GOP senator: Wilson is to blame for Plame's outing

Pushing back against Democrats' charges on prewar intelligence, Kit Bond says it's all Joseph Wilson's fault.

Published November 1, 2005 9:17PM (EST)

While the rest of us continue to wait for the full story about who leaked Valerie Plame's identity, Republican Sen. Kit Bond says he knows who's to blame: It's Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Bond isn't claiming that Wilson leaked Plame's name to Robert Novak, but he's insisting that Wilson is every bit as responsible for Plame's outing as the leaker was. At a press availability in which he blasted Democrats for closing the Senate to push for the completion of an investigation into the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence, Bond said of Wilson: "When he says that the vice president sent him [to Niger], the obvious question is, 'If the vice president didn't send him, who did?'" Bond continued: "Joe Wilson has himself to blame for whatever revelation" would come about his wife.

There's just one problem with Bond's theory: Wilson never said that the vice president sent him to Niger. To the contrary, in the New York Times Op-Ed piece that seems to have precipitated Plame's outing, Wilson said that "agency officials" asked him to go to Niger after receiving a request from Dick Cheney for more information about a report linking Niger and Iraq. So far as we can tell, that characterization is exactly correct.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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