DGSE? Anyone you know belong to it?
4. Why does journalist Andrea Mitchell have documents related to Iraqi uranium purchase attempts?
5. On the eve of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, why were you dining with Saddam's major arms buyer in Paris?
6. Why is your restorehonesty.com web site registered in the name of the John Kerry campaign?
7. What ever came of you gold-mining project in Niger?
Is this for real?
I wouldn't doubt it. I used to claim that I was a CIA agent during makeout sessions all the time.
My wife never beleives me anymore, though.
I suspect that the only people who will have any interest in Wilson's book are already planning on voting against Bush. But Wilson deserves a thorough grilling.
...At that point Saddam Hussein was still a U.S. ally, but he was being watched like a hawk. In late July 1990, Glaspie, who had already delayed her annual vacation to America twice, packed her bags and came home, leaving Wilson in charge.
The night of August 1, Wilson had dinner with someone he describes as "Saddam's principal arms buyer in Paris. It was so hot the air was literally shimmering right in front of the windshield. I get to this guy's house, and it had been chilled to 45, 50 degrees ... roaring fire in the fireplace and over in a corner a white baby grand piano and a guy playing classical music on it. The guy looks like a Pancho Villa figure, Mexican bandito.... We sat down to dinner, just him, myself, my wife, and five bodyguards-armed."
The wife is Jacqueline, not Valerie. The one who was a "cultural counselor" for a French embassy when he met her.
I wonder why they had dinner together...
Yet, the answers to these questions would clear up so much...
Also in Burundi, Wilson met his second wife, then the cultural counselor at the French Embassy there. They spent a year back in Washington on a congressional fellowship, during which time he worked for Al Gore, then a senator from Tennessee, and Tom Foley, then House majority whip. "It was," Wilson says, "happenstance" that he worked for two Democrats. Then he returned to Africa as deputy chief of mission in the Congo Republic, where he helped Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker set up the process that led to negotiations for the withdrawal of the Cuban and South African troops from the Angolan Civil War.