The Incredible Joe Wilson Speaks Out at the Daily Kos

He answered many questions recently at the Daily Kos. They are worth checking out immediately. Here are a few answers to wet your appetite:

SusanG: How did the interview with Gannon come about, given that it was a small-time conservative news outlet?

Ambassador Wilson: Gannon called me and identified himself as the White House Correspondent from Talon News, a conservative news organization. He wanted to do a wide-ranging interview on my position on the war as well as the Niger mission and the leak.

While I had never heard his name or the name of his organization before, I was happy to do it. I have long felt that it is readers and viewers of conservative media who could benefit from a more balanced discussion of what is at stake in our policy and the actions of our government. At one point I recall Gannon as saying he was a traditional conservative (distinguishing himself from the neoconservatives, who in my judgement have totally captured our foreign policy). Speaking to the Times and other mainstream media is fine but those readers and viewers are generally better informed and often of the same perspective. It is those on the other side to whom we need to address the issues even more than to those with whom we already share views.

SusanG: Did you enter the interview fearful of "landmines" being set by the other side?

Ambassador Wilson: I never thought that I had anything to fear from landmines. I told the truth from the beginning. There was never anything to hide.

SusanG: Were you struck immediately during the course of the interview by the fact that he discussed the internal memo?

Ambassador Wilson:
As to the memo, I knew nothing about it other than a Post journalist had told me there was one circulating which he characterized as having been written by somebody who was not at the meeting where I was asked if I would be willing to go to Niger. The fact is Valerie was not at that meeting. Neither she nor I had any ulterior motive in this. It was not until almost six months later that I began to speak out on the war question and even when I did, I always believed that WMD was a legitimate reason to be tough on Saddam. The trip to Niger is only relevant because of the 16 words and the fact that the only evidence to support the yellowcake charge the US turned over to the IAEA (as they were required by Article 10 of USUN 1441) were those forged documents relating to Niger. The only information the British apparently shared with the IAEA was a trip to the region by an Iraqi diplomat a couple of years previously. As it turned out, the CIA had told both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the White House almost four months before the State of the Union address that it believed the British had "stretched" or "exaggerated" the yellowcake allegation. All of that was in the Senate report but unfortunately, was overlooked by the mainstream media.

Back to the memo, when Gannon mentioned it to me, I told him I knew nothing about it but repeated that my wife was not at the meeting at which the subject of a trip to Niger was broached with me. I may have mentioned that I had heard that there was a memo out there but had no other knowledge about it. I still don't.

SusanG: Are you comfortable letting it be known that you've spoken with me?

Ambassador Wilson:
I have no problem with your saying you have spoken with me. I have no reason not to ensure that the truth is told and I am tired of the way in which the Republicans have smeared my family and myself for no reason other than to perpetuate their lies to the American people. I did not like fascists when I fought them as a diplomat for 23 years and I don't like them now in my own country.

And here are the rest: Daily Kos :: Plame & Propagannon: Joe Wilson Speaks Out


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