Boston, Mass.: Mr. Wilson, thank you for taking our questions. What happens if we do not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Joseph C. Wilson: Whether we find them or not is now immaterial. The liberation is now the rationale. If we don't find them, discussion about them will cease and we will focus on the other reasons the administration has articulated. If we do find them, world public opinion will only change on the margins.
and a follow up:
Bethesda, Md.: I don't understand. In the first answer you say the rational is liberation so WMD do not matter. While I couldn't disagree more, in the second answer you say this isn't a war of liberation. Does this make sense?
Joseph C. Wilson: The administration has offered a menu of reasons for the war. WMD was one of them. The answer was to the question of whether finding WMD would make a difference in how the war is perceived. And the answer is no. Here in the US we have bought off on the other reasons so for us it does not matter. Overseas, they think there are any number of other reasons behind what we are doing so again if we find WMD it wown't change their position as to why we are doing what we are.
This sentiment seems to be in direct contrast to what he wrote in his piece for the NYT, What I didn't find in Africa, when he wrote:
The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why). If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses.