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Plamegate: The Denouement
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, March 06, 2007

So, Scooter Libby's looking at doing a quarter in a Federal pen. I honestly don't know whether to yawn, say "screw 'im", or be disgusted at the prosecutor's overzealousness in bringing this case to trial. A bit of all three I guess.

This actually brings a lot of things to mind, which I want to address in no particular order.

Divider

First, I guess I object to my Brother McQuain's use of the scare quotes in the words "guilty" and "crime" below. Back during the Clinton deal, I explained repeatedly in the newsgroups that I have a pretty simple standard: I prefer my public officials not to commit felonies. My views haven't changed. A jury of his peers thought Scooter Libby did commit felonies, and convicted him on four out of five counts. So, I'm not filled with sympathy for him.

If the FBI—or any other kind of police official—pops around and starts asking you pointed questions about something, you have two, and only two, options. You either answer their questions honestly, or you invoke the 5th and keep your piehole shut. If you elect to do the former, then you have the absolute duty to tell the truth, to the best of your ability.

My advice, by the way, is not to cooperate. The police are not your friends. They're asking you pointed questions because they've already decided there's a non-negligible chance they can pin something on you. They aren't there to be your buddies, or to give you a chance to "help yourself" by talking to them. Mentally, they've already got you fitted out in an orange jumpsuit, and now they're just kinda curious to see how long a stretch you're willing to talk yourself into Soledad for. I know how the police officers think, because I was one for ten years. Don't help them put you away. Clam up and call a mouthpiece.

So, if Scooter Libby decided to try to split the difference, and...uh...shade the truth, then he's a fool, and he talked himself into jail. Good riddance.

If the FBI pops around and starts asking you pointed questions about something, you either answer their questions honestly, or you invoke the 5th and keep your piehole shut.Now, a lot of people—Brother McQuain included, apparently—think that since there was no principal crime committed, then no perjury or obstruction charges should've resulted. Well, sorry, that's not the way it works. If you are involved in an investigation and choose to cooperate, then you have an absolute duty to tell the truth. If you don't, and the prosecutor catches you lying, then you're hosed. Even if the investigation itself turns out not to justify a charge on the principal crime.

Unfortunately, in this particular case, things aren't so simple. Patrick Fitzgerald knew, long, long ago, that the White House didn't, in fact, let the cat out of the bag vis a vis Valerie Plame. As we all now know, that was the responsibility of Dick Armitage over at the State Department's palatial suit of offices in Foggy Bottom.

At that point, Paddy should've announced "no harm, no foul", packed his bags and went home. Or went after Mr. Armitage, who seems to have gotten away clean as a whistle, instead of the White House.

But that's not what happened. Being a good Special Prosecutor, the Fitzmeister wasn't gonna go home until he had extracted his pound of flesh from someone. And he didn't have to go home, since Mr. Libby—inadvertently or not—offered himself up as a sacrifice.

This, by the way, was the second point at which our noble Son of Erin could've declined to prosecute farce any longer. Because, the thing is, it's not enough to know that Scooter Libby said something that was factually incorrect. The prosecutor has to make a judgment: "Is Scooter a lying crapweasel, or is he just, you know, wrong?"

In this case, it seems like that should've been a close enough call to decline to prosecute. Think of it this way: G-men drop by your office to grill you about a telephone conversation you had with Bob six months ago. You describe that conversation to them, after which they throw you against the wall, slap you in cuffs, and say, "You're under arrest for obstruction. We already talked to Bob, and he told us the truth!"

And, how, precisely, do they know that? What they know is that you and Tim Russert Bob are telling conflicting stories. Their judgment about who is telling the truth is just that, a subjective judgment.

If the obstruction charge comes down solely to a "he said, she said" sort of deal, then the prosecutor should probably just back off. If he doesn't though, well, then, that's what we have juries for, and the jury didn't find Mr. Libby's defense compelling.

Some people will say, "Hey, if an overzealous prosecutor can go after a high-ranking White House official, then how much more can they do to me!" Well, maybe, but one could also say, "If you're not a high-profile public official, the prosecutor probably doesn't have the time to waste persecuting you, when there aren't big headlines to be had for doing so."

