Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Symbols of the Pushback 

Former ambassador Joseph Wilson spoke last night at San Francisco State University before an audience of four or five hundred people, and we are pleased to report that Yr. Mst. Bnvlnt. Dspt. was among them, in the clever disguise we often wear when we wish to move among our subjects without being thronged by admirers (although we cannot help but wonder why so many perfect strangers ask us to "moonwalk" and/or "do 'Billie Jean'"). We were pleased that Mr. Wilson arrived early in order to mingle with the audience and answer questions before his presentation; we were distressed that he consistently mispronounced the word "nuclear" as "nucular." His speech was nonetheless riveting.

He opened by announcing that it was a good week to be out of Washington -- but then, every week is a good week to be out of Washington. Although he declined to speculate as to whether special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald would return indictments in the Plame case, he did say this: a couple of years ago, his obituary described him (and the past tense is correct: newspapers prepare obituaries of public figures well in advance of their deaths) as "Joseph Wilson, the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein." After the summer of 2003, he became "Joseph Wilson, husband of the first undercover agent to be exposed by her own government."

Next week he expects to have a brand-new obituary.

We managed to take a few notes, which follow immediately below, although we must warn you that all quotes are approximate: UPDATE (via Josh Marshall): Intelligence analyst Larry Johnson examines the "So-Called Lies of Joseph Wilson."

UPDATE: George Friedman explains why the government should never, never expose a NOC -- not even one that's worked a desk job at Langley for the last five years.

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