Joseph Wilson has passed away. Kat Lonsdorf (NPR) reports:
Joseph Wilson, the former U.S. diplomat who publicly challenged the reasoning behind President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, died Friday. He was 69.
Wilson died of organ failure, his ex-wife, Valerie Plame, confirmed to several news outlets. Plame's identity as a CIA operative was revealed a week after Wilson contested the Bush administration in a 2003 New York Times op-ed. Plame and Wilson divorced in 2017.
The dispute between Wilson and the Bush administration began after President Bush declared in his State of the Union speech in January 2003 that Iraq was attempting to restart its nuclear program.
A Connecticut native and graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Wilson’s career with the Foreign Service included posts in a handful of African nations.
He was the senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad during the first Gulf War, which lasted from 1990 to 1991, and was the last American official to meet with Saddam before the Desert Storm offensive.
Wilson drew intense criticism from Republican lawmakers over his statements regarding Iraq and weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the U.S. invasion. A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 pointed to inconsistences.
Wilson dismissed those claims, later authoring the book “The Politics of Truth.”
In a 2003 interview with PBS, he said that the post 9/11 security mission went astray with the full invasion of Iraq.
“The national security objective for the United States was clear; it was disarmament of Saddam Hussein,” he said. “We should have pursued that objective. We did not need to engage in an invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq in order to achieve that objective.”
Richard Roth (CNN) adds:
In February 2002, Wilson was sent by the CIA to the African nation of Niger to investigate reports that Iraq was seeking to acquire "yellowcake uranium" that could be used to produce nuclear weapons. He met with the US ambassador in Niger and former government officials who were in office at the time Saddam Hussein was supposed to have try to buy the uranium.
Wilson reported back his doubts about the report, finding no proof.
Wilson was stunned to hear President George W. Bush tell the world in his 2003 State of the Union address that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In the July 6, 2003, edition of The New York Times, a furious Wilson wrote an opinion piece titled "What I didn't find in Africa."
Wison wrote, 'Having encountered Mr Hussein and his thugs in the runup to the Persian Gulf war in 1991, I was only too aware of the dangers he posed. But were the dangers the same ones the administration told us about?"
The article was a bombshell. Bush administration senior officials said it was never clear if Saddam was or was not seeking to buy uranium from overseas. Then-CIA Director George Tenet said the Wilson report from Niger produced "no solid answers" and was never passed up the chain of command.
Senator Chris Murphy is so annoying and such a disappointment.
Karma, man. The day after the most famous executive branch whistleblower complaint since Joe Wilson comes to light, Joe Wilson passes. I got to know him a bit - he was indeed a hero of his times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/us/joseph-wilson-who-challenged-iraq-war-narrative-dies-at-69.html …
Karma, man? F**k you.
You're attempt at conversational is embarrassing.
As is your garbage that the 'whistle-blower' of today is anything like Joe Wilson.
Joe Wilson went public and went public about what he saw.
Your 'whistle-blower' is nothing but a glorified gossip. An Ethel Mertz passing around tidbits overheard from non-primary sources. That's not a whistle-blower and I don't give a damn that last month the CIA changed the definition to allow that to count as a whistle-blower.
Joe Wilson risked a lot to tell the truth.
Chris Murphy is an ass. A public ass. "Karma, man"? Just grow the hell up.
Look, Chris, this is how you do a Tweet:
Joe Wilson was a dear friend and a true statesman dedicated to serving our country at home and abroad. My thoughts are with his family as they mourn Joe's passing and we honor his incredible legacy of public service.
Here are some more worthy Tweets.
Joe Wilson was a hero Standing up to Cheney & the work up to the Iraq war by calling out the Bush Administration on the false claim that Iraq had WMDs was a display of integrity & courage that few possess He did what so many wouldn’t—tell the truth RIP https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/us/joseph-wilson-who-challenged-iraq-war-narrative-dies-at-69.html …
So sorry to hear about the passage of Amb. Joe Wilson, whose brave challenge to the false narrative surrounding the Iraq War was an inspiration to so many of us. Condolences to Valerie Plame and their children. His efforts didn’t stop a war but they did help fuel a resistance.
Joe Wilson, the diplomat whose criticism of the war in Iraq led to the unmasking of his then-wife, CIA agent @valerieplame, died today. “He’s an American hero,” she told @nytimes. In 2010 I went to see them in New Mexico for a Styles feature.
Joe Wilson died today. I wonder if we can put our current George W. Bush rehabilitation tour on hold to remember how his administration tried to destroy him & his family's life for telling the truth about their lies.
Here's a 2005 talk that Joe gave with the University of California.