Democrats & Liberals Archives

Scooter Libby verdict?

It doesn’t look good for Fitztgerald’s prosecution of Scooter Libby as the jury goes into the third day of deliberations. It is sad that these rats are going to get away with another one. I predict that he will be found not guilty of the charges …

It would have been one thing if Libby had just used Regan's "I can't remember, I don't recall" excuse that got him out of hot water in Iran/Contra but Libby lied to the prosecutor and the grand jury and made stuff up. He tried to blame reporters for outing Valerie Plame when the record shows that it was he and others in the administration who were so bent on destroying Joe Wilson's credibility that there were no depths that they were not willing to sink. It is such an obvious case of perjury that it would seem inconceivable that he could be found innocent but here we stand on the brink of such an announcement. I hope I am wrong but I doubt that I am. These guys intentionally lied their way into a war, exposed a CIA agent and all those who were associated with her because her husband exposed their lies, then lied to us about it, then lied to prosecutors about it, then lied to a grand jury. . .

The case has been mostly absent from mainstream media coverage because there are so much more important things going on in the world like Anna Nicole Smith or what the latest stupid thing that Brittney Spears did to herself. Not that these things shouldn't be covered in entertainment news but I am sick of especially MSNBC for ignoring much more important things going on in the world for this tabloid stuff.

Something more important:
Dick Cheney is at it again. He made the insane statement that democrats are "validating Al Qaida's strategy" by stating the obvious - Iraq was a mistake to begin with, it has been made worse by gross negligence and mismanagement, and while they fumble around with "surges" things are getting worse by the day. For one thing, the Bush administration has demonstrated repeatedly that they have absolutely no clue what Al Qaida's strategy is, which would make it a little hard to validate don't you think? Cheney, you idiot - is your only strategy to do the opposite of what you think Al Qaida wants? That makes us very easy to manipulate - something they have done over and over again. I doubt that the Bushies have stopped a single credible terrorist attack since 9-11, everything they have boasted about has turned out to be a lie, a hoax, or wannabes not an actual Al Qaida plot. Cheney needs to be impeached and thrown in jail now. This would be funny if it weren't for the more than 3,000 American dead and the 10s of thousands of Iraqi dead.

Posted by Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 9:14 AM
Comments
Comment #209415

GW - finding someone not guilty is not the same as finding them innocent.

What crime do you think Wilson, his wife, and Chris Matthews committed? telling the truth about the BS that Bush & co. have been spewing since he was appointed president? Get real!

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #209417

“I predict that he will be found innocent of the charges”

IF he is found innocent, then the proof was not there to find him guilty.
The same goes for the “lies” you guys keep screaming about. If you have proof, based on facts, that show any wrong doing, then it is your duty as an American to notify the authorities. If they won’t listen, then give your proof, based on facts, to any Democrat or media outlet.

We have heard about these “lies” nonstop for 6+ years now but you guys refuse to do anything about it.
You used to say it was because of the evil Republicans who controled everything, but that no longer applies does it.

So come on guys and gals, give your proof, based on facts not opinions, to somebody who will do something about this mess.
Do it for your country. Do it for your village. Do it for the children.

Posted by: kctim at February 23, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #209419

Tom-
Don’t despair yet. If they thought him innocent, they would come back and just say so. This case has multiple charges with a fairly complex web of events surrounding it.

gw-
Your assertion that they should be jailed is a common opinion for pundits on the right, but I’d wager that neither you nor they have any backup for the notion they committed a crime besides your own personal opinions of them. Essentially: I believe you say they should be jailed because they are on the other side of an argument with the Bush Administration, and you believe the world of those folk.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 11:33 AM
Comment #209420

Get over it already with Libby.

As with the Clinton perjury case, Libby is supposed to have lied about something that was not crime. It is a bit of a witch hunt, whether he is found guilty or innocent.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #209421

I find it disturbing to see people who still support this administration. The facts of everything they have done surround us daily. Trillion dollar deficits, thousands of US dead and 20,000+ maimed, thousands of Iraqi dead, a missile system and saber rattling that is taking us back to a COLD WAR—-these are FACTS, NOT CONJECTURE. The Libby trial had 17 witnesses testify under oath that Libby, Rove, Cheney, Fleischer and many more were involved in leaking Plames name to the media and a full court press to spin anyone who would listen. THAT IS PRETTY FACTUAL TO ME—-TESTIMONY UNDER OATH in A US Court of law——it doesn’t get much better than that. I don’t understand why the mainstream media is ignoring or soft pedaling this crime. As long as Bush/Cheney keep the war going, some will feel it improper to criticize let alone impeach. A Catch-22, don’t you think. We can’t prosecute him for taking the world to the brink disaster because he’s busy taking us to the brink of disaster. Sounds pretty insane to me…..

Posted by: J Saginaw at February 23, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #209422

kctim-
When considering a court case, it is insufficient to rely on the verdict alone. The logic and the law by which the the verdict was reached are important, because some legal determinations can have arcane and technical reasoning behind them that takes the law’s interpretation out of alignment with what an average person would conclude with the facts presented to them.

Legal logic can sometimes produce results that regular logic would not produce, and reach conclusions that a person in full command of the facts would find erroneous or counterintuitive. A murderer can go free because a cop improperly handled evidence that was crucial to the case, for example. Legalism in everyday logic can produce fallacies by the truckload.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #209423

Jack-
I would caution you as I cautioned kctim above. When announcing the Libby indictment, Fitzgerald overtly stated that he believed that Libby’s actions made it impossible for him to determine whether there was a crime.

