The grinch who stole Fitzmas?

Merry Fitzmas? Hardly: maybe that’s because there’s less and more to the story than the left wants to admit. Depending on whom you ask there were indictments coming down for the entire White House— for the ‘illegal war’ in Iraq no less. Both the media and the left refuse to look at the reason why Libby would have been having conversations about Wilson’s wife in the first place.

One thing is for sure, Lewis Libby did not 'out' a covert CIA agent.

QUESTION: Can you say whether or not you know whether Mr. Libby knew that Valerie Wilson's identity was covert and whether or not that was pivotal at all in your inability or your decision not to charge under the Intelligence Identity Protection Act?

FITZGERALD: Let me say two things. Number one, I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert. And anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward.

I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003. And all I'll say is that, look, we have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally outed a covert agent. washington post

Just how bad was the damage to National Security? The correct answer is: Negligible.

WOODWARD: No, no. And this is not even a firecracker, but it's true. They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment. Woodward on Larry King Live

But according to the indictment Libby certainly appears to have lied... or his testimony contradicted other statements he made and/or his own notes. This is a far cry from outing a covert CIA agent. And a farther cry from the witch-hunt the left thinks it is entitled to after so recently discovering that national security is the most important thing in the world.

QUESTION: There's a saying in Washington that it's not the crime, it's the cover up.

Can you just tell us whether if Mr. Libby had testified truthfully, would he be being charged in this crime today?

Also, how do you decide if whether or not to charge Official A?

And also, it's a little hazy I think for many of us -- you say that Valerie Plame's identity was classified, but you're making no statement as to whether she was covert.

QUESTION: Was the leaking of her identity in and of itself a crime?

FITZGERALD: OK. I think you have three questions there. I'm trying to remember them in order. I'll go backwards.

And all I'll say is that if national defense information which is involved because her affiliation with the CIA, whether or not she was covert, was classified, if that was intentionally transmitted, that would violate the statute known as Section 793, which is the Espionage Act.

That is a difficult statute to interpret. It's a statute you ought to carefully apply.

I think there are people out there who would argue that you would never use that to prosecute the transmission of classified information, because they think that would convert that statute into what is in England the Official Secrets Act.

Let me back up. The average American may not appreciate that there's no law that's specifically just says, "If you give classified information to somebody else, it is a crime." washington post

The only laws that appear to be broken here are that of conflicting testimony and common sense. The fact that Fitzgerald is not indicting Libby or anyone else for disclosing classified information should tell you something.

Many of the talking heads who know Libby, both right and left, are saying that it is very unlike Libby to lie or be in such an obvious contradiction so as to create a situation of perjury. From all accounts he is a sharp lawyer who just wouldn't out and out lie like that. But if he did perjure himself, (and that will be determined by a jury of his peers), then he should be punished. I would expect no less. (You might also notice that this White House has said all along that Fitzgerald is doing his job as a prosecutor-- let the chips fall where they may.)

What lies at the bottom of all this is the fact that Joseph Wilson's wife, working at the CIA, arranged to have him sent to Niger to discredit the Bush administration. My argument is that this puts her outside the purview of her employment. It is an act that moves them both from non-partisan civil servants to political actors and I have to think somehow, somewhere crosses the line of nepotism.

It also begs the question, why did the CIA, 1) allow Wilson to go to Niger at the behest of his wife, supposedly a covert agent, and 2) allow Wilson to go public exposing that covert agent to a higher level of public scutiny, and 3) why didn't they try harder to keep Novak from publishing her name, but instead confirmed her involvement!

Manipulating intelligence

Joseph Wilson is guilty of the very thing he charges Bush with. Manipulating intelligence. He went to Niger, not to actually investigate anything, which he was obviously not qualified to do anyway, but to check out this 'crazy story' as his wife put it. He didn't mean to actually do any real fact finding, he went with a purpose in mind. Distorting intelligence? Predetermined analysis? This is precisely the purpose of his trip.

The report said Plame told committee staffers that she relayed the CIA's request to her husband, saying, "there's this crazy report" about a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq. The committee found Wilson had made an earlier trip to Niger in 1999 for the CIA, also at his wife's suggestion. washington post

When Joseph Wilson returned he lied about his trip. He lied about the fact that he went at the suggestion of his wife (twice), about what he had found there, and about the conclusions he came to from his trip.

Wilson said that he knew that the documents about Iraq and yellowcake were forged because the, "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," yet he had never been in a position (or shouldn't have been) to examine or see those CIA documents. (The CIA themselves didn't have the documents until some months after.) He tried to intimate that he went to Niger at the Vice President's behest and it was reported as such in the NY Times and picked up by other press sources. (Which prompted the Vice President's office to ask, 'who is this guy?' after he went public.)

The Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA, and British intelligence all concluded that there was more evidence, not less, to believe that Iraq had attempted to gain nuclear materials after Wilson's trip.

So is disclosing this fact wrong? I don't think so. Not when you have CIA employees and their spouses playing partisan political games. The CIA is not supposed to be a partisan organization and should not be used by its employees to try and discredit the executive branch. Let the chips fall where they may, by all means find the truth, but don't send partisan hacks to confirm predetermined conclusions (that turn out to be wrong) about whether Iraq attempted to acquire nuclear materials. Political employees of the Executive branch have that luxury but supposedly not the civil service.

He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself. The former ambassador reiterated that he had been able to collect the names of the government officials, which should have been on the documents.

Hmm, confused about the difference between what you have lived and what you have read? ...
justoneminute

In my humble opinion, 'Plame-Gate' is a sorry affair brought about by Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame as much as by the White House. Joseph Wilson should have never been sent to Niger. I am not saying that because Valerie Plame worked for the CIA that Joseph Wilson should not be allowed to voice his opinion or exercise his political free speech, what I'm saying is that it was not ethical for him to use his wife's 'covert' position in the CIA to do so.

Fitzgerald is a prosecutor who goes by the book and calls it like he sees it according to the law. Fitzgerald turned in his indictments, he explained his mandate, and he explained his rationale for indicting Libby. His mandate did not extend to the CIA and does not encompass the political actions of Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson, nor should it. I do however feel that Joseph Wilson and his wife crossed the line from non-partisan employees (in the case of Plame) to political actors. This is why there are rules, or should be, about nepotism.

QUESTION: Just to go back to your comments about the damage that was done by disclosing Valerie Wilson's identify, there are some critics who have suggested that she was not your traditional covert agent in harm's way, that she was working, essentially, a desk job at Langley.

Just to answer those critics, can you elaborate on, aside from the fact that some of her neighbors may now know that she was -- and the country, for that matter -- that she was a CIA officer, what jeopardy, what harm was there by disclosing her identity?

FITZGERALD: I will say this. I won't touch the specific damage assessment of what specific damage was caused by her compromise -- I won't touch that with a 10-foot pole. I'll let the CIA speak to that, if they wish or not.

I will say this: To the CIA people who are going out at a time that we need more human intelligence, I think everyone agrees with that, at a time when we need our spy agencies to have people work there, I think just the notion that someone's identity could be compromised lightly, to me compromises the ability to recruit people and say, "Come work for us, come work for the government, come be trained, come invest your time, come work anonymously here or wherever else, go do jobs for the benefit of the country for which people will not thank you, because they will not know," they need to know that we will not cast their anonymity aside lightly.

FITZGERALD: And that's damage. But I'm not going to go beyond that.

Posted by Eric Simonson at October 30, 2005 1:24 AM
Comments
Comment #88889

Eric,
Intereesting link on the Woodward interview with Larry King. Here is a portion of it:

“Now there are a couple of things that I think are true. First of all this began not as somebody launching a smear campaign that it actually — when the story comes out I’m quite confident we’re going to find out that it started kind of as gossip, as chatter and that somebody learned that Joe Wilson’s wife had worked at the CIA and helped him get this job going to Niger to see if there was an Iraq/Niger uranium deal.

And, there’s a lot of innocent actions in all of this but what has happened this prosecutor, I mean I used to call Mike Isikoff when he worked at the “Washington Post” the junkyard dog. Well this is a junkyard dog prosecutor and he goes everywhere and asks every question and turns over rocks and rocks under rocks and so forth.

KING: And doesn’t leak.

WOODWARD: And it doesn’t leak and I think it’s quite possible that though probably unlikely that he will say, you know, there was no malice or criminal intent at the start of this. Some people kind of had convenient memories before the grand jury. Technically they might be able to be charged with perjury.

But I don’t see an underlying crime here and the absence of the underlying crime may cause somebody who is a really thoughtful prosecutor to say, you know, maybe this is not one to go to the court with.”

Poor Bob Woodward. You know, once he was a great investigative reporter. Now look at him. It’s sad. He’s been Judy Millered.

Such a pathetic way to end of career, sinking to so low a depth. The poor guy needs access to the Bush administration in order to finish his second book, and now finds himself repeating the administration line.

The man who once helped break open Watergate is reduced to the role of toady, a mouthpiece, a weak kneed sycophant repeating the official line.

“No smear.” It started out as just “gossip.” The Prosecutor is a “junkyard dog.” A perjury charge is just a technicality.

So much for a liberal media bias, eh? Poor Bob Woodward. Thanks for the link, Eric, and reminding us how horribly far the pitiable Bob Woodward has fallen.

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2005 1:57 AM
Comment #88890

Eric,

This is a good post. Thank you. Your title really caught me. Libby should be tried fairly. If he’s found guilty, then he should be punished (versus pardoned). And, since it seems you were suggesting it, Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson should probably be investigated. As should the journalists would published the information.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 30, 2005 1:58 AM
Comment #88910

Wow. I was not aware that Joe Wilson’s report was false. Iraq really DID get yellowcake from Niger!!! Why did you not say so, Eric? Surely, the fact that Iraq had an existing WMD program when we invaded would be more important!!!

Could it be that the Yellowcake Data was a lie and Bush LIED to the United States in hiw State of the Union Speech?

Come, Eric!!! Tell us all how Iraq acquired Yellowcake!!!

Posted by: Aldous at October 30, 2005 6:05 AM
Comment #88919

Amazing!

Rush Limbaugh thinks that this is a CIA coup to discredit the President.
It’s not like this administration hasn’t done anything to discredit themselves.

So much for trying to cover-up non-existing crimes.

I guess we would have to ask Nixon about that.

Posted by: Rocky at October 30, 2005 8:36 AM
Comment #88920

Eric, you take ambiguity (Fitzgerald saying that he won’t say whether or not she was covert), and a statement of fact (that they had not made an allegation to that effect), and you turn it into a definitive statement.

Your assessment about damage to national security is based on one reporter’s assessment, one who is not privy to classified secrets.

You assume that Fitzgerald is done. Don’t. Not until he says he’s done. It’s foolhardy to believe that your people are in the clear.

Why is it necessary to go to such extraordinary lengths to make Joe and Valerie Wilson the guilty party, to argue that it’s all political self-defense? Why is it that you are willing to let this “self-defense” go to the edge of the law and even over it?

Wilson likely was not setting out to destroy Bush at that point. They were checking up on a simple document, which turned out to have many wrong details on it, and which referred to a situation that made it next to impossible for Saddam to get Uranium for his bombs from there.

That he went at his wife’s suggestion should not be seen as nepotism, for he gained next to nothing for it. With his knowledge of the region and contacts, Wilson was not unsuited to the task, and he could make inquiries on behalf of the government that would be unseemly by insiders. He could offer them an independent opinion.

As for his “lie”? It’s likely a true lapse of memory, unlike Scooter Libby’s. Source Amnesia. It’s probably happened to a bunch of people here. You’re in the heat of an argument and you put out a fact, not realizing that the fact you put out came from an unreliable source you earlier encountered. Embarrassed, you have to admit that you didn’t get it where you thought you did.

Joseph Wilson has the advantage of having a reliable source to have had source amnesia with. It was an IAEA report on the documents that he mistakenly conflated with his own account. It somewhat diminishes Joseph Wilson’s status to have this information be only secondhand, either by CIA or IAEA, but the fact of the matter is, his information was accurate. If it was a lie, after all this, then it was a failure of proper attribution, not a failure to give accurate information.

Just to be clear on this, Wilson was given detailed information on the documents. He wasn’t just sent there fresh.

The problem with your whole tack on this is that you view all these scandals as vindictive, jealous liberal conspiracies against Bush. You buy carefully crafted spin and (yes) lies meant to deflect and scapegoat blame for unethical and (by this prosecutor’s determination) illegal behavior. This is the water you swim in, and it seems you can only gasp for air when you do anything but stay on their message.

Fact is, if this administration wanted to punish nepotism, there were legitimate channels for doing so. Fact is, if this administration had the facts on its side, it would have never needed to strike at the Wilsons ad hominem. You only attack people in this way when the only way you can win an argument is by disqualifying the other side. Since nobody is perfect, you can always dig up such things.

Problem with this is that such arguments do not depend on the facts concerning the matter being debated in order to persuade people. Because of that, they will always serve to bubble people away from facts and figures inconvenient to those using them.

Its time to argue on the facts. If you lose then, then you deserve to lose. Next time, though, you can work from the truth, instead of the loyalty of your supporters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2005 8:37 AM
Comment #88923

Eric,

Let’s not dismiss the whole Plame leak quite so quickly. First of all, according to the Washington Post the CIA has yet to fully assess the damage from this case. Second, as is pointed out above, Fitz isn’t done yet. Third,

“if there’s nothing to hide, how come he lied?”**

You point out inconsistencies in Wilson’s statements and in the CIA’s post-outing behavior (odd, but not illegal), but you seem to ignore that Libby knowingly committed felonies to divert the investigation from the truth.*** Of course, we don’t know the full truth, but whose fault is that?


On this same theme, doesn’t this story really point out what’s really wrong with politics in our country today?

People on the left (far left?) have actually been hoping for indictments. This is such an accepted fact that it doesn’t even seem odd, but think about it. Their hatred for the administration is so strong that they would prefer that senior administration officials are lying crooks and punished for it than to find out that there is a non-criminal explanation for it. I don’t want to imply that anyone was looking forward to the 2,000th American death in Iraq, but its the same sort of thing. Wishing for something terrible just so your opponent comes out looking bad.

At the same time the right (the far right?) seems incapable of accepting the fact that this administration - which was elected in part on a platform of accountability and integrity has made serious errors in judgment at best and committed fraud against the American people at worst.

** Why should it always be the defense side that gets to use clever rhymes?


***In a court of law, Libby is innocent until proven guilty. In the court of public opinion…let’s be serious, OK?

Posted by: Adverbal at October 30, 2005 9:05 AM
Comment #88925

I’ve wondered why a “Covert” agent would recommend her husband for anything. Especially when he had no expertise in that area. You’d think if she was really in a critical position she would not want any possible public connection to him.

There have been those who have stated that Plame last served in that position in 1997 and it was a matter of her classification not being changed rather than her still being “covert”. Hopefully as this progresses more will come out because if she really was not covert then that would explain why the only thing Libby was charged with was related to the investigation rather than the “outing of Valerie Plame”.

Novak has stated that had the CIA person he spoke with told him that his releasing her name would have caused her harm he would not have published it. I also wondered if this was true and if it was true why the CIA was not more adament about not releasing her name.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at October 30, 2005 9:45 AM
Comment #88929

The irony about both Clinton and Bush, their followers, and the problems they have is that they were both hoisted on their on petards. Clinton allies had made too big a thing of sexual harassment. When their guy was caught with his pants down, we saw the erstwhile zealots claiming technicalities and saying it was no big thing. The Bushmen made security the center of their world with a similar result. The other irony is that their opponents have jumped on a bandwagon they were previously less interested in riding.

Posted by: Jack at October 30, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #88932

The fact that the CIA hasn’t even bothered to do an assessement of what harm was caused by this “leak” tells you something about either

1). Their seriousness with with which they take their jobs to begin with.

or

2). The seriousness with which they take Valerie Plame’s “undercover work” as a Langley desk jockey.

Posted by: sanger at October 30, 2005 11:02 AM
Comment #88933

Jack,

the erstwhile zealots claiming technicalities and saying it was no big thing
Well said. However, IMO, national security is a little more important than a blow job. Posted by: ElliottBay at October 30, 2005 11:08 AM
Comment #88934

Elliot

Depends on what you call the underlying problem

Fitzgerald specifically made no allegation of “outing” a covert agent. He could have done so. He knows (and we don’t) Novak’s source. Perjury is serious. This did nothing significant to compromise security.

Clinton was not about a blow job. First, it was a textbook example of sexulal harassment, as defined before Clinton. We can thank Clinton for stopping that sexual harassment jugernaut.

But consider this. If it is no big think for the CEO to seduce an intern (I know “she was asking for it”) what is sexual harassment?

The other problem for Clinton was exactly the same as this one, perjury.

Posted by: Jalc at October 30, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #88935

National security is definitely more important than a blow job (well, several blow jobs, but let’s not quibble). But what does that have to do with anything?

Some people are really showing themselves incapable of keeping up with the story here.

Clinton was never indicted or legally punished for blow jobs. Scooter Libby and/or everybody else is not being accused of anything having to do with national security. Both were accused of exactly the same thing—perjury, and the other issues are just white noise.

The only difference is that Libby had the dignity to step down while he fights the charges and Clinton refused to step down even after the charges were proven.

Saying that one perjury indictment is somehow worse because it relates to potential crimes that nobody is being accused of is plain ridiculous.
If you investigate somebody for murder and only find out that they broke the speed limit a couple times, does that mean that they’re a murderer? I guess it would if you’re a Democrat and the person you’re accusing isn’t.

Sandy Berger can walk around with his pants stuffed full of stolen Top Secret documents and you people will laugh and shrug it off—as in fact you did. FYI, what Berger has admitted to is ten times worse than what Libby has done and you people don’t care, so please spare us the crocodile tears about national security. You people don’t CARE about National Security and the whole country knows it, which is why the Republicans now control all three branches of goverment and will make further gains in the Senate in 06 while losing only a small handful of House seats. If you did care about national security, you wouln’t make excuses for Berger, excuses for Clinton, excuses for the CIA’s very nearly treasonous wartime plot against the president involving a desk mole whose NOC had expired but hadn’t been reclassified (as it it should have been) and her lying husband who had deep ties to the Kerry campaign.

Of course, this doesn’t square with the current Democratic talking points and strategy of obfuscation, but fair-minded people have no reason to care.

Posted by: sanger at October 30, 2005 11:31 AM
Comment #88966

Adverbal-
I think when we emphasize the body count, we’re trying to indicate to people the irreversible march of things, that there are consequences to this war that just can’t be undone.

As for “Fitzmas”? Democrats have heard much more than the average Republican about the corruption and abuses of power in this administration. Democrats see the indictments as justice against people who have more or less decided to be the villains against the Democrats.

Part of it is indeed partisan feelings, and that should not be a surprise, a shock, or an abomination to those on the Right. Part of it, though, is that Democrats have been right about just about everything thing they’ve accused the Administration.

The Documents we said were forgeries were forgeries. The WMDs we say aren’t there, are still missing. The cover-stories done by the participants in the leak have been proved false, and the budget deficit spiralled out of control, much like we expected it to.

For once, though, we want more than the cold comfort of factual vindication. We see all this corruption, lying, and negligence in Bush’s administration, and we can’t help but want somebody to face the consequences for that. So we’re happy about indictments, drops in polls, and other things, in the main, because we think that’s the way it should have gone. We wish that all this crud had come out last year, and a new, better administration had come into power. Now, many people have that same wish, and we unfortunately are in the same position: Bush stays president for the next four years.

Sanger, Lisa Renee-
A great deal of intelligence work is done out of embassies. That’s what makes a Non-Official Cover operative Non-Official- they lack the credentials that would tell the authorities that they have diplomatic immunity, and thereby save them from torture and/or execution.

Wilson, a former ambassador could not have done his job without some contact with the CIA, especially not where he was posted in his career. Any other assessment is done in ignorance of the way things are really done.

