From October 2002 through May 2003 (that is, from a period of time that spanned 7 months after his Mission to Niger to over 1 year after it), when he was the source for Nicholas Kristof's sensational New York Times article attacking the Administration's rationale for the Iraq war, Joseph Wilson IV made none of the claims which for which he later became notorious.
At an Oct. 9, 2002 ,Middle East Council Policy Forum, he says he prefers other options than war, but concedes:
My feeling on this.... is that we really do need to do something against the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and I would concede to this administration the possibility that one of these days these weapons might move from the tight control of the Iraqi regime into the hands of organized terrorist groups who would, in fact, want to act against United States interests either abroad or in our homeland.
On Feb. 6, 2003 Wilson was on PBS's Newshour. Here is part of that exchange:
JIM LEHRER: You agree Ambassador Wilson? From his (Sadaam's) point of view, what's the point of being there if you don't have your weapons of mass destruction?
JOSEPH WILSON: Well, again I think he also sees them as necessary to defending himself against what he believes will be an American assault on his government and his life. There is no incentive for him even to give up a little bit of them.
JIM LEHRER: But, all three of you agree if anyone is sitting around expecting at the last minute Saddam Hussein is going to have some kind of revelation and pull back and say, okay, here are my weapons of mass destruction, let's have no war, forget it, right?
JOSEPH WILSON: Yeah. I think the chances are pretty good you'll get something of semblance of cooperation, but the core stuff we'll have to go find it.
Macsmind notes the continuation of the curious journey of Joseph A Wilson IV . In four additional appearances in the months between the invasion, and his interview in May 2003 with New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, he said not a single thing about the 16 words, not a word about the Niger trip, voiced no significant opposition to the war or to the rationale for waging it .
Indeed, his last observation on the subject was in an online chat on April 3, 2003 at the Washington Post where Mac found this interesting exchange:
"Boston, Mass.: Mr. Wilson
Thank you for taking our questions. What happens if we do not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Joseph C. Wilson: Whether we find them or not is now immaterial. The liberation is now the rationale. If we don't find them, discussion about them will cease and we will focus on the other reasons the administration has articulated. If we do find them, world public opinion will only change on the margins."
Was it something in the water at the NYT's offices ? Or was it something Rand Beers, who left the White House and became John Kerry's national security advisor, said to him?
Clarice Feldman 11 01 05