Cliff May’s piece is very good. I’ve got a few thoughts on it. First, I think Cliff is right when he suggests that Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger was fishy all along and that perhaps Wilson’s wife’s job at the CIA explains some of that fishiness. Wilson was either lying or wrong when he said Dick Cheney sent him to Africa. Regardless, unless there’s more to the defense of the White House leaker other than that it was common knowledge among those in the know that she worked for the CIA, I don’t think he (or she) is off the hook. Also, I am sure CIA bureaucratic politics partially explain why this has become so high stakes so quickly, but that doesn’t absolve the leaker either.
On a different point, Cliff writes “Mr. Wilson is now saying (on C-SPAN this morning, for example) that he opposed military action in Iraq because he didn’t believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and he foresaw the possibility of a difficult occupation. In fact, prior to the U.S. invasion, Mr. Wilson told ABC’s Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might “use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we’re taking Baghdad or we’re trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat.”
I wish we’d see more of this kind of gotchya. I seem to recall so many people making the case that we shouldn’t invade Iraq because he would use weapons of mass destruction and now everyone says we shouldn’t have invaded because we knew he didn’t have any all along. Well, which is it?