Jul 11, 2007

Mr. Wilson...

goes to Congress.

Statement of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV (ret.) To the House Committee on the Judiciary

July 11, 2007

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking member, members of the Committee,

Thank you for the invitation to appear before you at this hearing on the possible abuse of Presidential authority in the commutation of I. Lewis Libby, convicted on four counts of lying to federal investigators, perjury and obstruction of justice. I am not a lawyer, but I have understandably followed this case closely. This matter, after all, involves the betrayal of our national security, specifically the leaking of the identity of a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, my wife, Valerie Wilson, as a vicious means of political retribution.

After it became apparent in Spring of 2003 that one of the key justifications for war in the President's State of the Union address was not supported by the facts, I felt an obligation and a sense of responsibility to the American people and to our men and women in uniform to share my first-hand knowledge about the unsubstantiated allegations of uranium yellowcake sales from Niger to Iraq. Accordingly, In a New York Times article on July 6, 2003, I disclosed the deliberate deceptions surrounding the justification for the invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq. Eight days later Valerie's status as a CIA operative was made public in a newspaper column by Robert Novak. We now know from testimony and evidence presented in the United States vs. I. Lewis Libby that Novak's column was the end product of a process that was initiated by Vice President Cheney who directed his chief of staff, Scooter Libby to supervise it.

Never in my twenty-three years as a member of the diplomatic service of the United States did I ever imagine a betrayal of our national security at the highest levels.

Fifteen years ago this week, I was sworn in as George Herbert Walker Bush's Ambassador to two African countries - Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. Seventeen years ago I served as his acting Ambassador to Iraq in the first Gulf War. I was the last American diplomat to confront Saddam Hussein about his invasion of Kuwait prior to Desert Storm. As acting Ambassador, my embassy was responsible for the safe evacuation of over 2,000 Americans from Kuwait and Iraq and the release of close to 150 Americans held hostage by Saddam and his thugs.

I was proud to serve my country mostly overseas, for twenty-three years, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and to promote and defend the values enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I was honored to be then President Bush's envoy to Iraq and to have been part of the foreign policy team that managed the international crisis created by Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. Members of that foreign policy team remain among my closest colleagues and friends.

Given my service, it has been therefore disconcerting to see my family and my targeted in the crosshairs of a character assassination campaign launched by the Vice President and carried out by his chief of staff, and by the President's chief political aide, Karl Rove, among others.

Ultimately, this concerted effort to discredit me, ruining my wife's career along the way, has had a larger objective. This matter has always been about this administration's case for war and its willingness to mislead the American people to justify it. In order to protect its original falsehoods, the Vice President and his men decided to engage in a further betrayal of our national security. Scooter Libby sought to blame the Press, yet another deception. He was willing even to allow a journalist to spend eighty-five days in jail in a most cowardly act to avoid telling the truth.

President Bush promised that if any member of the White House staff were engaged in this matter, it would be a firing offense. However, the trial of Scooter Libby has proved conclusively that Karl Rove was involved, and although he escaped indictment, he still works at the White House. We also know as a result of evidence introduced in the trial that President Bush himself selectively declassified national security material to attempt to support the false rationale for war. The President's broken promise and his own involvement in this unseemly smear campaign reveal a chief executive willing to subvert the rule of law and system of justice that has undergirded this great republic of ours for over 200 years.

Make no mistake, the President's actions last week cast a pall of suspicion over his office and Vice President Cheney. Mr. Libby was convicted of, among other crimes, obstruction of justice - a legal term used to describe a cover-up. The Justice Department's Special Counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, has said repeatedly that Mr. Libby's blatant lying had been the equivalent of "throwing sand in the eyes of the umpire", thereby ensuring that the umpire, the system of justice, cannot ascertain the whole truth. As a result, Fitzgerald has said, "a cloud remains over the Vice President." In commuting Mr. Libby's sentence, the President has removed any incentive for Mr. Libby to cooperate with the prosecutor. The obstruction of justice is ongoing and now the President has emerged as its greatest protector. The President's explanation for his commutation that Mr. Libby's sentence was excessive turns out to be yet another falsehood because the sentence was quite normal, as Special Counsel Fitzgerald noted. The President, at the very least, owes the American people a full and honest explanation of his actions and those of other senior administration officials in this matter, including, but not limited to the Vice President.

