Friday, September 01, 2006

The Last of the Wilson Myths Dies

Hard to find much discussion of it in the media, but it finally looks like the last of former Ambassador Joe Wilson's fabrications and distortions has died.

First, he purported in a New York Times op-ed that he found no evidence that Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy uranium in Niger.

Except he had already told the CIA exactly the contrary.

Then he denied that his wife picked him for the CIA-sponsored survey trip to Niger to investigate that claim.

Except that she had.

Then he claimed that pro-war senior White House officials -- most notably VP Dick Cheney -- had outted his undercover wife to punish him.

Except that it turns a White House rival of Cheney and Co. who opposed them on the war accidentally let it slip to reporter Robert Novak over cocktails.

Notes the Washington Post in an editorial: Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

A shame indeed. But then, I'd expect that people like Mr. Wilson know no shame.

Let's hope that this new revelation will return Mr. Wilson to the obscurity and anonymity he so richly deserves.

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