The Joseph Wilson Affair
That’s what they’ll be calling it, and for once it looks like Americans might wake up en masse and take notice. The Affair starts with a July 6 New York Times op-ed piece written by Joseph C Wilson, former U.S ambassador to Gabon. He went to Niger at the behest of Dick Cheney’s office to investigate a possible sale of ‘yellowcake uraniaum’ from Niger to Iraq. In it, Wilson doesn’t merely criticize the Bush Administration’s handling of pre-war Iraq intelligence, but makes a very good case that intelligence was deliberately twisted to suit the administration’s Iraq policy. Reading it, the Bushies must have been very worried.
Turns out they were very pissed off. On July 14th, conservative columnist Rober Novak revealed that Joseph’s Wilson’s wife, according to “two senior administrion officials”, is a “his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction.”. If we assume Novak isn’t lying about this, and this information was in fact revealed to him (i have no reason to think other wise), then this is a major federal crime that could get these officials many years in jail. It’s been likened to putting a gun to the head of the agent. The first Bush actually passed the law that made this a serious offence. No doubt Bush will have no problems with jailtime, but hopefully some of the other criminals will get what they deserve.
So now another “senior administrion official” has told the Washinton Post that “…before Novak’s column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson’s account touched off a political fracas over Bush’s use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.
There’s some link to commentary and links to all the original stories at Body and Soul.