Wilson Responds: Bush And Cheney Must Explain Why They Outed My Wife

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"Wilson Responds: Bush And Cheney Must Explain Why They Outed My Wife"

Ambassador Joseph Wilson offered his first response to the Scooter Libby verdict during a conference call today.

“Now that this trial is over,” Wilson said, “the president and the vice president owe the country a much broader explanation of their own actions.” Wilson called on them both to release the transcripts of their discussions with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and called on Bush specifically to apologize for overseeing the outing of his wife:

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, 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.

Wilson said he hoped the verdict would teach Libby and other U.S. officials a lesson, that “you don’t abuse the public trust engaging in personal vendettas.” But he said he feared 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 should’ve destroyed the tapes.”

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/wilsonbus.320.240.flv]

UPDATE: FireDogLake has notes from the entire conference call.

UPDATE II: CREW’s Melanie Sloan was also on the call with Wilson. Watch her CNN appearance today HERE.

UPDATE III: John Amato, who was on the call, has more.

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Transcript:

WILSON: 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, 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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