In closing, let me address the question of the underlying crime. Mr. Libby's attorneys and his apologists have tried to downplay his conviction on the grounds that nobody was actually indicted for the leak of Valerie's status as a covert CIA officer. Libby's propaganda is an effort to distract from his crime - his obstruction of justice, his cover up. Who is he protecting?

I would like the committee members and all Americans to think about this matter in this way: If senior American officials take time from their busy schedules to meet with a foreign military attaché for the purpose of compromising the identity of a CIA covert officer, what would we call that? Although that scenario is hypothetical, the end result is no different from what happened in this case - the betrayal of our national security.

I look forward to answering any and all legitimate questions.
Great Scott! He cut right through the fiddle faddle...and now for something completely different...

34 Comments:

Anonymous jinglebells said...

______ FART ! where are yoooou

5:04 PM  
Blogger jan said...

FITZ! ;D

5:14 PM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Dubya has contempt for the court? No kidding...Taylor's testimony didn't go so well,looking from a republican POV.

Larry Flynt has 20 investigations going. Well, I can't say I have THAT many yet, but there are names popping up.

There are hundreds of pages of phone records. And that's a lot of records to search;)

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABC News: Bush Orders Miers Not to Testify


What does Harriet know? Bush ORDERS her not to testify.

Joe Wilson spoke for millions of Americans. We ought to be told the truth why Ms. Valerie was outed by BuchCo.
Rodger A. Payne's Blog: Plame Affair: Neo-Khan connection?

The Next Hurrah: The Narrative

The Next Hurrah: Some Context on Scowcroft

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush Watch Home

" Even on vacation, the dark shadow of this guy intrudes. This time, amidst all the gorgeous natural surroundings, I was thinking of Cheney's mysterious Energy Task Force in mid-2001 -- the oil and gas and coal moguls who set the Administration's environmental (and very likely some of the war) policies that have turned out to be so ruinous to the air and water and a wide variety of species, including humans."

6:11 PM  
Blogger airJackie said...

Not only is he easy on the eyes but intelligent too. Now to business. This isone person the White House doesn't want to talk. I like the way Mr. Wlson says he wont believe anyone but Fitz.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous outofbadcamegoodforthewilsons said...

He forgot to mention the zillions of dollars they both have made out of this.

So have you lot.

They both lost me in the aftermath of all this meaning they didn't look too unhappy rolling around the Riveria or whereever in a sports car waving to photographers.

And there is movie rights, right?

What a life.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous blog subsidizer said...

It's all one darn game of who uses who....ka-ching!

7:52 PM  
Anonymous responsible bloggers assoc said...

I guess we should overlook that she trained and gave 20 years to her country 7:12 PM

Speaking of intel, guess what I found? Yes, that's right. Intel officers, but before we say more-we think we should notify the right authorities first. tips welcome of who we should contact

9:04 PM  
Anonymous duh! said...

I've given 20 years to my profession too. It's corrupt as it comes. Even here.

Doesn't mean I wouldn't sell out too the highest bidder though.

I'm human. And bloody honest.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous cashncarynopecashitinjoe said...

its subsidiser .... !

10:10 PM  
Blogger Suzie-Q (S-Q) said...

There are hundreds of pages of phone records. And that's a lot of records to search;)
-------------
Prissy:

Yes, it is and I am working on them too.. ;)

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good point, its honest work hehe

11:16 PM  
Anonymous rollingontheproverbialfloor said...

judge susie....

if i had a hammer !!!!!!

11:19 PM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Hey Suzi-Q,

Find anything noteworthy yet? This team has found some early success amongst the phone list. Trying to make it easier with this data base.

