Revisionism of the Week: Wilson

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If someone broke the law in leaking Joe Wilson's wife's identity, they should be held accountable for it, absolutely. And even if the law was not broken, they should probably be fired.

However, I heard one guy this weekend say Wilson was "more accurate" than Bush in his criticism of Bush, and someone else said Wilson was the "first real critic" of Bush's stance on WMD in Iraq. Neither of these statements is true. Wilson came along late to the party, many months after people like Scott Ritter, and Wilson was almost entirely wrong in his criticisms.

Wilson's main claim was that Bush lied in those "16 words" ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") in his State of the Union address in 2003. However, Wilson's report actually supported Bush's "16 words," rather than refute them, as his report showed some evidence that Hussein did want to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, and was trying to make it happen. And he offered no valid refutation of any kind against those "16 words;" he focused significantly on the forged memo, which was not referenced or used by Bush in the "16 words." (Read more on

On Meet the Press, Wilson noted when he first heard the "16 words," he thought they were not about Niger, "because he would know better if he was." But how could Wilson even know that? Bush was talking about British intelligence, which Wilson was not privy to. That basically sums up Wilson's entire problem: his entire argument against Bush was a straw man, arguing against things Bush didn't say.

Wilson was wrong, partisan, and deceptive.

None of this in any way justifies a breach of national security, as has been alleged, nor any coverup, but let's not lionize Ambassador Wilson for his dubious contributions in a quest to make the alleged crimes seem more egregious.

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"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on October 17, 2005 11:05 AM.

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