The July 15 editorial "Mr. Rove's Leak" said that Joseph C. Wilson IV does not deserve to be called a "whistle-blower."

But until Mr. Wilson went public, the administration stood by the "16 words" in the 2003 State of the Union address that exaggerated Iraq's nuclear intentions. Precisely because of Mr. Wilson's report, George J. Tenet, Condoleezza Rice and President Bush admitted that those 16 words should not have been included. They have not retracted that retraction, notwithstanding the Butler Commission and Senate reports that the editorial cited.

Mr. Wilson was the first to blow the whistle on the administration's exaggeration of the supposed reasons for war. When the administration retaliated, his wife and family suffered.

CHRISTOPHER WOLF

Washington

The writer is the attorney for Joseph Wilson and Valerie Wilson.

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The July 15 editorial about Karl Rove said that he had a legitimate interest in rebutting the claims of Joseph C. Wilson IV. But Mr. Rove did not counter those claims, which were based on facts; instead, he made a personal attack on the man's wife. In what arena would that be a legitimate response?

The world now knows that Mr. Wilson was right and that Saddam Hussein did not have an active nuclear weapons program. Is misleading its citizens into war through lies and innuendos really the interest of a legitimate government?

LINDA GUNSHEFSKI

Walla Walla, Wash.