Another high-profile John Kerry supporter was outed as a nutcase this week: Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Walter Mitty of conspiracy theorists. Wilson is the ne'er-do-well WASP embraced by the Democrats last year for calling Bush a liar. Wilson claimed to be shocked, appalled, alarmed when President Bush said during his 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Wilson was shocked because, in 2002, he had been sent on an unpaid make-work job to Niger to "investigate" whether Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger. Wilson's method of investigating consisted of asking African potentates questions like: Did you commit a horrible crime, which, if so, would ruin your country's relationship with the United States? I have no independent means of corroborating this, so be honest!
On the basis of the answers he got, Wilson concluded that Saddam had not sought uranium ore from Niger. Since "Africa" means "Niger" and "British intelligence" means "Joseph Wilson," Wilson realized in horror that Bush's statement referred to Wilson's very own report! Out of love for his country and an insatiable desire to have someone notice his worthless existence, Wilson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling Bush a liar.
The whole story was already nutty enough to be believed by every columnist at The New York Times. But then journalist Robert Novak revealed that Clown Wilson had been sent as an unpaid intern to Niger by his wife, a chair-warmer at the CIA who apparently wanted to get him out of the house. This in turn provoked our own Walter Mitty to accuse Karl Rove of outing his wife as an undercover "spy" in retaliation for his attacks on the Bush administration. (And P. Diddy told me Britney Spears is out to get me! I'm a spy too!)
In response to Wilson's crazy behavior, he was made an adviser to the Kerry campaign. He was also fawned over by Vanity Fair magazine, embraced by Democratic senators like Jon Corzine of New Jersey, hailed as a patriot in The New York Times, awarded The Nation magazine's "Award for Truth-Telling" and given a lucrative book contract.
According to The Washington Post, Wilson began wiling away his once-empty days discussing "who would play (his wife) in the movie" and fantasizing about how his obituary would read. His favorites were: "Joseph C. Wilson IV, the Bush I administration political appointee who did the most damage to the Bush II administration ..." and "Joseph C. Wilson IV, the husband of the spy the White House outed ..."
I'm not sure we were waiting for any more evidence on whether Wilson was an idiot, but this week we found out he's a liar, too. The Senate report on the CIA's intelligence gathering concluded that, contrary to Wilson's statements about his own report, his findings had bolstered rather than undermined the case that Saddam had sought uranium from Niger.
Most amusingly, despite Wilson's insistence that he had been tapped for the Niger trip based on his nonexistent expertise and zero credentials, the Senate committee produced his wife's memo recommending her husband for the (unpaid) job. This followed Wilson's assertions that his wife "definitely had not proposed that I make the trip" and his astonishment that anyone could imagine his wife was "somehow involved in this," saying that "just defies logic."
When presented with the memo from his wife recommending him for the job, Wilson said only that his wife was not the one who made the decision to send him to Niger. This cleared up the matter for anyone who had been under the impression Wilson was married to George Tenet.
As an aside, I note that the main point of the Senate report was to slam the agency for its Mickey Mouse intelligence gathering on weapons of mass destruction. Guess what Wilson's wife does at the CIA? That's right! She gathers intelligence on weapons of mass destruction! No wonder she claims to be "undercover." Her fantasist husband calls the incompetent CIA paper-pusher "Jane Bond." (I'm an astronaut!)
The implicit deal the government has always had with worthless, rich WASPs is they get trivial, make-work jobs with the Foreign Service so they can go around calling themselves "diplomats"; but the trade-off is, they're not supposed to make fools of themselves or commit treason. It's not that high a hurdle. Unlike the Ivy League WASPs of yesteryear, at least worthless WASPs from the lower-ranked schools like Wilson have, thus far, managed to avoid treason. Merely being an ass shouldn't cause many problems for the country ? except that: One political party embraced the ass.
Wilson is an "unpaid foreign affairs adviser" to the Kerry campaign. (In yet another testament to the wisdom of the market, all Wilson's "jobs" seem to be unpaid.) Indeed, Wilson's website, denouncing the perfidy of the Bush administration, was created and paid for by "John Kerry for President." (Why haven't any crack investigative journalists noticed that?)
This may explain why Kerry was boasting about foreign leaders supporting him earlier this year: He was trying to distract voters from the fact that his strongest base of support in the United States consists of lonely fantasists hoping to make some new friends.