Wilson is not an anti-war guy philosophically but believes the U.S. should only risk the lives of our troops when it is necessary to defend our country. However, he said, this was not the case in Iraq. He believed the President's statement in the 2003 State of the Union speech--"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"-- was false. That key sentence, however, was used to justify the war in Iraq.
On July 6, 2003 the NY Times published his 1,500 op-ed piece called "What I Didn't Find in Africa." He wrote, "Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." (Article on Common Dreams ( http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm ) His position proved to be correct; we now know the Director of the CIA had written a memo advising the President not to use the British "intelligence" in the speech because it was not reliable.
He asked the audience: how many people know his wife's name? Everyone. Then he asked, how many people know the name of the person who put the 16 words into the President's state of the union speech? No one. (Answer: Bob Joseph). That was his point. "Where the hell was the press?" he asked. He criticized the media for not focusing on the manipulation of information to justify the war.
Outing a CIA operative is a crime committed against this country (treason), he said. So far, only Scooter Libby was indicted although Wilson is still hopeful others will be indicted too. Wilson was outraged that "the Pro-Treason wing of the Republican Party" are rallying in support of Scooter and busy raising millions for his defense. [check it out: http://www.scooterlibby.com/committee/ ] He also railed against Karl Rove's continued employment as the President's right hand.
Wilson said it is the responsibility of Americans to speak up. However, he was surprised by the attacks and to see national security information (his wife's CIA status) leaked to the press by members of this administration. Now, he says, "You have to stand up to the bullies who currently run our government." He reminded people of a quote by George Orwell, "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." He and his wife had served this country for over 40 years but they faced public smears and character assassination as punishment for speaking up. Their whole life changed. However, he said they learned a valuable lesson—that democracy is worth it. If we want to keep our democracy, people must speak up and hold government accountable, he said and referred to Sandra Day O'Conner's recent speech about the potential move toward a dictatorship. [common dreams link http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0313-03.htm]
Wilson did not call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq (I am uncertain whether he supports that). Now that Iraq is in a civil war, he stated that our troops should not be fighting someone else's war and should not be put in combat situation other than to defend the Green Zone. Unless a diplomatic solution can be found that brings all the players to the table, he warned, there will be "unremitting instability" [read war] in the region for decades to come. He was critical of the administration's lack of leadership in bringing about a diplomatic solution.