Joseph C. Wilson IV

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Joseph C. Wilson IV is a retired former U.S. ambassador. Wilson served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq during the 1991 Iraq war and subsequently served in a range of diplomatic and advisory roles in particular on U.S. policy in Africa. Wilson was one of the prominent figures in the U.S. government who have charged the Bush administration with using cooked intelligence to justify war in Iraq.

Wilson subsequently founded and was CEO of JCWilson International Ventures, Corp., a firm specializing in Strategic Management and International Business Development and was an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington DC.[1] His profile with MEI listed his areas of interest as " Iraq, Military/Defense, Regional Security, Terrorism, US-Arab Relations, US Foreign Policy, Saddam Hussein".[2](Wilson is no longer with the MEI and was last listed on their website in late 2004).[3]

Early in 2007, Wilson became vice chairman of Jarch Capital, LLC.[4] In announcing Wilson's role in the firm, Jarch Capital's Chairman Phillippe M. Heilberg states, "Not only does Ambassador Wilson bring an incredible amount of experience and knowledge on Africa to Jarch Capital, his views on American foreign policy and National Security are widely respected in Washington" and he "will be instrumental in the growth of Jarch as it expands in Africa, sometimes in politically sensitive areas."[4]

He married Valerie Plame in 1998.


"Joseph C. Wilson, IV served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998, responsible for the coordination of U.S. policy to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. He was a principal architect of President Bill Clinton's historic trip to Africa in March 1998 and a leading proponent of the Africa Trade Bill.

"Wilson was the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, 1995-1997. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995. From 1988 to 1991, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. During 'Desert Shield' he was the acting Ambassador and was responsible for the freeing of several hundred American hostages. He was the last official American to meet with Saddam Hussein before 'Desert Storm'."[1]

"He joined the US Foreign Service in 1976 and held various positions in Niger, Togo, South Africa, Burundi and Congo-Brazzaville. In 1988 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission to Iraq, reporting to the then US Ambassador April Catherine Glaspie." [5] He is a director of Symbion Power.

A biographical profile with MEI alsi listed Wilson as having been "American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow for Senator Albert Gore and the House Majority Whip, Rep. Thomas Foley".[2]

Bush's Niger Uranium to Iraq claim

The claim that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Africa was repeated in George W. Bush's State of the Union Address in January 2003. The controversial 16 words used by US President George W Bush on January 28, 2003 were:

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."[6]

In March that year the International Atomic Energy Agency, when it finally obtained the documents referred to by Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council alleging transactions between Niger and Iraq, concluded that they were obvious fakes.[7] (For a comprehensive account of this see the Wikipedia article September Dossier).

In the July 6, 2003 issue of the New York Times, Wilson contributed an "op-ed" entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa," in which he states that on the basis of his "experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war," he has "little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."[8]

In this account, often referred to later as his "New York Times 'op-ed,'" Wilson describes the basis for his mission to Niger as follows: "The vice president's office asked a serious question [about the truth of allegations that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger]. I was asked to help formulate the answer" (italics added).[8]

In the last two paragraphs of his op-ed, Wilson relates his perspective to the Bush administration's rationale for the Iraq War:

I was convinced before the war that the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein required a vigorous and sustained international response to disarm him. Iraq possessed and had used chemical weapons; it had an active biological weapons program and quite possibly a nuclear research program — all of which were in violation of United Nations resolutions. Having encountered Mr. Hussein and his thugs in the run-up to the Persian Gulf war of 1991, I was only too aware of the dangers he posed. But were these dangers the same ones the administration told us about? We have to find out. America's foreign policy depends on the sanctity of its information. For this reason, questioning the selective use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq is neither idle sniping nor "revisionist history," as Mr. Bush has suggested. The act of war is the last option of a democracy, taken when there is a grave threat to our national security. More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons.[8]

(For detailed discussion of Wilson's comments and the counter-attack from the Bush administration, see the Wikipedia article Joseph C. Wilson).

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV", NOW with Bill Moyers, PBS, February 28, 2003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Middle East Institute, "MEI Experts Listed Alphabetically", Middle East Institute website, archived page from June 2004.
  3. Middle East Institute, "MEI Scholars"", Middle East Institute website, accessed August 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Phil Heilberg, Chairman, Jarch Capital, LLC, "Ambassador Joe WIlson Begins Working With Jarch Capital, LLC as Vice Chairman", Jarch Capital press release, The Sudan Tribune, January 19, 2007, accessed January 7, 2008.
  5. Joseph C. Wilson, africa-confidential, accessed December 11, 2010.
  6. Whitehouse: President Delivers "State of the Union"
  7. Ensor, David (14 march 2003). "Fake Iraq documents 'embarrassing' for U.S.", CNN. Retrieved on 2006-11-02. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Joseph C. Wilson, IV, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", New York Times, July 6, 2003, Op-Ed, accessed September 17, 2006.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Political Activism & Campaign Contributions

By Joseph C. Wilson


Articles & Commentary





  • Murray Waas, "Cheney Authorized Libby to Leak Classified Information," National Journal, February 9, 2006.
  • Murray Waas, "What Bush Was Told About Iraq" National Journal, March 2, 2006. "Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records."
  • Murray Waas, "Rove-Novak Call Was Concern to Leak Investigators," National Journal, May 25, 2006.
  • Dan Froomkin, "A Compelling Story," White House Watch Blog/Washington Post, March 31, 2006.
  • Murray Waas, "What Ashcroft Was Told," National Journal, June 8, 2006.
  • Murray Waas, "Bush Directed Cheney to Counter War Critic", National Journal, July 3, 2006.
  • Murray Waas, "Insulating Bush," National Journal, March 30, 2006: "Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews."
  • Dan Froomkin, "Another Stab at the Truth," Washington Post, July 14, 2006: "There are some hugely important aspects of the Bush presidency that remain insufficiently examined, and the most important are about the run-up to war in Iraq. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe President Bush and his associates intentionally misled the public in making their case for war. It's a terribly serious charge, if true. In fact, it's hard to imagine a more serious charge against a president."
  • "US officials 'betrayed' CIA agent," BBC, July 14, 2006.


Wikipedia also has an article on Joseph C. Wilson IV. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.