In the Dark

Neocon Follies

Doug Liman has performed half a public service with his new film, Fair Game.  By retelling the story of the neoconservative attack on Amb. Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, he has once more exposed how eager these ideologues are to destroy anyone who gets in their way.  Unfortunately, he stops short of reaching the heart of the matter.

In July 2003, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, decided that Wilson had committed the unpardonable sin.  In an article published in the July 6 New York Times, Wilson had violated the neoconservative one-percent doctrine: If Saddam Hussein ever entertained the merest velleity of attacking our country, we had to invade Iraq and utterly obliterate his regime.  According to the doctrine, calculating his chance for success was entirely unnecessary.

Wilson demurred from this doctrine quite publicly.  He questioned George W. Bush’s remark in his 2003 State of the Union Address to the effect that Hussein had attempted to buy 500 tons of yellowcake in Africa.  Bush, Wilson suggested in restrained, diplomatic language, may have “twisted . . . some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program,” which could have caused him “to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”  Wilson’s suspicions were well founded.  The CIA had sent him to Niger, the purported location of the would-be...

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