Valerie Wilson? I don’t know if she ever left the country. I could be wrong but the likelihood is that she remained safely distant from her husband. These CIA folks, after all, know what they were doing.

The term during which an agent is considered covert, after return from foreign soil, is about five years. There is a dispute about whether recent trips on Brewster Jennings business extended that period of time or not, but one fact remains that Fitzgerald (otherwise coy) explicitly stated: her relationship to the CIA was a classified secret. That Fitzgerald did not necessarily charge Libby on that is no indication that Valerie was not covert. It just means that he was being scrupulously circumspect about ongoing grand jury proceedings.

Which brings me to Novak. If you tell somebody “don’t release her name”, you’ve just outed her. Instead, they gently try to discourage it, which is all they can do.

As for the assessment, it may just be a matter of not revealing how badly the damage is for the sake of national security. Regardless, all this is cover for behavior that is illegal, as well as unethical and almost illegal behavior.

Sanger-
You are saying that not telling the truth about where you got the classified information you leaked has nothing to do with national security. Do you, pray tell, have a logical argument to back that preposterous claim?

Clinton was not indicted. Libby was. Libby’s perjury involved security concerns. Clinton’s involved personal matters. Libby’s act covered up an act that might have killed a number of people. Clinton’s act merely stained a blue dress.

Sandy Berger got into trouble, and as far as I’m concerned, he can stay there.

As for this treasonous plot? Seems to me to be the political paranoia of folks who have a hard time believing that there are other things as important or more important than winning elections. There was no plot to kill the president, no plot to allow al-Qaeda to carry out a new attack, no giving aid and comfort to our enemies. It was merely some guy telling the rest of the world that the president’s words were backed by bad evidence, which in fact they were.

If the truth like this is treason then to lie to oneself and other must be your greatest display of loyalty. I simply call it what it is: truth is truth, lies are lies. Only the truth can rightly guide our people to better days. Anything else wastes our efforts, on the whole.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2005 2:02 PM
Comment #88968

For those, like myself, who didn’t know who sanger was talking about, here’s some info on Sandy Berger.

“On July 19, 2004, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Berger for taking as many as fifty classified documents, in October 2003, from a National Archives reading room prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission. The documents were commissioned from Richard Clarke about the Clinton administration’s handling of millennium terror threats. When initially questioned, Berger claimed that the removal of top-secret documents in his attache-case and handwritten notes in his pants and jacket pockets was accidental. He would later, in a guilty plea, admit to deliberately removing materials. Berger left the John Kerry campaign shortly after the incident became public. Some suggested that Berger’s removal of the documents constituted theft and moreover had serious national security implications, while others claimed that the documents were taken, only drafts and all were flattering to Clinton and Berger (relating to the failed 2000 millennium attack plots). Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section, asserted that the documents Berger removed were only copies, and government sources have said that no original material was taken. [1]

On April 1, 2005, in connection with the documents investigation, Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. Under a plea agreement, U.S. attorneys recommended a fine of $10,000 and a loss of security clearance for three years. However, on September 8, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson increased the fine to $50,000 at Berger’s sentencing. Robinson stated, “The court finds the fine [recommended by government prosecutors] is inadequate because it doesn’t reflect the seriousness of the offense.”“

It’s not quite the same thing as the Plame/Libby case, but it does look like he got a rather lenient sentence. It makes me wonder what Libby will actually get, assuming he isn’t just pardoned. I don’t think we can seriously look forward to a maximum sentence.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 30, 2005 2:04 PM
Comment #88969

Stephen,

“Part of it, though, is that Democrats have been right about just about everything thing they’ve accused the Administration.”

Democrats have made a LOT of accusations that have not been substantiated yet. Bush as a mass murder, Bush’s military record, AND that Libby “outed” Valerie Plame are some quick examples that come to mind.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 30, 2005 2:17 PM
Comment #88970

The problem I have with BOTH Democrats and Republicans at this point is that so many of them have such low standards for their own politicians. Integrity doesn’t seem to matter as long as the politician is for the legislation you want implimented.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 30, 2005 2:19 PM
Comment #88976

Stephen, the reason Clinton was not indicted was because you cannot indict a sitting President. He was, however, tried and impeached in the House of Representatives.

Once again (but not for the last time, I’m sure) Libby has not been accused of anything related to national security. He simply hasn’t, which he could easily have been if there was just cause to do so, so it’s futile partisan sping to keep making that charge.

That is simply not what the indictment says, and while I understand your disappointment, Fitzgerald has simply refused to bring the charges Democrats were hoping for. Two years of innuendo, leaks, sound and fury signifying nothing, and this investigation has netted one guy the vast majority of the country has never heard of, and on charges vastly less significant than what was orginally charged.

You’re still trying to score points, but the buzzer has sounded, the teams are in the locker room and the fans are on the freeway.

I have no doubt that the far left is going to keep talking to each other about this story for months and years, but the rest of the country will be moving on very soon now. Just turn out the lights when you’re finished.


It’s amusing—but not surprising—to see how the Democrats refuse to acknowledge how the ball has been moved in this case. It

Posted by: sanger at October 30, 2005 3:10 PM
Comment #88977

Dear Eric:
Unless your ass is in danger of going to prison for this crime I dont see how you can be making excuses for this act of treason.
This is not game yankee vs Mets in which you defend your team to death. This is our America that we love. 2000 soldiers have died and every day a new shit appears in which we can see that the administration went to war just for the money. If you dont see that Libby is a traitor, you are a traitor yourself, my friend.
Look what you are doing now, you are defending someone who lied to you about the yellow cake and sent lots of soldiers to die in the war because of that lie.

Posted by: Michael the wise at October 30, 2005 3:13 PM
Comment #88978

Michael, who has been accused of an act of treason? Nobody. In fact, who has been exonerated on those charges? The entire Bush administration. Try to keep up.

And since nobody has been accused of act of treason and you’re just talking nonsense, why don’t you also call it an act of arson, kidnapping, murder and rape? Since you’re obviously overbrimming with hate, it might feel good to just accuse your enemies of everything you can think of. Go for it.

Posted by: sanger at October 30, 2005 3:30 PM
Comment #88980

Eric, against Woodward’s damage assessment, both Bush 41 and Bush 43 have said publically that outing an undercover agent is a serious offense. And perjury does harm as well - those lies make it impossible to investigate the root offense accurately.

As to the outing, there is evidence that Cheney and Libby knew, or should have known, about her status. If nothing else, the whole sordid transmission of the info from Tenet to Cheney to Libby to Cooper shows an organization that was all too loose with classified information.

As to whether Dems are sincere in their views on national security - well, I beg to differ. Sandy Berger was pre-9/11, as I recall, and 9/11 changed everything. Anyway you cut it - we should all accept that this SHOULD be treated seriously.

Posted by: William Cohen at October 30, 2005 3:46 PM
Comment #88983

Stephen

As Stephanie says, you guys make a lot of accusations and then interpret them ex post facto.

Let’s see:

Forged documents - you mean those that Dan Rather reported about Bush or the Wilson report that the bipartisan commission found substantially supported the Bush assumptions AT THE TIME.

WMD - you mean what most democrats thought was there, including John Kerry, who sat on the Senate Intelligence Committee BEFORE Bush was president and saw the same intelligence.

We are guilty of the deficits, but not for the reasons you think. Tax revenue is up sinced the second round of Bush cuts. In 2005, we collected more in Federal taxes than in any other year in American history. If we spent the same as we did in 2000, we would have a surplus. (in dollars adjusted for inflation in both cases) Problem is, we are spending too much. Republicans and Democrats should be looking for cuts. I agree with you.

Also the Clinton was not indicted, Libby was, is an invalid comparison. Clinton was president. Libby is the assistant to the vice president. Clinton was impeached, which is a more serious and much rarer occurrence. I don’t think he should have been impeached, but I am not sure if Libby is guilty of anything either. And nobody has accused our current president of perjury at all.

BTW - I don’t like to bring up Clinton, but we have to have some comparison.

Posted by: Jack at October 30, 2005 4:11 PM
Comment #88992

Rocky
Nixon isn’t talking. He’s out of the country.

Stephen Daugherty
Your spinning Stephen. Research left and right. Come back and argue the facts.

Adverbal
“Libby knowingly committed felonies”. That is really reaching and stretching even an iota. There is absolutely no way you could make that statement and believe it.

Jack
Only Monica could tell if it was a big thing (grin)

There is all kinds of evidence that Joe Wilson is a liar. That Joe Wilson outed his own wife.
That the who debachle of CIA, Plame/Wilson, Wilson, et al needs to have an investigation. There are people and facts yet to be known to us that need to be brought forth. The liars need to be revealed. Prosecutor Fitzgerald spent two years and only came up with the Libby indictment!
How many of you can remember what you said and did at this time two years ago and remember it well enough to make it sworn testimony. People in government are busy people (most of them). They make notes. When those notes are taken from them without review and then you have to go to a secret meeting and swear to their truthfullness you must have a good memory and know what your are talking about. None of us here can yet form viable opinions about Libby and the indictment until it goes to trial. When the true facts become known then we can opine till the cows come home.

Posted by: tom at October 30, 2005 5:00 PM
Comment #88996

Sanger,
Fitzmas is satisfying. It’s a season, one that may last years. By the way, how sure are you that there will be no more indictments?

Tom,
No, there is not “all kinds of evidence” that Joe Wilson publicly revealed his wife’s identity. Joe Wilson is not being indicted.
As for memory- read Fitzgerald’s comments on Libby’s testimony. He was attempting to mislead the direction of the investigation, and deceive the prosecutor, apparently confidenct he would never be caught.
Same question for you as for Sanger. How sure are you that there will only be one indictment?


Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2005 5:24 PM
Comment #88999

phx8
You are correct Joe Wilson is not being indicted. He should be, though.
Not one person on the face of the earth knows whether another indictment will be forth coming.
Two years spent and no indictment for the outing is sure a waste of time.

Posted by: tom at October 30, 2005 5:53 PM
Comment #89001

The dems and the media are making the indictment of Libby seems like the end of the Bush administration. Just one quick question: Does anyone remember just how many Clinton aides were indicted, and just how much media coverage it didn’t get?

Posted by: Mack at October 30, 2005 6:15 PM
Comment #89002

Phx8, I can’t be 100% sure that there will be no more indictments. Just like I can’t be 100% sure that tomorrow night the Great Pumpkin won’t rise over the pumpkin patch.

What I know is that after two years of investigating, a special prosecuter has indicted exactly one person on charges which are not insignificant but nonetheless nothing like what motivated the origninal investigation. I know too that the same special prosecuter, no matter how people strain to imagine otherwise, has done everything but say outright that there will be no more indictments.

1. “We’re not saying that Libby knowingly outed a covert agent.”

2. “OK, is the investigation finished? It’s not over, but I’ll tell you this: Very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that’s going to be tried and would you ever end a grand jury investigation.”

3. “We make no allegation that the vice president committed any criminal act. We make no allegation that any other people who provided or discussed with Mr. Libby committed any criminal act.”

Sound like somebody planning to look for more indictments? Nope. Thinking otherwise is just wishful thinking on the part of Democrats who have seen their “Fitzmas” dreams dashed—but that’s their own fault.

They built up this big tinsel-covered fantasy about getting a shiny red Rover and ended up with a tiny little Skooter. And that Skooter may very well skate right out from under these charges—leaving them with nothing but a pile of their own tear-soaked kleenexes.

Posted by: sanger at October 30, 2005 6:17 PM
Comment #89003

Tom,
Imagine a Republican driving a car with a Democrat as a passenger.

“Lookout!” the Democrat says, “You’re about to drive off a cliff!”

The Republican replies “How dare you criticize the way I drive!”

Wilson is not the issue here. Constructive criticism can be helpful, especially when it comes to driving off cliffs, or invading another country based upon flimsy pretexts. Had the administration listened to criticism a little more carefully, those infamous ‘16 words’ would never have appeared in the SOTU address, to say nothing of the rest of the dreadfully inaccurate material in that speech.

Good Lord, what a low point in the history of our country! But let’s move on…

Sadly, time and again, the Bush administration responds to opponents with a smear campaign. This goes back to the Texas campaigns, to the smear of John McCain in the SC primary, to O’Neill, and so on, and so. It’s a long list. Do you want more names? There are Democrats as well as Republicans.

What made this particular smear campaign so notable was the crossing of a legal line. Valerie Plame was supposed to be “fair game” for a Bush administration smear. Whoops!

Had no indictment been issued after two years, I think everyone would be fine with that. If people like Libby told the truth, and there was no legal case, that’s all, folks.

Instead, this is just the beginning.

Posted by: phx8 at October 30, 2005 6:19 PM
Comment #89008

Jack,

a textbook example of sexulal harassment
Except for the fact that Lewinsky never accused anyone of sexual harassment. She freely admitted that it was a consensual affair.

Tom,

Joe Wilson outed his own wife.
I’ve seen this claim several times now, without anyone posting any evidence to back it up. Do you have any evidence? If so, please post it.

Everyone,
If Libby doesn’t plea bargain, there is a good likliehood that his case will go to trial in a little under a year, so it should be in high gear about the time of the 2006 elections. What impact do you folks think that will have on the elections? I think it can only hurt the Republicans.

I think Libby will be under heavy pressure to plea bargain, just to avoid embarrassing the White house any more than they already are. Maybe an Alford plea?

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 30, 2005 7:05 PM
Comment #89010

Elliot

Re sexual harassment.

There were others besides Monika. Besides, the sexual harassment people previously would still have called that harassment. What about the other side of the coin? If Monika gets ahead for giving a head, isn’t that a form of sexual harassment against those who refuse? In the White House, merely being in the presence of the president is a valuable commodity.

The PC police would have been all over this one if it had been a Republican.

Posted by: Jack at October 30, 2005 8:10 PM
Comment #89016

Stephanie

The problem I have with BOTH Democrats and Republicans at this point is that so many of them have such low standards for their own politicians.

AMEN!


Tom:

“Libby knowingly committed felonies”. That is really reaching and stretching even an iota. There is absolutely no way you could make that statement and believe it.

What are you talking about? He’s charged with five felonies. You may believe he’s not-guilty (and you’re entitled to your opinion) but I believe you’re in the minority on that one. If it turns out he’s not guilty I’ll appologize on this board and even send him an e-mail.

Posted by: Adverbal at October 30, 2005 8:31 PM
Comment #89019

Saying that one perjury indictment is somehow worse because it relates to potential crimes that nobody is being accused of is plain ridiculous.
If you investigate somebody for murder and only find out that they broke the speed limit a couple times, does that mean that they’re a murderer? I guess it would if you’re a Democrat and the person you’re accusing isn’t.


Great comment there Sanger…and Stephen…Clinton WAS indicted. Not in the normal sense of the word. He wasn’t idicted by a grand jury, but if you know anything about the whole system in the grand scheme of things and constitutionally. He was “indicted” by being impeached. They are the “grand jury” in the case and the “jury of your peers” is the Senate. They are the ones who place judgement on a sitting president.

Posted by: Robert at October 30, 2005 8:42 PM
Comment #89028

Aldous wrote:
Wow. I was not aware that Joe Wilson’s report was false. Iraq really DID get yellowcake from Niger!!!
_______________________

The exact quote is: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”. Aldous, sought and have are two different things.

Here’s some facts for ya:
http://www.netwmd.com/articles/article626.html
http://www.factcheck.org/article222.html

Posted by: rahdigly at October 30, 2005 9:46 PM
Comment #89032

The Clinton comparisons here only serve to muddy the moral waters. Their only value is to paralyze those arguing the immorality of Libby’s actions with those that liberals might be more lenient about. The morality of the decisions of both men, though, remain constant.

Republicans or Democrats alike can mince words about it, but when it comes down to it, we live by the rule of law, and some of us claim to live by higher laws than that.

Let me remind you that if the charges against Libby are true, then he has not only committed perjury, made false statement, and obstructed justice, he has also born false witness against the journalists who he tried to scapegoat as his sources, when he was actually theirs. He lied, and tried to shift the blame for his actions.

The real purpose of evoking Clinton is to put Democrats on trial, instead of Libby, to discourage and dishearten them, to remind them of their imperfection.

But doesn’t Libby’s behavior reflect that imperfection back on the Republicans, as does their rationalization of it?

I have concluded this: It is simply wrong to lie in these circumstances. This is not worthy behavior for a Republican or a Democrat. Especially not if we Democrats are going to be pushing for a clean up of Washington.

Sanger-
The law doesn’t related to national security, but the crime does. He lied about being one of the leakers, one of the revealers of classified information. He may very well have been prosecuted for such offenses had he not thrown sand in Fitzgerald’s eyes on this one.

To protect our secrets, we must be able to determine what those who violated secrecy did an said. If they are so brazen as to attempt deception or interference with the investigation, they become twice the threat that somebody who simply confesses or testifies to their actual actions is.

Consider who or what a violator of our secrets might be trying to protect. Do you like the idea of a spy violating our secrets, then getting off scott-free because they didn’t tell the full truth?

Libby exposed classified secrets. As you have drawn from his authority to claim a number of things, you should respect his authority here: for some reason, Libby trafficked in the secrets of our country for his gain, or the gain of others. He compromised an array of assets in a time of war, and when asked, instead of telling the truth, he fabricated a story which he repeated with great detail.

The score, if one could be said to exist, does not favor the Republicans. The indictment confirms that the leak was indeed illicit (a classified info leak is that by definition) It confirms that A White House Official was indeed the first source for many of the Reporters out there. It confirms that a White House official tried to cover up his role in it, and lied to a grand jury.

The buzzer has not sounded. We’ve only reach the change of a quarter, with a new team of grand jurors coming in to replace the old. Save your celebrations for the end of this investigation.

Jack-
The Wilson report concludes the document false and Uranium trade between the countries nonexistent. Wilson reports a veiled reference to trade in Uranium Oxide, but he also reports that interational control of the Yellowcake market ensures that we wouldn’t miss such a sale.

The Tax Cuts were knowingly made in an atmosphere of reduced revenue. The results have been obvious: revenue reduced even further. Cut spending where you can, but don’t act like we can get out of this without some sacrifice. That simply is not the case.

Tom-
All kinds of evidence? Share it with us. I did my research, which you could see for yourself, if you would be so good as to venture to the Blue column and look.

Adverbal can believe what he says, because he has a federal prosecutor as his source.

You claim that Joe and Valerie Wilson are responsible for all this. I say that itself is spin. I say all you have on that is the speculation of pundits and politicians on the motives of those they see as rivals. We have a prosecutor with witness questioned under oath.

Fitzgerald has only come up with the Libby indictment so far. There’s a first time for everything, and you’re assuming despite the preparation of a new grand jury that this will be the last indictment.

If you’re wrong, then what? Are those the last possible indictments, then? Does justice have a limit defined by the personal opinion of Tom, or any of us desktop pundits?

Additional to Sanger-

I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003. And all I’ll say is that, look, we have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally outed a covert agent.

If you take that to mean what it’s obvious you think it means, then your interpretation may not age well. He said:

QUESTION: Is Karl Rove off the hook? And are there any other individuals who might be charged? You say you’re not quite finished.
FITZGERALD: What I can say is the same answer I gave before: If you ask me any name, I’m not going to comment on anyone named, because we either charged someone or we don’t talk about them. And don’t read that answer in the context of the name you gave me.
QUESTION: What can you say about what you’re still working on then?
FITZGERALD: I can’t. I don’t mean that fliply, but the grand jury doesn’t give an announcement about what they’re doing, what they’re looking at, unless they charge an indictment.

This guy didn’t tell the media ahead of time who he would and would not indict. He’s not going to leak that information given the seriousness with which he takes his job. Reading into that exoneration of anybody or anything that’s been alleged is just unfounded spin.

