by GEF @ 12:40 PM EDT
Wilson: “The Obstruction Of Justice Is Ongoing And Now The President Has Emerged As Its Greatest Protector”
Below is the prepared opening statement of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV (ret.) for his testimony today during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearings on presidential clemency powers.
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.