Joseph C. Wilson
| Joseph C. Wilson |
Joseph Wilson and wife Valerie
|Born||Joseph Charles Wilson IV|
6 November 1949
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|Spouse||Valerie Plame Wilson|
Joseph C. Wilson (born November 6, 1949) is a former United States diplomat best known for his 2002 trip to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium; his New York Times op-ed piece, "What I Didn't Find in Africa"; and the subsequent leaking by Lewis Libby of information pertaining to his wife Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent.
- 1976–1978: General Services Officer, Niamey, Niger
- 1978–1979: Administrative Office, Lomé, Togo
- 1979–1981: Administrative Officer, US State Department, Washington, D.C.
- 1981–1982: Administrative Officer, Pretoria, South Africa
- 1982–1985: Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Bujumbura, Burundi
- 1985–1986: Congressional Fellow, offices of Senator Al Gore and Representative Tom Foley
- 1986–1988: DCM, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
- 1988–1991: DCM, Baghdad, Iraq
- 1992–1995: Ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe
- 1995–1997: Political Advisor (POLAD) to the Commander in Chief of US Armed Forces, Europe (EUCOM), Stuttgart, Germany
- 1997–1998: Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs, United States National Security Council, Washington, D.C.
Joe Wilson had been 23 years (1975 to 1998) as a career foreign service officer and US ambassador. In 1990, he was chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, and the last American diplomat to meet Saddam Hussein (also a forceful advocate for his removal from Kuwait). He became President George H. W. Bush's ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe (1992 to 1995) and helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council under his successor, Bill Clinton.
In late February 2002, Wilson travelled to Niger at the CIA's request to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein had purchased enriched yellowcake uranium. Wilson met with the current US Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick (1999– ) at the embassy and then interviewed dozens of officials who had been in the Niger government at the time of the supposed deal. He ultimately concluded: "it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."
Wilson learned that the Iraqis had in fact requested a meeting to discuss "expanding commercial relations" but that Niger's Prime Minister Mayaki had declined, due to concern about United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union speech included these 16 words:
- "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Twisted to exaggerate
On 6th July 2003 Wilson wrote an "op-ed" in the New York Times entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa" in response to claims made by the administration of President Bush. He stated that, on the basis of his "experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war" he has "little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."
- Wilson, Joseph (6 July 2003). "What I Didn't Find In Africa". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- "'He Has Subverted the Rule of Law and the System of Justice' – Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson Reacts to Bush's Commutation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby Jail Sentence in Outing of Valerie Plame", "Rush Transcript" of interview with Joseph C. Wilson, IV, on "Democracy Now!" July 5, 2005.
- Chaps. 8–10 on 182–210 of Wilson, The Politics of Truth; 261–74.
- "President Delivers "State of the Union: The U.S. Capitol", press release, The White House, January 28, 2003, accessed July 23, 2007. (Full transcript of the speech.)
- See, e.g, "16 Words" and "previous" link as provided by CNN.com, March 7, 2003, accessed July 23, 2007.
- Joseph C. Wilson, IV, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", The New York Times, July 6, 2003, Op-Ed, accessed September 17, 2006.