WASHINGTON – Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV verbally blasted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove Monday for the pair's alleged role in disclosing Wilson's wife,Valerie Plame Wilson,was a covert CIA operative.
“Valerie went to work every day to try and make sure that weapons of mass destruction would not enter this country and go off in an American city,” Wilson said. “I don’t believe Mr. Rove should be permitted to resign. I believe that this is a firing offense. To be so cavalier in the handling of the secrets of this great nation really is an abuse of the public trust.”
Speaking at the National Press Club,Wilson also called for increased national scrutiny of the Bush administration's claim two years ago that Iraq was amassing uranium. He said President Bush's remarks during the 2003 State of the Union Address were a false justification to make war.
Libby,Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff,resigned Friday after a federal grand jury indicted him on charges of obstruction of justice,perjury and making false statements after a nearly two-year investigation into the leak of Valerie Wilson's identity. The grand jury did not indict Rove,Bush's top political strategist,but the special prosecutor said the investigation was continuing.
“With respect to Mr. Libby,I don’t know,” said Wilson,who has done a number of interviews since Friday. “I think that as sad a day as it was to see this indictment handed up to the doorstep of the White House,it also,in my judgment and in the judgment of Valerie,was a day that we could be proud of our justice system.”
The Bush administration,Republican lawmakers and others have focused on Valerie Plame Wilson and her role in sending her husband to investigate the uranium claim and not on Bush's State of the Union remarks,or who leaked her name,Joseph Wilson said.
Wilson repeatedly stressed 16 words Bush said during the 2003 State of the Union Address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
The former U.S. ambassador to Iraq said he found absolutely no evidence to suggest Niger was going to sell uranium to Iraq.
“Joe Wilson did not put the 16 words in the State of the Union address,” Wilson said. “And nowhere in last Friday’s indictment did I see anything suggesting that Joe Wilson or Valerie Wilson were responsible for the compromise of her identity.”
The Wilsons get threats of violence,he said,and Valerie Wilson still works at the CIA.
“How long she will continue to do that,I don’t know; neither does she,” Wilson said. “It’s hard for us,frankly,right now,to think about what we’re going to have for dinner,much less where we’re going to be two or three months from now as we’re in the middle,in the vortex,of this.”