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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Former diplomat to speak at NMU

Undercover CIA agents, illegal buying of uranium and Saddam Hussein all sound like a great combination for a movie plot, but in fact, they are Joseph C. Wilson’s real-life story. Wilson is a former diplomat who is best known for his trip to Niger in 2002 to look into allegations that former President Saddam Hussein of Iraq was purchasing uranium. Wilson reported back that Hussein was not, but the Bush administration invaded Iraq anyway.

Wilson will come to NMU on Tuesday, March 29 to speak about his personal memoir, “The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity: A Diplomat’s Memoir.” The book describes his life as a diplomat, his family and what happened when his wife was outed as a CIA agent.

At the beginning of every semester, Platform Personalities discusses who it would like to bring to NMU to speak, said Ben Crockett, event coordinator.

“(Wilson) sounded really interesting to the group and he fit our groups tagline of ‘educational, inspirational and motivational,” Crockett said. “Plus, with the recent movie ‘Fair Game’ coming out, we hoped it would have a bonus draw for our student body.”

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Wilson said that he has spent a lot of time in Michigan campaigning and doing other speeches. He is also close with Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

“I like Michigan,” said Wilson. “I’ve spoken at Michigan State and Central Michigan University.”

Along with explaining the premise of his book, Wilson will touch on the wars and conflict in Libya and the surrounding countries. Wilson was recently in Yemen and will discuss the corruption and increasing turmoil there.

Wilson said that he wrote a book based on his life because many people were interested in what happened during the time of the Bush administration, and he wanted to inform readers of the policies that were enacted during that time.

While Wilson was working for former President George W. Bush, he was sent to Africa. In Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address, he said that the Iraqi government had recently sought uranium from Africa. Wilson fired back with a response to the New York Times stating that he had not found any evidence of that in an article titled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”

After Wilson wrote the article for The New York Times, he said that he didn’t expect it to create so much controversy.

“I thought it would be a two-day story that only the press would follow,” Wilson said. “I had no idea that it would last this long.”

A week after Wilson’s article       was published, The Washington Post reported that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA as an agency operative. Because Plame’s job required that her identity not be revealed, a federal investigation was opened to find who was at fault. Wilson claimed that the Bush administration purposely outed Plame to discredit Wilson’s article from The New York Times.

The investigation led to the conviction of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, on four accounts of perjury, lying to federal investigators and obstruction of justice. He was later commuted by former president George W. Bush.

Wilson currently works as the CEO of his own consulting firm, J.C. Wilson International Ventures.

“Fair Game” will be played on Saturday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in Jamrich 102. It is free for students and $2 for non-students. Wilson will speak in the Great Lakes Room at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29. The event is free to students with an NMU ID and $2 for the general public, which can be paid at the door.

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