former ambassador, discredited President Bush's claim—and a justification for war in Iraq—that Saddam Hussein was pursuing a nuclear weapons program by seeking to obtain uranium from Niger. Wilson visited Niger in February 2002 to investigate the accusation, and he reported back that it was unsubstantiated. He went public with his findings in July, after months of silence by the Bush administration. In July, columnist Robert Novak identified Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent who specializes in weapons of mass destruction. Wilson believes the Bush administration leaked his wife's name as retribution. In September, the Justice Department announced an investigation into the leak.