The best part is Novak's response of Ambassador Joseph Wilson
The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington by Robert D. Novak
The book has many entertaining stories about DC in the old days, and we are missing a lot from that era. The book’s original manuscript was 1,400 pages which was reduced to 672 pages. At the end I wanted to read more and I am now wondering what I missed.
The best part was Novak’s rebuttal of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who in 2004 published “The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity: A Diplomat’s Memoir.” In late February of 2002, Wilson was sent to Niger on behalf of the CIA to investigate the possibility that Saddam Hussein had a deal to buy enriched uranium yellowcake. Wilson’s July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed article became one of the focal points for the 2004 president campaign. Wilson claimed President Bush lied because of the controversial “16 words” in his 2003 State of the Union Address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
Wilson said Iraq was never trying to acquire uranium from Niger, but Novak demonstrates that the person who was lying is Wilson. Wilson’s claims were rebutted by the Senate Intelligence Committee report, the British government’s Butler Committee report and by Wilson’s prior actions. The British Inquiry said “It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.”
A July 13, 2005 “Wall Street Journal” editorial also says Wilson lied in his “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” article. The Journal says Wilson lied about “what he’d discovered in Africa, how he’d discovered it, what he’d told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission.” An editorial headlined “A Good Leak” published in the April 9, 2006 “Washington Post” claims “Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth and that, in fact, his report [to the CIA] supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.”
The weapon of mass destruction was found in Iraq. His name was Saddam Hussein and he was responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million of his own people. The former Iraqi regime was supporting terrorism and they openly gave $25,000 to $35,000 to the families of every Palestinian suicide bomber. They maintained a terrorist training facility at Salman Park near Baghdad where an old Boeing 707 passenger airplane was used to train hijackers. Saddam Hussein praised both Hitler and Stalin, and numerous times he threatened to burn half of Israel. His regime murdered, wounded and ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Kurds, Shiites and other Iraqis over three decades. He destroyed 4000 Kurdish villages.
Because of the regimes brutality there were over 5 million Iraqi exiles. They used poison gas on their own people, their torture techniques were unbelievably cruel, and they engaged in ethnic cleansing against the Marsh Arabs and Kurds.
Forced confessions are obtained: by torturing children while their parents were forced to watch. International human rights groups described the methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues and rape. As President Bush said, “If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.”
The Baath Party’s favorite techniques also included throwing children out of helicopters in front of their parents. They frequently video taped gang rapes of young girls and then sent the tapes to their parents or relatives who had escaped to the West. Saddam’s own son Uday was known for having girls as young as 14 kidnapped so he could rape them.
The girls would be attending a sporting event with their parents, and they would be kidnapped when they went to the rest room. Uday Hussein would even have brides kidnapped from their wedding receptions! One groom who saw his bride carried off responded by shooting himself.
Before Saddam came to power, Iraq was richer than Malaysia or Portugal. After he took over the nation no longer had a budget. All of its money went into Saddam’s pocket. Almost a third of children born in the center and south of Iraq had chronic malnutrition, and half the population of the rural areas had no safe water. Saddam responded by building over 50 palaces.