Robert-
Potential? I’m afraid if it was a potential crime, Valerie Wilson would still be some Ambassador’s wife, and an employee of Brewster Jennings. Somebody leaked classified information, and by all indications Fitzgerald thinks its Libby who did it first.

The lie directly related to the leak, and was meant to cover up the nature of it, who it came from. That’s the obstruction of justice.

As for Clinton being indicted? If you have to put it in quotes, it’s not equivalent. The normal sense of the word indicted has a specific meaning here. It matters whether there was enough evidence to bring Clinton up on criminal charges. There wasn’t.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2005 10:07 PM
Comment #89034

To Whom It May Concern:
You all don’t get it. It’s not about the leak. Covering up all the lies at the cost of people.
It’s about Attacking who ever gets in your way and ruining they lives.
Like they did to John McCann
John McCann 2008

Posted by: King at October 30, 2005 10:11 PM
Comment #89041

The damage is done. The corruption is coming to light. No matter how deep it really goes, the Administration will unlikely recover the confidence it’s now lost. Most people will now believe that a molevolent mindset exists withing government. And, rightly so. It’s a dirty business. Just another of the countless examples of smug, arrogant, irresponsible, and unaccountbable government that is threatening the future and security of the nation.

And, it’s not over yet. Rove is still under invetigation. Others are too. More indictments may be on the way. Still, no one knows who’s Novak’s primary source is.

In the big scheme, this isn’t as important as the many serious problems facing the nation. It’s just another predictable symptom of an already corrupt, dysfunctional, fiscally, & morally bankrupt government. Our government has been hihacked by an arrogant PC (“Political Class”). This has been going on for decades.

But look at the failures to date (many in the last 10 months):
(1) failure to reform Social Security
(2) failure after Katrina
(3) failure of border security (calling Minute Men vigilantes)
(4) failure of appointees
(5) failure of Supreme Court appointment (Harriet Miers)
(6) failure to cut spending and pork-barrel (where the hell is his veto pen?)
(7) failure by allientating allies
(8) failure to get body armour for all troops in Iraq, and armour for humvees
(9) failure of reliable intelligence

The Republicans are losing it. They’re certain to lose seats in Congress, and elsewhere. Polls of whether the nation is on the right path are down and falling.

______________________________________________
“I see PC people !

Posted by: d.a.n at October 30, 2005 10:50 PM
Comment #89043

At the 2003 Iraq Forum, (June 14, 2003), Joe Wilson along with a number of other people were speakers at the forum. His bio had a lot of data and toward the end “He is married to the former Valerie Plame”. Some of the speakers on the schedule were CIA people. Like the keynote speaker was Ray McGovern, an analyst at the CIA.
As far as the indictment of Libby, it is only an inidictment it is in no way a guilty verdict. Give him his day in court.

Posted by: tom at October 30, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #89048

For all concerned,
Eric pointed out that Mr. FITZGERALD said a href=”http://www.capdefnet.org/fdprc/contents/past_newsletters/january_1995/title/18_usc_793.htm”>Section 793 the Espionage Act was a difficult statute to interpret. Read it for yourself and ask how can we present the necessary information required for a fair public court case while still protecting our national security. IMO this statue needs to be rewritten in such a manner that we (i.e. United States) does not have to expose ourselves in order to prove that damage to our national security has happened.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 30, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #89049

tom,

That is amazingly lame. The bio said NOTHING about what “the former Valerie Plame” did for a living, did it? You said there was

all kinds of evidence that Joe Wilson is a liar. That Joe Wilson outed his own wife.
This one item is “all kinds of evidence”? C’mon you gotta do better than that.

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 31, 2005 12:03 AM
Comment #89050

Sorry people, However, web search “US Code Title 18 Section 793” and look for the one marked access.gpo.gov

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 31, 2005 12:07 AM
Comment #89053

An idle observation… Flipping channels, looking at various sites from all sides, I’m left with the impression Cheney is going down.

It seems as if Cheney is being set up as the fall guy, and not just for outing Plame. It seems as if the fault for going into Iraq is being laid at Cheney’s door.

Pure speculation on my part, but I can’t help noticing fingers pointing at the Vice President from both right and left. Did Bush and “Official A” (Rove) cut a deal with Fitzgerald, and throw Cheney over the side?

Is an orchestrated resignation due to ‘health reasons’ in the making?

Posted by: phx8 at October 31, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #89065

William Cohen,

“Sandy Berger was pre-9/11, as I recall, and 9/11 changed everything.”

NO! I provided a link for people who didn’t remember Berger, because I didn’t.

His offense happened AFTER 9/11 and concerned the 9/11 COMMISSION!!!

Scroll up to:
“Posted by: Stephanie at October 30, 2005 02:04 PM”

If you want to read up on him.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2005 1:32 AM
Comment #89066

phx8,

“Fitzmas is satisfying.”

“Fitzmas” is a sad, sick, partisan joke. That you think wrong-doing within the administration that runs our nation is something to celebrate indicates that you think the image of the Democrats is more important than the image of our nation. The fact that many of the politicians within the Democratic Party agree with you is indicative of why the Democrats do not control this nation. Sadly, the Republicans are following suit.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2005 1:45 AM
Comment #89068

Stephen,

“Consider who or what a violator of our secrets might be trying to protect. Do you like the idea of a spy violating our secrets, then getting off scott-free because they didn’t tell the full truth?”

Would I like it? No, of course not. Would I expect a spy to lie? Of course I would. Would I expect the prosecutor to discover the truth despite the lie? Heck, yeah!

Fitzgerald has had two years to investigate this. He’s talked to a LOT of people and read through a LOT of documents. You, amongst others, have said that Fitzgerald is good at his job. Given these factors I suspect that Fitzgerald knows the truth, that Libby’s lie might have fooled him for a while, but didn’t prevent him from uncovering the truth. That being said, considering that Fitzgerald has NOT accused Libby (or anyone else) of actually committing the crime they were originally accused of leaves me to believe that he’s not going to, because he can’t, because it wasn’t done the way we originally thought. I could be wrong; I admit that. But, NOBODY here knows and only time will tell.

Besides, Libby wasn’t a spy. He’s being accused of being a corrupt government official. While both are bad and both acts should be punished, they are not equivalent.

I MIGHT consider worrying about whether Wilson is/was a spy, but he really seems much too incompetent to be very effective.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2005 2:12 AM
Comment #89075

Tom-
I understand what an indictment means.

What you don’t understand is that none of the circumstances you list would out her. Only the pairing of an indentification of her and association of that with her employment at the CIA would out her.

Nothing about her husband attending a conference that featured a lot of publically known CIA agents would reveal that; as an ambassador who once represented our country to Iraq, he could show up there on his own standing. Neither does naming her as his wife, since that’s already publically known. Only the connection of her workplace with her identity would have made that difference.

Stephanie-
Libby wasn’t a spy, but he could have been, and that’s the point of why he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with lying. In another case, he could have been protecting his recruiter or his own spies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 6:44 AM
Comment #89093

Stephen,
I got a question. If the Commander and Chief of the United States gave a direct order to his White House Staff to cooperate fully with the investigation into the outing of Mrs. Wilson during a time when the country is at war than does that not mean that Mr. Libby could be charged accordingly? Isn’t the Presidential Staff the same as the Commander and Cheif’s Staff? Something to punder over the next few months.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 31, 2005 8:24 AM
Comment #89100

Scooter Libby lied to the press folks. His testimony that is quoted in the Indictment are all recollections of what he said to the Press. He was indicted not for lying to the Grand Jury, but rather for lying to the Press. Think about that for a second. At no time did he say Valerie Plame was a CIA agent, he told other reporters that that was the story going around. His charges are based upon his recollections of what he told to reporters, and that information was not correct, or actually, were statements made by him to limit the press to what he actually knew. He neither confirmed nor denied the information asked by him by reporters, exactly what someone whould do if they did not want to expose anything.

Posted by: David Korkowski at October 31, 2005 8:50 AM
Comment #89112

Henry-
We can’t court martial Libby. Military authority, even in time of war, does not extend to civilians in that way. The worst that could happen, did happen: Libby no longer has a job.

David-
He didn’t lie to the press, but to the grand Jury and the FBI. He told them that he learned of Plame through the press. That’s a lie: according to a number of people, he learned from other officials.

In doing so, he intentional attempted to divert investigators from investigating what he and others did.

Thus: Two Counts of perjury, two of making false statements to federal investigators, and one count of obstruction of justice.

Fact is, according to a number of reporters, he did in fact reveal Valerie Wilson’s association with the CIA, a classified secret. Whether or not it falls under IIPA is one matter, but it does fall under the rubric of a breach of national security.

This is not lying to the press. He unfortunately told them a little more truth than it was legal to reveal. The crime he faces indictment for now is not coming clean when asked about it by FBI agents and the grand jury.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 10:00 AM
Comment #89115

Stephen,
I realize that we can not court martial Libby; however, isn’t there a civil law somewhere on the books that cover this very problem? Certainly after 229 years some one has pulled this stunt before haven’t they? Although I am not sure of one right off the top of my head if anyone has every done such a thing, you have to admit that it is not right.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 31, 2005 10:33 AM
Comment #89116

The indictment of Scooter Libby is just the tip of the iceburg as to the corruption in DC. And it’s not just something that has come up over the last 7 years. Corruption has been going on in our government for as long as I’ve been paying attention to politics, and goes back to the 1960 ecections.
This DOESNOT excuse anything that Libby might have done (He hasn’t been tried yet, only indicted).
When votes are bought, back room deals are made, political headquaters bugged, pork is the number one priority, laws are made by bureacrats (EPA regulations or any other regulations that carries penitalies), defict spending is the norm, and the general welfare of the country is ignored., it’s time for the voters of this great nation to standup a shout ENOUGH.
There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to VOTE THE RASCALS OUT and keep voting them out until the politicans get the message that WE AINT GOINA TAKE IT ANYMORE. Americans deserve and should have a government that is responsible and accountible to WE THE PEOPLE and not WE THE SPECIAL INTREST.
If your tired of irresponsibility and unaccountibility in government then vote nonincumbent and keep voting nonincumbent until OUR ELECTED EMPLOYEES get the message.


www.VOIDnow.com

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 31, 2005 10:51 AM
Comment #89121

Sorry the above link should be

http://voidnow.org

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 31, 2005 11:11 AM
Comment #89122

That was easy, thanks David and d.a.n.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 31, 2005 11:13 AM
Comment #89123

David is right. If you read the indictment, there are several counts which seem to be based entirely on lies which Libby basically admits to having told—but to reporters.

Fitzgerald really does seem to think that lying to reporters and then admitting to having done so before a grand jury is perjury, a disturbing legal notion which has certainly never been applied before now.

Look at Count Four, for example, in which Fitzgerald underlines the specific words that he says are perjury. This is a direct quote from Libby’s grand jury testimony.

… . And then he [Tim Russert] said, you know, did you know that this excuse me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson’s wife works at the CIA? And I was a little taken aback by that. I remember being taken aback by it. And I said he may have said a little more but that was he said that. And I said, no, I don’t know that. And I said, no, I don’t know that intentionally because I didn’t want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning. And so I said, no, I don’t know that because I want to be very careful not to confirm it for him, so that he didn’t take my statement as confirmation for him.

And now get this. Here’s why, according to Fitzgerald, the above statement consitutes a count of perjury.

In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in that:

Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and b. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA; In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.

And that’s it. This charge is ridiculous. Here are two points Libby’s attorney’s will raise.

1). That “Libby was well aware that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA…” isn’t relevant to what Libby actually said. Libby doesn’t even deny that he was aware of this. If anything, the quote shows Libby essentially conceding that he knew Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA, and then describing how he tried to sidestep confirming as much when talking to Russert. If he lied to anybody, it was to Russert.

2). The whole charge completely and uncritically depends on Russert’s recollecton of the conversation as the unvarnished truth. Absent recordings of this conversation, how in the world can it be proven whose recollection is the correct one?

Even if Libby doesn’t totally beat the charges, there are at least 3 of them which are so poorly reasoned they’re likely to be tossed out before trial.

Posted by: sanger at October 31, 2005 11:14 AM
Comment #89127

Sanger-
The law referenced is Perjury, in case you haven’t checked it out.

Libby is not caught because he lied to a reporter, but because he didn’t tell the truth about what he said to Russert, not even about his own familiarity with the information.

As for Russert’s recollection, there are rumors that there may be exactly that: a recording. Even then Russert’s recollection is bound by the same statute as applied above: he goes to jail if he lies to the court.

It has nothing to do with lying to reporters. It has everything to do with lying to investigators and the grand jury. Your legal interpretation doesn’t even properly identify the direction of the lie. If Russert does have the evidence, Libby is screwed, outright. If it can be demonstrated that Libby knew this information, even if no hard evidence exists, we still have Russert’s testimony under oath, and we still have several witnesses who will indicate that four people told him the information and several people were told this information by him, in circumstances that indicated he knew what he spoke of.

This is not Ronnie Earle. This is the Guy who prosecuted mobsters and the WTC bombers, including our friend the Blind Sheik. You don’t rise as far as he has by being sloppy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 11:42 AM
Comment #89130

A word to the confused, even if Joe Wilson is caught eating live babies, it does not make Scooter innocent. If I’m escaping after robbing a bank and run over a wanted child molesterer, am I still guilty of robbing a bank?

This is the heart of the conservative defense of Scooter.

Try to stay focused.

Posted by: Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout at October 31, 2005 12:36 PM
Comment #89133

David Korkowski

You see, this is how they get you guys all worked up. They misstate the facts in what seems to be a minor way: “He was indicted for lying to the press” (a falsehood) instead of “He was indicted for lying about what he said to the press” (a truth). You take the falsehood as gospel and get all indignant and echo it on talk radio and blogs until it drowns out the truth among your like-minded comrades. Voila! Newspeak and doublethink!

Please wake up before it is too late.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at October 31, 2005 12:45 PM
Comment #89159

I think this case, like the Martha Stewart case, has a real problem. It’s an obstruction case related to the obstruction of an investigation for an underlying act that may have not been a crime. When asked if the underlying conduct was a crime, Patrick Fitzgerald said essentially that it could not be determined, in part, because of the obstruction he faced from Scooter Libby, comparing his acts to throwing sand in a baseball umpire’s eyes. Fitzgerald said, “But let’s assume, for the moment, that the allegations in the indictment are true. If that is true, you cannot figure out the right judgment to make, whether or not you should charge someone with a serious national security crime or walk away from it or recommend any other course of action, if you don’t know the truth. ” This can’t be the situation he faces. Either she has the status of an agent whose identity may not legally be disclosed under the Espionage Act or she does not. This does not hinge on Libby or anyone else’s recollection of the details of the leak. Her status is the sine qua non of the underlying offense. It’s the type of question that needs to be asked first, and the answer could be determined quickly and easily by reviewing her status at the CIA and comparing it to the relevant law. This finding should have been made before any other activities in the investigation. While Fitzgerald is fond of baseball analogies, consider this one. It’s as if someone were charged with the “crime” of playing baseball without a license. After months of investigation, it turns out one of the players did not want to admit to investigations that he played a bit of pickup ball in the old HS stadium. (Perhaps it was embarassing, not least because it occured during the work week). He’s charged with obstruction. Millions were spent. But it turns out the underlying conduct was not a crime, and this could have been determined before any other investigative acts by resorting to a statute book.

Fitzgerald’s failure to be forthright about whether the underlying leak was a crime is disturbing. Investigations deserve respect, and investigators should not be lied to. But the respect is a two way street. Expensive and intrusive investigations that extend to high government officials and members of the press should be undertaken when a real crime is involved. They should not be ends in themselves, investigating noncrimes or other “gray area” conduct, and then prosecuting the individuals involved for their resistance to the process.

Posted by: Roach at October 31, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #89166

phx8
“An idle observation… Flipping channels, looking at various sites from all sides, I’m left with the impression Cheney is going down.

It seems as if Cheney is being set up as the fall guy, and not just for outing Plame. It seems as if the fault for going into Iraq is being laid at Cheney’s door.

Pure speculation on my part, but I can’t help noticing fingers pointing at the Vice President from both right and left. Did Bush and “Official A” (Rove) cut a deal with Fitzgerald, and throw Cheney over the side?

Is an orchestrated resignation due to ‘health reasons’ in the making?”

I too, wonder whether this will reach to Cheney.
Here are some questions that I have:
We now know that Cheney has been lying and that Fitzgerald knows this. And we now know that Cheney knew that Libby was lying to investigators and that they were all aware of Plame’s classified status. Now Cheney could have thrown Libby to the wolves very early on in this investigation and then announced it to try to make himself look honest and save his own hide, but instead, he kept silent during this whole process.
Does this mean he also perjured himself with his testimony, and is his silence not Obstruction in and of itself? In other words, has Cheney put himself into the exact same situation as Libby?
Is Fitzgerald using Libby’s indictment to punish him, or is it to put pressure on him to talk because he wants to go after others? In addition to “Offical A” which we all recognize as Rove, who talked about Plame with Libby (prior to Libby’s “talk” with Tim Russert)? The indictment cited an unnamed under secretary (Grossman?), someone from the CIA, the Vice President and Ari Fleisher.
So, rather than the final result, is Libby perhaps only one corner of the total picture, with the ultimate target in the crosshairs, but not yet named?
I believe that the point that has been made clear from the indictment is that there has been a cover-up — and that it extends to the entire White House. Why? Because are we to actually believe that Libby concocted this whole thing all by himself?
What about the president? As Cheney’s chief of staff, one of Scooter’s previous job titles also happened to have been “assistant to the president”. Did Bush lie to us when he said he’d get to the bottom of it — and when he claimed he’d have all of his staff fully cooperate with Fitzgerald’s investigation? Don’t we in fact already know he’s a chronic liar? After all, we now know that he was lying 2 years ago since he was aware that Rove was one of the leakers, even though he didn’t say so at the time. And we know he lied about firing anyone who turned out to be involved, since Rove is still right there beside him, isn’t that right?

No matter what any of the Republican’s on this blog are saying or will say in the future, everything in this case is sharply undermining both the president and vice president’s honestly and credibility. And everything points to a conspiracy to discredit Wilson — because he was exposing their phony justifications for going to war in Iraq.
A double conspiracy. One about their breach of national security to cover for the other, which is the highest of high crimes and most impeachable of impeachable offenses.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 31, 2005 2:37 PM
Comment #89171

So many lies in the red column, and so little time.

Question for the right. It’s true that no one has been indicted for the “underlying crime”. Most people on both sides, including the prosecutor, have said that the law is written in such a way as to be very difficult to prosecute. Also, contrary to what many of you have written, the prosecutor did in fact talk about the “outting” itself. He said that Libby was the first person to talk with reporters about Plame’s identity and that this was the first they had heard about it. Libby did, in fact, out Plame. So, my question is, if it is too technically difficult to prove that the outting of a CIA agent is against the law, do you have any problem with the Administration doing it or are you of the opinion, like Karl Rove, that Plame was fair game?

Secondly, the right likes to bring up the Senate Intelligence Committee report that stated that Wilson’s report actually helped bolster the yellow cake claims with some people at the CIA. What you fail to mention is that the same report reveals that the State Department (correctly) determined that Wilson’s report helped debunk the yellow cake claims. The State Department that had been right about Iraq as often as it had been ignored or ostracized in the administration. Just because the administration chose to ignore the findings of the State Department, doesn’t mean they (or Joe Wilson’s report) were wrong. Quite the contrary.

So what we have here gets to the real heart of those of us who have been against how this adminstration operates and specifically how it dealt with evidence in the lead up to war. Much of the evidence shows that the administration had been pressuring the CIA for intelligence to back their claims against Iraq. They were looking to sell the war and needed backup, even if the “round” intelligence didn’t fit into the “square” holes of war justification, they wanted it “reshaped”.

