Walter Mitty Meets the Kerry Campaign

Another high-profile John Kerry supporter was outed as a nutcase this week: Joseph C. Wilson, IV. The Walter Mitty of conspiracy theorists. Wilson was embraced by the Democrats last year for calling Bush a liar. Wilson claimed to be shocked, appalled, alarmed when President Bush said during his 2003 State of the Union address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

Wilson was shocked because, in 2002, he had been sent on an unpaid make-work job to Niger to “investigate” whether Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger. Wilson’s method of investigating consisted of asking African potentates questions like: Did you commit a horrible crime, which, if so, would ruin your country’s relationship with the United States? I have no independent means of corroborating this, so be honest!

Lonely Fantasists

On the basis of the answers he got, Wilson concluded that Saddam had not sought uranium ore from Niger. Since “Africa” means “Niger” and “British government” means “Joseph Wilson,” Wilson realized in horror that Bush’s statement referred to Wilson’s very own report! Out of love for his country and an insatiable desire to have someone notice his existence, Wilson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling Bush a liar.

The whole story was already nutty enough to be believed by every columnist at The New York Times. But then journalist Robert Novak revealed that Clown Wilson had been sent as an unpaid intern to Niger by his wife, a CIA employee, who apparently wanted to get him out of the house. This in turn provoked our Walter Mitty to accuse Karl Rove of outing his wife as an undercover “spy” in retaliation for his attacks on the Bush Administration.

In response to Wilson’s crazy behavior, he was made an adviser to the Kerry campaign. He was also fawned over by Vanity Fair magazine, embraced by Democratic senators such as Jon Corzine of New Jersey, hailed as a patriot in The New York Times, awarded The Nation magazine’s “Award for Truth-Telling” and given a book contract. According to The Washington Post, Wilson began wiling away his once-empty days discussing “who would play [his wife] in the movie” and fantasizing about how his obituary would read. His favorites were: “Joseph C. Wilson, IV, the Bush I administration political appointee who did the most damage to the Bush II administration . . .” and “Joseph C. Wilson, IV, the husband of the spy the White House outed . . .”

I’m not sure we were waiting for any more evidence on whether Wilson was an idiot, but this week we found out he’s a liar, too. The Senate report on the CIA’s intelligence gathering concluded that, contrary to Wilson’s statements about his own report, his findings had bolstered rather than undermined the case that Saddam had sought uranium from Niger.

Most amusingly, despite Wilson’s insistence that he had been tapped for the Niger trip based on his nonexistent expertise and zero credentials, the Senate committee produced his wife’s memo recommending her husband for the (unpaid) job. This followed Wilson’s assertions that his wife “definitely had not proposed that I make the trip” and his astonishment that anyone could imagine his wife was “somehow involved in this,” saying that “just defies logic.”

When presented with the memo from his wife recommending him for the job, Wilson said only that his wife was not the one who made the decision to send him to Niger. This cleared up the matter for anyone who had been under the impression Wilson was married to George Tenet.

Wilson is an “unpaid foreign affairs adviser” to the Kerry campaign. Indeed, Wilson’s website, denouncing the perfidy of the Bush Administration, was created and paid for by “John Kerry for President.” (Why haven’t any crack investigative journalists noticed that?)

This may explain why Kerry was boasting about foreign leaders supporting him earlier this year: He was trying to distract voters from the fact that his strongest base of support in the United States consists of lonely fantasists hoping to make some new friends.