Joe Wilson: I'm No 'Commie Liberal Sympathizer'
See Video of Joseph Wilson at National Press Club
Washington (CNSNews.com) - Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, conducting another round of media appearances related to the leaking of his wife's CIA cover, used a National Press Club appearance Monday to assert that he is no "commie liberal sympathizer."
That label is one of many that Wilson said have been hurled his way, following his criticism of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq and during the time in which a special prosecutor investigated who divulged his wife's secret role with the CIA.
While that probe by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald continues, it has already rendered a five-count indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, charging him with alleged obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements. Libby was not charged with breaking the law in connection with the disclosure of Valerie Plame's CIA identity, but her husband, Wilson, insists the leak was motivated by the Bush administration's desire for political revenge.
On Monday, Wilson, who once was the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq, noted his past advocacy for the use of force to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991.
"That is hardly, ladies and gentleman, the position taken by somebody who is a com-lib-symp (sic). That's short for commie liberal sympathizer -- among the other things I have been called lately," Wilson told journalists.See Video
Wilson, who also granted interviews to the broadcast network news operations following the indictment of Libby, unleashed his anger at the Bush administration and the GOP during the news conference.
"I understand that a lot of Republicans are mad at me. I can assure you I am pretty pissed off at a lot of Republicans," he said to laughter. "So the feeling is mutual."
While calling the indictment Libby, a "sad" episode, Wilson also expressed his satisfaction with the charges.
"In my judgment and the judgment of Valerie, it was a day that we can be proud of our justice system. This is a country that is based on the rule of law and what [special prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald said the other day very clearly -- that no man, however powerful, is above the law. And that is the glue that binds this country together, even as the political winds blow back and forth," Wilson said.
He added that it "gives me no satisfaction whatsoever" that the Bush administration has "allowed a tawdry political hit job to possibly become a crisis in governance."
The Republican Party's reaction to the controversy has been lacking, according to Wilson.
"When (White House political advisor Karl) Rove was found to have been the source of the leak to Mr. Cooper, Matt Cooper (reporter for Time Magazine) ... not one single Republican of national standing got up even to say that what Rove did was wrong," Wilson said.
Rove, who in addition to being President Bush's top political adviser is also a deputy White House chief of staff, has not been charged with any crimes in the Plame leak case or in the investigation of the leak, although he remains a potential target for Fitzgerald. Wilson is not waiting for an indictment of Rove, already branding his activities "an abuse of public trust."
Throughout the many months leading up to Friday's indictment of Libby, Wilson said he "spoke out frequently and in many different forums, including Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, 'Hannity and Colmes.'
"And I bear the scars of those encounters," he said to laughter from the media in attendance.
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