While the independent thinkers in the State Department were able to see that Joe Wilson’s report helped debunk the yellow cake claims, those at the CIA were somehow able to claim that it added credence. That could be just held up as an honest difference of opinion, if it wasn’t widely known that administration officials, including Scooter Libby, were making an unusually large number of trips to Langley to lean on the CIA to come up with more material. Thus, the claim of “twisting” intelligence.

It all gets back to the point that yes, the administration had lots of evidence against Iraq that could be used to sell the war, but they also had lots of intelligence that went against that argument. But those pieces of evidence were ignored, villified or shouted down, with the assistance and complicity of the CIA in the person of George Tenet (yes, a Clinton appointee - gasp) who received the highest honor this country can bestow as thanks for his incompetence.

Posted by: Burt at October 31, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #89174

Simple Truth
Libby reveled classified information to the press for his own purposes. This is illeagel. Stop trying to justify somones illeagel activity because they belong to your political party. Left wing conspiracy, Media Bias, All a bunch of radical right wing B.S.
C.A.W.P.

Posted by: C.A.W.P. at October 31, 2005 3:05 PM
Comment #89175

Roach-
Are you saying that a person should have the freedom to lie to a grand jury when they’re embarassed about the truth? Oh, poor thing, they investigated him and made him red in the face. He still lied, and as your people amply proved in the Whitewater investigation, lying to a grand jury truly does not qualify as a non-crime.

The classified nature of her role in the CIA has already been determined. Fitzgerald has also presented his opinion that her NOC existence was a little known fact, not widely known like the reverberators in the GOP echo chambers have said.

Those two determinations, at the very least, present a greater likelihood that Fitzgerald might indeed confirm that Valerie Wilson was a covert agent when she was outed.

Besides, he may have determined she was under the protection of the IIPA already, just not charged anybody with the crime yet. If so, your assessment is prematurely concerned with the matter.

As for million’s being spent? The actual figure is $700,000. I guess hundreds of thousands doesn’t carry the same moral reproach as seven figures does.

This administration has won itself little respect and less impunity by sliming those who disagree with it. Had they never taken that path, this Administration would not face the possibility of a grand jury-created personnel crisis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 3:12 PM
Comment #89176

Great to see the lunatic left unwrap their Fitzmas gifts and find all they got is underwear and sweat socks.

“This is what we really wanted though, underwear and socks. Thanks Santa Fitz”, they exclaim, grimacing through clenched teeth.

One thing about the Wile-E-Coyote Super Genius left - they may be delusional and ignorant, but they never stop entertaining.

Next, the left will get steamrolled by Judge Alito, on the road to losing more of Congress in 2006.

The lunatic left - the gift that keeps giving.

brian, this message serves no purpose but to flame other participants here at WB who are on the left. It violates the spirit of our Critique the Message, not the Messenger policy. Please refrain from this kind of flame-baiting or lose your privilege to participate here. —WB Managing Editor —

Posted by: Brian at October 31, 2005 3:16 PM
Comment #89191

brian
WE can tell your a real informed republican cronie. Underwear and sweatsocks what a great analogy.(Bush write that for you) When you have nothing of any merit left to say spouting off on liberal nut jobs and liberal conspiracy theory only make you look more stupid. I love how when anything associated with the republican party goes wrong its somehow the democrats fault. Are you really that ignorant?
C.A.W.P.

These personal and derogatory comments to brian violate our Critique the Message, Not the Messenger policy. Refrain from any more of these kinds of remarks please, or your privilege to participate here will be removed. —WB Managing Editor—

Posted by: C.A.W.P. at October 31, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #89194

Dear C.A.W.P.

I get the Communist Workers Party part, but what does the “A” stand for? Anarchist? Antichrist? Addled? Affable? Accidental? The mind reels …

“WE can tell your a real informed republican cronie.”

Can WE also tell I don’t bother to inform myself about the NON-outing of a NON-covert agent, a NON-crime, not to mention a complete waste of time?

“When you have nothing of any merit left to say spouting off on liberal nut jobs and liberal conspiracy theory only make you look more stupid.”

Tell me the exact point when there was anything at all of merit to report about this entire matter, and you win a cookie, champ.

“I love how when anything associated with the republican party goes wrong its somehow the democrats fault.”

That’s sweet about your love, but I don’t see how anything much has gone wrong here. Some CIA chairwarmer sent her sot of a husband to drink scotch by a Nigerian pool, and then he wrote a “what I did on my boondoggle of a summer vacation my wife sent me on to get me out of the house” op-ed in the New York Times, which pretty much exposed his wife in the first place.

So I’m supposed to get worked up about exactly what? There’s nothing here to even remotely care about. I just like watching the left get their hopes up, only to have it all crash down on their heads, just like the roadrunner cartoons.

Posted by: Brian at October 31, 2005 4:25 PM
Comment #89201

Brian-
Tell me what deep well of personal experience you draw upon to make the statements that you do. You did accompany them on that trip, didn’t you?

Failing that, please enlighten the rest of us about what sources you use, and whether any of them use actual factual evidence to characterize the Wilsons and their activities, or whether this is just all an exercise in free-form personal partisan interpretation.

From the looks of it, with everybody repeating the same crap, it appears to me that the latter is the more likely scenario. Trouble is, the Conservative media has itself so tightly wound in on itself, that there’s never anybody to step in front of wild speculation or bad facts to stop them. Everybody just lets the crap just charge right on, without any effort of filtering for the facts.

I think America deserves less mudslinging and more real analysis. The question is, where’s yours?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 4:59 PM
Comment #89203

I think what he did was serious and probably criminal. It’s more a question of prosecutorial discretion. I dont’ think Libby or anyone other than the CIA human resources desk can confirm her status and, once that’s confirmed, justify or not a continuing investigation. The lack of charges on that aspect of the case are disturbing. And this trend of independent counsels bringing obstruction charges when the underlying offense cannot be proven is a common trend, which included Starr and Lawrence Welch.

I’m not concerned for Libby. It’s not his right to break the law regarding obstruction and perjury, even if the underlying conduct does not constitute a crime. I’m concerned for the problem of prosecutorial malfeasance and misuse of resources. There is something ridiculous about taking years to figure out what happened if “what happened” is not a crime. And if it is a crime, Fitzgerald should say so. His failure to do so and his misleading attribution of that to Libby’s misconduct, punts an issue that he should be able to answer directly. If he continued to investigate what he did not think was a crime, that’s a misuse of prosecutorial resources and the social harm of perjury and obstruction in such a case is indeed less, just as it would be if someone lied in an investiation of “snow skiing without a license” or some other such thing. The harm and right to raise this defense is not Libby’s; he has no right independently to pick and choose which investigations he’ll deal with truthfully and which he won’t. The harm is to the general public, whose prosecutorial resources are misused or used inefficiently.

Posted by: Roach at October 31, 2005 5:02 PM
Comment #89205

I didn’t realize that Iraq had actually aquired yellow cake from Niger. Your insight is breathtaking. Damn that liberal media for telling me there was no yellow cake. I guess the investigation is still open to see if Joe Wilson is the one guilty of a crime.
Look, conservatism is a dying ideology because it is based on saving the elite. It believes true heartedly that the people that are in power are there for a reason, and therefore they can never do the amount of wrong that would require them to be vanquished from their position, and hence no one should try to change that.
But conservatism has done everything wrong that would make it seem that to follow these principles is suicide. I ask everyone of you, what has this administration done that has worked, other than destroy lives?

Posted by: ericsucksballs at October 31, 2005 5:09 PM
Comment #89217

This whole matter is only a big deal to Bush Haters, Inc. As far as John Q. Public is concerned it’s a political lynching. The general public is much more concerned with the price of gasoline and how the economy is doing (fairly well by the way). This really isn’t even a blip on their radar.

Posted by: pige at October 31, 2005 5:57 PM
Comment #89223

pige,

If it “really isn’t a blip on their radar”, then why do only 39% of the public think Bush is doing a good job? And why does the public think that the gas company profits are excessive?

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 31, 2005 6:27 PM
Comment #89224

pige:
“This whole matter is only a big deal to Bush Haters, Inc. As far as John Q. Public is concerned it’s a political lynching.”

Poll: Americans Think Libby Sign Of Larger White House Wrongdoing

“The general public is much more concerned with the price of gasoline and how the economy is doing (fairly well by the way).”

Consumer confidence at 13-year low. Home-buying attitudes plunge to lowest in 15 years

“This really isn’t even a blip on their radar.”

Do you guys never bother to read the daily news?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 31, 2005 6:32 PM
Comment #89230

Adrienne,

Bush’s approval ratings, according to Rasmussen (one of the only ones who got the election right), are up 5% to 45% and the Consumer and Investor Indexes are both up as well.

As for many people believing that the indictment hides a deeper wrondoing, remember that the majority of people believe that there was an Iraq-Al Qaeda link on 9/11. ‘the people’ are easily led to thinking along the lines of conspiracies, especially when you have the democrats hawking it harder than the republicans hawked the war itself. It leaves little room for those like us in the middle who would like some proof to go along with their conspiracies please…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 31, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #89243

Roach-
First, he’s a Special prosecutor. His appointment has nothing to do with the now defunct independent counsel law.

I know the lack of charges has you spooked. It even makes me uneasy. This is what they call suspense. It leaves me free to say more indictments to follow, you to say the opposite, and neither of us free to say we’re right about it on a factual basis.

I think it’s highly premature for you to talk about punting or about prosecutorial malfeasance and waste of resources when we’re only seeing the beginning of this phase, especially since much of the investigation is over.

It seems to me that your side is convinced of two conflicting possibilities at once:

1)It’s all over, the worst is past,

and

2)This is just beginning and it can only get worse.

This is why you are already grumbling about prosecutorial abuse in an investigation that’s remained below your radar for so long. That is why you’re reading the best and the worst into Libby’s indictment.

And because Fitzgerald won’t let you know exactly how bad it is, you folks feel resentment towards him. There’s no solid target for the usual press manipulation. You folks kept on bluffing about no indictments coming, then bang: one! And worse, one high up. One in the middle. This isn’t some forgettable aid, this is someone right in the middle.

So make your jokes about snow-skiing or baseball playing without a license, as if a national security investigation is something that frivolous, that baseless. Keep on thinking that Republicans who believe in their country can do no wrong, and in thirty years, after this all blows over, you can repeat all the mistakes that got you into trouble this time all over again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2005 8:02 PM
Comment #89244

Rhinehold,

How is it going finding evidence that Wilson outted his wife on national television? Care to simply admit your error?

Posted by: Burt at October 31, 2005 8:03 PM
Comment #89248

I don’t set much store in opinion polls.
I was asked a couple of times to participate in opinion polls.
The first thing they ask is your political party.
Then if you tell them you don’t have a party they ask if your conservitive or liberial.
One of the polls told me that I didn’t qualify to participate because I wasn’t liberial. Guess whos beliefs they wanted the results to reflect.
The other let me participate but turned down a friend of mine that is Democrat. Maybe they wanted the polls to refelct the rights beliefs.
The thing to remember is that the companies that conduct polls aren’t doing it for fun they’re in business to make money and are going to get the results that the people that hire them want.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 31, 2005 8:15 PM
Comment #89265

Rhinehold:
“Bush’s approval ratings, according to Rasmussen (one of the only ones who got the election right), are up 5% to 45%”

But if we average all the polls out, public opinion does not appear to be very good for the man you are constantly defending against all rhyme or reason.

“the Consumer and Investor Indexes are both up as well.”

Rasmussen does report that they are up today.
But over all public opinion regarding the economy isn’t strong. And we know that when winter sets in, heating prices will be costing 50% more than last year — this is going to be terrible for the economy in the months ahead.

Consumer index:
Thirty-two percent (32%) of Americans now rate the economy as good or excellent.
Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans now rate the economy as fair while 32% say poor.
Investor index:
Among Investors, 38% rate the economy as good or excellent, 37% say fair, and 24% say poor.

Ron Brown:
“I don’t set much store in opinion polls.”

Perhaps you won’t want to look at this data or my links then.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 31, 2005 9:43 PM
Comment #89275

Stephen,

“Libby wasn’t a spy, but he could have been, and that’s the point of why he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with lying.”

How from my posts have you gotten the impression that I think Libby should get away with lying?!?

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2005 10:31 PM
Comment #89277

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout,

“A word to the confused, even if Joe Wilson is caught eating live babies, it does not make Scooter innocent. If I’m escaping after robbing a bank and run over a wanted child molesterer, am I still guilty of robbing a bank?”

You are exactly right there. While Wilson may have committed a criminal act (and if Fitzgerald suspects that then this might be why he’s getting another grand jury), that does NOT excuse Libby in any way, shape or form. IMO, IF Libby is guilty, which I will leave entirely up to the jury as far as my opinion goes, he should (but won’t) get the maximum sentence, i.e. thirty years according to what’s been tossed around here.

However, I cannot resist answering your analogy. IF the bank robber, risked getting caught for robbing the bank by INTENTIONALLY running over a wanted child molester BECAUSE he was familiar with the molester and the case and wanted the molester dead, then while the bank robber should still be tried (and convicted if guilty) of robbing the bank, were I the judge he would face no charges of homicide.

The one set of people I fully and completely admit, acknowledge and passionately defend feeling absolute and complete HATE for is child molesters. While, rationally I realize they too deserve their day in court, personally I think there may be a reasonable case for suspending vigilante laws to address this growing threat to our nation’s children. And thus, because our laws really do try to be more just than that, I will never be allowed to be a juror on a case of child molestation.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2005 10:44 PM
Comment #89280
But if we average all the polls out, public opinion does not appear to be very good for the man you are constantly defending against all rhyme or reason.

Um, straw man much, Adrienne? How do you figure I am defending Bush against all rhyme or reason when I just pointed out that YOU were wrong in assuming that the bad news of friday wasn’t the better news of monday?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 31, 2005 10:51 PM
Comment #89287

It’s no secret that many members of the CIA felt that the evidence used for going to war was shaky, and in some cases false. It’s not secret that Valerie Plame, an expert in WMD, felt that the yellowcake statement was false.

It’s no secret that Valerie Plame, among other experts in the CIA, were right. In fact, there was no WMD in Iraq, and no national threat that justified the war.

Why were these individuals ignored?

Instead, The center for “Family Values” feels that those values are better served by talking about how Valerie Plame is a “partisan”. Apparently being right isn’t a value these days.

Instead of the nation taking a good hard look at itself, in horror at going to war on false pretense, our leadership thinks its more important to pass the buck and point fingers and engage in name calling.

Apparently, we go to war out of loyalty and not for well-researched reasons. Apparently, loyalty is more important than telling the truth. Ah, Ambassador Wilson, you evil man who engaged in partisanly telling the truth against a noble president who went to war on shaky evidence and the testimony of a secret source named “Curveball”. Oh, Joe Wilson, it is YOU who should be ashamed.

Posted by: Jullia at October 31, 2005 11:26 PM
Comment #89288

“Um, straw man much, Adrienne?”

Oh, well I can’t take credit for this one. It was “pige” who first set him up, so I knocked him down. Then, you propped him back up, so I had to knock him down again. For all I know, you’re going to try to make him tap dance!

Posted by: Adrienne at October 31, 2005 11:27 PM
Comment #89295

Sanger,
You wrote:
Saying that one perjury indictment is somehow worse because it relates to potential crimes that nobody is being accused of is plain ridiculous.
If you investigate somebody for murder and only find out that they broke the speed limit a couple times, does that mean that they’re a murderer? I guess it would if you’re a Democrat and the person you’re accusing isn’t.

Interesting metaphor, but obviously flawed. The obvious metaphor would be: if you investigated someone for murder and only found out that they lied and obstructed justice… why didn’t you go there… could it be because the obvious implication if you did go with the more accurate metaphor, would be, that if you investigated someone for murder and found that they lied and obstructed, that you would reasonably suspect that they were involved in the murder - or conceivably perhaps something worse - possibly far worse…

If Bush wants to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” he should clean house and get rid of all people who remain under suspicion of wrong doing. Of course he can’t get rid of the VP, but he could distance himself from him.

The fact Fitzgerald did not indite for outing a CIA agent could simply mean that he did not have enough evidence because of the lies and obstruction.

Fitzgerald is still meeting with Rove’s lawyers which indicates that Rove continues to be a either a target or a witness.

Wilson was sent as a result of an inquiry by the VP and Wilson was uniquely qualified… particularly if his wife was covert and could have used his trip as cover to work the back channels while he worked the front channels. We simply do not know… but quite within the realm of possibility.

Posted by: Ray G. at October 31, 2005 11:46 PM
Comment #89296

Hello? Is this thing on? Tap. Tap. Tap.

Why am I consistently ignored when I simply ask those on the right to back up their wild accusations with a bit of fact?

Stephanie, what would possibly lead you to believe that Wilson possibly committed an illegal act?

Rhinehold, when will you provide evidence that Wilson outted his own wife “on national television days after the State of the Union Address” or simply admit you were wrong?

Posted by: Burt at October 31, 2005 11:56 PM
Comment #89300

Stephanie-
I’m not saying you approve, I just wanted to relate why in these cases, the punishment must be tough. Unfortunately, some folks on the right hide amongst the “fortunate’s” of the case. Oh, it’s fortunate she wasn’t overseas, fortunate that (according to some) there was little damage, fortunate that Libby isn’t a spy.

I think making this about the fortunate circumstances is asking for trouble, because the same standards will apply the next time when our luck runs out.

In all societies there exist standards in tension between unreasonable strictness and unmanageable negligence. If you let too many people take the law into their own hands and run over suspected child molestors, you may get more tire prints across the backs of

a)people who got in the way,
b)people who are falsely identified as child molestors, and
c)child molestors whose families are not so terrible as they, who are pained by the murder of their relative.

At the same time, we can’t be so nose to the letter about the law that we don’t allow for the occasional run-over molestor to save a child he was chasing.

In the end, it’s about doing the most good with the least trouble. Properly put together, the laws of our country and the freedoms they protect can help that to come about.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2005 12:21 AM
Comment #89311

Burt, I have done so, I’m sorry if you can’t understand english. Oh, and I’m not ‘on the right’ as you keep inferring, which makes you look laughable. I repeated, wrongly, something I heard on the radio without checking it. Not something I do very often but I am human. I explained what I did and that I shouldn’t have posted it and that I was going to try to find the origin of what I heard and see if there is anything too it before I consider anything to it.

As I said, if you want me to keep repeating something I’ve already repeated, it’s going to get boring for the rest of the people reading this blog, which was why I was trying to let you punch yourself out. You should have taken the out…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 1, 2005 2:08 AM
Comment #89312

Stephen,

“I’m not saying you approve, I just wanted to relate why in these cases, the punishment must be tough.”

I agree the punishment SHOULD be tough, but I doubt it will be. I think a lenient sentence or a pardon would be a “travesty of justice,” but I also think those are likely outcomes.

“I think making this about the fortunate circumstances is asking for trouble, because the same standards will apply the next time when our luck runs out.”

Personally, I don’t think there ARE any fortunates in this circumstance. That’s just spin. You know and I know it.

I think this whole mess is unfortunate. I think the choice of sending Wilson is unfortunate. I think the CIA not getting the right facts to the right people at the right time is unfortunate. I think the Bush administration ignoring the facts that didn’t suit their purposes is unfortunate. I think the lies and the smears are unfortunate. In fact, the only fortunates I see in this whole great mess is that Hussein is on trial and is likely to die for his crimes and the Iraqis have a chance at freedom if they’ll only take it.

“If you let too many people take the law into their own hands and run over suspected child molestors, you may get more tire prints across the backs of…”

I don’t really recommend we run them over…too risky. I’m more the castrate them, brand them, and inprison them in the most miserable cell we can devise for the rest of their unnatural lives sort of gal. Gitmo Bay seems ideal. Alas, the ACLU would never let it happen. In which case, Daddy taking his shot gun and shooting to s.o.b., except in the really twisted but all to frequent incidents when Daddy’s at fault in which case it should naturally be someone else, in the court room after the molester is found guilty would work too.

