Wilson to BRAD BLOG: 'No Decision on Civil Suit...Yet'
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2005, 12:31pm PT  

We've always been bothered by Dick Cheney's September 14, 2003 statement on Meet the Press when he claimed he didn't even know who Joe Wilson was. To wit:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I don't know Joe Wilson. I've never met Joe Wilson. ... like I say, I don't know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn't judge him. I have no idea who hired him

RAW STORY seems to have been curious about the same thing, as they reported today that, according to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's 22-page indictment last week of Scooter Libby, Cheney was clearly lying when he made the above statement. The indictment shows that, in fact, Cheney had already attended meetings --- prior to his Meet the Press appearance --- where the question of what to do about Wilson's statements had already been discussed.

On the more direct point of whether Cheney actually knew who Joe Wilson was (whether or not he'd been discussed in recent White House meetings) The BRAD BLOG received a quick email response on Friday evening from Wilson in reply to our question on the matter. Wilson pointed out how Cheney's statement could only be perceived as true if one were to apply the strictest Clintonian-like interpretation of the English language to Cheney's statement.

Wilson explained that what Cheney said was "technically true," in that "we have
never met or laid eyes on each other."

However, the presumption that Cheney didn't know Joe Wilson would strains all credulity and common sense. As Wilson pointed out in his email, Cheney was Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War when Wilson was Acting U.S. Ambassador in charge of the Embassy in Iraq where he sheltered 800 Americans who were held captive as "guests" of Saddam Hussein and not allowed to leave the country just prior to the war.

Wilson, indeed, was the last American to meet with Hussein before the war began. His courageous service for America in standing up to the tyrant (he actually wore a noose around his neck for one of the meetings with Saddam!) could hardly have gone unnoticed by Defense Secretary Cheney. Wilson's courageous service at that point in American history has been all but ignored, conveniently, by the wingnut apologists on the right who have taken the current White House's lead in hoping to destroy the distinguished reputation and career of Wilson along with his wife's in order to shore up their own trumped up case for war.

That fact alone demonstrates the lengths to which this White House and Cheney himself have gone --- and continue to go --- in order to obfuscate the truth to try and protect themselves. As RAW STORY's article points, "Wilson was the only line of communication between Washington and Saddam Hussein. The White House held daily briefings with Wilson, and Cheney sat in on a majority of those briefings."

And yet, Cheney was able to go on air and "mislead" with a straight face both Tim Russert and the American people by uttering the phrase, "I don't know Joe Wilson."

As to whether or not the Wilsons will file some kind of Civil Suit against the players in the White House responsible for completely destroying Valerie's distinguished 20-year career in the Agency as an expert on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wilson told The BRAD BLOG there have been "no decisions...yet" in that regard.

Finally, if you missed 60 Minutes' report last night examining the damage done by the unprecedented White House outing of a covert CIA asset, Crooks & Liars has the full video. We recommend it.

UPDATE: Jeralyn Merrit from Talk Left emails with a pointer to a report she filed in July on this with a lot of additional detail. In her report, she also reminds us of Cheney's claim, during the Vice-Presidential Debate, that he never met John Edwards --- along with a link to the photo that shows he lied about that as well. We suppose "restoring honor and integrity to the White House" must be a full time job for these folks.

{Thanks to BRAD BLOG contributor "Kira" for research on this story.}