But, to the extent that this case may have been a case of prosecutorial overreach, it's important to remember that prosecutors almost always have this kind of power, and, as Mike Nifong illustrates, are willing to use it when the stakes are high enough. But that is not an indictment of Mr. Fitzgerald, but rather of a system in which prosecutors have too little oversight. Rather than concentrating on Fitz specifically, maybe that's something we should be taking a look at.

Divider

Now, the lefties are all gonna start with, "See, you were all, like, 'Good!' when Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, so now you can just deal with it!" But, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, there was a fundamental difference between the two types of perjury.

At the end of the day, both Bill Clinton and Scooter Libby had the same duty, which was to tell the truth.It's one thing to have a hazy recollection over a phone call, or even the order of days in which something happened months ago. One of the key things that the jury apparently latched on to was that Libby had told Ari Fleischer something on a Monday of a certain week, but told the FBI that he didn't learn the information until Wednesday of that week. Was Libby lying, or did he just misremember when he did something by two days months previously?

Come to whatever conclusion that you will, but that's a fundamentally more understandable confusion on the facts than Bill Clinton saying, "Hey, you know, now that I've had a chance to think about it some more, I guess I do have some sort of hazy memory of burying my crank eight inches deep in that chick's throat."

Some things stick more easily in the memory than others, after all.

At the end of the day, though, both Bill Clinton and Scooter Libby had the same duty, which was to tell the truth. Bill Clinton was being sued for sexual harassment. Since that was so, questions about whether he was having other employees do some pork snorkeling were relevant to the suit. It showed a pattern of behavior. When asked the question, Mr. Clinton needed to answer honestly. And Mr. Libby didn't even have to do that. He could just called a lawyer and stopped making mouth noises to the Feds.

Come to think of it, neither did Bill Clinton. He could've simply settled out of court, and avoided the whole sordid mess. Instead, he chose to make incorrect mouth noises, too.

So, I have about the same sympathy for him that I have for Scooter Libby.

The bottom line is that a jury looked at the evidence and believed Mr. Libby lied when he had a duty to tell the truth. I don't have a huge problem with that. But, the facts of the case being what they are, I also won't have a problem if Mr. Libby gets a lucky break on appeal, or if he gets a pardon from the president. I didn't have a problem with Bill Clinton being aquitted on his impeachment, either. In both cases, the appropriate message was sent, pour encourager les autres.

Divider

Probably the most irksome thing about this, though, is reading comments like this one:
This clearly was a political hatchet job being done to Wilson as a response to his criticism of policy.
Let me be clear about this: If you make a statement like that, you are either too ignorant of the facts to comment knowledgeably about this matter, or are—like Joe Wilson—a bare-faced liar. Either way, your opinion can be safely ignored.

There was no hatchet job against Wilson. If anything, it was Wilson who was conducting a hatchet job, and the administration was trying to correct a record that consisted of the bald lies spun by him. They were fully justified in being pissed at Mr. Wilson and, had security classification issues not been involved, would've been justified in going after the lying little wombat with both barrels.

There was no hatchet job against Wilson. If anything, it was Wilson who was conducting a hatchet job.Joe Wilson wasn't a critic. He didn't offer "criticism" about administration policy. He lied about the Administration's policy, and the Administration's senior officials knew he was lying. His credibility exploded when the bipartisan investigation into his claims found that:

1) He did not, in fact, find any evidence to contradict the "16 Words", and his report's conclusions were the opposite of those he wrote about in the New York Times.

2) Despite his denials, his wife, Valerie Plame, did, in fact, recommend him for the Niger junket.

Now, perhaps many have forgotten, but, way back in the distant year of 2004, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, Joe Wilson was palling around with John Kerry. He was showing up at campaign events for Kerry, standing beside him on the stage. The Kerry Campaign even provided him with his own web site, restorehonesty.com.

Joe Wilson was a star!

Then, we learned that his Africa report and his NYT op/ed came to completely different conclusions, and that Joe Wilson had been lying to the American public on a matter of vital national policy for months.

