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The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies That Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity-A Diplomat's Memoirby Joseph Wilson
Synopses & Reviews
In 1991, President George H. W. Bush called Ambassador Joseph Wilson a "True American Hero." In 2003, senior officials in President George W. Bush¹s White House tried to intimidate critics and punish Wilson for what he knew (and finally made public) about the administration's lies before the invasion of Iraq.
The disclosure of the undercover identity of Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, was an unprecedented and potentially criminal act.
The Politics of Truth tells the revealing story of this courageous American diplomat and his pivotal career in foreign policy, from telling Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait to confronting the White House leaks that have breached national security.
With fearless insight and disarming candor, Ambassador Joseph Wilson recounts more than two decades in the U.S. Foreign Service under presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton — from Angola to Iraq to Bosnia to Niger. Whether fostering peaceful democratization in African nations or facing down Saddam Hussein just days before the first Gulf War or accompanying Bill Clinton on his historic 1998 African tour, Wilson vividly chronicles history in the making. And on page after compellingly narrated page, he demonstrates the courage of his convictions in the face of volatile situations, violent conflicts, and vindictive governments.
As the acting ambassador to Iraq, Wilson was the last American official to meet with Saddam before Desert Storm in 1990. He successfully parried the dictator¹s threats to use American hostages as human shields against U.S. bombing and was given a patriot's welcome by President George H. W. Bush on his homecoming. Yet today he finds himself in a battle with his own government.
Why? Because he called a lie a lie.
When President George W. Bush claimed in the now notorious sixteen words in his 2003 State of the Union address that "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Wilson could not stand by silently. For at the request of the CIA he himself had traveled to Niger the previous year and found no evidence to support the rumor of a uranium deal. In a New York Times op-ed, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," he told the nation about that trip and his findings. The White House retaliated viciously. Seeking revenge against Wilson and trying to intimidate intelligence professionals who had begun telling reporters of prewar pressure to skew their analyses of the threat posed by Iraq, senior administration officials did the unthinkable: They disclosed the undercover status of Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, to members of the press. Columnist Robert Novak then published the leak, blew Plame's cover, and abetted the administration's possible violation of federal law.
But Wilson still wouldn't back down. He withstood the personal attacks and called on the White House to acknowledge the truth about the sixteen words. In televised interviews and newspaper commentaries he argued that the administration had fabricated much more than the uranium claim, indeed had manipulated intelligence to bolster its case for invading Iraq. Now he continues his fight in this groundbreaking book as he reveals the dangers to the nation bred by officials in a war-hungry White House (Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Karl Rove, and George W. Bush himself) in an alarming attempt to impose their will.
Yet Wilson maintains faith in his fellow citizens and the American ideals he represented for two decades abroad. With inspiring fervor he urges all Americans to become involved in the vigorous process of democracy, for ultimately, he argues, the strength of the nation lies in the will of its people.
"Nobody who's paid close attention to the unfolding story of the leaking to columnist Robert Novak of the name of Ambassador Wilson's wife as a CIA operative will be surprised by the two White House staffers — Lewis 'Scooter' Libby and Elliott Abrams?Wilson proposes as the most likely suspects in what he calls the "organized smear campaign" against him. He views the leak as retaliation for his presenting evidence that, contrary to President Bush's 2003 State of the Union assertion, Iraq was not trying to buy uranium from Niger. Wilson hits back hard with a righteous anger against those who would jeopardize national security to score political points. By the account of this longtime Foreign Service officer who was in Baghdad in the months leading up to the first Gulf War, Wilson stood up to Saddam Hussein in a showdown that now makes for one of the memoir's most stirring sections. In fact, readers will discover this book to be a vivid, engrossing account of a foreign service career that spans nearly three decades. Wilson is a lively storyteller with an eye for compelling visual detail and brings a welcome insider's perspective on the political situations of African nations where he has served. He's equally honest about the toll his professional commitment has occasionally taken on his personal life. And it's that candor, as well as the respect shown for previous administrations of both parties, that helps make his charges against the current president's advisers difficult to brush off. His revelations should fly off the shelves. 3 maps, 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] riveting and all-engaging book." John W. Dean, The New York Times Book Review
Through the last three presidential administrations and two wars with Iraq, no one has personally witnessed, influenced, or fueled news over more history-making events related to Iraq than Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. He was the last American diplomat to sit face-to-face with Saddam Hussein; he was the man who put his life on the line to liberate hundreds of American hostages from Iraq before the first Gulf War; he was the official who in 2002 debunked allegations of Iraq pursuing uranium in Niger (overlooked by the Bush White House). He is the husband of the woman whose undercover status was recently leaked by unknown figures in the Bush Administration. In his own words, Joseph Wilson writes the revelatory account of the Bush administration's misrepresentation of intelligence before the 2003 war in Iraq.
Revelation upon revelation unfold in this explosive memoir by a man who has captured the world's attention by standing up for the forthright recording of history against those bent on fabricating truth.
In his own words, Wilson writes the revelatory account of the Bush administration's misrepresentation of intelligence before the 2003 war in Iraq. Revelation upon revelation unfold in this explosive memoir by a man who has captured the world's attention by standing up for the forthright recording of history against those bent on fabricating truth.
Through the last three presidential administrations and two wars with Iraq, no one has personally witnessed, influenced, or fueled news over more history-making events than Joseph Wilson. The last American diplomat to sit face-to-face with Saddam Hussein, he is a consummate insider who has the intelligence, principles, and independence to examine current American foreign policy and the inner workings of government and to form a candid assessment of the United States involvement in the world. In February 2002, Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger by the CIA to investigate claims that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium in that country. Wilsons report, and two from other American officials, conclusively negated such rumors, yet all were brushed aside by the White House. Startled by the infamous words uttered by George W. Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,” Wilson decided to reveal the truth behind the initiation of the Iraq war. The Politics of Truth is an explosive and revelatory book by a man who stands for the accurate recording of history against those forces bent on fabricating truth.
About the Author
Joseph Wilson, a political centrist, was a career United States diplomat from 1976 to 1998. During Democratic and Republican administrations he served in various diplomatic posts throughout Africa and eventually as ambassador to Gabon. He was the acting ambassador to Baghdad when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. In February 2002, he investigated reports of Iraq's attempt to buy uranium from Niger. In October 2003, Wilson received the Ron Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling from the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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