The Other Charlotte wrote a wonderfully witty post yesterday about the celebrity WASP Bush-basher Joe Wilson (“a head of hair that’s right up there with Kedwards’!” quips TOC), who’s been boo-hooing ever since last year about how Bush lied in his 2003 State of the Union address about Iraq’s efforts to buy yellowcake uranium in Africa and then how Wilson’s wife was “outed” as a CIA employee in retaliation for Wilson’s supposed whistle-blowing on Bush. (See Say It Ain’t So, Joe?, July 15.)
Now, of course–hee hee!–the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a report on the yellowcake brouhaha in which even the committee’s Democrats agreed with the underlying facts showing that Wilson, who had left the Foreign Service at age 48 (two years before the voluntary retirement age) had failed to tell the truth. (The Dems, however, declined to sign onto the Republicans’ ultimate conclusion that Wilson hadn’t been truthful–but that’s probably because up until the report came out, they’d turned him into the linchpin of their own John F. Kerry’s presidential campaign). Yes, Saddam Hussein’s Iraqis had indeed tried to purchase yellowcake in Africa (even French intelligence agreed on that one!), and yes, contrary to Wilson’s insistence to the contrary, his CIA-bureaucrat wife, Valerie Plame, had pulled the strings (with a memo by her to prove it) to get her hubster sent to Niger on an unpaid CIA assignment in 2002 where he sipped mint tea with officials and was assured that no, no, no Iraqis had been looking for yellowcake here.
TOC linked Inky readers to the intrepid reporting of National Review’s Clifford May on l’affaire Wilson; May has been following Joe’s self-promoting half-truths since the story broke last year and turned Wilson and spouse into the darlings of Meet the Press and Vanity Fair magazine as well as the Kerry campaign. (Now that Wilson’s been exposed, expect the Dems to retreat quietly home from behind their golden boy and to hear no more, ever, from the media, on the subject of African uranium or even on the subject of Wilson himself. It’s tippy-toe time.)
But leave it to Ann Coulter to have the final word–and le mot juste as well!–on Joseph C. Wilson IV, the “Walter Mitty of conspiracy theorists,” as Ann puts it. She writes:
“Wilson is the ne’er-do-well WASP embraced by the Democrats last year for calling Bush a liar. Wilson claimed to be shocked, appalled, alarmed when President Bush said during his 2003 State of the Union address: ‘The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.’
“Wilson was shocked because, in 2002, he had been sent on an unpaid make-work job to Niger to ‘investigate’ whether Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger. Wilson’s method of investigating consisted of asking African potentates questions like: Did you commit a horrible crime, which, if so, would ruin your country’s relationship with the United States? I have no independent means of corroborating this, so be honest!
“On the basis of the answers he got, Wilson concluded that Saddam had not sought uranium ore from Niger. Since ‘Africa’ means ‘Niger’ and ‘British intelligence’ means ‘Joseph Wilson,’ Wilson realized in horror that Bush’s statement referred to Wilson’s very own report! Out of love for his country and an insatiable desire to have someone notice his worthless existence, Wilson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling Bush a liar.”
According to Ann, Wilson not only landed an interview for Vanity Fair (plus a hefty book contract), but the NYT praised his patriotism and Nation magazine gave him its “Truth-Telling Award.” Ann writes:
“According to The Washington Post, Wilson began whiling away his once-empty days discussing ‘who would play (his wife) in the movie’ and fantasizing about how his obituary would read. His favorites were: ‘Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Bush I administration political appointee who did the most damage to the Bush II administration …’ and ‘Joseph C. Wilson IV, the husband of the spy the White House outed …'”
As Ann notes, the Senate committee found that even Wilson’s own report from Niger to the CIA indicated that Niger was one of several African countries in which Saddam went yellowcake-shopping. She continues:
“Most amusingly, despite Wilson’s insistence that he had been tapped for the Niger trip based on his nonexistent expertise and zero credentials, the Senate committee produced his wife’s memo recommending her husband for the (unpaid) job. This followed Wilson’s assertions that his wife ‘definitely had not proposed that I make the trip’ and his astonishment that anyone could imagine his wife was ‘somehow involved in this,’ saying that ‘just defies logic.’
“When presented with the memo from his wife recommending him for the job, Wilson said only that his wife was not the one who made the decision to send him to Niger. This cleared up the matter for anyone who had been under the impression Wilson was married to George Tenet.”
Meanwhile, though, as Ann points out, the Kerry campaign is still subsidizing Joe Wilson’s hilariously named website, restorehonesty.com, which features a photo of Joe in big hair, expensive suit, and yellow tie. along with a heap of Uriah Heep-esque praise for Joe and by Joe (“I wasn’t ready to keep quiet when this President misled the nation in his State of the Union Address”)–oh, and also a few good words here and there for John Kerry:
“Some people have said I was courageous to speak truth to the power of the Bush White House. But let me tell you, what I have done doesn’t hold a candle to the courage that John Kerry showed as a young man and throughout his political career. I am supporting him for President because he has been willing to tell the truth no matter what the pressure. He is ready to restore truth and honor to the White House.”
Don’t you Inky readers yearn to know what Joe Wilson’s obiturary will actually say? Count no man happy until he is dead, Joe.