Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Clueless Joe Wilson

Christopher Hitchens continues his provocative and well deserved poking of Joseph Wilson, hero of the anti-war movement, about the failures of his infamous report about Iraq's attempt to obtain uranium from Niger. In a Slate piece titled "Clueless Joe Wilson" Hitchens continues to probe the visit of one Wissam al-Zahawie, Saddam's former envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, who Wilson knew, to Niger in February 1999.

Key quote

In other words (I am prepared to keep on repeating this until at least one cow comes home), Joseph Wilson went to Niger in 2002 to investigate whether or not the country had renewed its uranium-based relationship with Iraq, spent a few days (by his own account) sipping mint tea with officials of that country who were (by his wife's account) already friendly to him, and came back with the news that all was above-board. Again to repeat myself, this must mean either that A) he did not know that Zahawie had come calling or B) that he did know but didn't think it worth mentioning that one of Saddam's point men on nukes had been in town. In neither case, it seems to me, should he be trusted with another mission that requires any sort of curiosity.