Within 24 hours, Joe Wilson's big NYT op/ed piece was gone from the "Restore Honesty" web site, and every single mention of Joe Wilson had been expunged from the Kerry Campaign's web site. Soon after, even the "Restore Honesty" web site was honestly gone.

Joe Wilson's lies earned him the Whole Winston Smith from the Kerry Campaign.

Maybe that happened so long ago that many people have forgotten, but I haven't. Joe Wilson is a proven liar, whose lies, when publicly exposed, made even the Kerry Campaign jettison him overnight.

So let's not pretend this is some sort of vindication for Lyin' Joe Wilson, either.

At best, this conviction is condign punishment for a silly and avoidable offense. All it proves is that Scooter Libby isn't the clearest note in the aria.
 
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Comments
"Hey, you know, now that I’ve had a chance to think about it some more, I guess I do have some sort of hazy memory of burying my crank eight inches deep in that chick’s throat."
Too weird, I was just saying this the other day!

Seriously, folks, I second Dale’s point about how the police are not your friends. I tell every client I have, every family member who’ll listen, sometimes, random strangers on the street: "The Police Are Not Your Friends, so SHUT UP." I guess powerful people like Libby and Clinton are too used to getting their way and so their ego won’t let them be silent (unlike most common folk who think, "gosh, if only the nice policeman will let me explain, he’ll understand and let me go." Yeah, that’s not quite how it works).
 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
Yes I responded to that quote by erb too Dale. It’s particularly absurd after reading this washington post article.
The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.

...

The report turns a harsh spotlight on what Wilson has said about his role in gathering prewar intelligence, most pointedly by asserting that his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame, recommended him.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
And the hypocracy of the press like the NYT, which led the charge screaming day after day over the need to prosecute this horrible- HORRIBLE!!!!- breach of national security, while thinking nothing of throwing every agenda-driven leak of classified material on page one regardless of consequences.

Again, whenever a new President takes the reins, especially one from the opposite party as the former, he needs to start fresh. The permanent govt of our bureaucrats in CIA and State needs to be leveled every 4 or 8 years.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
PS- I’m laughing at this. You know why?

Rove......still unindicted.

Bush and Cheney.......still unimpeached.

Big game hunters bagged a tiny prize.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Well stated. This is what I have been trying to point out all day. Special Persecuters have to get a conviction to justify their existence. Prosecutor Fitzgerald nailed Libby to the wall and now has his trophy. He will now go away after ruining the lives of many people, vindicated in his witch hunt. Those involved will have to pay the piper, or at least their Lawyers.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Jinnmabe;

If only you knew how hard it was not to use that sentence as one of the pull quotes...
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I never understood why so much was made of this case. The entire thing seemed like so much less than the boiling abyss worth of weblog posts and opinion columns written about it would suggest. I was never able to convince myself that this entire thing was really important or consequential.

I wonder how bloody long the aftermath will clatter on. I should be happy for the end and silencing of it.
 
Written By: Paludicola
URL: http://www.vikinghats.com
Very possibly (Hell, I think it defintely is) the very best post that Mr. Franks has posted.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Very possibly (Hell, I think it defintely is) the very best post that Mr. Franks has posted.
OK. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to work. The Righties were supposed to be pissed that I didn’t rally to Mr. Libby’s defense, and the Lefties were supposed to be incensed at the Clinton/Wilson bits.

What’s wrong with you people?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Don’t worry....I’m certain the lefties will still be angry with you
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
FactCheck.Org has a good summary of the whole controversy over the infamous "16 words" in Bush’s 2003 SOTU speech, and Joe Wilson’s role in that controversy. It is well worth reading in its entirety. Here are two excerpts, quoting the Butler Report, which studied the matter for the British Parliament:
It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.
By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa” was well-founded.
There were, at the big picture level, two main issues regarding Iraq’s WMD stockpiles:

1. Iraq’s failure to account for their WMD’s
2. Our own attempts to fill in that gap with intelligence.

Intelligence is inherently uncertain. It is a guessing game, and the CIA has never had a good track record at it. Just look at the estimates about Soviet military capabilities at the end of the Cold War.

