The Press Won't Tell the Rest of the Joe Wilson
By Dave Kopel
Mountain News | July 19, 2004
diplomat Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame?
In 2003, Wilson made himself a national celebrity
by announcing that the CIA had sent him to Niger
to see if Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy uranium
According to Wilson, he conclusively
reported that there was no such attempt, but the
White House ignored him, and lied to the American
people in order to justify the Iraq War. In retaliation,
the White House "outed" Wilson's wife, exposing
her as a CIA agent by telling columnist Robert Novak.
It used to be a very big story. The News
ran 19 articles on it, most recently on June 25.
The Post had nine articles including a glowing review
of Wilson's book, A Defense of Truth, on May 16,
and an excerpt from Wilson's book on May 23.
So given all this attention to Wilson and his
claims, it would seem responsible for the Denver
papers to let readers know that the U.S. Senate
has determined that Wilson is not exactly a guy
who always acts "in defense of truth," as detailed
recently by The Washington Post.
told the public that Niger had denied the uranium
connection. But the Senate found that Wilson's report
said that the Niger government had confirmed that
Iraq had tried to buy uranium.
the public that his report proved that certain documents
showing that Saddam had approached Niger were unreliable,
and were probably forged. According to the Senate,
Wilson never even saw the documents, which did not
come into CIA custody until months after Wilson's
Wilson had very publicly complained
that the White House had ignored his report. But
the Senate Intelligence Committee found that the
CIA never sent the Wilson report to the White House.
Wilson told several journalists the same
thing he said in his book: that his wife had nothing
to do with him going on the trip to Niger. But actually,
the Senate found a memo in which she recommended
to the CIA that he be selected for the mission.
The Washington Post story has traveled all
over the Internet, but has been ignored by much
of the establishment media. From the Denver dailies,
we have not a word now that a major anti-Bush scandal
- which the papers considered newsworthy just a
few weeks ago - has turned out to be a con.
In the U.K., an official independent investigative
committee on WMD intelligence, the Butler Report
section 6.4 of the report) has found that Iraq was
trying to buy uranium from Niger as late as 2002.
The report declared that Bush's statement in the
2003 State of the Union, "The British government
has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa,"
The Financial Times
began reporting the story a week ago, but the Denver
dailies remain oblivious - refusing to let their
readers know that all the partisans like Wilson
and various newspaper columnists who proclaimed
"Bush lied!!!!" about the African uranium are completely
The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction
and The Aspen Times, though, take the booby-prize
for being fooled by Wilson. In articles about Wilson's
recent speech in Aspen, The Times and Daily Sentinel
went beyond summarizing Wilson's remarks; the papers
restated many of Wilson's claims as if they were
facts - even though readers of The Washington Post
had learned two days beforehand that Wilson was
not telling the truth. (Hat tip to ombudsgod.blogspot.com
for noticing the Sentinel and Times stories first.)