Allison and Producer Nick travelled to Santa Fe, New Mexico so speak with former United States Ambassador Joseph Wilson to discuss Joe’s experience when he and his wife became targets of the Bush Administration. Joe takes on Dick Cheney’s recent memoir and weighs in on the media’s failure to report the facts about weapons of mass destruction prior to the Iraq war. He also discusses how mainstream media continues to ignore a great deal of international news.
Joseph Wilson is a former United States Ambassador to Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe. Prior to his posts as ambassador he served as Deputy Chief of Missions in Baghdad and was the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
In 2002, Wilson traveled to Niger at the request of the CIA to investigate whether then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase yellow cake uranium. In response to President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address in which the President asserted that Hussein had sought uranium from Niger, Wilson published a piece in The New York Times Opinion section entitled, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” which contradicted Bush’s speech justifying war. A week after Wilson’s piece was published, journalist Robert Novak disclosed in his column, that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative.
Wilson currently resides in Santa Fe and works as a consultant.
00:00-02:00 Introduction Joe Wilson
02:00 “Politics of Truth” (Joe’s Book) vs Cheney book
02:50 Do you still find that people understand what happened with you and your wife?
07:45 How do you respond to Cheney’s claims and accusations in his book?
09:30 So he already had some information and asked for additional information? And has he acknowledged that?
11:30 Is it hard to believe what the Vice President was saying about Iraqi WMDs?
13:30 Were they given specific intelligence that bolstered the President’s viewpoint on going to war?
15:00 Did the Bush administration even see the the actual intelligence?
17:30 Did they deliberately mislead the senate?
18:45 Did they bury the correct intelligence?
19:24 Was the intelligence available? I’m asking, did they look very far to find the information available to them?
21:00 Did the journalists who covered the events assist in Cheney’s rewrite of what went down?
29:00 The reaction to your op ed piece is indicative of a scorched earth policy. Is that policy still being practiced today?
31:00 Was the conviction of Scooter Libby dissatisfying given that so many of the people involved didn’t have to testify?
31:40 Does it surprise you that he continues to say the same thing, despite the facts that are out there?
34:00 Why do you think the justice dept went forward with the outing of Valerie and not these alleged hundreds of other cases?
37:30 Was the book a reaction to something?
39:10 Was there a time that it was too much?
41:40 Cheney was going to the CIA on a regular basis to get briefings and never saw your reports?
45:12 Were you concerned while the Scooter Libby trial was going on what the fall out would be for the media in the future?
47:00 What is your take on that under the Obama administration there has been an uptake in journalists being subpoenaed?
57:00 After your op-ed piece did you have trouble getting the press to pay attention/respond?
60:00 Do you think that Cheney’s not admitting to any mistakes is a result of becoming accustomed to manipulating the press?
62:00 How do you think the media is functioning today in terms of writing the history on this?
64:28 Do you think there has been a failure of the media to hold these people accountable for what they did?
71:45 MEDIA MAYHEM ROUND
72:30 Are you less concerned now? Or do you think that the power of the executive branch/congress has increased?
77:43 Do you feel like you are seeing a positive shift in being better more engaged citizens in the US?
82:12 Who do you like for the next election?
83:00 Is there any way to get back to the republican party as you know it (from growing up)?
90:00 wrap up