Issue #2 can be further broken two into two categories:

A. Chemical and biological weapons
B. Nuclear program

A. The CIA was confident that there were hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. They also believed that Iraq had the scientific and manufacturing capability to re-start production, as well as a proven willingness to allow such weapons to be used on civilians.

B. The CIA never believed that Iraq had inventories of nuclear bombs. The issue here was a suspicion that Iraq might have been attempting to rebuild the nuclear program that Israel destroyed in 1981. There were lots of things that appeared to be red flags, and reasonable people disagreed on the interpretation of each of them. For example, the Left likes to mock the aluminum tubes issue, but if you actually read what Colin Powell had to say about them in his presentation to the UN you will notice that he begins by candidly admitting that there is a lot of disagreement among experts, and then he makes a very compelling case for why he personally believed that the tubes were intended for a nuclear program.

There was also some evidence pointing to attempts by Iraq to get yellowcake uranium in Africa. Cheney was not convinced that this evidence was strong enough yet, so he asked the CIA to send someone to Niger to investigate. When the request reached the CIA, Valerie Plame, whose job it was to investigate proliferation issues, sent a memo reccommending her rabid Bush-hating husband for the job, without mentioning that he was her husband, he had an axe to grind against the administration, and that he had no qualifications at all for the assignment.

Wilson went down to Niger and sat around by the pool sipping tea and talking to people. Based on some of his conversations, the CIA became a little more convinced that Iraq had, indeed, been sniffing around Africa looking for Uranium.

Wilson came back to the US and went on a whirlwind tour of fawning media, claiming that he had personally debunked the administration’s claims that Iraq had been seeking Uranium in Niger. However, as Dale noted, the bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report disputed that claim:
"for most analysts" Wilson’s trip to Niger "lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal."
Washington Post:
The [bipartisan Senate intelligence committee] report also said Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June. He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."

"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the ’dates were wrong and the names were wrong’ when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents — purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq — were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.
In a final irony, Joe Wilson’s reputation seems to have become established as the man who warned Bush that Iraq didn’t have WMD’s. In fact, Wilson actually argued against invading Iraq precisely because he believed that Iraq did have biological weapons. He warned:
Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing "some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year."

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I’m not sure the juror running off at the mouth quoted here doesn’t throw a bit of wrench into the works. I was ready to say "To Hell With Scooter." and be done with it till I read that article.

Now though I’m pretty sure at least one juror wasn’t going home until he convicted somebody, anybody. And that just stinks.

And I’m really curious of the line:
The jurors who convicted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby believed Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff was set up as a fall guy, a juror said Tuesday, but they had no alternative to finding him guilty in the leak of the identity of a classified CIA operative.

is based on a quote, or just some slanted news.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
"pork snorkeling"

The post was worth it for that alone.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
So, I have about the same sympathy for him that I have for Scooter Libby.
I don’t see how that’s appropriate. We know Clinton lied. There is (was at least) actual forensic evidence to support the idea that he lied.

Here we only have Russert’s memory vs. Libby’s, and nobodies story is in good agrrement with anyone else’s.

If the same standard of proof that convicts your victim would convict your witneses, then prosecution should be declined...or undertaken against the witnesses.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Dale,

Pretty much my take as well. Good job.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Now though I’m pretty sure at least one juror wasn’t going home until he convicted somebody, anybody. And that just stinks.
I’m pretty much in agreement with Bruce on this one.

If there’s a local electorate more leftist, outside of Cuba, than that around DC, I don’t know of it. On that basis, what the heck did anyone expect? It would appear that Scooter Libby got the OJ Simpson treatment in reverse. where, like Simpson, the jury rules not based on the evidence, but based on a politically driven pre-conception.

Think I’m kidding?
Well, try this test; Can you imagine a Clinton admin official getting convicted, base don the very same evidence?


Prediction: This will get overturned on the retrial... and it will happen because the defense will ask for a change of venue.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Yep, good post. He met the same fate as Martha Stewart. He was convicted of statements made ancillary to the central crime. If only he had (or was offered) good counsel then there would never have been any convictions.

