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The Politics of Truth: A Diplomat's Memoir: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity Paperback – Bargain Price, April 10, 2005
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While many former Bush administration officials published books airing their gripes and concerns in advance of the 2004 election, few were in a situation as personal as Joseph Wilson's. A career diplomat, he found himself working for an administration that apparently leaked information revealing his wife, Valerie Plame, to be a CIA operative soon after Wilson cast doubt on Bush's claims of Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger. When columnist Robert Novak named Plame, there was widespread speculation about who leaked the information. In The Politics of Truth, Wilson points a finger at Dick Cheneys chief-of-staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and national security aide Eliot Abrams although Wilson never really presents smoking gun evidence against them. There is little here that breaks new ground in terms of hard facts being revealed, nonetheless, Wilson's account, personal and well written, maps out the human impact of the situation in ways that major newspapers never could. Wilson's animus toward the administration is made stronger by his support of the president in the 2000 election and he held out hope that a centrist conservative approach would help America's position in the world. That scenario withered, in Wilson's mind, when the plan to invade Iraq became increasingly inevitable and, like many traditional conservatives, Wilson mourns the rise of the ideological "neo-conservatives" who shaped foreign policy. But while a true-life secret identity/betrayal story is inherently fascinating, and Wilson's indignation and scorn is powerfully delivered, there is more to recommend his book. Wilson tells of being stationed in the Persian Gulf in the days leading up to the first Gulf War, a haunting encounter with Saddam Hussein, and years of efforts to establish democracy in Africa. The Politics of Truth provides a glimpse inside the high stakes world of international intelligence and, Joseph Wilson says, that world can be vicious. --John Moe --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Nobody who's paid close attention to the unfolding story of the leaking to columnist Robert Novak of the name of Ambassador Wilson's wife as a CIA operative will be surprised by the two White House staffers—Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Elliott Abrams—Wilson proposes as the most likely suspects in what he calls the "organized smear campaign" against him. He views the leak as retaliation for his presenting evidence that, contrary to President Bush's 2003 State of the Union assertion, Iraq was not trying to buy uranium from Niger. Wilson hits back hard with a righteous anger against those who would jeopardize national security to score political points. By the account of this longtime Foreign Service officer who was in Baghdad in the months leading up to the first Gulf War, Wilson stood up to Saddam Hussein in a showdown that now makes for one of the memoir's most stirring sections. In fact, readers will discover this book to be a vivid, engrossing account of a foreign service career that spans nearly three decades. Wilson is a lively storyteller with an eye for compelling visual detail and brings a welcome insider's perspective on the political situations of African nations where he has served. He's equally honest about the toll his professional commitment has occasionally taken on his personal life. And it's that candor, as well as the respect shown for previous administrations of both parties, that helps make his charges against the current president's advisers difficult to brush off. His revelations should fly off the shelves. 3 maps, 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
When the history of this perilous period in our national life is finally written, Joe Wilson and his book The Politics of Truth may receive credit for shedding a bright light on dark and disturbing behavior by George W. Bush and his handlers. It is worth recalling that George H. W. Bush had praised Wilson as an American hero for his work as acting ambassador to Iraq before the Gulf War. Yesterday's hero, however, becomes today's villain, under the end-justifies-the-means policies of the second Bush White House.
If you're curious about the behind-the-scenes games--both abroad and domestic--that get played every day, I highly recommend this book.
Wilson's book belongs on any shelf with Suskind's and Clarke's. One obvious parallel: Bush '41 - a moderate and intelligent man - felt great fondness for O'Neill, Clarke, and Wilson. Bush '43 disdains and disrespects them. Wilson gives us an account from the outside: how does the Administration glimpsed by insiders like Clarke and O'Neill affect "outsiders" like Wilson? Or Valerie Plame? Or you? Wilson's account is fired by anger and disappointment, not partisan rage. He comes across as a dedicated civil servant, non-partisan, astute. It should be read by all who care deeply for our country, and are wondering what the hell is happening to it.
One final note: The few reviewers who rate this book with one star have clearly a) not read it, or b) ... well, there is no other option, except perhaps that they work for Karl Rove.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the author's writing skills that fit to the autobiography kind of...Read more