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Limited Tickets for Valerie Plame Wilson, Joseph Wilson Lecture Still Available

A limited number of tickets are still available for the First Commonwealth Endowed Lecture with former CIA operations officer Valerie Plame Wilson and U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Hadley Union Building Box Office or by calling 724-357-1313.

The lecture, “The Politics of Truth: Inside the Valerie Plame Wilson CIA Leak Controversy,” will be presented November 14, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium in the IUP Performing Arts Center.

The lecture is presented as part of the Lively Arts’ Ideas and Issues lecture series. It is funded by the IUP Student Cooperative Association and First Commonwealth Bank. It is presented by the Lively Arts of IUP’s College of Fine Arts.

The inaugural First Commonwealth Endowed Lecture in October 2008 featured political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin. The series continued in 2009 with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative reporter Bob Woodward and in 2010 with Apollo commander Captain James Lovell, Jr.

The first to challenge the Bush administration on its use of purported intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, Ambassador Joseph Wilson revealed in a July 2003 New York Times article that he had been asked by the CIA to look into allegations that the Iraqis had attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium yellowcake from the West African country of Niger.

Wilson, who had been in charge of the American Embassy in Baghdad during the first Gulf War and later served as an ambassador in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, concluded there was no substance to the allegations. The American ambassador to Niger and a four-star Marine Corps general were included in supporting this conviction.

Within a week of his accusation that the White House “twisted” its intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion, his wife’s secret status as a CIA operations officer was revealed to several national journalists, including a syndicated conservative newspaper columnist who published her name by senior White House and State Department officials.