The funny thing about this has to be the "missing" FBI notes that proved that Russert was the liar and Libby merely confused. Oh well, I hope the left is happy with such a minuscule outcome. I certainly don’t think there is much to crow about since Fitzgerald said that the case is now over. No more sealed indictments, no more Rove frog march opportunity, etc.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
The funny thing about this has to be the "missing" FBI notes that proved that Russert was the liar and Libby merely confused.
I hadn’t heard about that. What do you mean?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
First, I guess I object to my Brother McQuain’s use of the scare quotes in the words "guilty" and "crime" below.
Yeah, well I pretty much object to you stealing oxygen.

Just kidding. ;)

I understand your point and don’t necessarily disagree. However, there are crimes and there are ’crimes’. This one falls in the latter category and with all the time, money and words spent on this one, boy they bagged a bad guy, didn’t they?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
He met the same fate as Martha Stewart. He was convicted of statements made ancillary to the central crime.
There was much more to Martha Stewart than Libby. MS fiddled with phone records and emails as I recall and asked someone to lie for her.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Even if everything you say about Wilson is true (and you’re going overboard in your personal attack, in my opinion), that doesn’t mean that what was done wasn’t a hatchet job. But your use of "evidence" to attack Wilson has a counter; Wilson’s supporters have their own evidence and websites. So suffice it to say I do not agree with your opinion on Wilson, I am informed — I’ve read what both his opponents say and his supporters (you seem to focus on just one side), and your interpretation is a bit over the top (and the same standard applied to White House pre-war assertions would certainly be enough to, using your approach, claim that Bush and Cheney are proven liars not to be trusted as well).

I’ll give my last word in my blog (today March 7) if anyone is interested; the lessons go beyond the people of Wilson and Libby.

[DALE RESPONDS: *sigh*

I don’t have to know what Joe Wilson’s supporters say. I don’t have to know what his critics say.

All I have to know is what Joe Wilson’s Niger Report says, and what his NYT op/ed says. Once I know that, I come to the same conclusion that the Kerry Campaign came to: Joe Wilson lied, publicly and repeatedly.

It’s not rocket science.]
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
if anyone is interested
Yeah, I laughed out loud.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
and his supporters (you seem to focus on just one side),
What? he mentioned John Kerry Scott, isn’t Kerry enough of a supporter for you?
Oh....wait.....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
JWG

I laughed here first:
I am informed
Good times, good times!
 
Written By: stevesh
URL: http://
This jury gave Libby the same chance of being found “Not Guilty” as O.J.’s gave Simpson of being found “Guilty”

You never know when to expect the “Spanish Inquisition”
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Wilson’s supporters have their own evidence and websites.
Do they have their own bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee report to contradict the one that said Wilson lied?

Do they have their own official review of British intelligence to contradict the findings of the British government’s own review, which found Bush’s representations about British intelligence to be "well founded"?
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
McQ:
There was much more to Martha Stewart than Libby.
yes, you are right and it makes the whole thing seem much sillier on retrospection.

Tom Perkins:

Here is the missing FBI notes reference

Tom Maguire covers it quite a bit here.

As someone who followed the whole affair with the strange fascination of watching a car crash, I am amazed that the cognitive dissonance of people like Erb doesn’t give them a stroke.

Wilson’s supporters have their own evidence and websites.
Well they have their opinions but they aren’t really allowed to have their own facts.
White House pre-war assertions would certainly be enough to, using your approach, claim that Bush and Cheney are proven liars not to be trusted as well.
Well known radical Neocon WaPo reporter Woodward seems to have a different recollection of events that you. He and "slamdunk" CIA director Tenet anyway.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
But your use of "evidence" to attack Wilson has a counter; Wilson’s supporters have their own evidence and websites. —Scott Erb
As do the UFO kooks, and the 9/11 "Truthers".

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
After ALEXANDER et al. v. FBI, et. al. (AKA the Clinton White House FBI files case), it should be quite obvious to everyone that what you say to an FBI agent could and may come back to haunt you, perhaps with a defamation suit.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I never understood why so much was made of this case. . . . I was never able to convince myself that this entire thing was really important or consequential.

