A story of world diplomacy, secret agents, government misdeeds and international intrigue was the reason a scheduled speaker couldn’t make it to the University of Iowa. The speaker who took the place of CIA agent Valerie Plame was her husband, Joseph Wilson. He admitted it wasn’t another obligation, but "the status of…sensitive negotiations" with her former employer, the CIA, that was the reason lawyers told them it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to speak publicly right now.
Wilson is the former ambassador who wrote critically about the Bush administration shortly before his wife’s identity was leaked to the press — a leak that recently led to the conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges of lying and obstructing the investigation. On Monday in Iowa City, Wilson talked about his book, which was approved by the CIA before it was published.
In "The Politics of Truth" he described a career in world politics, as a diplomat and often also a news commentator. His experience is working as a foreign service officer, who served in Baghdad among other places. He was stationed in Iraq during the first Gulf War. Wilson served in Iraq from 1988 to 1991. He says he and his wife, who has a different base of experience but also worked for the U.S. government around the world, both share a difficult history with the current administration.
Plame testified to Congress on Friday that at the time her identify was made public, she was working as a covert office with the Central Intelligence Agency. Wilson says he agrees with the Democrats who hold majority power in Congress right now that the U.S. should make a workable plan to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
Wilson says when debates devolve into soundbites — "cut and run versus stay the course," he says "we do the fighting American soldier a great disservice." Wilson says to figure out where the country should go from here, we should figure out what the task is that our soldiers need to accomplish, and decide how that could be done. Wilson spoke Monday night in the Memorial Union as part of the University of Iowa lecture series.