Saturday, March 20, 2004

I'm not a politician and I'm not a political partisan. I've served under Presidents from both parties. My loyalty has always been to country and constitution.
The first President Bush appointed me as Ambassador to two African countries and President Clinton put me in charge of African Affairs at the National Security Council. So when this President Bush's Administration sent me to Africa to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy materials for weapons of mass destruction, I was ready to serve.

But I wasn't ready to keep quiet when this President misled the nation in his State of the Union Address. Because of that, leakers in the Bush White House illegally revealed that my wife worked in the CIA - endangering her life and that of my family. They tried to intimidate me and others who were willing to speak up and tell the truth.

Some people have said I was courageous to speak truth to the power of the Bush White House. But let me tell you, what I have done doesn't hold a candle to the courage that John Kerry showed as a young man and throughout his political career. I am supporting him for President because he has been willing to tell the truth no matter what the pressure. He is ready to restore truth and honor to the White House. And I hope that everyone else who is outraged by this Administration and who wants to change America will join me in doing all you can to make John Kerry our next President.

In deciding on the best candidate to support in next year's election, I looked for qualities that are important in a President: leadership, experience and courage. There are many candidates who possess admirable traits but only one who has summoned the nerve to stand up to our government and for what's right over and over again: John Kerry.

To speak out against bad policies after a career of accomplishments, as I recently did, is a civic duty. To do so as a young person, as John Kerry did, in the face of the unremitting official hostility to end a bad war, is truly inspiring. John Kerry didn't have to go to Vietnam. He volunteered and served bravely earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. And when he came home as a decorated hero, he didn't have to fight the war. But John Kerry helped lead the fight to end the war, he earned the wrath of Richard Nixon and his cronies, and he won the respect of Americans for his courage.

Throughout his career in public service he has been ready to hold government accountable again and again. He blew the whistle on Ronald Reagan and Oliver North's secret war in Central America. He exposed Manuel Noriega's drug laundering operation. And he wrote a nationally acclaimed book on fighting global terrorism long before September 11th.

John Kerry is a decorated veteran, an experienced public servant, and a man of integrity. But most of all, he has the personal courage and integrity that I want in the leader of our great nation.

George Bush's Administration has betrayed our trust - I know that personally. I am honored to endorse John Kerry and to commit myself to his campaign to wrest our democracy back from those who have so squandered the public trust.

I hope you will join us.

- Joe Wilson

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