Given that, Your statement that there was no crime is a bit of a legalism. Perhaps in a technical sense no crime was committed, but this was a case from the start whose investigation could lead to somebody being charged.

If, by your logic, it is permissable for people to lie to criminal investigations and grand juries, then it is permissable for organized crime figures to frustrate investigations from the start with lies and half-truths as well, since in these cases crimes might not have been charged yet.

I’m sure that’s the kind of thing you’d find objectionable, to be sure. Lying to investigators is a crime because it can get in the way of them carrying out their duties. As Fitzgerald would put it, it’s like throwing sand in the umpire’s eyes. Those being questioned by investigators and under oath before a grand jury should not be able to lie with impunity, as this interferes with the quality and the results of investigations. There’s enough uncertainty involved in enforcing the law to add more by permitting dishonest behavior.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #209424

Jack - so it’s ok if we all lie to grand juries? and we get to decide when it is ok to lie under oath and when it isn’t? The reason Fitzgerald (who is no liberal or Democrat as far as I know) prosecuted this case was because Libby’s lies made it impossible to investigate the case and do the job he was there to do. In addition, lying to a grand jury makes a mockery of our legal system.

While it is true, that in the grand scheme of lies from this administration that this is not the worst lie but it is a lie and a lie under oath. It also was another lie in the long string of lies that got a bunch of weak-minded Democrats to vote to give Bush the authorization to attack Iraq as well as helping to swing public opinion in their favor. These lies have cost us 3,000 brave men and women, 400 billion dollars, and our credibility. Should we send Bush the bill?

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 12:17 PM
Comment #209427

Jack,

The only way for the prosecution to prove Libby was lying about a crime would be for them to prove that Plame was a covert agent for the CIA. Do you really want him to do that?
Since I assume you wouldn’t, do you think then it’s OK that Libby lied to a jury under oath?
Since I assume you wouldn’t, then isn’t that the purpose of a trial in the first place? Prove guilt or not?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 23, 2007 12:40 PM
Comment #209428

Tom, it’s not okay if we all lie to grand juries. It’s only okay when Bill Clinton does it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 23, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #209429

Dave

IT makes absolutely no difference if Plame was covert or not. Just as in the Clinton case, the “crime” becomes lying, not what originally was sought.

Plame was not covert by the definitions of the CIA.

Tom

We are dealing with two different issues. As in the Clinton case, the special prosector was investigating something that turned out not to be a crime. However, like Clinton, Libby was perhaps embarassed or perhaps foolish to lie. Lying under oath is a crime. We both agree. My only point is that in the Clinton and Libby cases, it was a bit of a provoked crime.

Stephen

Lying under oath is a crime. As with the Clinton case, Libby was caught defending against something that was not a crime.

As it stands now, BTW, we do not know whether Libby lied at all. His memory could have been different than some others. Memory is not like a tape recorder. Ten witnesses can experience the samee thing and honestly give very different accounts. Perjury requires he knowingly lied.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 12:55 PM
Comment #209430

J Sag
How does asking for facts show support for anything other than the truth?

“I don’t understand why the mainstream media is ignoring or soft pedaling this crime”

Lack of facts? Talking points, vote getting scares and opinions may have not been enough in this case.

Stephen D.
It is only when the outcome does not favor a persons predetermined judgement which angers people. Not the logic and how the law was used to reach a verdict.

Tom S. “believes” the Republican administration and the Republican President has lied. He can’t prove it with facts so that justice can be served, but he is still upset because it does not agree with his predetermined judgement.

Its nothing but “lies in a long string of lies.” Lies based on belief and opinions, not facts.

Posted by: kctim at February 23, 2007 12:58 PM
Comment #209433
Plame was not covert by the definitions of the CIA…Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 12:55 PM
I keep hearing that from you…Why don’t you elaborate from a peer reviewed source? Anyway, you do agree that her being exposed as a national asset is not the issue, so:
do you think then it’s OK that Libby lied to a jury under oath? … and … isn’t that the purpose of a trial in the first place? Prove guilt or not?
Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 23, 2007 1:08 PM
Comment #209438

Clinton, Clinton, Clinton (to paraphrase Jan from the Brady Bunch) … god, that is a tired argument. You guys need another person to blame the evils of the world on. Clinton lied about his affair and it was wrong to do no matter that it was all a witch hunt by the right wing of the GOP. Once under oath, you must tell the truth - it almost cost Clinton his presidency and cost him his effectiveness. It was dumb and illegal. But dragging him into every argument is weak. Libby lied about an investigation into outing a CIA agent - much, much worse. I know you guys keep repeating that she wasn’t covert but do you have a source that says this that is not the Bush admin or a blathering right wing radio DJ? The CIA was the agency to bring this to the justice department not the left, not the DNC, not Air America but the CIA. Not only was she a covert agent but she was part of a dummy company the CIA was using to get information so everyone that was associated with this company was outed by Cheney, Libby, Armitage, Rove, et al. They put people’s lives at risk to discredit someone who was telling the truth - I keep hearing you on the right say that Joe Wilson was lying but he wasn’t. What he said about Saddam and Niger was true, it was also true that he was sent on this mission because Cheney had inquired about the Niger thing to the CIA and they sent Wilson. Wilson never said that Cheney sent him personally or that he knew that he had been sent. I agree with Dave, show some evidence.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #209440

Dave

I linked to the Washington Post article that explained the whole thing. WP is a liberal paper and generally well fact checked. I have never seen anything authoritiative to the contray.