“In the end, it’s about doing the most good with the least trouble. Properly put together, the laws of our country and the freedoms they protect can help that to come about.”

And in the end, justice should truly be our goal. It’s just the part where they let them out of prison that gets me.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 1, 2005 2:11 AM
Comment #89313

Burt,

“Why am I consistently ignored when I simply ask those on the right to back up their wild accusations with a bit of fact?”

Because of the manner in which you ask your questions.

“Stephanie, what would possibly lead you to believe that Wilson possibly committed an illegal act?”

For the same reason that Stephen thinks Fitzgerald is going to indict more people in the Bush administration, i.e. lying. Wilson has lied, repeatedly, about this matter. He hasn’t told the truth consistently, if at all. This makes him suspect. At least to those of us not so wrapped up in our smug partisan Fitzmas presents.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 1, 2005 2:19 AM
Comment #89322

Ray G.
The VP did not sent JW. JW’s wife was not covert. The reason for not indicting for outing a CIA agent was probably for too many lies and obstruction starting with JW. It appears that Libby will be tried on two of the charges and he may not be convicted on those two. So we are back to square one. JW and wife VPW are the starting point. “Shopper” Fitz could not get what he was looking for, so the whole thing should be dropped and all should get on with life.

Posted by: tomh at November 1, 2005 3:53 AM
Comment #89337

Tomh,
As an American I take our National Security very serious. If you only knew what hides behind those doors of the Black Book Projects, I do think you would change your tune. So please do not take your life that lightlty. Old enough to remember the “Police State” of the Late 60’s in the CIA & FBI, I understand why certain knowledge & technology is kept quite. However, what Mr. Libby and the Republican Party don’t get is that most Independents and Democrats realize that Mrs. Wilson outing happened due to an over zealous political team that was hell bent to sell the Iraq War to the American Public.

Wasn’t the entire 2002 Election wrapped around this very idea? However, stepping out of bounds for whatever reason and yes even accidentailly is still a foul. And while Mr. Libby may of been well within his Civil and Constitutional Rights to do what he did for political gain, he is still wrong. That is unless the Republican Party wants to be so liberal as to say it is ok for a White House Staffer to disobey a direct request from America’s Commander and Chief during a time of War. Because didn’t President Bush tell “We the People” that he personnally asked his staff to cooperate completely with Mr. Fitzgerald? So how bad of shape is the Republican loyal followers going to be in now that “Puppet Master” Rove fired up the Right’s base with Ms. Miers and than offering Alito so that your side will support Mr. Libby and company version of the truth about our national security?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 1, 2005 8:00 AM
Comment #89354

Henry
Ive been around long enough to see and know and understand the workings of evil men. Joe Wilson outed his non-covert wife. From that point people bent on destruction took over like an automobile demolition derby. National security is of the utmost to me. The lies that Joe Wilson told and is continually telling has a far reaching impact on national security. Only a trial will show the true nature of the charges against Mr. Libby.

Posted by: tom at November 1, 2005 9:07 AM
Comment #89360

Well said, Tom. This 2 year trial was supposed to be about outing a covert agent; where the result is nobody was found guilty of that charge.

All this turned out to be was an another attack (yet again) at the Bush administration and it didn’t work.

The dems should get over the fact they lost the previous elections and debate the issues, instead of playing the “culture of corruption” mantra with the repubs. Let’s have a debate on the real issues (Borders, War on terror, Energy prices, Judges, fixing social security, etc.).

Posted by: rahdigly at November 1, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #89366

tomh

You wrote:

The VP did not sent JW. JW’s wife was not covert. The reason for not indicting for outing a CIA agent was probably for too many lies and obstruction starting with JW. It appears that Libby will be tried on two of the charges and he may not be convicted on those two. So we are back to square one. JW and wife VPW are the starting point. “Shopper” Fitz could not get what he was looking for, so the whole thing should be dropped and all should get on with life.

Cheney did not send Wilson - directly - but Wilson was sent in response to a request for information by Cheney. So, the Republican emphasis on this discrepancy is a difference without meaning. This is counter-productive for Republicans, because this part of it actually is the only part that makes Cheney look good. On the surface of this, it appears that Cheney was attempting to exercise do diligence and make sure that the intelligence was accurate. The truth may be to the contrary. Cheney may have simply been on a fishing trip hoping to find something useful to his warmongering agenda, and intending to intending to ignore anything that did not serve his preconceived agenda. But we do not know that. So, on the surface it looks as though Cheney may have been trying to find out the real truth. If Republicans were smart - which to some of us is doubtful - they would say - Cheney did not originally know who actually got sent, but he was responsible for having someone sent to check it out.

You can parse different analyses of Wilson’s report in any way that you want - but the fact is Wilson’s report said that there was no yellow cake - and history has proven it to be accurate. Wilson has never been sent a letter indicating that he is a target of this investigation. He is not a target of this investigation. You are just throwing up a smoke screen.

High White House officials are targets. There is substantial evidence of lies and obstruction of justice. There is good reason to suspect that they are covering up something - quite possibly something big. There are many reasons that Fitzgerald might not be able to indite on the original suspected crime. Perhaps the original suspected crime did not even happen. Perhaps the real crime was actually a conspiracy by the the P and VP to mislead this country into war - we do not know - that is why lies and obstruction are so serious.

That is why we need to get to the bottom of this and then “get on with life”.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 1, 2005 9:50 AM
Comment #89370
The reason for not indicting for outing a CIA agent was probably for too many lies and obstruction starting with JW.

The logic here fails to grab me.

1) If Fitzgerald can say in an indictment that Libby was the first to talk to reporters about Valerie Plame’s position at the CIA, why not charge him with that? He obviously feels he has enough information to make that stick, I don’t see how anything Libby did or didn’t say could impact what the legal status of Valerie Plame’s working status.

2) Are you saying that if Libby had just taken the 5th that Fitzgerald would have had no case at all? Why didn’t he do that then and what kind of indictment is it that seems to only rest on what Libby said in his deposition, not what other evidence Fitzgerald could collect?

As for what Wilson’s report said, did you read it? First of all, the charge was that Iraq attempted to purchase the nuclear material, not that they had succeeded, and Wilson’s report, from what the CIA has reported (along with the 9/11 commission and the Butler report) bolstered that claim within the CIA. Wilson can say NOW that he said one thing or another in that report, but it’s hard to say since we don’t have access to it, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 1, 2005 10:00 AM
Comment #89383

6318
Ray G. wrote on October 31, 2005 11:46 PM:

“If Bush wants to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” he should clean house and get rid of all people who remain under suspicion of wrong doing. Of course he can’t get rid of the VP, but he could distance himself from him…Wilson was sent as a result of an inquiry by the VP and Wilson was uniquely qualified… particularly if his wife was covert and could have used his trip as cover to work the back channels while he worked the front channels. We simply do not know… but quite within the realm of possibility.”
___________________________

If he got rid of everybody just b/c of suspicion, then Bush would be in this predicament every year. That would be the strategy the dems would choose; instead of just either working with the Prez or debating he and the Repubs in Congress on the real issues.

And, Joe Wilson was flagged by the 9/11 commission report, as well.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 1, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #89384

Stephanie-
The folks of the blue column are asking this question: what did he lie about what did he say that was untrue. He didn’t immediately disclose that his wife was involved in getting him into the job, but he couldn’t have said that because that would have outed her. It’s only after somebody committed the crime of leaking information to the press that anybody knew about this, and that is the irony of all this: that this is one time when telling the truth has been the wrong thing for the Bush Administration to do.

So what are these terrible lies that Wilson has told?

Same thing, Tom. You can call him a liar, but what makes this more than just propaganda?

This determination of her not being covert may or may not be true, but even so, it only relates to a narrow charge. Last time I checked, Fitzgerald said her identity was a classified bit of information, a sensitive secret that we have already seen compromise one CIA front as a result of its disclosure. Is it not a crime to reveal classified information? I rattled off the list of “fortunates” that people like you use to defend all this. Maybe this focus on whether or not she’s legally considered covert is among them, a cheap little reassurance that masks the truth that whether or not she was that kind of agent anymore, the protection of her identity still protected Agency resources.

The sad thing is, I think you are committed to national security and all that. But I think it’s gotten to the point where you simply won’t let your imagination work out the conclusion that the leaders you follow might be doing things against that interest, and your best interests.

So be comforted. Let the CIA agents be outed by politicians they displease. Let every spy know that if they don’t tell their bosses what they want to hear, they could end up in some torture chamber along with all of the assets they cultivated. Let them know that they can sacrifice years of their lives, only to lose it all because they didn’t play the right games with the politicians back home.

Let our armies chase after weapons their government never bothered to confirm the existence of. Let soldiers die one after the other to buy little progress so their president doesn’t have to take the political hit of saying he was wrong. Let cities fall to the enemies, and terrorist numbers grow, let reconstruction and the raising of that countries own defenses grind to a halt because doing anything about it would invite (the horror!) criticism from the minority party.

Because when it comes down to it, that’s what matters, right? The Leaders, correct? Not the results of what they do or the truth of what they say. What matters is that the right people stay in power, even if that rightness is decided by the leaders themselves, not the wisdom or intelligence of their actions.

I have enough shame to flatly reject such a weak approach to governance, such a cowardly approach to leading our country to war, such an immoral way of approaching leadership in our country. Do you? Is there finally some point that you stop listening to all the cliched, by-the-numbers patriotic speeches, stop buying the administration’s spin, some point at which you look around and shout “Damn it, this isn’t good enough”?

I love this country, and for me that love entails that the business that keeps it prosperous, and the deeds that keep it great in the eyes of the world are done. I take pride in my country, the way any of us should take pride in their work, because this government, this nation, is not some imposed monarchy or exclusive fascist regime, nor is some hypocritically label “people’s government”, like we saw with the communists. This is a government that is a work of the people, by the people, and for the people. I believe in firm laws, and firm, effective government, with the personnel and funding to do its job and no more. This ideal of government is not one of benign neglect, where people just go about their lives pleasantly and just let others govern. No, the ideal is one that will give us headaches, forces us to make tough choices, and even vote out our own favorites in favor of the other side, if that’s necessary.

Do you want our country to be represented by shameful conduct such as this, our interests and our strengths set into decay by the ideological blindness of our leaders? I don’t. More than anything, that is why I don’t make excuses for this government. That I’m Democrat? There was a time when I once wasn’t. I became one because only then could I take pride in myself for being a party member. If Bush had lead a new era of national unity, instead of following the path of division and demonization, he could have had my vote. If he had been the leader he promised to be on the rubble, I might have supported him, my doubts having been removed by the facts.

Unfortunately, the facts have only magnified doubts into certainty. The tragedy of the next three years, will be that this didn’t happen for enough people fast enough to get this president out of office.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #89386

Joe Wilson is a liar. That is known by watching him, reading him, and putting all that together. His reports and testimony that is available has loop holes like a basketball net. The Senate committee he appeared before pretty much cast a big doubt about his activity. His not to be trusted. Fitzgerald was allowed to go fishing for anything he could get. He was to get a tuna, but all he got was a minnow.

Posted by: tom at November 1, 2005 10:51 AM
Comment #89391

Stephen, nicely put. Not that I think it’ll make one bit of difference to those you’re addressing, unfortunately.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 1, 2005 11:07 AM
Comment #89395

rahdigly-
You’re not asking the question with the tough answer: how the hell did it get to the point where so much of his administration is under suspicion for criminal misconduct?

Rhinehold-
1)Because a great deal rests on intent, and it’s difficult to form any good ideas of what Libby intended to do, if he won’t tell you the truth when you ask him. That’s why Fitzgerald got into that long discourse on all the reasons a pitcher might have beaned the batter, with all the variables involved. Having established Valerie Wilson’s credentials as a covert agent, Fitzgerald would still have to prove Libby’s malice and intent. Can you distinguish somebody’s intent when they lie to you, given that a lie can have so many motivations itself?

2)An indictment only describes what relates to the charges. It won’t describe a violation of IIPA because that’s not germane to what he’s asking him about.

I’ve read various materials concerning this. At best, what you have is Saddam trying to wheedle past the barriers presented to him. But does that justify taking us to war the way a document saying he has a an actual deal for it would?

The problem with your logic is that only the attainment of that material justifies further action. If he doesn’t have access to the resources to rebuild his arsenal and add nukes to it, what reason do we have to bother with him, when we have al-Qaeda killing folks?

What we do know are that the documents he was sent to verify were an utter fraud, worse, one perpetrated by a friendly government using it to please the hawks in our government.

What should give you pause is how eager this government was to go to war. Of course congress can say that bits of information made people even more sure about going to war. But should they even have been thinking about that in February 2002? We had hardly any good evidence at that point, and yet we were already building a case for war? We started planning right in the middle of our last war! The evidence suggests we were committed quite early to a course of action so non-obvious, that the president had to go to the UN and get new inspections and Colin Powell had to give a presentation later to get the American people to line up behind the war.

One of the main reasons we ended up fighting an aggressive war against a threat that did not exist was that this administration acted as an active selectors of intelligence, rather than letting the intelligence services work out things for themselves and present them with a balanced picture.

What you could also consider for a moment is this: Why did the Administration need to go to such lengths to slime Wilson? Why was it so important that this critic be shut up? The only reason to shut him up is fear that somebody might listen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2005 11:15 AM
Comment #89397

Tom-
Very neat and tidy conclusion. Where are the premises of your argument? Where is your evidence? Where are the holes?

If all you can do is reverberate the talking points, I don’t see any reason for any of our readers to share your conclusion.

Go find some facts to back up your argument.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2005 11:19 AM
Comment #89406

Stephen
I have documented this on numerous occasion. Redundancy is boring.

Posted by: tomh at November 1, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #89409

You’re not asking the question with the tough answer: how the hell did it get to the point where so much of his administration is under suspicion for criminal misconduct?

I’d have to say Bush got there b/c he reached out and tried to work with democrats. Everytime he’s done that, during his Presidency, he’s gotten burned.

This Joe Wilson and his wife are a real pair of gypies. My goodness, she contributed to the Gore campaign in 1999 under her agent name, then she gets her husband a job. Throughout this “whole ordeal” they’ve been in Vanity Fair, on the news shows and written a book. And, Joe Wilson came out yesterday and was still claiming that Libby and Rove outed his wife. That wasn’t the charge.

Bottom line, I would play partisan politics from here on out; that would be the only way you could unite this country. I know that sounds crazy “be partisan to unite a divided nation”; however, the dems are not coming up with any solutions to complex problems we face. And, they won’t work with the repubs, so I say let the repubs do it and that will get things done.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 1, 2005 12:18 PM
Comment #89446
Ive been around long enough to see and know and understand the workings of evil men. Joe Wilson outed his non-covert wife

This is a lie. A lie that you’ve been called on, yet continue to repeat. Tomh, that makes you a liar.


The logic here fails to grab me.
1) If Fitzgerald can say in an indictment that Libby was the first to talk to reporters about Valerie Plame’s position at the CIA, why not charge him with that?

Rhinehold, perhaps you should read my writings more carefully. As I stated earlier in this thread, everyone agrees on the fact that the statute in question is written very narrowly. As such, its very difficult to prosecute, even when you don’t have substantial witnesses lying to the investigators. So while Fitzgerald is able to say with conviction that Libby outted Plame to the press, he can’t necessarily prove that his action violates the law.

So I’ll get back to the question I posted earlier, that none of the cowards on the right will answer. If it is too technically difficult to prove that the outting of a CIA agent is against the law, do you have any problem with the Administration doing it or are you of the opinion, like Karl Rove, that Plame was fair game?


Wilson can say NOW that he said one thing or another in that report, but it’s hard to say since we don’t have access to it, isn’t it?

Rhinehold, I see that you’re still failing to acknowledge that Wilson’s report lead the State Department to believe that the yellowcake reports were bogus. I know that tidbit doesn’t quite fit into your argument, but you might want to include it anyway for the sake of credbility.


This Joe Wilson and his wife are a real pair of gypies. My goodness, she contributed to the Gore campaign in 1999 under her agent name, then she gets her husband a job.

Rahdigly, I see you fail to mention that Wilson contributed to the 2000 George W. Bush campaign. Wilson was in no way a partisan - UNTIL - the Bush administration smeared him and ruined his wife’s career. At that point, understandably, he was no longer a George W. Bush fan.

It’s still great to see real American heroes such as yourself cut down a guy who saved American lives in Iraq and stood up to Hussein. From Wikipedia:

“Wilson served as U.S. ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe under President George H. W. Bush and helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton. He was hailed as “truly inspiring” and “courageous” by George H. W. Bush after sheltering more than one hundred Americans at the US embassy in Baghdad, and mocking Saddam Hussein’s threats to execute anyone who refused to hand over foreigners. As a result, in 1990, he also became the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein”

Yup, he and his wife (who worked in the service of her country at the CIA her entire adult life) are really a pair of “gypies” as you say.


For the same reason that Stephen thinks Fitzgerald is going to indict more people in the Bush administration, i.e. lying. Wilson has lied, repeatedly, about this matter. He hasn’t told the truth consistently, if at all. This makes him suspect. At least to those of us not so wrapped up in our smug partisan Fitzmas presents.

Stephanie, I’m sure you know that Wilson has admitted that he misstated some things in the press. To my knowledge, none of that was under oath, in front of a grand jury. So why would Fitzgerald be interested?

As far as being smug is concerned, I’m not the one who tries so hard to prove to others that I’m not partisan. Yes, I’m pleased about the Fitzgerald indictments. But contrary to what you’ve said repeatedly, it is not because I relish seeing top government officials go to jail. It’s because I, and many others, have known for a very long time that Libby and Rove were guilty of outing plame. This wasn’t much of a secret. So yes, when a small bit of justice was actually handed down, I was pleased. Pleased to see that there is still a glimmer of hope that the system works.

Whether or not it is against an obscure, poorly written statute or not, I don’t want government officials from either party disclosing CIA agents as retribution for things they don’t want to hear. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard one Republican say the same - and that’s what’s really sad.

Posted by: Burt at November 1, 2005 1:57 PM
Comment #89448
1)Because a great deal rests on intent, and it’s difficult to form any good ideas of what Libby intended to do, if he won’t tell you the truth when you ask him. That’s why Fitzgerald got into that long discourse on all the reasons a pitcher might have beaned the batter, with all the variables involved. Having established Valerie Wilson’s credentials as a covert agent, Fitzgerald would still have to prove Libby’s malice and intent. Can you distinguish somebody’s intent when they lie to you, given that a lie can have so many motivations itself?

Yes, you can, if you can find the evidence. By your rationale, the only way we could convict anyone of such a crime is for them to incriminate themselves. No law should be on the books that requires self-incrimination as the only means for conviction. Now, there are other ways, including conversations with others, journals, patterns of behavior, etc. IMO, there is enough evidence in the indictment, if it is valid, to do it if the underlying requirement is met. But, I am only guessing…

2)An indictment only describes what relates to the charges. It won’t describe a violation of IIPA because that’s not germane to what he’s asking him about.

How is that possible when that was the entire point of the investigation to begin with? The indictment says that Valerie’s status was classified. This is presented as factual in the indictment, which causes me to question if ‘classified’ is the same as ‘NOC’. My guess, because of no charge to the effect, is that they are seperate designations.

I’ve read various materials concerning this. At best, what you have is Saddam trying to wheedle past the barriers presented to him. But does that justify taking us to war the way a document saying he has a an actual deal for it would?

Again, that document was not the basis for the 16 words and the 16 words were not the entirety of the reason for removing Saddam from power. We’ve debated and disagreed about the other aspects for months, I’m not going to do it here, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Wilson’s report and the forged documents were the entire basis for those 16 words, they weren’t. And we’ve already had several invstigative bodies who agree that AT THAT TIME given what we knew, that charge was a reasonable one to make. I’m still not sure it WASN’T right, Niger is not the whole of Africa. However, we don’t have access to all of the classified information, and probably won’t for decades, so it is going to be hard to determine.

