It’s Their Story & They’Re Sticking With It
Joe Wilson cheerleaders continue to stand by their man.


Stephen Spruiell

Even though a Senate Intelligence Report has discredited former ambassador Joseph Wilson, exposing his apparent lies about his wife’s involvement in his trip to Niger and other contradictions, those on the Left who had been cheering him on continue to stand by their man.

David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation, gave Joe Wilson a “Truth-Seeking-is-for-Suckers” Award in his July 4 LA Weekly column, putting Wilson forward as one of America’s “true heroes we should be honoring.” Corn also repeated Wilson’s contention that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was not responsible for arranging his trip to Niger, writing in the May 24, 2004, Nation that the senior administration officials who leaked her name were engaged in “an attempt to discredit Wilson’s trip to Niger as a junket arranged by his wife. (It wasn’t.)”

But evidently it was, if you believe the Senate report. Confronted with this, Corn told National Review Online, “Even if she recommended that he go on this trip, I don’t see why that’s relevant. What’s relevant is he went on this trip, it was not a perk, he had background to do so, and he reported back what he reported back.”

Corn added, “Whether she sponsored him or not, the act of identifying Valerie Plame by administration officials still might be a violation of the law.”

William Balliet is Wilson’s publisher at Carroll & Graf, which published The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity–a book that claims, “Valerie had nothing to do with the matter,” and “She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.” Last week’s Senate report, however, suggests the book’s title was a misnomer. Balliet told NRO that Wilson is planning a lengthy defense of the recent allegations against him and is determined to let Wilson speak for himself, but offered, “We have great confidence in Joe and are looking forward to the response.”

Joshua Marshall has also been defending Wilson throughout the week. But Marshall, a true Wilson believer, is at least stand-up enough to go on the written record defending his man. As of this writing, the same can’t be said of some other Wilson cheerleaders (see here and here).

It is understandable why these individuals who bought into Wilson’s story are defending him now. It just isn’t pretty.