AND I repeat for the hundreth time, perjury is a crime. As in the CLinton case, it does not really matter what Libby was lying about.

Of course, if I was under oath, I would be in trouble because I am not sure I answered this 100 times already. Yes that is how it works.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #209441

Jack - what link are you talking about?

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #209443

Tom

Sorry. It was here in the other thread. It goes to show how often we cover that same ground (and how facts do not stop the debate).

It goes to show that when you have a lot of conversations on similar topics, you tend to get mixed up. If I was Libby, I would be up on charges for my poor memory.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #209444

“WP is a liberal paper…”

The moonies are Liberals! Wow, that must be awesome kool aid… To think I stopped toking in the 70’s!!! what have I missed since then? lol(Actually, they’re more like a Judas goat)
But I’ll take a deeper look tonight if I get the chance. Superficially, that article is not partcularly persuasive.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 23, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #209446

I predict that the jury will convict on some charges and hang or acquit on others. That seems the likeliest outcome (to me) when they’re taking such a long time to deliberate. But who really knows?

If Libby is convincted on any counts, he has all kinds of grounds for appeal and this can be expected to drag on at least until Bush leaves office (and likely pardons Libby) in January of 09.

I have no idea if Libby “lied” or forgot. That’s for the jury to decide—or at least opine on—but one thing that’s obvious is that the prosecuter here has engaged in very questionable conduct, has been reprimanded by the judge, and any convictions he get may be very shaky on appeal.

He fought very hard at the beginning at the trial to bar ANY discussion of whether there was any underlying crime or damages, and then in his closing statements insinuated in all kinds of ways that there was—leading the judge to instruct the jury to disregard those prejudicial statements. Fitzgerald has tried to plant notions with the jury which he has effectively barred the defense from calling witnesses on or arguing.

His attempt to make the defense play by one set of rules while himself ignoring those rules could—and will, if there are convictions—come back to bite him.

Also, Fitzgerald’s comments about not being able to determine if a crime was commited because he was like an umpire who had “sand thrown in his eyes” is truly bizarre, and bespeaks a fundamental misunderstanding of his job.

A prosecuter is an advesary in a criminal case, and is nothing like an umpire. If anyone is the umpire, that would be the judge and jury.

But to use the baseball analogy, Fitgerald’s problem has not been an inability to see if there has been an infraction of the rules. It’s been an inability to even decide if there is in fact a baseball game being played at all. He’s the kind of “umpire” who expects the players to explain to him if this a baseball or basketball game—or just a bunch of people waiting around at a bus stop.

Further, he was given the job of finding out who had leaked the identity of a CIA operative, something he found out very quickly (Armitage) and which he decided to not even prosecute for. It wasn’t Libby’s job to figure out and explain to Fitzgerald things that Fitzgerald already knew or should have known. If Fitzgerald had sand in his eyes, then his first step should have been to take his head out of the sand.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 23, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #209448

Thanks for the link Jack.

Dave, it’s the Washington Times that’s owned by the moonies, though I agree the article is not persuasive.

Victoria Toensing, the author of this piece, is not a journalist, she is a lawyer who worked for the Reagan administration. This is an editorial, opinion not fact. She had no evidence of her claims have no sources. This is a problem with the right claiming opinion in an editorial is fact not opinion. Just because it appeared in a left leaning paper(though I question this assumption too), the author of the piece is a conservative pundit. Do you have an article that says that Plame is not covert that is from a credible source (i.e. there is some evidence along with the assertion).

This is an old trick the Bush administration has used for some time. Quoting editorials as journalism or quoting someone who is themselves quoting from an editorial or a rumor.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #209449

It’s pretty funny to discount an author for simply penning an opinion piece based on her connection to a Republican administration considering the fact that the key witness against Libby is Tim Russert.

Russert is now a journalist, but before that he worked for the Democratic governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, and was the chief of staff to Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

There are other witnesses contracting both Libby and each other, but without Russert the whole case collapses. You’ve got people like Ari Fleischer, whose story doesn’t square with any of the other prosecution witnesses, and Matt Cooper, whose testimony also conflicts with that of others. And Cooper, incidentally, is married to Mandy Grunwald, a top Democratic party strategist.

If you want to find partisan players here, you’ve got tons of them from Wilson to Russert to Cooper to Plame herself.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 23, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #209452

“She had no evidence of her claims have no sources. This is a problem with the right claiming opinion in an editorial is fact not opinion”

Damn those crazy righties.

“These guys intentionally lied their way into a war, exposed a CIA agent and all those who were associated with her because her husband exposed their lies, then lied to us about it, then lied to prosecutors about it, then lied to a grand jury”

Now please provide the evidence and sources concerning the “lies” you mention there, so that the right will shut up.

Posted by: kctim at February 23, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #209458

Jack-
Libby was caught lying. Whether what he was defending might of been a crime is uncertain, thanks to his deceptions.

What make’s Libby’s case difficult is that several witnesses recount him recalling that information before it was public. Repetition indicates the information was pretty solidly there. Judith Miller is one of those people.

