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The Nation

Envoy at Center of CIA Leak to Write Memoir

Book will dwell on his career, the exposure of his wife as an agent and the subsequent inquiry.

October 09, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — First came the leak. Now comes the book.

Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV is writing a memoir about his diplomatic career and the leak that exposed his wife as a CIA operative and led to a major investigation.

Carroll & Graf Publishers, which announced the deal Wednesday, would not say what Wilson would be paid for "The Politics of Truth," which is scheduled to be on bookshelves next spring.

"We made an offer, and he was happy with that," spokeswoman Karen Auerbach said.

A statement from the publisher promised that Wilson "will provide an unabashedly candid and truthful assessment of the United States' involvement in the world."

The Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation to determine who in the Bush administration leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA operations officer.

Before Plame was outed in the press, Wilson had accused the White House of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the threat from Iraq's former president, Saddam Hussein. Wilson has suggested his wife's name was leaked as retaliation for his views.

Auerbach said that talks with the former ambassador began during the summer, and that an agreement was reached the week before the leak controversy broke in newspapers.

In an interview Wednesday, Wilson said he didn't know the identity of the leaker and trusted the Bush administration would conduct a thorough investigation.

"I have every confidence that the president of the United States shares my and everybody's concern when national security assets are exposed in the media," he said.

Wilson, a career diplomat from 1976 to 1998, was tapped by the CIA in 2002 to go to Niger to investigate a report that Iraq had sought uranium from that country to reconstitute Hussein's program to develop nuclear weapons.

Wilson reported that he found no evidence to support the allegation, and expressed dismay when it ended up in President Bush's State of the Union address in January.

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