Joe Wilson, on Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby verdict: "Don't abuse the public trust…in personal vendettas"

March 13th, 2007

Ambassador Joe Wilson, reacting to March 6, 2007, verdict finding I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, guilty on four of five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators:

Well, let me begin by saying that I would hope that Mr. Libby and all other officials in the U.S. government would draw the right lesson from this, and the right lesson to learn from this is you don't abuse the public trust engaging in personal vendettas. What I probably fear most of all is that they will learn the lesson that several of them apparently learned after Watergate–not the lesson of not abusing power, but rather the lesson that they seemed to have learned is that they should've destroyed the tapes. That is the wrong lesson in our democracy to take away from it. So, if they learn the right lesson from it, that would be all to the good for the way that we function as a government.

I have said for quite a while, as you know, that I believe Mr. Rove was involved up to his eyeballs. That became clear when it was made public that Mr. Rove was in fact the source of the compromise of my wife's identity to Matt Cooper. I'm not going to second-guess decisions that were made by the prosecution. We do have a civil suit in place that hopefully will address some of these larger issues.

I do believe that now that this trial is over, that the president and the vice president owe the country a much broader explanation of their own actions at this time. The president, of course, at one time said that anybody who engaged in this would be fired. Mr. Rove is still on the payroll.

So I would, as a start, I would argue–I would ask the president and the vice president to release the transcripts of their interviews with the prosecutor, so as to be able to reassure the American public that they were not–that there is not a cloud over the offices of either of them. I think that would be a good start.

I also learned today that the president was quoted as saying that he was sorry for Mr. Libby and his family. I wish that he would express his sorrow for what has happened to my wife (Valerie Plame Wilson), whose career was destroyed as a consequence of this, and also to the service people of this country who are fighting in a war that now very clearly was justified by lies and disinformation.

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