The problem with this memory defense is that too many independent witnesses relate that he gave them a certain piece of information, and this information was part of something he was very much concerned with at the time. Memories for small details that are not the immediate focus for people can be faulty, but when people are intent on the information, when a great deal of their lives are occupied with a certain detail, they are much less likely to get fuzzy on the issue in question. You remember what you consider important. Libby had cause to believe details about Wilson and his wife were important. The reporters and people involved had their own reasons to believe that was an important piece of information.

It strains crediblity to suggest that he could have forgotten such a critical piece of information.

As for all these lies? Well, I’d say this: there have been any number of documentaries and books on the subject, and the picture is pretty consistent of what went on. If we want a lie to prove with the White House, let’s start with the fact that Bush promised to fire the person who leaked that information. He never fired Libby. He never fired Rove.

Additionally, according to Woodward’s State of Denial, Bush told the public that plans were moving ahead well, even as the information he received said otherwise.

They also portrayed evidence in the case for war as airtight when they themselves had been informed, and had a classified version of the NIE saying that it wasn’t. Nonetheless, they passed an edited declassified version with many of the uncertainties edited out.

If you want to talk about lies, the dishonesty of this administration has been well-documented.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 4:34 PM
Comment #209459

gw-
Try a crime that’s actually on the books. Hell, try something that isn’t a conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 4:37 PM
Comment #209463

gw - you have some facts? let’s see them.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #209464
Jack- Libby was caught lying.

Assumes facts not in evidence.

There is a trial going on right now to decide whether even that basic thing is true or not, so taken it as not only a given but the premise for all kinds of other unproven allegations is just partisan wishful thinking on your part.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 23, 2007 4:58 PM
Comment #209465

Opinions, heresay, suspicions, hatred, wishes, beliefs and petty partisanship can hardly be called well-documented and does not hold up so well in a court of law.
Sure, they will help sell books, videos and scare up votes, but they do not prove a lie to anybody but those who have already made up their mind before the facts are known.

Posted by: kctim at February 23, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #209466

Loyal Opposition-
It’s not obvious at all. You should provide us some news stories or whatever to give us some information.

As for Fitzgerald’s comments? What’s really so bizarre? He was given a mandate to determine was going on. Umpires are supposed to do the same. Somebody throwing sand in an umpire’s eyes is trying to interfere with the official’s ability to determine whether right or wrong has been done- so is somebody lying to investigators and a grand jury. I think you’re looking for rhetorical footholds here, not pointing out any problem of merit.

As for what Fitzgerald’s job was? His job was to find out whether there was criminal conduct involved with the leak. He found evidence that the story behind the leak was more extensive than was apparent at the start. Libby and all others involved were supposed to cooperate, to explain and give over whatever information was necessary to the case. The problem with Libby lying is more than just the absence of the truth in what he says, but the misdirection and confusion of the case that it can cause.

As for the politics of the witnesses? That’s a terrible argument. They’re under oath, and know that if they perjure themselves, they have something to lose.

I would like to see whatever literature that lead you to believe that Fleischer or Cooper’s stories don’t square. I’d especially like your explanation for why this super-partisan husband of a Democratic strategist didn’t immediately volunteer this information, which would have been hugely damaging to the Bush campaign during the elections.

I’d also like your explanation for how Wilson could be considered a partisan if he was willing to work under Reagan and Bush before, his politics basically centrist.

It’s not the witness’s bias that’s the problem here, It’s yours, and those who make arguments like this.

Not everybody lets politics dictate their every action. Not everybody’s that far left or right, nor do these people let their politics overwhelm their respective codes of conduct.

In short, your argument’s a conspiracy theory in search of actual conspiring. It’s a rationalization of behavior that should otherwise bring the roundest condemnation from you. The real question here is whether you can look beyond the D’s and the R’s to perceive the documentable facts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #209467
just partisan wishful thinking on your part. Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 23, 2007 04:58 PM
Yah, and the kettle is pink… Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 23, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #209472

Is it pink because you and others say it is Dave1 or is it pink because you can prove that it is?

Posted by: kctim at February 23, 2007 5:51 PM
Comment #209473

LO-
The Libby defense is that everybody’s telling the truth, but Libby forgot it and said something to the best of his knowledge that was wrong. Except, we have several documented cases where he remembered the information and related it to others.

I studied under a neuroscience professor at Baylor who said that people remember best what has their attention and what matters to them at the moment. Is it unreasonable to assume that if details about Wilson’s life were important to Libby during the time before the leak, that he’d be less likely to forget them? I mean, I could understand him forgetting little things like conversations during lunch meetings, but details like who a major political problem was married to, especially when my job was to find dirt on him?

I don’t think my case is wishful thinking. As for the trial? The trial is a means of determining legal, not actual guilt. Actual guilt is supposed to guide the decision on legal guilt, but it doesn’t necessary work out that way in the real world. We’re operating in another kind of court here, and the important question we have to ask, regardless of the verdict, is what do the facts available to us say.

The facts say to me, that if all these other people remember things correctly, which they probably do, then Libby is more likely a liar than a man with poor memory, because people with poor memories don’t recount a fact several times, then conveniently forget in time to be reminded by a person who has no recollection of ever discussing the subject with them.

kctim-
We’re not talking a court of law here. If Libby is found innocent, you folks can emphasize that to your heart’s content, but outside of the case the question is not merely what the results of the investigation will be, but the nature of the facts uncovered.

