The editorial page also might demand that every senior administration officials who sought to protect that deception by leaking the identity of a covert CIA officer (Wilson's wife) be held accountable, at minimum stripped of their security clearances and fired from government.
If future historians wonder how the United States could have blundered so catastrophically into Iraq under false pretenses and why so few establishment figures dared to speak out, the historians might read the sorry pattern of the Post's editorial-page attacks on those who did dissent.
Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, who fell for virtually every Iraq War deception that the Bush administration could dream up, is back assaulting former Ambassador Wilson, again, in a Sept. 1 editorial, falsely accusing Wilson of lying and concluding that "it's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously."
In the view of the Post's editorial page, Wilson's chief offense appears to be that he went public in July 2003 with a firsthand account of a fact-finding trip that he took in early 2002. At the CIA's request, he traveled to the African nation of Niger to check out a report alleging that Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake uranium, presumably for a nuclear bomb.
Nevertheless, President George W. Bush cited the claim of Iraq's supposed attempt to procure the yellowcake during his State of the Union Address in January 2003. The next week, on Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell made his famously bogus presentation to the United Nations accusing Iraq of hiding vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (though Powell knew well enough to leave out the yellowcake canard).
The next day, Hiatt's pro-war editorial page hailed Powell's evidence as "irrefutable" and chastised any remaining skeptics. "It is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction," the editorial said.
Hiatt's judgment was echoed across the Post's Op-Ed page, with Post columnists from Right to Left presenting a solid wall of misguided consensus. [Washington Post, Feb. 6, 2003]
But the Post's gullibility about Powell's testimony wasn't a one-day aberration. As a study by Columbia University journalism professor Todd Gitlin noted, "The [Post] editorials during December  and January  numbered nine, and all were hawkish." [American Prospect, April 1, 2003]
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the failure to discover evidence supporting the administration's pre-war WMD claims, Hiatt acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect.
But Hiatt's supposed remorse didn't stop him and the Post editorial page from continuing their attacks on Bush's critics, from Democrats who showed insufficient enthusiasm when Hiatt was detecting war progress in 2005 to retired generals who challenged the war strategy in 2006. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Shame on the Post's Editorial Page."]