Rich Lowry writes (“Martyrs to Media Absurdity”, February 18) that Joe Wilson was “not a natural fit” for a mission to Niger to investigate “allegations that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from the African country.” Lowry says “Wilson wasn’t an expert in nuclear proliferation or in Niger.”
Under George H.W. Bush, Wilson served as ambassador to two other Western African nations and in the embassy in Baghdad. Under Bill Clinton, he directed Africa policy for the National Security Council. (Pandagon mentions that Wilson had also served two years actually in Niger.) He was, therefore, familiar with both Africa and Iraq, and with national security issues — which presumably include the prevention of nuclear proliferation. Stripped of Lowry’s political bias, that familiarity with three elements of the investigation (national security, Africa, Iraq) would seem to make Wilson eminently qualified to investigate such a claim.
It’s not as if the facts about Joe Wilson’s diplomatic service are difficult to find; they’re a part of the public record, they’ve been reported extensively for nearly two years, and it’s inconceivable that Lowry — who’s written a number of times about Wilson — isn’t aware of his experience with the NSC or in Western Africa. This column was reprinted extensively, including in the Oregonian, once again allowing someone under the guise of an “opinion” piece to blatantly ignore the truth, mislead readers, and spread disinformation. I’d encourage everyone who might have seen this in their local paper to write and encourage a stricter standard for truth on the editorial page.