It’s time to stop hiding behind the courts regarding the nature of what the Bush Administration is doing on the whole. I want the real story, not merely the narrow spectrum of information that related to Libby’s perjury and obstruction of Justice. I want to know how and why the decision was reached, because sometimes the technicalities of the law mean that certain assumptions about what the verdict mean are erroneous.

In short, I just want the truth. There is plenty of independent evidence, including that by Bob Woodward (whose got Armitage on tape talking about the leak) in his latest book, relating to other things this administration has done.

The case against the Bush Administration is not a tapestry of lies given life by partisan hatred. In one book after another, one source after another, the information has kept on coming, with little in the way of credible counterpoint to it. Charges of bias are flung out, but biased perspectives and good facts are not mutually exclusive. You can always take the perspective with a grain of salt if you have the facts to reconstruct your own story from.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 5:53 PM
Comment #209474


Who gives a damn about Libby? He is just another one of traitor Cheney’s littie punks.

Posted by: jlw at February 23, 2007 5:59 PM
Comment #209476

Stephen

The CIA says that someone is covert if working overseas in a covert position and then two years after. Plame was riding the desk back in Washington for nearly five years.

If Libby stopped Fitzgerald from learning that, ol’ Fitz must be like those Dems who voted for the war before they were against it. He really is not that stupid. He just figures that Bush haters are.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 6:04 PM
Comment #209478

Jack,

Someone should have told the president and Cheney that Plame was not undercover. That way, Bush would never have had to say that he would fire the leaker. Also, Cheney, Bush, and Rove wouldn’t have had to spend all their time obsessing about it. Strange though, that they would have spent so much time dealing with the situation and not have realized what’s so obvious to you.

There’s no “evidence” that Cheney leaked Plame’s name. Only a written note from Cheney saying that the Libby should get the same protections being given some “other” person the president (whoops, crossed out) asked to stick their neck in the meatgrinder. Okay, so why did Cheney write the president? When did Cheney become aware of Plame’s identity? What does Rove have to say about the incident? You would think these folks would speak up and clear up the matter for us~!

Posted by: Max at February 23, 2007 6:23 PM
Comment #209480

Jack-
The indictment that Fitzgerald gave outlined that her connection to the CIA was classified information, and that the public did not know this information. Whether she was covert or not is debateable. Whether her identity was classified was established by Fitzgerald: it was.

What did Libby stop Fitzgerald from learning? We don’t know. The point is, Fitzgerald alleges Libby tried to mislead investigators, to throw them off the trail. Evidently, if we take that position, Libby thought something of the Administration’s behavior in the Wilson case was questionable enough that it couldn’t stand the light of day. What is it? We may never know. But who lies about stuff they know is not illegal? It was Libby’s duty to cooperate with, not frustrate Fitzgerald’s investigation.

I think Fitzgerald is actually a moderate Republican. That’s the irony of all this: The Republicans keep calling people who are moderates in their own party, or close to it flaming liberal leftists. But I guess that’s what happens when you’re reacting to a person’s opposition rather than any real knowledge of their character.

It wasn’t Libby or the Republican Party’s job to determine what was relevant, what could be told to him, it was Fitzgerald’s, and they interfered with that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #209485

Fitzgerald can say what he wants in the preamble of his indictment. It is his editorial time

He can do what is within the law and has that duty.

If he really thought the information was classified under that law, he has a duty to indict Richard Armitage. Fitzgerald knows he leaked the information and he evidently learned that way long ago.

You still have this monumental problem. All your outrage is based on inuendo. The actual fact is that Armitage leaked. It is likely that Libby or somebody else confirmed. This is just speculaton, however.

SO since we KNOW who leaked and he is not being indicted, maybe Fitzgerald KNOWS he has no case, and if he doesn’t, neither do you.

We have a political, but not a legal case here.

In the political arena, we have to compare this leak, with the leaks re wiretapping terror suspect, monitoring bank information etc.

Then the question becomes, whether it is ever justified to reveal such sensitive information and which causes the most damage. There are lots of such leaks every day.

YOu and I should both advocate a tightening of the rules for classified information, so that we can be sure to convict miscreants who intentionally reveal classified information to journalists. Are you with me on this?

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 7:51 PM
Comment #209488

LO - you said, “It’s pretty funny to discount an author for simply penning an opinion piece based on her connection to a Republican administration considering the fact that the key witness against Libby is Tim Russert.”

No LO, I don’t discount it because of Toensig’s relationship to the Reagan administration it is because it is not news it is opinion. All she did was state her opinion that Plame wasn’t covert not that it has been proven, not that there is any evidence, just because she thinks so. It is perfectly fine to state and opinion it is just that it is different from a sourced fact. Have we forgotten what the difference between an opinion and a fact is? I asked someone to show me a fact and it has yet to happen. I am open to changing my understanding based upon facts not the opnions of a editorial.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 23, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #209490

Jack and kctm
Get used to it. This is only the first of many. Can a president pardon himself?

Posted by: BillS at February 23, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #209491

If he thought he could get a signing statement to apply…..?? ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 23, 2007 8:47 PM
Comment #209492


Bills: A president can resign and have his replacement pradon him.

Posted by: jlw at February 23, 2007 8:47 PM
Comment #209493

Tom

We do have a bottom line action versus talking. Fitzgerald knows and has long known at least one of the leakers. He made no charges based on that. Why not? This man had a the resources and the ability to do it.

