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Former diplomat Joseph Wilson, whose then-wife Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA agent shortly after Wilson blew the whistle on bogus Iraq intelligence, passed away Friday at the age of 69.

From The New York Times:

Joseph C. Wilson, the long-serving American diplomat who undercut President George W. Bush’s claim in 2003 that Iraq had been trying to build nuclear weapons, leading to the unmasking of his wife at the time, Valerie Plame, as a C.I.A. agent, died on Friday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 69.

Ms. Plame said the cause was organ failure.

Mr. Wilson’s decision to challenge Mr. Bush’s argument that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, was secretly reconstituting his nuclear program changed both the narrative and the politics of the war. It forced the White House to concede, grudgingly, that Mr. Bush had built the case for the invasion of Iraq on a faulty intelligence report — one that critics said was cherry-picked to provide an urgent rationale for a war that quickly turned into a morass.

Plame, who divorced Wilson this year, told the Times that Wilson “had the heart of a lion,” and called him “an American hero.”

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

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