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Died ambassador who denounced manipulation that justified Iraq war

by ace

Former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, who unleashed a political storm by contesting US espionage information used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, died on Friday, 69, the former wife said.

Wilson died in Santa Fe, ex-wife Valerie Plame said, whose identity as CIA operative was revealed by the White House days after criticism of US intelligence officials that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein sought buy uranium.

Plame's exposure was a scandal for the George W. Bush administration, which led to the conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for lying to investigators and obstructing justice.

Current US President Donald Trump pardoned Libby in 2018.

Plame, who is running for a seat in Congress for the Democratic Party, called her ex-husband "a true American hero, a patriot, with a lion's heart."

Plame and Wilson moved to Santa Fe in 2007, with two children, and divorced in 2017.

In 2002 Wilson traveled to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium that could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Plame's relationship with the CIA was revealed in a newspaper column days after Wilson signed an opinion article in The New York Times saying that the Bush administration was using old information to justify promoting the war.

Wilson later accused government officials of putting his family at risk.

Career made at various posts in Africa

A native of Connecticut and a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Wilson's diplomatic career has included posts in several African states.

Wilson was the leading diplomat in Baghdad during the first Gulf War between 1990 and 1991, and was the last US representative to meet with Saddam Hussein before the military offensive, called Desert Storm.

Plame made the book "Fair Game" about denouncing his status as a CIA agent who came to the movies in 2010, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.

In a video launching his election campaign, Plame highlighted the end of his CIA career and Trump's decision to forgive his whistleblower: "My career was over when my own government betrayed me. And, Mr President, we have some accounts to get it right ".



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