There is lots of talk. Prosecutors get into the cases and sometimes go beyond the facts in their statements (think Mike Nifong). That is why they have trials and that is why we require a check on the prosecutors. That is why Ken Starr did not just get to throw Clinton in jail and why Fitzgerald is not getting anything but a perjury trial. That is why he cannot indict. There is no case.

Posted by: Jackj at February 23, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #209497

Jack-
The words about the umpire showed up in the press conference. The information about the classified and undisclosed nature of Wilson’s association with the CIA was among the facts set out in the preparation of the case.

It is part of Fitzgerald’s case, because the undisclosed nature of Wilson’s employment eliminates the possibility that reporters could have simply sussed it out on their own, bandied the information around town, such that it eventually reached Libby through Russert.

Instead, what other witnesses said was that Libby had told them the information before it was public knowledge. Several of these witnesses in fact. It’s there in the facts of the case.

Why not prosecute Armitage? I think one reason may be that he might not have understood it to be classified when he disclosed it. As for the others? Does Armitage’s admission exonerate them? Well, no. Rove admitted that he confirmed the information to Novak. That’s just as bad as being the primary leaker. Another issue is that the President claimed unilateral power to declassify information. Whether or not this is true in fact is irrelevant, as I’ve heard it, what counted in the law was the frame of mind: did you believe that it was classified? Their defense may very well be that they assumed the President had cleared it.

Additionally, the actions of Libby and Rove in contacting and informing others about this information indicates that they certainly had the intent to disseminate this information whether or not it was classified. They did in fact attempt to leak the information on purpose, even if the original leak was inadvertant, accidental.

The technical challenges in the law, it seems, went a long way towards limiting the scope of what Fitzgerald decided to prosecute.

Nonetheless, there is evidence enough for the casual observer to conclude that the Bush administration had little regard for the sensitivity of the information, that it was willing to use sensitive information in ways that were both reckless and malicious.

Before you start jumping on the newspapers over the exposure of certain programs, one must both examine the facts (The existence of he SWIFT program surveillance was public knowledge in Oct. 2002, revealed in a UN document on means of fighting terrorism) and consider the example that is made by a president being reckless with information for political purposes. If the Bush White House can use the classification and declassification process to hide and reveal information as politically convenient, his example can have deleterious side-effects in how other people treat state secrets.

Additionally, the way he’s used classified information has made it almost necessary for reporters to lift the veil of secrecy to even glimpse the truth. An example is the NIE I’ve mentioned before, the uncertainty edited out of the document when the declassified version was presented to the public.

When a president uses the cover of laws of secrecy to perpetuate his political power and avoid embarassing revelations, when he hides illegal and embarrassing policy action in these shadows, he further devalues the respect for sensitive information, by making the classfication process a morally problematic protection to keep.

Respect for secrecy must have two parts: First, state secrets cannot be treated cavalierly by the Executive branch, leaked with impunity, and at the convenience of the Administration’s agenda. If the President doesn’t respect the reasons to keep this information quiet, why should anybody else? Why should he be privileged as a leaker?

Second, the process must not be used, as with Flynt Leverett’s editorial about Iran, as a means of censoring embarrassing and/or previously published material. It should not be used to keep secret serious, institutionalized violations of the constitution. To go about things that way is to almost if not actually make it necessary for citizens to seek out this information in order to have any Democracy worthy of the name. We must be Democracy in the shadows as we are in the light.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #209500

Stephen

If you believe that classified is what counts, you cannot excuse its revelation when it is against Bush and condemn it when it falls on the other side.

If you have a law, you must at least try to apply it evenly.

This is the great joke of this whole thing. Liberals are shocked, shocked that anybody might reveal a secret that probably is not legally a secret. Yet they are usually the ones who hail the revelations on every other occassion. Be careful what you ask for.

Remember when Dems loved the independent prosecutor when they went after Reagan. Then it turned on Clinton. When you release this kind of dog, he bites whomever is around, not only Republicans.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2007 11:42 PM
Comment #209513

Jack:

Still showing off your lack of knowledge about what is or is not a crime? Lying under oath IS a crime…it’s called perjury and it’s prosecutable. The lie doesn’t have to be about a crime…the lie itself, under oath, is the crime…why can’t you seem to understand that??? Scared because Bush has been lying his a** off for over 6 years and that he might be prosecuted?

As with the Clinton perjury case, Libby is supposed to have lied about something that was not crime.
Posted by: Rachel at February 24, 2007 9:14 AM
Comment #209525

Rachel

What you are failing to recognize is that in todays justice system the severity of a crime and its punishment are distinguishable between classes. If I were convicted of the same alleged crime I would be off to jail in a heartbeat. The same does not necesarily pertain to the more privileged or better connected. I am being sarcastic here. But I do believe there is some truth to this statement. What is really sad is that even if he is convicted they probably will appeal and Bush will pardon him when his term is up. After all they threw him to the dogs so they owe him.

Posted by: ILdem at February 24, 2007 10:35 AM
Comment #209534

Rachel

You have the right to your own opinion but not your own facts. Read a bit more carefully. I have repeated many times that perjury is a crime. I have only mentioned the irony that in the Clinton and Libby cases they were lying about something that was not a crime.

I have typed this very slowly in hopes that you will read it more carefully, but let me give it to you in bullet points.

