the White House had not paid attention to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s CIA-sponsored February 2002 trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife
What I don't understand is how anyone would think that a trip to Niger is a "boondoggle"? Like Wilson was just sitting around just dying to sit hours on a plane for the opportunity to spend a few days talking to bureaucrats. What's more, the insinuation is that Wilson is such a wuss that he has to rely on his wife to get him work. If he had been a real man like Cheney, he would get his own boondoggles! Could this be more sexist?
More likely, the CIA needed someone low profile who knew how to work around government officials and was available in a hurry. Plame thought her husband could do the job discretely and suggested him. Not so mysterious after all. That Wilson decided discretion was no longer appropriate after the President lied us into a quagmire is more admirable than duplicitous (triple word score and the D on a double letter score nets me 54 points!).