Richard Leiby's profile in tomorrow's Washington Post is going to make it harder for his critics to continue their smear campaign:
His fingers threaded a string of ornate black worry beads, common in the Arab world. They're from his days in Baghdad, where he was acting U.S. ambassador. In 1990, while sheltering more than a hundred Americans at the U.S. embassy and diplomatic residences, 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 the first President 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.And this:
Wilson may laugh now, but in the eyes of hostages, he was a hero. "He stuck his neck out in our behalf … He worked so hard to keep us from falling apart," recalled Roland Bergheer, 75, a Bechtel Corp. manager who was trapped in Baghdad.
A conservative who lives in Las Vegas, Bergheer added: "I love Joe Wilson. … I don't give a damn what his politics are."
Leiby also notes that Wilson began his foreign service as a "general services officer" in Naimey, Niger. Let's see — service in Niger, distinguished service in a Baghdad showdown with Saddam Hussein … yeah, it must be nepotism for him to get picked to investigate Iraqi activities in Niger.
UPDATE: The story is now online.