Wilson fears for wife's safety
10/6/2003 8:37 AM
By: Capital News 9 web staff
A former diplomat fears his wife's life is in danger.
Joseph Wilson's wife was the CIA agent whose name was recently leaked.
On CBS "Face the Nation," Wilson said he has been
told that the leak may make her a target. Wilson is also angry the
government has not offered to protect his wife.
She was identified as a CIA agent after Wilson
published an article criticizing the Bush Administration on the issue
of Iraq. Wilson believes his position on the war in Iraq prompted the
The Justice Department is now investigating the
White House under attack
October 6, 2003
"Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this
administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy
both." Those are the words of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who will
certainly be a household name for weeks to come.
Chances are very good that we will never know who from the White House
leaked the information about Mr. Wilson and his wife to members of the
press. For one thing, that's the nature of leak investigations.
Journalists don't reveal their sources, and sources have a way of
disappearing into the mahogany paneling in the halls of power here in
Washington. Most of such investigations end inconclusively.
What we do know is that damage is being done to the reputation of the
Bush White House by the controversy over the leak. President Bush came
into office with the promise to bring honor and integrity to the
office of the presidency after the Clinton impeachment trial, and here
we are now with calls for independent prosecutors coming fast and
furious from Democrats, who hated the idea when Bill Clinton was the
In a politically sound move, and as soon as the CIA reported that "two
senior administration officials" had given the name of an agent (i.e.
Mr. Wilson's wife) to journalists, the White House lost no time
facilitating the leak investigation. It was referred to the Justice
Department on Sept. 27. So far, we have seen none of the Clinton-era,
Janet Reno-style stone-walling in evidence.
Still, looking at the main players in this case and their statements,
there is a sliding scale of truth, which, in the end, will prevent us
from knowing what actually happened. Statements shift from moment to
moment, and each has his interests to protect. Administration
officials obviously do. So do members of the media, especially,
columnist Robert Novak, whose article on July 14 caused the initial
Take Mr. Wilson himself, who has been much in evidence on national
television screens since this weekend. Could he have an agenda beyond
Well, what would you think of someone who tells people around
Washington � as Mr. Wilson did last week � "Neo-conservatives and
religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I
consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both."
That sounds pretty ugly, doesn't it? It is in fact quite a bit at odds
with the reasonable image that Mr. Wilson has been projecting on our
television screens in recent days. Mr. Wilson also saw fit back in
August to accuse presidential adviser Karl Rove of having orchestrated
the White House leak. He swore he would see Mr. Rove led out of there
"in handcuffs." Now, he says he got carried away by passion and is in
possession of no evidence that Mr. Rove was involved.
That Mr. Wilson holds such views in no way excuses the injustice that
was done him and his wife Valerie Plame, when a leak to the media
identified her as a CIA officer involved in analysis of information
regarding weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Wilson � who had been sent
to the African country of Niger by the CIA to investigate claims that
uranium "yellowcake" had been sold to Iraqi agents � emerged last
summer as a severe critic of the Bush administration. He accused the
White House of "misrepresenting facts on an issue that was a
fundamental justification for going to war."
is for this criticism that Mr. Wilson claims he and his family are
being punished. Which may well be true. That would be both illegal and
unethical. As Mr. Wilson stated at the time, "Whoever leaked that
comment about my wife did it very clearly to smear my good name and my
wife's good name." He has not himself, however, had any compunction
about smearing Mr. Rove's good name without any evidence.
Now, Mr. Bush might well be able to get this whole affair behind him
by finding a scapegoat to fire � had it not been that revealing the
identity of a CIA officer is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10
years in prison. A simple dismissal would not put an end to the
So, here is another suggestion to get to the bottom of this mess
before our policy in Iraq becomes a victim of Washington's politics of
long knives. Let's polygraph the whole bunch �White House officials,
media types, CIA officials. At the CIA, they at least allow agents who
have been accused an "exculpatory polygraph test." In the Washington
political jungle, that may be the only way of getting at the facts.
Helle Dale is deputy director of the Davis Institute for International
Studies at The Heritage Foundation
That�s Karl With A �K�, Right?
Exclusive commentary by Frank Salvato