Former Ambassador Joe Wi1son says voters shouldn’t hold Hillary’s vote for the Iraq war against her. Instead they should hold it against President Bush.
Wilson is perhaps best known as the husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, who went from far left cause célèbre to celebrity and subject of a film about her experience. In a piece published Tuesday at Huffington Post, Wilson endorses Clinton writing, “She supported us, and she trusted us. Now we support her, and we trust her.”
The article raises one of the biggest problems Clinton faces as a candidate, her vote to approve the Iraq War. In Wilson’s view, Hillary’s vote for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was not her fault at all but that of the Bush administration:
The administration promised that it would seek explicit UN support prior to any military action. Meanwhile, every top official, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, assured senators that Saddam did indeed have WMD. It was in that context that the congressional vote for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force took place. Hillary has acknowledged in retrospect that her vote was an error. I agree. The error, however, was to believe an administration that has since been exposed as having serially lied to Congress, the American people and the world at the United Nations. We should never forget the extent to which the Bush administration betrayed our trust. The rest of the world doesn’t.
Wilson is referring to claims by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had even tried to purchase uranium from Africa. With regard to uranium, the 2004 Butler Report concluded, “The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium.” That intelligence became the basis for the 16-words in Bush’s speech mentioning Iraq’s apparent interest in procuring uranium.
Wilson is arguing that Clinton was duped into voting for the Iraq war. While that may not sound like an argument for her competency, another chorus of “Bush lied, kids died” may still have some political potency for the Democratic base that will decide the nomination.