- perjury is a crime
- Dramatic irony lies in the our perceptions of a coming fate, which contrast with a character’s lack of awarness.
- So I think it is ironic that Clinton and Libby lied about something when seen from the broader context was not something they needed to lie about because it was no crime.
- Sum up, perjury is a crime even if you lie about something that is not. It is ironic that Clinton & Libby got caught up lying to protect something that required no protection. Got it now?

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2007 11:44 AM
Comment #209546

Well Jack your hafe right. So that is an improvement. Libby lied to coverup breaking the law and covering dicks ass.

Posted by: Jeff at February 24, 2007 1:03 PM
Comment #209551

Being so condescending isn’t cool, Jack. I don’t remember seeing Rachel comment on here before, and like you said, she certainly has a right to her opinion. Your opinions continue to show that you have a really tough time accepting the facts that this administration, in all areas and aspects, is slimy. Seeing any part of it getting jerked back just does the old heart good !!!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 24, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #209576

Jack:

…why is it so important to you that Clinton and Libby “lied” about something that “was not a crime”…the lie is perjury and is a prosecutable offense AKA “crime”. Period. It doesn’t make any difference…is it ironic? Probably not to either man…they were both lying about something that could’ve gotten them both in trouble…politically, if not legally…who cares…they both lied. End of story. Perjury…that’s what it’s called.

Posted by: Rachel at February 24, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #209578

Snappy comeback gw - but you have still yet to show facts.

I agree that Libby will probably walk, only because he continues to lie. He said when Tim Russert told him about Valerie Plame (which is a lie - Russert never said this) that he was taken aback because he had forgotten that he had already learned it before from Dick Cheney. This is about as weak of an excuse for lying that I have ever heard.

Having a clever lawyer and being a good liar does not make Libby innocent it simply means he has a clever lawyer and is a good liar.

I do take heart though, in two years these guys will all be a sad footnote of the saddest administration in US history. Move over Warren Harding, James Buchanan, and Franklin Pierce - there’s a new worst president and he makes you three look competent by comparison.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 24, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #209627

Rachel and Sandra

I am trying to say it simply and I have written it scores of times.

Perjury is wrong, illegal & actionable. How else can I say that.

Being caught on it for lying about something that is not a crime is ironic. As far as I know, irony is not a defense in any state and I am not saying it is.

There is the entrapment defense. The authorities cannot trick someone into committing a crime he would not otherwise commit. That was the Murtha defense in Abscam, as I recall. I do not think this applies here, but I bet some members of the jury do. That may influence the verdict.

Nevertheless, perjury is a crime. Can I make this any clearer?

IF Libby is found guilty, I will concede that he is. It will say nothing about the Plame affair, however. It will say that he lied about something that was not a crime. The reason I bring this up is because many people are getting those things mixed up.

BTW - there is a good chance he will not even be convicted at all. In that case, Fitzgerald spent millions and got all those Bush haters worked up for nothing at all.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #209647

Jack……even though most of us feel there is far more to this case, there are times when principle has to be defended. There is always the possibility that the jury won’t bring in a guilty verdict, in which case I firmly believe a terrible misservice will be done to this country. With Clinton, he lied about a b.j. …and there was no collateral damage, while with this case, there could be fallout for a long time. There is absolutely no way to compare the two charges.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 25, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #209658

Jack,
First, no one has yet to show me anything factual saying that Plame was not considered covert by the CIA. Editorials do not count.

Second, even if Libby is found innocent it would not be a waste of money because it exposes the fact that the Bush administration, who pretends to be tough on terrorists, is willing to sacrifice our intelligence operations, especially our anit-proliferation units for a personal vendetta. Wilson proved that they were willing to play loose with the facts to convince the nation to go to war (the single worst foriegn policy decision on my lifetime) and tried to destroy his credibility and exposed his wife effectively ended her career. Bush and company are petty little children posing as adults.

Third, this hurts our intelligence operations at a time when we need good, solid inteliigence more than ever. It is difficult to use the word intelligence and Bush in the same sentence. They have shown that if our intelligence operatives’ findings are different than what the Bush administration says that they will be personally attacked, their cover exposed, and national security threatened. That’s a real good way to fight a war on terror - which is a really stupid name for what we are doing because we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq we are mediating a civil war, we are letting Afghanistan slip back into the hands of the Taliban, and we are ignoring threats elsewhere and pouring billions of dollars down the toilet that is Iraq.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 25, 2007 9:25 AM
Comment #209662
Perjury is wrong, illegal & actionable. How else can I say that.

Jack, you can stop pushing the idea that it’s not really a prosecutable offense unless there’s a crime cover-up…perjury is a lie under oath…it doesn’t have to be a lie about any crime. You seem to find this so ironic…read the law of the US…it’s not ironic, it’s just plain and simple law.

A lie is a lie is a lie…and when a lie takes place under oath, it’s perjury…so simple. Why do you need to have an “underlying crime” to make it believable that perjury could be prosecuted??? Trying to make excuses for the Bush regime??

Posted by: Rachel at February 25, 2007 10:43 AM
Comment #209673

We all seem to accept that the verdict may come in as “not guilty”. Keep in mind, however, that “not guilty” and “innocent” are NOT the same…..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 25, 2007 1:28 PM
Comment #209702

Sandra

Re Clinton, Libby and perjury, I refer you to what Rachel wrote just above.