The problem with your logic is that only the attainment of that material justifies further action. If he doesn’t have access to the resources to rebuild his arsenal and add nukes to it, what reason do we have to bother with him, when we have al-Qaeda killing folks?

I disagree. Attempting to obtain the material shows that he was trying. And someone else might have given it to him under the table, lord knows the number of companies and countries that DID violate the sanctions are becoming too numerous to count. :/ And again, it wasn’t the ONLY thing that he was removed from office for, it was just one of the many points made that together taken as a whole overwhelmingly points to the need to end the sanctions one way or another.

What we do know are that the documents he was sent to verify were an utter fraud, worse, one perpetrated by a friendly government using it to please the hawks in our government.

He wasn’t checking on the DOCUMENTS because that was not the entirety of the basis for the investigation. We KNOW that the British intelligence was based on other intelligence than those documents. What he was asked to do was to investigate the charge and what he found backed up the thought that he was trying to get his hands on the materials to make nuclear weapons.

One of the main reasons we ended up fighting an aggressive war against a threat that did not exist was that this administration acted as an active selectors of intelligence, rather than letting the intelligence services work out things for themselves and present them with a balanced picture.

Ok, let’s play a game. You’re the president. The US has just been hit by terrorists and you are under the gun by critics that you didn’t act soon enough to information that we had that was not ‘definate’ but was worrisome. Now you have a county that is actively supporting and training terrorists as well as thumbing their nose at the US by trying to weasel nuclear, biological and chemical weapons back into your arsenal either by ending the sanctions quickly and getting back to business or through under-the-table deals.

Now, you get a report from the CIA that their investigation as well as British Intelligence says that Iraq is trying to get nuclear materials. The State Department says that thy don’t believe the information. Russia then tells you that Iraq is plotting someway to use terrorists to attack you.

What do you do? And remember, each month, or year, that you wait to act means that 1) There is a chance you will be attacked again, again to be criticized for not acting upon the information you had available as well as living with the knowledge that you could have prevented more American death and 2) While the sanctions are in place thousands, possibly millions, of people are suffering and dying from them.

I think I know your answer, but you’ll understand, I hope, if I choose to use the CIA and BI information and tell the State Department to be quiet…

What you could also consider for a moment is this: Why did the Administration need to go to such lengths to slime Wilson? Why was it so important that this critic be shut up? The only reason to shut him up is fear that somebody might listen.

I think you’re missing the more obvious issue. Libby was not trying to slime Wilson, he was trying to slime the CIA. He felt that the CIA was trying to say ‘hey, don’t blame us’ and pushing the blame off to the administration by suggesting that they had said the information was wrong early on. We know that the report given to the the administration didn’t say that, but here’s an ambassador now who will say that he gave a different report. Libby can’t attack the CIA directly so he tries to suggest that there was something ‘fishy’ about the now public airing of Wilson’s report, made public AFTER the invasion and no weapons were found.

I mean, seriously, do you think that the administration was more worried about the CIA shifting the blame from them to the WH or whether Joe Wilson wrote a book?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 1, 2005 2:02 PM
Comment #89452
Wilson can say NOW that he said one thing or another in that report, but it’s hard to say since we don’t have access to it, isn’t it?

Rhinehold, I see that you’re still failing to acknowledge that Wilson’s report lead the State Department to believe that the yellowcake reports were bogus. I know that tidbit doesn’t quite fit into your argument, but you might want to include it anyway for the sake of credbility.

I’ve mentioned it many times, in fact in my response to Stephen above this one I mention it again.

The President made a decision on conflicting intelligence. Trust me, this happens all of the time. The CIA and the British Intelligence had intelligence that this was occuring, the State Department could only say that ‘it didn’t sound right’. If they listen to the State Department and ignore the CIA and BI, then Saddam gets a nuclear weapon to Hammas who detonates it in Isreael and another one to the Iraqi Intelligence officers that were already in the US intimidating former Iraqi citizens, what do you think the DESERVED outcry is going to be? How would YOU live with yourself knowing you could have prevented possibly millions of US and Israeli deaths?

Have fun playing monday morning quarterback and thank your lucky stars you are never presented with that kind of decision that a president has to deal with every day.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 1, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #89453

rahdigly, tom,

Joe Wilson isn’t perfect. He clearly is a little full of himself. I think he over-reached. However, he was correct that the yellowcake was not an issue that should be used to go to war with. Iraq had yellowcake IN THE COUNTRY under the seal of the IAEA. They had no way of refining it. If owning yellowcake was a reason to go to war, then we should be bombing the crap out of Nigeria, since they have hundreds of thousands of tons of the stuff in mines.

Plame also donated to the Republicans, as has Wilson. Wilson served under Bush 1, and directly confronted Saddam Hussein in person.

Joe Wilson believed that the yellowcake claim was false, and he reported it to the CIA. Plame believed it was false, and she was a CIA WMD expert. Other individuals in the CIA also believed the claim was shaky. Is it partisan to not believe in the rationale for war? Especially if it ends up that you are right that the evidence is shaky?

There’s all of this argument that Wilson should be the person on trial, because he’s trying to “bring down the president”. The president who went to war on bad information?

The dems won’t work with the repubs? When the repubs keep spear-heading solutions based on bad evidence and research?

I’m not saying the dems are doing good in the solutions department, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to defend bad problem-solving, just by the virtue that “bad problem-solving is better than no problem-solving”.

Everyone who voted to go to war should be fired. That’s almost every politician in washington. Let’s not defend a side, because both sides have been incompetent.

But certainly, don’t defend the people who spear-headed a war based on poorly researched reasons. And don’t get caught up in making this story about Joe Wilson, instead of the people who WENT TO WAR on shaky evidence.

Julia

Posted by: Julia at November 1, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #89455

Burt:

If it is too technically difficult to prove that the outting of a CIA agent is against the law, do you have any problem with the Administration doing it or are you of the opinion, like Karl Rove, that Plame was fair game?

In my opinion, the law is the law, regardless of how easy or difficult a statute is to prove. I know a large builder who refuses to pay the last 10% of any bill. He is willing to go to court over this, knowing that he will lose the court ruling and have to pay. But he also knows it will cost the other guy 20% to claim his 10%, so it most likely won’t go to court. Is the guy a criminal? Not at all—-never been convicted. Is he morally and ethically wrong? Most definitely.

Its not okay to out someone, even if you can get away with it. There are currently legitimate questions over whether Plame was actually covert, whether she was “outed”, whether such an “outing” had any effect etc. The lawyers who drafted the law even question whether the law has any basis in this case due to the fact that Plame had not been assigned outside the country for over 6 years.

It IS okay for the Bush admin to question Wilson’s motivations, and to point out that the idea of him being sent at the behest of the VP office was incorrect. Wilson never said Cheney directly sent him, but he also did not refute it when the media presented it as fact.

Personally, I don’t see this as a national security issue. Plame was not in a position where people were put in danger, from what I can see.

Libby should go to trial. If found guilty of obstruction, throw the book at him. I’ve been unfailingly consistent on this thought process, whether the allegations are against Libby, Clinton, Berger, Rove, etc. If they did the crime, then give them the time (it helps if you conjure up the late Johnny Cochrane while reading that last sentence, by the way).

Burt, I trust that answers all your questions.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 1, 2005 2:11 PM
Comment #89466

tom,

You’ve repeatedly made the claim in here that “Joe Wilson outed his own wife”. You’ve said that there is “all kinds of evidence” to back you up. But you have failed to produce any real evidence to support your statements. You need to produce factual evidence to back up this assertion, or have it branded as worthless.

Show us “all kinds of evidence”, tom.

Posted by: ElliottBay at November 1, 2005 2:42 PM
Comment #89480

Doh! My link didn’t work. Let me try that again:
Democrats force GOP-controlled Senate into unusual closed session over Iraq pre-war intelligence.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 1, 2005 3:24 PM
Comment #89490

Good god, Adrienne, doesn’t the Senate have better things to do than pull political stunts like that?

I understand that many people want to investigate the pre-Iraq war intelligence, but do it properly, not with grandstanding that is guaranteed to accomplish ZERO while there are things that this Senate should be doing.

It’s a prime example of why most non-liberals can’t stand the Democratic party. :(

For the record, I think there will be an investigation into the pre-war intelligence and that you are going to find that most of it was sound at the time and the best we had to go on, including the ‘sixteen words’ that has already held up to scrutiny in two previous investigations. And then you are going to lose your cause celeb for the 2008 elections and be in serious doo-doo. The Dem’s best option is to keep the ‘spectre of consipiracy’ alive as they have been for the previous year or so. It doesn’t SOLVE anything, but we know that’s not the point, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 1, 2005 4:01 PM
Comment #89529

Rhinehold

I understand that many people want to investigate the pre-Iraq war intelligence, but do it properly, not with grandstanding that is guaranteed to accomplish ZERO while there are things that this Senate should be doing.

Interesting statement and I agree with it. So why was the Right so adamant to investigate President Clinton’s sex life? Wasn’t the growing threat of Al Qaeda more important?

Posted by: ElliottBay at November 1, 2005 6:33 PM
Comment #89549

Tomh,
You said that “Ive been around long enough to see and know and understand the workings of evil men.” Please enlarge on this point due to what the word evil means. Hence, because no man can be provn to be absolutely right or morally pure than all men must be considered evil.

Now, true Mr. Wilson ratted out the Bush Administration about the lost nuclear materail in Nigeria in 2002 reported to IAEA in September of 2003 and the falsehood spen that the administration was putting on the information because it seems that this materail was used in oil production. Yet, how does that make him evil? Wasn’t Mr. Wilson just enlightening the American Public on the truth of the matter?

And while I will save you the link, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that Mr. Libby was the first person as a government official to use Mrs. Wilson’s name outside the Nation Security circle so how did Mr. Wilson out his own wife?

Now what the Right has to come to terms with is the fact that Saddam hoodwinked them by allowing them to believe that he had WMD’s. In this manner, the day that America was found wrong in our allegations, Saddam could claim victory. Knowing that Saddam studied the history of Isreal, the plan sounded good. By discrediting America, Saddam and others would of been able to move forward on their plan as America’s rep around the world would/is coming under question. In simple terms, what is the way to beat a super power? Take away their rep of being that big and bad to do what they know is right.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 1, 2005 7:59 PM
Comment #89588

Joebod,

Thanks for being the only guy to provide an honest response to an honest question.

Its not okay to out someone, even if you can get away with it.

Having said that, do you think Rove should resign or do you not think there is evidence yet that he outted Plame?

Posted by: Burt at November 1, 2005 10:19 PM
Comment #89612

Rhinehold,

Your wrote:

1) If Fitzgerald can say in an indictment that Libby was the first to talk to reporters about Valerie Plame’s position at the CIA, why not charge him with that? He obviously feels he has enough information to make that stick, I don’t see how anything Libby did or didn’t say could impact what the legal status of Valerie Plame’s working status.

2) Are you saying that if Libby had just taken the 5th that Fitzgerald would have had no case at all? Why didn’t he do that then and what kind of indictment is it that seems to only rest on what Libby said in his deposition, not what other evidence Fitzgerald could collect?

It has been widely reported that the statute for outing a CIA agent would require proving Libby’s intent. It is very difficult to prove anybodies intent. I intend to help convince some moderate Republicans that this is a very serious issue that we need to get to the bottom of - or - maybe I just intend to get a dig in against Republicans - or - maybe I just like to hear myself talk - or - maybe it is all of the above - or - maybe it is none of the above - or - maybe I am just a smart Republican trying to act like a stupid Democrat. Can you prove what my real intentions are?… especially if I lie to you - or take the fifth… So yes, if Libby had taken the fifth, than Fitzgerald may not have had a case against him - other than lying to the FBI - we simply do not know for sure.

But this is serious business. One or more high government officials appear to have lied and obstructed. If so, what were they hiding?… violations of national security?… worse?… less?… nothing?… We need to know.

In some sense, Wilson’s report has nothing to do with it at this point. It does not matter. We have bigger fish to fry - or possibly be eaten by if we don’t spot them first.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 2, 2005 12:06 AM
Comment #89628

Ray G.,
I have to agree with you on that point. The blow up in the Senate proves that to be the case. What may of started out as a political power play by the Republican Leadership to sale the removal of Saddam might have lead to the willful misleading of important information by Mr. Libby and others. It was either that or a super dumb political play of the century. Which one do you think happened given the Natural Course of Human Events over the last 5 years?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 1:34 AM
Comment #89664

Burt:

I have always thought that proof is required before convicting someone. As of yet, Rove does not even face charges of wrongdoing from the special prosecutor who has spent two years developing his case. If Fitzgerald hasn’t found evidence of wrongdoing in two years of intensive searching, why should the public simply insist there is evidence of wrongdoing.

I think that Rove probably did talk about Plame, but this is different than “outing” her, as you put it. In order for her to be so “outed”, she had to actually be covert (she didn’t meet the established standard) and Rove had to knowingly divulge sensitive information about her. It would be entirely legal for Rove to have made a comment like the following hypothetical one: “The VP office did NOT request Wilson be sent to Niger—the media has said that, but it isn’t correct. In fact, it was his wife who suggested Wilson for the job.”

Burt, the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is one of the cornerstones of American jurisprudence. Are you willing to throw away that cornerstone simply because of the person involved, namely Rove? After two years, there is no evidence of wrongdoing, yet you seem to still find hmi guilty, which leads me to believe that the cornerstone means less to you than your own desire to see Rove banished.

Libby should have resigned, because he is accused of lying about this. Remaining in office would be a distraction for the administration. His return to government should rest on whether he is found innocent or guilty, but in truth he is done.
Rove has not such allegations against him, and should not resign.

Allow me to pose some questions to you: Bill Clinton was accused of the exact same crime as Scooter Libby. The reason for lying may have been different, but the law does not allow defendants to lye to grand juries. In YOUR opinion, should Clinton have resigned? If not, how was the accusation of his perjury different from that of Libby?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 2, 2005 7:03 AM
Comment #89672

Joebagodonuts,
The problem the Republican party now faces is why did Mr. Libby lie about information which was reported as false? By his own actions did Mr. Libby not put into play those questions and more as far as Mr. Fitzgerald sees or should see it?

Becsides you have to admit that the Democrats took a pae out of the Rove Play Book and used it on the Republicans yesterday. Those hearings should be real fun to watch. Popcorn anyone?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 7:55 AM
Comment #89675

Henry:

I don’t know why Libby would have lied, if he did. Its not proven, only alleged so far. Seems to me he could have admitted talking to reporters in an effort to help them accurately portray who was behind Wilson’s trip to Niger (ie, it was not the VP office). He could have stated that he did not know Plame was covert (whether she was is in dispute) and that he did not intentionally “out” her.

I’m sure there is more to this story, and as an American, I’m happy that it is being investigated. What irritates me is when the same people who suggested that Sandy Berger was innocent, simply forgot that he couldnt remove classified documents, and shouldn’t be further investigated are NOW calling for all kinds of investigation into this. That is partisanship. I will lay claim to having been consistent in my comments—investigate away, indict away, prove away, regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican. Let the facts show the story, and lets require proof of guilt.

Its shameless that some people only want proof when it benefits them.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 2, 2005 8:14 AM
Comment #89682

But Joebagodonuts,
Be happy that stupid acts just don’t effect one side otherwise it would make for bad drama. What surprises me is how many people want to deny what is happening.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 8:41 AM
Comment #89725

Joe,

I am not a Judge nor a jury member in this case. I don’t believe you are either. Since I’m not directly involved in convicting someone, I can have an opinion based on the evidence whether it applies to a narrow statute or not.

I can, and do, believe that OJ was guilty of murdering his ex-wife. I don’t believe that having that opinion threatens our system of jurisprudence.

“Wrongdoing” can have a couple of definitions. I thought we had gotten to the crux of my point, but you still appear to be dancing around it. Fitzgerald may not have found evidence enough on Rove to charge him with a crime, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have evidence of activity that some of use would consider immoral or unethical, as in your contractor example.

I think that Rove probably did talk about Plame, but this is different than “outing” her, as you put it. In order for her to be so “outed”, she had to actually be covert (she didn’t meet the established standard)

I see that your standard for evidence is lower for Ms. Plame. I don’t know of a definitive statement from either the CIA or the prosecutor that says that Plame was not covert. I think there is a lot of evidence that she wasn’t, but nothing definitive that I’m aware of. But that again, is beside my point. Her status clearly was classified, if not covert.

So I ask again, if her status was classified, and Rove discussed her name and employment with reporters, is that enough of an offense even if it may not be technically illegal for Rove to be pressured to resign?

I believe that there is more than enough evidence out there to indicate that Rove did do just that. That those actions are equal to outting her as a CIA agent. And that even if not technically against the law, that action is dangerous enough and ethically wrong enough to require Mr. Rove to step down from his job.

and Rove had to knowingly divulge sensitive information about her.

According to Matt Cooper, we know that Rove used her name and that information is sensitive enough to qualify.

Burt, the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is one of the cornerstones of American jurisprudence. Are you willing to throw away that cornerstone simply because of the person involved, namely Rove?

In the next breath, you say…..

Libby should have resigned, because he is accused of lying about this.

So you say that Rove should stay in office until PROVEN GUILTY OF A CRIME, but Libby should have resigned because he is merely accused of lying? Help me follow your logic. Libby hasn’t been proven guilty of anything in a court of law. The court of public opinion is a different matter, and anyone reading the indictment can be reasonably assured that he lied, but it hasn’t been PROVEN yet.

Remaining in office would be a distraction for the administration.

Rove remaining in office is not a distraction?

In YOUR opinion, should Clinton have resigned? If not, how was the accusation of his perjury different from that of Libby?

A fair question. No, I don’t think Clinton should have resigned. While the crime of perjury is equally serious, Clinton was perjuring himself about something unrelated to his job, where as Libby was lying about activities directly related to his position in the White House. If it had been Monica Lewinsky leveling the harrassment charges, and Clinton had lied about it, then yes, I think he should have resigned, but that wasn’t the case.

Just to lay down my position as clearly as possible one more time. I believe there is plenty of evidence to show that Rove revealed the name of a classified CIA agent to reporters who did not know the information previously. I believe that this is a serious enough offense, even if not technically against the law, that Rove should step down from his job. Whether or not he could or should be prosecuted for such an offense is the job of the prosecutor and a judge and jury, not myself.

Posted by: Burt at November 2, 2005 11:38 AM
Comment #89778

Henry Schlatman,

You wrote:

Ray G.,
I have to agree with you on that point. The blow up in the Senate proves that to be the case. What may of started out as a political power play by the Republican Leadership to sale the removal of Saddam might have lead to the willful misleading of important information by Mr. Libby and others. It was either that or a super dumb political play of the century. Which one do you think happened given the Natural Course of Human Events over the last 5 years?

Thanks for your response to my posting. I have said in other postings that I have never liked or trusted Bush. I was opposed to this war from the start for many reasons. But I also believe in winning it if we can - doubtful. If we do win it will be to the credit of our soldiers and the noble American people - not Bush. I believe that he is an incompetent commander and chief. His list of failures are endless. If we are unable to win this war, it is likely to be because the American people have lost interest and are not willing to pay “any” price to win. Some will blame the American people for that. It is actually just one more failure of this incompetent leader in failing to lead the American people into a solid commitment like we had in WW2. This administration refuses to accept responsibility for their failures of leadership. For example, they blame a few bad apples in Abu Ghireb for things that they either knew or should have known about. Commanding officers are supposed to know what is going in the ranks and that accountability extends all the way up the ranks to the civilian leadership. The failure of leadership is the failure of the leader. As I feared before the war, the war in Iraq is creating millions more terrorist than we are killing. Many of the terrorist who migrate to Iraq and fight the most powerful army in the world will be killed. But the ones who survive will be double plus tough (Bush / Orwellian double speak). Live combat training against the most powerful army in the world is priceless. Yet if we withdraw from Iraq, we will be perceived as weak and that will embolden our enemies. That is the problem. This incompetent commander and chief has led us into a double bind, no win situation. We can stay in Iraq and create and train more terrorist - or we can withdraw and let them know that they can beat us and allow them to have Iraq as a safe haven. We lose either way. Some good things are happening in Iraq. Some bad things are happening. Leaving Iraq better than we found it would be good for America - but at the cost of millions of new terrorist - some of whom will be combat seasoned.