—Paludicola



Simple.

The left will use whatever means it can to attack the Bush administration.

If something looks potentially damaging to the Bush administration, the Democrats, lefty bloggers, and the MSM will push it as far as they can.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
White House pre-war assertions would certainly be enough to, using your approach, claim that Bush and Cheney are proven liars not to be trusted as well.
MR. RUSSERT: “ A grave threat to America,” do you still believe that?

SEN. EDWARDS: No.

MR. RUSSERT: Why were you so wrong?

SEN. EDWARDS: For the same reason a lot of people were wrong. You know,
we—the intelligence information that we got was wrong. I mean, tragically wrong.
On top of that I’d—beyond that, I went back to former Clinton administration
officials who gave me sort of independent information about what they believed
about what was happening with Saddam’s weapon—weapons programs. They were also
wrong. And, based on that, I made the wrong judgment. ...


MR. RUSSERT: But it seems as if, as a member of the intelligence committee,
you just got it dead wrong, and that you even ignored some caveats and ignored
people who were urging caution.


SEN. EDWARDS: Well, I, I, I would—first of all, I don’t want to defend
this. Let me be really clear about this. I think anybody who wants to be
president of the United States has got to be honest and open, be willing to
admit when they’ve done things wrong. One of the things, unfortunately, that’s
happened in Iraq is we’ve had a president who was completely unmoving, wouldn’t
change course, wouldn’t take any responsibility or admit that he’d made any
mistakes. And I think America, in fact the world has paid a huge price for that.
So I accept my responsibility. I’m not defending what I did. Because what
happened was the information that we got on the intelligence committee was, was
relatively consistent with what I was getting from former Clinton administration
officials
. I told you a few minutes ago I was concerned about giving this
president the authority, and I turned out to be wrong about that.



Those Clinton administration officials were also known liars.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
He met the same fate as Martha Stewart. He was convicted of statements made ancillary to the central crime.
There was much more to Martha Stewart than Libby. MS fiddled with phone records and emails as I recall and asked someone to lie for her.
I submit there was more to Bill Clinton’s case, as well... and they didn’t convict him...

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://

I don’t have to know what Joe Wilson’s supporters say. I don’t have to know what his critics say.

All I have to know is what Joe Wilson’s Niger Report says, and what his NYT op/ed says. Once I know that, I come to the same conclusion that the Kerry Campaign came to: Joe Wilson lied, publicly and repeatedly.
OK, I’ll comment once more because I think you have your facts wrong.

Wilson concluded that there was no chance for uranium to be sold to Saddam secretely because of the fact France controlled the facilities and it was monitored. A separate mission by Gen. Fulford (Marines) had reached a similar conclusion. Wilson gave his findings in a debriefing and a report was written (not by Wilson, but by others who may have had their own agenda). I have not found any plausible evidence denying that Wilson reached this conclusion and was not amazed when the Niger statement was in the State of the Union address.

You have not shown Wilson at all to be a liar.

But Libby is now a proven liar, perjurer and felon, by a jury of his peers. Chances are that Bush and Cheney have been involved in similar criminal lies. You aren’t going to believe it. You have reached your conclusion and have done so apparently thinking that the report on Wilson’s trip was written by Wilson himself and not people who may themselves have been wanting to spin the intelligence. Wilson’s claims differ from the reports that were written up BY OTHER PEOPLE!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Wilson concluded that there was no chance for uranium to be sold to Saddam
Just where did the Bush administration report that Saddam actually acquired uranium from Niger?

According the the "16 words," Bush claimed Saddam "sought" uranium based on British intelligence. Funny...didn’t Wilson report that an Iraqi trade delegation came to Niger and the Nigerian told Wilson he was sure they wanted to talk about uranium?

