Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


In response to the increased effort by some to destroy former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's integrity, Dedalus at Blah3 brings up one of the more notable moments from Wilson's career. Wilson was serving as acting Ambassador to Iraq in 1990 leading up to the Gulf War, and was the last US official to meet with Saddam Hussein.

In 1990, while sheltering more than 100 Americans at the U.S. Embassy and diplomatic residences [in Baghdad, where Wilson was acting U.S. ambassador], he briefed reporters while wearing a hangman's noose instead of a necktie -- a symbol of defiance after Saddam threatened to execute anyone who didn't turn over foreigners.

The message, Wilson said: "If you want to execute me, I'll bring my own (expletive) rope."

This toughness impressed President George H.W. Bush, who called Wilson a truly inspiring diplomat who exhibited courageous leadership by facing down Saddam and helping to gain freedom for the Americans before the 1991 war began.

According to a Vanity Fair article from last year, Wilson has spoken with former President George H.W. Bush on the outing of his wife as a CIA operative, but has refused to divulge the details of the conversation.


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