So… that said, in answer to your question…

I just don’t know. My gut instincts tell me that this administration has lied from the start. I think that they willfully manipulated intelligence, created false intelligence, and manipulated the media and the American people into this war, and other things… That is just what I believe. But we don’t know. That is why this is such a serious issue and we need to get to the bottom of it.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 2, 2005 1:32 PM
Comment #89801

Burt:

So you say that Rove should stay in office until PROVEN GUILTY OF A CRIME, but Libby should have resigned because he is merely accused of lying?

I said no such thing. You are missing the biggest factor regarding Rove, which is that he has not been accused of anything, while Libby has in fact been indicted. Your standard seems to be that Rove should resign despite not being accused of anything. Thats simply ridiculous.

Let’s apply your standard to other situations:

**John Gotti should have been put in prison years before he was, because everyone “knew” he was a mobster. Despite the lack of evidence to prove this, society should have locked him up anyway.

**Burt should be put away simply because there are people out there who suspect he may have done some kind of immoral or possibly even criminal activity. Let’s not wait for proof, or for that matter, even the accusation of a crime. Let’s force Burt out of his job NOW.

Do you see how ridiculous your standard is?

As I said, there are justifiable circumstances under which Plame’s role in Wilson’s trip could have been discussed. The media jumped to the conclusion that Cheney sent Wilson, and while Wilson didn’t say that himself, neither did he correct the reporters and provide an accurate account of how he ended up in Niger. In that event, if Rove simply wanted to clear up the matter, he would have done so by letting the media know where they were wrong. This would have been done by telling the media that Wilson was suggested for the position by his wife. There’s nothing even that underhanded about it (though I suspect Rove, and most political hacks, are not above being underhanded).

Lastly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my problem with Clinton was that it WASN’T unrelated to his job. He was getting blowjobs while on the phone discussing information about the Balkans with United States representatives. So while it may have started with sex, it certainly did not end there.

You simply cannot have it both ways, Burt. You cannot excuse Clinton while condemning Libby. They both lied. They both lied in the course of their jobs. They may have lied about different things, but they both lied (to be fair, Clinton has admitted his lies, while Libby’s lies are currently only allegations.)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 2, 2005 2:26 PM
Comment #89810

Ray G.,
Trust me you are not crazy. Although I take a more even road in my line of thinking, we are closing in on the same crossroad. Like I have stated elsewhere, I believe that the Republican political game plan went array. Because President Bush knew or should of known that he had to stare down Saddam like President Clinton had to do in his first term. Well, lets just say that President Bush blinked. Everything after that point was called CYA.

However, I do believe that the Republican party needs to hold President Bush and others accoutable for their actions. After all what kind of message would that send our chldren’s children if we didn’t?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 2:53 PM
Comment #89817

Sorry, Henry, but Clinton failed with Saddam for this whole presidency. He pushed and Saddam pushed back and all during that time the situation never improved.

Yes, Clinton did destroy many areas with WMD, but the best they feel that they got was 85%. Unfortunately, by that point, we were never going to be able to determine complete disarmament without going in as we did in 2003. His failure is now compounded by Bush’s failures to take care of the country and leave once we were successful in removing Saddam from power.

They could have said ok, we’re done, UN come in and take over, which the UN offered. But they didn’t want to give up control. I am betting that they are now realizing that they were wrong to not take it.

But please, we need to drop the partisanship.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 2, 2005 3:10 PM
Comment #89835

Rhinehold,
I could not agree with you more; however, I was refering to the very first time President Clinton had to stand Saddam down Diplomatically. President Bush and the Republican Party knew or should of known that Saddam would try the same thing with him. Although a they put on a good front, IMO they lost the Diplomatic game at the UN when President Bush would not use his American Charm and design a second UN Resolution that they knew Saddam would not accept, but at least some of the Leaders of Irag would agree to.

Me, personally, believed at the time China, France and Russia would of accepted a deal where Saddam and his Staff would have to resign and step down and the Iraq Army would have to disarm and stand down while the country was checked and all weapons that were illegal was removed. Think Saddam would of gave in?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 3:39 PM
Comment #89905

Henry,

Thanks for your response and for being a cooler head.

I am certainly painting worst case scenarios. I hope that I am wrong - but we do need to consider the worst case scenarios… …and probably expect the best.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 2, 2005 8:21 PM
Comment #89915

Rhinehold,

You wrote:

The President made a decision on conflicting intelligence. Trust me, this happens all of the time. The CIA and the British Intelligence had intelligence that this was occurring, the State Department could only say that ‘it didn’t sound right’. If they listen to the State Department and ignore the CIA and BI, then Saddam gets a nuclear weapon to Hammas who detonates it in Israel and another one to the Iraqi Intelligence officers that were already in the US intimidating former Iraqi citizens, what do you think the DESERVED outcry is going to be? How would YOU live with yourself knowing you could have prevented possibly millions of US and Israeli deaths?

I just posted that I paint worst case scenarios…

Stalin was every bit as crazy and ruthless as Saddam and he had WMD. We contained him. No way was Saddam going to bomb us or Israel. He would have wanted nuclear weapons in order to join the nuclear club and we needed to keep him out of the club - but no way he would have used them. They are for negotiating power and national security. But everyone that gets them creates regional instability and contributes to the likelihood of strategic miscalculation that could lead to their use. Israel has them and of course, now all of their rivals want them. So we did need to keep Saddam out of the club, but there were other ways of doing that.


Posted by: Ray G. at November 2, 2005 9:03 PM
Comment #89926

Ray G.,
No what we need and deserve is the truth of what went wrong and why? The Democrats took the first step to ensure us of that right. Now the political ball is clearly in the Republicans court to prove that all this trash that they have been talking did not lead or mislead the American Public in the build up to the war in Iraq.

Mr. Libby may still have to state what he knows about what happened that lead up to the outing of a CIA agent.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2005 10:15 PM
Comment #89938

Joe,

I’m losing my patience with you frankly.

You are missing the biggest factor regarding Rove, which is that he has not been accused of anything,

Are you kidding? Pick up a newspaper. Turn on the TV. Read this site. Many people are accusing Rove of outting Plame, Based on the indisputed evidence, how can you not? Again, it is not disputed (any more) by Rove or his attorneys that he discussed Plame with Matt Cooper and Bob Novak. Or are you confusing accusations and indictments? If you’re going to parse words, you should be more careful what you say. I chose my words very carefully.

Rove is not accused of anything? Good gosh. Even the Libby indictment accuses Rove of revealing Plame’s name to reporters.

if Rove simply wanted to clear up the matter, he would have done so by letting the media know where they were wrong. This would have been done by telling the media that Wilson was suggested for the position by his wife.

That may have been more acceptable, but as we all know, that isn’t what happened. We know that Rove specifically used Plame’s name. But to your point, why would he have to bring up Wilson’s wife at all? If all Rove wanted to do was clear up the matter, all he had to do was deny that Cheney had anything directly to do with the trip and that Cheney never saw Wilson’s report after he returned. Why bring up his wife at all - unless of course you’re looking to harm a critic?

If you wish to dismiss the evidence that Rove outted Plame, please make the argument. I think you’ll have a hard time doing so legitimately, but feel free to try. Or simply say you don’t think outting the identity of a classified CIA agent is wrong as long as it doesn’t break the law. Again, I think you’ll catch some heat for that opinion, but make it if ya got it.

But don’t tell me that Rove isn’t accused of any wrongdoing or that there is no evidence that indicates anything of the sort.

He was getting blowjobs while on the phone discussing information about the Balkans with United States representatives.

I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that.

Posted by: Burt at November 2, 2005 10:47 PM
Comment #89955

Henry,

I did not mean to imply otherwise. I totally agree that we need to get to the bottom of this and find out the truth.

Lets hope that Libby cuts a deal and talks and / or that Rove is in the process of negotiating a deal. I think that Libby probably won’t talk. I could be wrong, but I think that whatever other character faults these guys might have, they are pretty loyal - of course, 30 years is a long time - so maybe, just maybe.

Thanks.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 2, 2005 11:39 PM
Comment #89961

Stephen,

“The folks of the blue column are asking this question: what did he lie about what did he say that was untrue.”

Quotes from a Press Release from U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell:

“Claim #1 is Wilson’s assertion his Niger trip report should have debunked the State of the Union claim.

“On this bold allegation, the Senate’s bipartisan report included this important conclusion: The report on the former ambassador’s trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts’ assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal…


emphasis added
“Claim #2 is similarly egregious.

“According to the Washington Post, “Wilson provided misleading information to the Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on a document that had clearly been forged…” But “the documents… were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.” (Susan Schmidt, Washington Post, A9, 7/10/04)

“Predictably, this bombshell appeared on page A9. Page A9, Mr. President! After this story had previously enjoyed extensive coverage on Page A1.

There were indeed document forgeries, but these documents were not the only evidence that convinced foreign intelligence services about Iraq’s efforts to purchase uranium.

Damningly, the former Prime Minister of Niger himself believed the Iraqis wanted to purchase uranium and according to the Financial Times: “European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.

“And the Wall Street Journal has reported that: “French and British intelligence (services) separately told the U.S. about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Niger.” (WSJ, 7/19/04)

“Mr. President, when the French corroborate a story that Iraq is seeking WMD, you’re probably in the right ballpark.

“Indeed, the Senate’s bipartisan report concluded that at the time: “it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on CIA reporting and other available intelligence.”


emphasis added
“Claim #3 is Wilson’s repeated denial that his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA analyst, never recommended him for the Niger trip.

“In his ironically titled book, The Politics of Truth, Wilson claimed: “Valerie had nothing to do with the matter… She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip.

“The facts are, Mr. President, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report includes testimony that Plame “offered up his name” and quotes a memo that Plame wrote that asserts “my husband has good relations with Niger officials.

“The New York Times recently reported that: “Instead of assigning a trained intelligence officer to the Niger case, though, the C.I.A. sent a former American Ambassador, Joseph Wilson, to talk to former Niger officials. His wife, Valerie Plame, was an officer in the counterproliferation division, and she had suggested that he be sent to Niger, according to the Senate report.” (NYT, 7/14/04)

“That story, Mr. President, can be read on Page A14.”


emphasis added
“Claim #4 is Wilson’s allegation that the CIA warned the White House about the Niger claim and that the White House manipulated intelligence to bolster its argument for war. Wilson charged: “The problem is not the intelligence but the manipulation of intelligence. That will all come out despite (Sen.) Roberts’ effort to shift the blame. This was and is a White House issue, not a CIA issue.” This reckless charge by Wilson was, we know, repeated by many of the President’s critics.

“Of course, it’s not true.

The Senate Intelligence Report determined the White House did not manipulate intelligence, but rather that the CIA had provided faulty information to policymakers. And the Washington Post recently reported that “Contrary to Wilson’s assertions… the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence.” (Susan Schmidt, Washington Post, A9, 7/10/04)

“Again: Front page news on Page A9.

“According to the New York Times and the Senate Intelligence Report, Joe Wilson admitted to Committee staff that some of his assertions in his book may have, quote, “involved a little literary flair.”

“Mr. President, “Literary flair” is a fancy way of saying what ordinary people shooting the breeze on their front porches all across America call by its real name: a lie.

“So, Mr. President, the truth is Joe Wilson did not expose the Administration; in fact, he has been exposed as a liar.

Stephen said:
“I rattled off the list of “fortunates” that people like you use to defend all this.” —emphasis added

Oh, people like me use these “fortunates?” Are you sure about that? Try reading my posts!!!

Personally, I don’t think there ARE any fortunates in this circumstance. That’s just spin. You know and I know it.

I think this whole mess is unfortunate. I think the choice of sending Wilson is unfortunate. I think the CIA not getting the right facts to the right people at the right time is unfortunate. I think the Bush administration ignoring the facts that didn’t suit their purposes is unfortunate. I think the lies and the smears are unfortunate. In fact, the only fortunates I see in this whole great mess is that Hussein is on trial and is likely to die for his crimes and the Iraqis have a chance at freedom if they’ll only take it.”


Posted by: Stephanie at November 1, 2005 02:11 AM

I expect better from you than that, Stephen.

“But I think it’s gotten to the point where you simply won’t let your imagination work out the conclusion that the leaders you follow might be doing things against that interest, and your best interests.”

I gave up on Bush as being “my leader” months back, but if you’re not actually going to read what I write, then that would explain why you might not have noticed despite the fact that we’ve debated those issues several times. As for my imagination… My imagination has lead me to a whole different direction than you think, and it’s not to any of your favorite Democrats, nor will it ever the way the Democratic Party behaves.

“So be comforted. Let the CIA agents be outed by politicians they displease.”

How many times do I have to say Libby should go to prison IF he’s found guilty for you to understand that I mean it?

“I have enough shame to flatly reject such a weak approach to governance…”

And I flatly reject all the corruption in our government. I’ve posted the link for you to investigate what I’m now involved in. If you’re at all curious, click my name, but don’t patronize me.

“This ideal of government is not one of benign neglect, where people just go about their lives pleasantly and just let others govern. No, the ideal is one that will give us headaches, forces us to make tough choices, and even vote out our own favorites in favor of the other side, if that’s necessary.”

Wow. Hmm. Maybe that’s why I’m donating my time to a political movement that’s going the change the status quo of our government being neglected by the people and neglecting the people in return. Naw, I’m a conservative, I couldn’t possibly care, could I?

“Do you want our country to be represented by shameful conduct such as this, our interests and our strengths set into decay by the ideological blindness of our leaders?”

No, that’s why I’m working to change it. What have you been doing lately? I mean, besides whining about how Wilson is being smeared?

“The tragedy of the next three years, will be that this didn’t happen for enough people fast enough to get this president out of office.”

No, the tragedy is that the Democrats are probably going to successfully use this to give themselves yet another chance to use our corrupt system for their benefit, instead of the people waking up and realizing that nothing is going to change until the incumbents, and I mean ALL the incumbents, are out of office.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 2, 2005 11:56 PM
Comment #89966

Burt,

“Unfortunately, I haven’t heard one Republican say the same - and that’s what’s really sad”

I’m not a Republican, so I can’t help you there. But, I will say it loud and clear.

I DO NOT WANT ANY INTELLIGENCE AGENTS OUTED BY ANYONE!!!

Is that obvious enough for you? Because, I don’t really know how to make the text bigger. I could repeat it several times in a row, if that would make a difference.

“I’m not the one who tries so hard to prove to others that I’m not partisan.”

I’m not “not partisan,” I’m anti-incumbent, there’s a difference. For some of us, it doesn’t have to be a LOVE the DEMOCRATS and HATE BUSH, thing. I find both the Democratic Party and the Republican party pretty disgusting to watch and am very, very sorry that they’re leading our country right now with all their entrenched incumbents who think they’re above the law and above the truth.

“Pleased to see that there is still a glimmer of hope that the system works.”

That glimmer will die down, if not fade away completely, when Libby gets a slap on the wrist, if that then. Which is UNfortunate, because if you actually expended your energy and your enthusiasm towards fixing this country instead of entrenching more Democrats into our corrupt system, you might actually feel better.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 3, 2005 12:10 AM
Comment #89975

Rhinehold,

“For the record, I think there will be an investigation into the pre-war intelligence and that you are going to find that most of it was sound at the time and the best we had to go on…”

For the record, there IS an investigation into the pre-war intelligence that’s taking place currently in the Senate.

“After 2-1/2 hours of negotiations on the shuttered Senate floor, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said work could be wrapped up next week on “phase two” of his committee’s investigation of intelligence lapses before the Iraq war — whether the administration twisted intelligence findings to justify the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Roberts, a Kansas Republican, called the Democrats’ move a “cheap shot” and “a stunt.” He said there already was an agreement on the committee to devote time to finish the investigation’s second phase.

His committee has produced a report on the first part of its investigation into lapses on intelligence on Iraq weapons, none of which were found despite many U.S. and foreign reports saying they were a major threat.”


emphasis added Posted by: Stephanie at November 3, 2005 12:38 AM
Comment #90079

Stephanie-
Take note of this one sentence:

Same thing, Tom. You can call him a liar, but what makes this more than just propaganda?

From that point on, I was addressing him, and not you. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer on that.

That being said, I don’t want to be handed a politician’s press release and told that this is evidence of dishonesty. Mitch McConnell, a Republican, had a conflict of interest here.

Moreover, it has since been discovered that this multiple sourcing was the result of incestuous amplification, the result of these documents being shopped around all over the place.

Additionally, some of the claims made by Susan Schmidt, and by extension McConnell, rest on shaky ground. This is the paragraph from the actual report:

Although the NSC had already removed the uranium reference from the speech, later on October 6th, 2002 the CIA sent a second fax to the White House which said, “more on why we recommend removing the sentence about procuring uranium oxide from Africa: Three points (1) The evidence is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine city by the source is under the control of the French authorities. (2) The procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq’s nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory. And (3) we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa story is overblown and telling them this is one of the two issues where we differed with the British.”

Flooded mines. French controlled Uranium mines (Sacre Bleu!) No significant difference in nuclear ambitions (they already had a few hundred tons already), and the CIA had already told people in congress, including most likely, Mitch McConnell.

It’s not just this. It’s a pattern of lies. It extends to removing important qualifying terms from CIA intelligence estimates when the information was presented to congress, meaning that people like Kerry and Edwards did not see the same intelligence the president did. This is documented, if you’re willing to find it out.

It extends to people relying on reporting from sources that had close ties to a man who stood to gain much from a war in Iraq, especially since he had ambitions to lead the country himself. We are talking of course of our favorite double crosser, Ahmed Chalabi.

It extends to saying that we are certain that Aluminum tubes were for centrifuges when there was contentious debate in the DOE about the whole thing.

It extends to padding a case for war with so much bad reporting, uncorroborated or factually wrong, that Colin Powell threw parts it across the table and called it shit. He had his people tearing out portions of the report all day, but even then, the report he presented to the UN was so riddled with error that even the Senate Committee that made the report from which the quotation was made could only verify the claims about the missiles as true. The other claims, they not only confirm as false, but state that people should have known them to be false. This in a report meant to somewhat exonerate the president.

It extends to having your favorite little reporter Judith Miller (close to Chalabi among other things) chasing around with your exploitation teams claiming any number of WMD finds… which never turned out to be true.

It extends to launching a smear campaign when somebody reveals that the White House should have known better than to include a piece of bad evidence in the Presidents speech to the nation, a speech meant to build the sense that there was a threat to our country that needed answering. Now you can appeal to some lawyerly parsing of whether the report technically supports the president, but the fact that this administration would include it despite the faxed warnings of the CIA, after it had already been taken out before, indicates that there was a push to include this for another reason than just a disagreement on the intelligence: they included it because it had literary flair. It was a line to scare the shit out of people. It was a shocker to me, if I recall.

There was a willful disregard in this administration for the facts, when they didn’t suit the drive for war.

Really, I read your sources, and what I’m seeing (this reflects on them, not you) is an incestuous amplification of the same bad information, even when the people involved should know better.