Maybe you have a different definition of "sought"? Kinda like you have a different definition or "reality"? and "truth"?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
OK, I’ll comment once more because I think you have your facts wrong.
No. Both the NYT and the Senate concluded Wilson lied.
Wilson concluded that there was no chance for uranium to be sold to Saddam secretely because of the fact France controlled the facilities and it was monitored. A separate mission by Gen. Fulford (Marines) had reached a similar conclusion.
Wilson claimed Saddam didn’t try to do it. Wilson had no basis for that claim.
Wilson gave his findings in a debriefing and a report was written (not by Wilson, but by others who may have had their own agenda).
Wilson claimed the report said something it did not. If knew what the report said, he lied then. If he knew he did not know what the report said, then he lied by claiming knowledge he did not have.
I have not found any plausible evidence denying that Wilson reached this conclusion and was not amazed when the Niger statement was in the State of the Union address.
Then you have not read or have dismissed the NYT and the US Senate.
You have not shown Wilson at all to be a liar.
No, but he has cited sources whicxh have proved just that.
But Libby is now a proven liar, perjurer and felon, by a jury of his peers.
And a sad miscarriage of justice it was.
Chances are that Bush and Cheney have been involved in similar criminal lies.
Since no charges were brough—not to mention I don’t think they gave statements to the FBI—I’d say the chances of that are zero.
You aren’t going to believe it.
That depends on whether there was actual evidence of a crime.
You have reached your conclusion and have done so apparently thinking that the report on Wilson’s trip was written by Wilson himself and not people who may themselves have been wanting to spin the intelligence.
Previously asserted by you and above answered by me. Wilson lied about what his research showed.
Wilson’s claims differ from the reports that were written up BY OTHER PEOPLE!
Which doesn’t change what his reports supported and what he claimed they supported, which varied. Did he lie before or after is the only relevant question with respect to Wilson.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Actually I think Bryan at hot air has a good point re the different consequences of lying liars.
There is something deeply rotten about trying a man for misremembering things about a crime he did not commit, because it never occurred. There is something deeply rotten in a country that lets proven liars like the Wilsons walk scott free to continue to undermine a war in progress, while Libby winds up facing jail time. Their nepotistic junket to Niger and Wilson’s subsequent misreporting of that trip are a far greater crime against the country than anything Libby did. There is something deeply rotten in a country that lets Sandy Berger go, but puts Mr. Libby behind bars.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://

You have not shown Wilson at all to be a liar...
...Chances are that Bush and Cheney have been involved in similar criminal lies...
...You have reached your conclusion...


Your inability to recognize your own cognitive dissonance astounds, but it is consistent.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
You have not shown Wilson at all to be a liar.

No, but he has cited sources whicxh have proved just that.
No he has not. He has asserted that others have called Wilson a liar, but I haven’t found any proof. Indeed, everything "cited" is assertions by others which Wilson and others have countered. He looks at one side and bases his conclusions on that. Reality bites.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No Scott. He said the report said things which the report did not. That is a fact. He may have felt the report should have said something different, but it did not. So even if Wilson is claiming he reached different conclusions than the report which was filed about his trip (something which seems very doubtful to me) it doesn’t change the fact that he lied about what was in the report.

It also doesn’t change the many other lies he told, such as that he had seen the famous forgeries and knew they were false. Unfortunately that has been demonstrated to be a lie as well. He now claims he just misspoke. The Senate committee had him admit to misspeaking several times when he was testifying. That he after the fact has come out with spin which distracts from those lies doesn’t change that they were lies. Everything you have presented could be true and it still wouldn’t change that he lied.

everything "cited" is assertions by others
That is false.

The report is a fact, what Wilson said is a fact. The report doesn’t say what he claimed it did. Either the report has been falsified or Wilson is lying. Nothing you say about his opinion changes that, though those are lies as well.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Lance demolishes Erb...

NITF, thinks Erb.

NITF.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The odd thing is that Erb continues to discredit himself so over this.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The odd thing is that Erb continues to discredit himself so over this.
Trust me ... it’s not odd at all.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"I never claimed to have “debunked” the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa."
Joe Wilson
http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh072004.shtml
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
Thanks ABC. I forgot about that from Bob. Of course we could reference FactCheck.org, The New York Times and the devastating editorial today from the Washington Post to round out the right wing shills, but I guess anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky isn’t credible.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
You guys are too much.

