Stonewalling on Wilson

By Corn, David | The Nation, May 24, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Stonewalling on Wilson


Corn, David, The Nation


The publication of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's book, The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies That Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity, affords a fresh opportunity to consider how George W. Bush has dodged accountability for a White House scandal.

It was back in July that conservative columnist Robert Novak identified Wilson's wife, Valerie, as a CIA operative specializing in weapons counterproliferation. Novak attributed this information to "two senior administration officials." At the time, Wilson, a prominent critic of the war, was causing trouble for the White House, having revealed that in February 2002 he traveled to Niger for the CIA and essentially debunked the allegation that Iraq had been shopping for uranium there. However, in his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush had relied on this charge to suggest that Iraq was close to developing nuclear weapons. Wilson's disclosure blew a hole in the Bush case for war and forced the White House to acknowledge that the President had used a spurious allegation, easy to disprove, based on forged documents.

The Novak column-which ruined Valerie Wilson's undercover career and perhaps endangered her and her contacts-seemed like thuggish payback. Or an attempt to discredit Wilson's trip to Niger as a junket arranged by his wife. (It wasn't.) Or a message to others: Don't cross this Administration. Or all of the above. But in blowing her cover, the Bush henchmen may also have violated a federal law making it a felony for a government official to reveal the identity of a covert officer. Two days after the Novak piece appeared, I was the first reporter to note that the Wilson leak was evidence of a possible White House crime; but it was not until September, when the news broke that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate the White House, that the leak story went big-time.

Since then, the Administration has hidden behind the ongoing criminal investigation, which, after the recusal of Attorney General John Ashcroft, is now in the hands of Patrick Fitzgerald, the US Attorney in Chicago. But the question remains: Why has Bush taken a lackadaisical attitude toward a leak that compromised national security and possibly violated the law?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Stonewalling on Wilson
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?