I’m not a person who equates political success with the good of this country. I would rather have bare majorities that last as long as the will of the politicians to do the will of the people, than have an entrenched Democratic majority that simply consolidates its own power. I want the Democrats to earn any majority they get, and the Republicans should they come to pass

I look at your defense of that smear, and I consider that you may not even realize how much you still buy what Republican propaganda, despite your disdain for the politicians themselves. You extensively quoted a press release from them, and take up a point identical to theirs on Wilson. Is this independent? Can people really claim independence when they just sit down and accept the party line?

I don’t wait for the Democratic National Committee to tell me what’s the case. I get my information from the nonpartisan news outlets, and I figure things out for myself. Why should you as an independent shackle yourselves to Republican-oriented media and sources? My sources range from the NYT to Frontline, to the Republican majority report, all the way to Bob Woodward’s revealing books on the Bush Administration. When the war was starting, I actually went over to Fox news because they had more reporting on the WMD issues. I stopped going not because it was too conservatived, but because everytime they made their claims, it either got Debunked or taken off their site.

I prize reliability of information over reliability of loyalties. You should do the same.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #90091

Stephanie,

I know that you claim to be anti-incumbent, and that’s great. I wish David and the whole VOID organization luck. But for the life of me, I can’t see you voting for a Democrat to replace a Republican. I could certainly be wrong, but while you’ve certainly said many negative things about Republicans, I don’t recall a single instance where you have praised a Democrat.

Additionally, I think you might find more traction with your arguments if you take the time and actually read/quote the actual Senate report, instead of simply quoting a press release from a Republican Senator. At best, it’s simply sloppy.

Posted by: Burt at November 3, 2005 1:02 PM
Comment #90099

Rahdigly-
You’d have to say that because otherwise you have to answer the question. Bush has not cooperated enough with the Democrats to get burned cooperating with them. He’s made it clear: we one, so we get to dictate terms.

Also, you have no call to complain that we don’t have a plan to deal with the country’s problems, not with the track records of your plans, and your party’s consistent record of shutting us out. Dump on our plans, when you, the folks in power, actually push one that works.

Joe-
Legal opinion is one thing. Public opinion is another. Covert or not, her identity was classified. As a classified asset of the CIA, she could be outed. That is, it was a secret.

Additionally, you phrase things as if the investigation is over. That is not the case. Furthermore, Rove claimed the same things as libby did as to where he got his information. Do the math. Work the logic. Rove is in a similar position, and it may just be a matter of legal wrangling whether an indictment is turned in on him.

As for your logic concerning Clinton, Clinton was never indicted, and could not be so indicted while in office, so their never was any question of having a president on trial for perjury. Your question would have been more relevant to the situation if Libby had resigned in advance of the indictment. And no, an impeachment is not the same thing, especially when one is acquited and most of the people who brought the charges had deep seated hatred of Clinton and other liberals. Of course, you guys gave Clinton every benefit of the doubt as well, didn’t you?

What Clinton did was wrong, and would have been so regardless of what or where it happened. What it was, though, was a purely political witchhunt. This wasn’t a directed examination of a crime known to be committed, but the persistent pursuit of some crime, any crime to investigate. There was little public interests or factual merit. They even started an investigation into the suicide of Vince Foster, who probably snapped under the stress of the investigation. This? Something happen, something substantive, and we already know who many of the players are and what they did. This investigation hasn’t ranged far from it’s initial focus.

Rhinehold-
We should have never gone in absent positive proof that what we were looking for was there, because this was supposed to be a pre-emptive war. We justified the war on this. Why is it irrational to expect more certainty? As for control, that’s exactly what we should have never expected. With control comes the ability of these people to say “the fix is in”. If there had really been WMDs, the independent UN inspectors finding weapons would have justified everything, and probably gotten us help in removing Saddam.

Also, if we had established the truth early on, we could have made a proper decision as to whether to divert resources and men to fight this war. We would have been better off taking care of the right target.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2005 1:19 PM
Comment #90391

Stephen,

“I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer on that.”

That wasn’t clear at all. I thought you were addressing us both. I accept your apology.

Now, I’ll skip over all the other stuff, and get right to the point…

“I look at your defense of that smear, and I consider that you may not even realize how much you still buy what Republican propaganda…”

1) I am NOT defending the smear. The smear is wrong. I don’t know how many times, how many ways I have to say that for you to believe it.

2) I grant that every accusation you laid at the feet of the incumbent Republicans not only “may” be true, but probably is true.

3) The part you really just don’t get, and this is important, is that the above statements don’t make Wilson and Plame innocent!!!

You claim I buy into the Republican propaganda, without even realizing how much Democratic propaganda you’ve consumed in your investigation of these incidents.

Wilson admitted in his own words to using “literary embellishments” in his book!!!

Can you honestly tell me, one writer to another, that you don’t know what that means? Come on, Stephen!

You say calling Wilson a liar isn’t fair? What did he lie about? Yet, he ADMITTED IT!!! How partisan have you become that you can ignore that?

“Why should you as an independent shackle yourselves to Republican-oriented media and sources?”

I don’t, Stephen. I got that googling and used it because it was the most succint list of Wilson’s lies. The fact that you’re too partisan to see it really didn’t occur to me. Now I know better. Mainly I read whatever’s listed on My Yahoo! page and what’s posted here on WatchBlog or VOID. I only skim the net to find links to post here, because I find the whole process tedious.

“I prize reliability of information over reliability of loyalties. You should do the same.”

I prize open-mindedness and the willingness to learn; there was a time when you expressed something similiar, but I guess that time has passed. You’ve closed your mind to anything that doesn’t fit with your pre-conceived notion of this affair, including that fact that Wilson is not the hero the DNC makes him out to be.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 4, 2005 12:45 AM
Comment #90395

Burt,

“But for the life of me, I can’t see you voting for a Democrat to replace a Republican.”

It’s happened, but it’s rare. Luckily, there are usually third-party candidates as well. Mainly, I will not vote for a Democrat that will not distance himself from the ultra-liberal organizations. Since that’s where many Democrats get contributions from, it alienates me from many in your political party.

“…while you’ve certainly said many negative things about Republicans, I don’t recall a single instance where you have praised a Democrat.”

I don’t see much cause for praise. However, I did praise Feingold (who is my Senator) for his campaign reform, that is until I saw it in action and saw that it really didn’t change a damn thing. If anything, it made things worse, because the politicians can (and did) distance themselves with the “I didn’t say it” b-s, while still giving their boons to those who did the smears.

I grew up hearing about Clinton’s corruption. And this with my parents being Democrats. I honestly (albeit, mistakenly) thought the Republicans would be different. I was very wrong. However, just because Republicans have the most influence to be corrupt now on a national level, doesn’t mean I don’t see the same corruption in my primarily Democratic state government. In fact, Doyle, my Democratic governor, is being investigated for something similiar to DeLay’s nastiness. So, frankly, don’t expect me to buy this whole “the Democrats are better” nonsense. I’ve watched both parties foul up live at the same time, just different venues.

“Additionally, I think you might find more traction with your arguments if you take the time and actually read/quote the actual Senate report…”

I’ve read much, but not all, of the Senate report. However, I do not have the several hours it would take me to comb through it to find the references I would be looking for. The ONLY reason I can blog is because, it’s not real-time. It provides me the time to get up and get my kids a glass of milk, or change a diaper, or kiss an owie or whatever my kids need. As it is, posting the quotes to Stephen that I did took me an hour and a half. Actually wading through the Senate report would increase that exponentially. Take that as an excuse if you will, I don’t really care. You know very little about me and less about how my day typically goes, so you’re opinion means very little to me.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 4, 2005 1:06 AM
Comment #90507

Stephanie-
You are defending it, because you’re whole hearted accepting their propaganda, without any countervailing views included. The man whose list you provided was a Republican, who was obviously defending the Administration.

An incestous loop exists there. McConnell, a Republican himself, quotes a News sources known for buying the lines of GOP sources outright, without fact-checking. That GOP source, of course, doesn’t take a neutral stance on things.

I stumbled on that, because I checked out one of the authors listed, and found out the extent of her involvement with the political side of things. I did not take that source for granted, but checked its background. It’s always important to check out sources making such controversial and/or surprising claims.

In terms of lying, as a writer, I know there’s literary flair, then there’s literary flair. Did he falsify facts? Leave them out? Speculate baselessly, or without clear evidence? Take the tone high? Downplay something? Forget to mention something? All literary works of non-fiction have some mark of style, some mark of the writer’s personality imprinted. The question is, what damage did he do to the meaningful information he’s conveying from sources and experiences. You’re not going to get perfection here, or in any work. Perfection is not the province of written works.

I don’t expect Wilson to be a hero. I just find the GOP’s approach to the facts seriously lacking. Everybody looks for validation. The problem with the GOP is that they look too much to themselves for that validation. They judge sources by the strength of their links to the GOP, which means that the better the sources are for them, the less new meaning they will find. information has to gradually sink in, or be channelled in by gatekeepers. Democrats don’t worry so much about that. They prefer access, having rebelled against a culture of secrecy in their formative years.

My take on the Wilsons does not so much depend on the notion that he’s OUR source. My concern is focused more on the fact that his opponents are intent on impugning what’s basically good information, whether or not he was its main source. He has been made out to be a political hack, in spite of his long association with centrist causes and administrations.

They are essentially repeating a message they’ve repeated many times: this source is unreliable. Yet their own sources, in my experience, have been no better. Which leads me to believe the claims of unreliability tend to hinge more on political notions of unreliability, which I can’t and won’t in good conscience follow.

Additionally, even an unreliable source can be backed up by corroborating information. The Forgeries in the Dan Rather case were confirmed to be forgeries by Marion Carr Knox. But that same source says that the information in them is accurate. Additional investigations on the attendance issue have non-forged documents indicating (According to US News and World Report) that the president did attend his drills too infrequently by National Guard standards.

Unfortunately, such information was declared politically unreliable by the GOP, because its mere association with the forgery scandal.

Here, too, the political game is played. Even the senate report cited by McConnell admits his rating by the CIA was “Good”, and that despite his lapses, most of his information about the real state of things checks out (Keep in mind also that the administration publically retracted the Sixteen Words. Do you do that for true information?) Additionally, regardless of whether Wilson lied about the source of his information, or merely confused that source with his own recollections, the point of view he expressed was true: the documents were forgeries, the White House was warned, and put the information in anyways.

I am very firm about my conclusions, but I also try to be the most reliable source possible. If you ask me to back up my claims, I can usually trace my facts back to some source, and support my opinions by some sort of logic. Don’t confuse the difficulty of pushing me off a position with prejudice. Just keep in mind that I am a college-educated writer who knows many of the logical and literary tricks that folks use to cover a weak position. I do not typically show mercy to those positions when I find them.

It’s nothing personal. I just don’t appreciate them. If somebody on the left gets too simplistic, I’ll call them on it, too.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2005 1:59 PM
Comment #90685

Stephen,

Okay, Stephen, if you want to play the “bias” game, we can play. You asked me a question. I answered it. You say that the answer is bias, and thus false, because a Republican said it. So, I challenge you to prove it wrong with unbiased sources. What did McConnell say that was wrong? Prove it.

I’ve established that there is enough concern over Wilson to reasonably request an investigation. You deny this on the basis that the concern is based on partisanship (as if the concern over Bush isn’t, but that’s besides the point, right? There’s reason to investigate Bush.) So, tell me why there is no reason to investigate Wilson. Prove it, with unbiased sources.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 5, 2005 1:15 PM
Comment #90744

Stephanie-
It’s not the bias game. Who is McConnell addressing the whole time? The president. What information is he using? A friendly reporter’s recounting of GOP staff conventional wisdom on Wilson. Are his charges on the “literary flair” specific or generalized? The second. Are his other items debunked by outside information? Yes, including some details that come from the very report that the Republicans are commenting upon, details that undermine their partisan claims on the facts.

I don’t measure bias, I measure purpose, and what supports it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2005 11:07 PM
Comment #90754

Stephen,

“What information is he using? A friendly reporter’s recounting of GOP staff conventional wisdom on Wilson.”
emphasis added

No, Stephen he’s not. To quote McConnell directly…

“On this bold allegation, the Senate’s bipartisan report
included this important conclusion: The report on the former ambassador’s trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts’ assessments…” emphasis added

For the first allegation, he got the information from the Senate’s report, not a reporter.

In the second allegation, Wilson’s admitted he’d “misspoken.” And yes, McConnell does cite media coverage concerning the issue to demonstrate the imbalance in the media. He cites The Washington Post, comparing their false story on page A1 to their retraction on A9. He also cites the Financial Times and the Wallstreet Journal.

However, if you’re using these media cites as a reason to disbelieve McConnell, then I guess you’re saying that Wilson really did see those forgeries in Niger, since that’s what McConnell is refuting here.

“…the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report includes testimony that Plame “offered up his name” and quotes a memo that Plame wrote that asserts”…

See again, in the third allegation McConnell makes against Wilson, he cites the Senate report and NOT a biased reporter.

“The Senate Intelligence Report determined the White House did not manipulate intelligence, but rather that the CIA had provided faulty information to policymakers.”

And again, with the fourth allegation, McConnell cites the Senate Report.

So, Stephen, are you saying the bi-partisan Senate report is “a friendly reporter’s recounting of GOP staff conventional wisdom on Wilson?”

Posted by: Stephanie at November 6, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #90838

Stephanie-
The Senate intelligence committee is bipartisan, yes. It has members of both parties. But it is not neutral on that account. It is controlled by the majority party, which can overrule the minority on a party-line vote.

So is it a friendly reporter? The friendliest! It does contain it’s share of facts, which is why I’ve used it, but it seems to break towards one conclusion, even when volumes of the evidence it presents do not always support them.

What’s important, is that on a matter of undisputed fact, Susan Schmidt’s quotation by our friend Mitch is not factually correct. The CIA did in fact warn them.

The claim that the French had supporting evidence is belied by the fact that this supporting evidence was a familiar set of phony documents.

The claim about discussions about Iraq as a customer has trouble there, to, as I hear it. Nobody every said they were really thinking about the commercial venture, and even so, as Wilson did in fact report (recieving a middle grade of “good” frome the CIA according to the senate report) The French controlled both the industrial process required to extract the Yellowcake (a process that rules out simple smuggling), as well as the sale and distribution of the final product. The Senate Committee report details that it was unlikely the French would have any interest in selling Uranium to Iraq.

We can always argue intention on the part of an individual, but that is not a threat. The question is not whether Wilson remembered everything perfectly, nor whether he knew everything that was going on in the CIA (one would hope not, being an uncleared civilian) As a writer and a student of the mind, I can tell you outright that what we consider the truth is often based on limited information.

I think it’s not at all unreasonable to assume that Valerie Wilson did not tell her husband an awful lot about the meetings, besides to relate the results to him. It’s also very likely that any confusion about who said what was merely a mistake of misattribution. Memory is a reconstructive process, and it’s not unreasonable that after a year, a man might confuse sources, or not get the source the CIA had right.

Why would he lie? Why would he self-aggrandize like that, knowing that when somebody checked the files, his account would lose credibility? Not all discrepancies in people’s accounts are lies.

On the matter of bias, I would submit this: I didn’t say I didn’t believe a reporter could be biased. I said I don’t start out with that assumption. If something seems odd to me, as in this case, I check sources and authors, but I don’t just assume that reporters carry a particular bias, and I certainly don’t discount facts on that account. Facts can be separated from bias and corroborated. I just don’t take sources at face value so quickly. I check their information against other sources.

In a world where human subjectivity is inevitable, so is bias. But there exist things in life which we might call figments of reality, notions, theories and facts that look the same from many different angles because of their real effect on the real world. Those are what I seek out: the touchstones of objective truth within our subjective points of the view of the world.

I don’t know how many times I looked up the facts on a Republican talking point or piece of punditry, just to find out how badly they mangled things. This is one of those cases. Many of his assumptions rest on evidence originating in documents now long since proved forgeries. In his political high dudgeon about Wilson’s deceptions, he cites Susan Schmidt’s reporting on the subject of whether the White House was warned, which has been demonstrated as false.

In the end, you should consider that McConnell had reasons all his own for holding this press conference and putting on this show of refutations (most of which are quite refutable themselves). Ask yourself: what is McConnell’s argument about? It’s about whether the president manipulated intelligence to get the war he wanted. If Wilson was so wrong, they could refute him simply on the facts.

Even though Wilson’s accounting early on was not entirely reliable, the facts he presents are in fact true. The documents were in fact forgeries, and the White House did in fact have evidence that many of its claims were not validated by the facts, including the Sixteen words. This is not a simple matter of a casual slipping of a piece of information in. This was done despite advice from the CIA to the contrary, done with knowledgeof that. Why? Because we Americans are suckers for a nuclear threat, and Aluminum tubes (which there was hot disagreement in the DOE about) were not enough to pose that.

It really tires me to consider all I heard that administration say about the threat Saddam was supposed to pose, the unqualified statements, the scary words, and then find out that so much of their evidence was false or puffed up beyond reliability.

When folks get one or two things wrong, it’s human error, natural in the course of things. But all this? Nobody in their position to know could make so many damn mistakes, unless they either just failed to care what went into their reporting, or just plain lied. There are just too many mistakes for them to be honest mistakes in the balance of things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2005 9:05 PM
Comment #91057

Stephen,

I asked for unbiased evidence and you provide me with rhetoric. Why is that? I can assume one of two things. Either you don’t want to continue this discussion, and then just say so, OR you know you’re “evidence” is biased and so you do not wish to provide it for scrutiny. You inferred I was a dupe to Republican proganda and then insinuated that I should just trust you that these allegations are baseless, because you’ve done the research, irregardless of the fact that you did not provide the results of your research. Really, I’m not that gullible, Stephen. You’re going to have to come up with more of a reason than “Republicans are liars” to discredit a Senator speaking on the Senate floor citing a bi-partisan Senate investigation. I mean, c’mon Stephen, you didn’t even cite a source to support you’re allegation that the report is biased because the Republicans out-voted the Democrats!

“Why would he lie? Why would he self-aggrandize like that, knowing that when somebody checked the files, his account would lose credibility?”

While I realize you asked these question rhetorically with the utmost of incredulity, I must note that these are the questions I asked of you earlier, and that these questions currently have no answer based on the evidence that’s been established which is why I believe further investigation of Wilson and his motives are in order. Because, I can answer your questions with speculation, fully admitting it’s only speculation.

Wilson may have lied to secure his place within the Kerry campaign. He may have been so convinced that Bush was going to lose, and so willingly to help in assuring that outcome, so that he can make good to the new guy who would presumably take Bush’s place. And/or, Wilson could have lied to secure himself a very lucrative book deal. The answer to that motivation shouldn’t be too difficult for a prosecutor to establish, since it would simply require tracking how Wilson got the deal, when he started looking for a buyer and when he started writing the book. Wilson may have lied to get back at Bush & Company, because he felt he wasn’t patted on the back enough for going to Niger in the first place, or perhaps for some slight his wife Valerie may have received. Or, Wilson may have lied, because he knew what was true, but couldn’t prove it himself and assumed as long as he brought the story to light somebody, somewhere would find the means to prove the story for him. Or, perhaps, Wilson just looked forward to the fame of being a person of controversy.

As of now, I don’t know why Wilson lied repeatedly as it has been established that he has, but I would like somebody with the proper authority to find out in case his motives are more sinister than the list I provided above. Either way, Wilson as a champion for the Democrats (which, while you may not approve of this, he has been made out to be) makes for very muddy water for the Democrats raising issues of their competitors’ credibility.

“Even though Wilson’s accounting early on was not entirely reliable, the facts he presents are in fact true.”

Ah, you know, that line sounds familiar…though I thought it was the GOP trying to use that b-s to justify their immoral and unethical actions. Hmm. And people wonder why I don’t trust the two party system. Go figure!

Look, Stephen, you may be willing to dismiss these questions, because it suits your purposes, but if you expect me to dismiss them you’re going to have to give me more reason to do so than you’re say so.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 7, 2005 11:33 PM
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