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2003-09-17

Where is the Government Investigation Into Who in the White House Outted Joseph Wilson’s Wife as an Alleged CIA Operative?

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Wilson is the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq who traveled to Niger on a CIA-sponsored trip and and found no link between Iraq and Niger. After he speaks out the press reports senior administration officials outting his wife as an alleged CIA operative. Was this in retaliation to his speaking out on Iraq?

Yesterday, we took a look at Vice President Dick Cheney’s use of intelligence. Or rather, lack of intelligence as he repeated many allegations about Iraq that have been proven false over the past two years.

One of these allegations is that Saddam Hussein attempted to acquire uranium from Niger. Well yesterday, we interviewed Joe Wilson the former acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The CIA sent Wilson to investigate the uranium allegation and found it highly unlikely. Despite this, the uranium/Niger claim became a key piece of the administration’s justification for the war and President Bush included it in his State of the Union address in January.

Seven months later, Wilson went public. In a New York Times Op-Ed he said he had told the CIA long before the president’s January speech that the uranium claims were fraudulent.

A week later, conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote a column in which he cited two senior administration officials and said that Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative. Time Magazine and NewsDay also cited administration officials and repeated this claim. Was this retaliation against Wilson for stepping forward? It is in fact a felony to blow the cover of a covert operative.

A number of senators including Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Congress member Henry Waxman and others have called for an investigation into who "burned" Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, and blew her cover.

We called the White House to see if they were conducting an investigation. They said to call the FBI. We called the FBI said they were looking into it but they would not yet classify it as an investigation.

  • Ambassador Joseph Wilson, speaking in at a forum in Seattle, Washington on August 22, 2003.
  • White House Press Conference, September 16, 2003–Spokesperson Scott McCllelan being questioned about Joseph Wilson’s wife being outted. McClellan is evasive and never outright denies the charge.
  • Ambassador Joseph Wilson, speaking on Democracy Now! on September 16, 2003.
  • Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst.
  • David MacMichael, former CIA analyst.

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