No accuracy rate noted or guaranteed

searchable index

Use this site to search the publicly released phone records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, proprietor of Pamela Martin and Associates in Washington, DC.

11:39 PM  
Blogger airJackie said...

Ms. Palfrey is lucky to have Larry Flynt doing the background checks on the list. This is his line of business. Most of these guys have changed their numbers by now as they were given notice. So Larry knows how to get all the people who had those numbers and when. Plus it doesn't hurt to offer a reward either. Now he has more then 20 people identified watch and see who step forward before their name is released. Anybody remember Senator Livingston, a States men who asked Clinton to resign because of an affair. Larry let the public know that Bill Clinton was a choir boy compared to Senator Livingston actions. Of course Senator Livingston quickly left office without a word. As Senator Vitter replaced him I guess he gave him his contacts too.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous next said...

sex starved sticky beaks.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous lookingsideways said...

Prissy ... is that a picture of a tick?

12:00 AM  
Anonymous webster random house dic said...

subsidiZe (dized, dizing)to furnish or aid with a subsidy. Subsidization. Sunsidizer.

DUH!

12:48 AM  
Anonymous rofllmao said...

"judge susie.... if i had a hammer !!!!!!"

lol

12:53 AM  
Anonymous australianslangspellingandconditioning said...

DUH

1:52 AM  
Anonymous deniswashere said...

Mr. Wiiiiiilllllllllsooooon !!!

1:53 AM  
Anonymous suckittomesuckittome said...

I cant make hide nor hair of that picture.

Has to be a tick.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Mary Beth Buchanan use her DOJ position for political purposes? « Pursuing the separation of politics and prosecutions at the Department of Justice

Anyone know anything about this US Attorney? She was just on tv on that pizza case delivery man where they said the victim was involved with bank robbery wearing that bomblet thing around his neck. It blew up in the end and the case is from 4 years ago.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoking Gun Letter to President Bush (news) with David Arthur Walters on AuthorsDen

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gut Check": Dump Chertoff - Yahoo! News

Whether one agrees with the article author's views or not, there is something about Chertoff that is not good...'gut feeling'?

Right Web | Profile | Michael Chertoff

8:02 AM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

A tick LOL Keep talking ticks, and Kathleen will be back here to educate you!

Maybe you like my classic hat better, this is one of my favs. LOL

Skelator has no gut, so how can he check it?

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Days of Infamy – Events you won't find in any history book

No wonder they say Americans are dumbed down, oppressed, arrogant, hated, puppets...

Maybe it is true.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Attn all bloggers said...

Yearly KOS Convention

The YearlyKos Convention is the annual convention that brings the entire community together off-line for an incredible four days of fun, networking and training.

In Chicago on August 2-5th

Fitz, got room for one more? hehe

10:01 AM  
Anonymous sex lies & gop said...

Sex, Lies and Republicans - Washington Post

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Chertoff, Bush has "avoided the kind of harsh measures common in previous wars." Although engaged in a war on both domestic and international fronts, the president did not authorize "evacuation or preventive detention of American citizens based on ethnic heritage." Nor was there any "government suppression of dissent or criticism," wrote Chertoff, adding that unlike such respected predecessors as John Adams or Woodrow Wilson, Bush "has not prosecuted those who argue against the administration, nor has the government seized newspapers or banned them from the mails, as Lincoln did."

guess he forgot about secret renditions, illegal arrest of peaceful protesters, freespeech zones and gitmo roves database of political enemies, businesses put under

as many as 60 current house/sen members/aides said on the dc madams list

11:24 AM  
Anonymous audreylives said...

Prissy try wide brimmed.
The Audrey Hepburn look, who else.
Black with white trim
Such a lady am I

I always turned heads with those.

I couldn't see the heads turning (cause of the brim ) but I was told.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous spbisjackie said...

LOL

10:20 PM  
Anonymous fitzielicious said...

Any truth to the rumor you'll be on NPR this weekend?

;)

11:57 AM  

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