Re not guilty etc - we have to go with the rule of law. I still think OJ did it, for example.

In Libby’s case, however, all they will be determining is his intent. Fitzgerald knows what he thinks is the truth already.

To Rachel

I agree that perjury is a crime, no matter what the underlying reason. There is no legal difference. It is just interesting that both Clinton and Libby lied about something when they did not have to. It is a lesson to them too. If they had just told the truth the results of the investigation would have been the same w/o their getting in trouble for perjury.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #209726

Jack-
Perhaps, perhaps not. The issue with perjury is that people often lie to cover up crimes or to avoid contractual or employment-related consequences for their actions.

It’s a rule of thumb in politics that often the cover-up is more politically harmful than the event itself.

It’s easier to be honest, and to be competent and virtuous enough for the job that your ambitions lead you to so you don’t have to lie about things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2007 11:48 AM
Comment #209731
It is just interesting that both Clinton and Libby lied about something when they did not have to…Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2007 11:44 PM
I think most people won’t fall for that little misdirection. One lied about consensual sex for political and personal reasons, the other lied about the betrayal of national security and punishment of a dissenting opinion for political purposes. Both reasons are political but Clinton should never have even been interrogated as he was and the second should have happened to the current President years ago (but his turn will come). Posted by: Dave1-20-2007 at February 26, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #210628

Dave1-20-2007,

I think you confusing Libby and Sandy Burger (stuffing NATIONAL SECURITY documents down his pants - for political purposed [protecting Bubba]).


We ALL know the issue - when President Clinton, Sentor Clinton, Senator Kerry, etc., etc., etc. ALL read and agreed with the SAME intelligence that President Bush cited as his rationale for not giving Saddam Hussein an 18TH United Nations’ Resolution (and who knows how many more than the 12 YEARS of failed diplomacy and Magoo-like Hanz Blix inspector [who, by the way, AGREED that Saddam was in MATERIAL BREECH of the terms of the cease-fire]).

Oh, and since you love the assertion that “Bush Lied”… Can ONE OF YOU (hey, Boomer, you like that line) PROVE what Saddam did with the WMD that Hanz Blix and the United Nations AGREED that he had? To date, NO ONE has been able to PROVE what happened to it.

We’re supposed to believe that all those WMD simply disappeared? Right… And Hitler ONLY wanted Checkoslovakia, right? We KNOW this, because he SAID SO (and Chamberlain got it in writing!).

Oh, and one more thing - Bush did NOT “start” a war… For those of you who do not understand what the term “cease-fire”, it does NOT mean an end to the conflict - only a PAUSE in the hostilities (theoretically)…

The Cease-Fire which Saddam entered into was the first of the 17 United Nations Resolutions which he routinely violated. So, when 1441 FINALLY promised “severe consequences”, that was a RESUMPTION of the PREVIOUS war (not a new one).

Back to Perjury…

Again, President Clinton lied (knowingly lied) about a MATERIAL FACT in a Sexual Assault/Harassment case; Libby is charged with lying about WHO he may or may not have told that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA (again, something that is NOT a crime, therefore his statement [true or not] is NOT material to ANY case).

Posted by: wardmd at March 5, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #210629

Tom,

MANY Democrats (and some Republicans) ARE “validating Al Qaida’s strategy”… What is INSANE, is comparing Democrat Talking Points, and translations of Al-Qaida’s statements.

When the two are nearly IDENTICAL, how can you NOT say that Democrats are “validating Al Qaida’s strategy”?

What evidence do you have that if we were to “cut and run” (as you Democrats want to do), that Al-Qaida (and other Islamic Terrorists) would live in peace (with each other and their neighbors), and leave us alone?

Posted by: wardmd at March 5, 2007 8:09 PM
Comment #210654

wardmd - what exactly do you think Al Qaida’s strategy is? Your president seems to think they “hate our freedom” which is the most utterly ridiculous and overly simplistic thing I have ever heard.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at March 6, 2007 7:34 AM
Comment #210656

Tom,

In an interview with Osama bin Ladin, and I quote, “so that we drive the Americans away from all Muslim countries.”

“So, the purpose of the two explosions (the bombings of United States troops in Riyadh and Dhahran) is to get the American occupation out (of Arabia). So if the U.S. does not want to kill its sons who are in the army, then it has to get out.”

“The hearts of Muslims are filled with hatred towards the United States of America and the American president.”

“…object to the American government’s policy and to the American president.”

Then, I suggest you read the letter written (shortly after the London bombings in July, 2005) by Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, to Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq.

“Al-Qaeda’s battle plan calls for driving the Americans out of Iraq.”

Damn, if that doesn’t sound EXACTLY like the Murtha Doctrine…

What, precisely, is different from THAT philosophy and the desire of John Mutha (et al) – other than Osama (al-Qaida) are willing to do it by terrorist means?

How are THESE quotes different from the Democrat talking points?

To paraphrase Mr. Durbin, if I didn’t tell you that these quotes were from Osama/al-Qaida, you’d think they came right from the DNC (or any prominent Democrat).

They DO hate our freedom (especially our freedom to practice whatever [if any] religion WE choose).

Is is sad (and truely frightening) that so many Liberals (or is that Neo-Progs [“progressives”]) are so driven by their hatred of President Bush, Republicans, and America that they are willing to simply ignore the FACTS (and put ALL our lives at risk).

Posted by: wardmd at March 6, 2007 9:03 AM
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