Face it. There is one proven liar. That is Scooter Libby. That was proven in a court of law by a jury of his peers.

What you have against Wilson is what one can construct against ANY public figure — if you go through everything someone says, and find every error or mistake, you can weave them together to do a hatchet job. That is precisely the kind of political game that is poison to politics, and it delights me that it failed this time.

Alas, that kind of "gotcha game" politics, which also is now gets candidates scripted least they say a bad soundbite that gives opponents grist for ridicule (used against Kerry just before the last election) is far too prevalent. One should really listen to political opponents rather than simply try to find ways to discredit or ridicule them. Wilson’s victory may be a sign that at least there are limits of what gotcha game politics can accomplish.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You are welcome, Lance.
Could you link to the NYT article that has been mentioned, please?
TIA
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
Wilson concluded that there was no chance for uranium to be sold to Saddam secretely because of the fact France controlled the facilities and it was monitored.

Really? When he was on his rock star tour, marketing his claim that Bush lied in the State of the Union Address, he gave a different explanation for his conclusion:

Washington Post:
He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."
The problem for you and Wilson here is that the Senate Intelligence Committee found that the documents Wilson claimed to have examined in Niger did not even come into American hands until eight months after Wilson had returned from Niger, and Wilson had never even seen them.

What is the phrase that I am looking for here? Oh yeah: "Reality bites."
Even if everything you say about Wilson is true (and you’re going overboard in your personal attack, in my opinion), that doesn’t mean that what was done wasn’t a hatchet job.
Wilson made himself famous by selling the claim that Bush lied in the SOTU. Now, with the advantage of historical hindsight and numerous investigations, we know that Bush’s claim was "well-founded," in the words of the British Butler report, and Wilson’s claims were factually untrue. So which one of the two was wielding the hatchet?
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
That was proven in a court of law by a jury of his peers.
The same proof that OJ is innocent . . .
What you have against Wilson is what one can construct against ANY public figure — if you go through everything someone says, and find every error or mistake, you can weave them together to do a hatchet job. That is precisely the kind of political game that is poison to politics, and it delights me that it failed this time.
Bull. Wilson lied. We have proof of his lies. They have been spelled out for you. They are significant, not something that can be done against any public figure. We are not talking about minor misstatements here . . .
Alas, that kind of "gotcha game" politics, which also is now gets candidates scripted least they say a bad soundbite that gives opponents grist for ridicule (used against Kerry just before the last election) is far too prevalent. One should really listen to political opponents rather than simply try to find ways to discredit or ridicule them. Wilson’s victory may be a sign that at least there are limits of what gotcha game politics can accomplish.
Bull. This whole thing was a "gotcha game" against the Bush admiistration, one that failed, and justified itself by going after Libby.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
What is the phrase that I am looking for here? Oh yeah: "Reality bites."
Scott seems to weave his own reality. I think he would have fit in well on the OJ jury . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
In the words of those well-known, right-wing shills, the editors of the Washington Post today:
Mr. Wilson was embraced by many because he was early in publicly charging that the Bush administration had "twisted," if not invented, facts in making the case for war against Iraq. In conversations with journalists or in a July 6, 2003, op-ed, he claimed to have debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger; suggested that he had been dispatched by Mr. Cheney to look into the matter; and alleged that his report had circulated at the highest levels of the administration.

A bipartisan investigation by the Senate intelligence committee subsequently established that all of these claims were false — and that Mr. Wilson was recommended for the Niger trip by Ms. Plame, his wife.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I heard a story that indigenous people of Central America literally could not see Spanish ships sailing into coves. They had never even imagined such a thing, and their brains, unable to reckon with the new information, just ignored it.

I didn’t believe this story, but looking at Scott Erb’s diatribes, I’m starting to believe it’s possible. Time after time, he has been shown proof of Wilson’s lies. Time after time, he ignores it.

The funny thing is that he’s always lecturing the rest of us about opening our minds to the thought that we might be wrong.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
That is right Scott, FactCheck.org is going after him for politically motivated gotcha politics. Same with the WAPO. The Kerry campaign scrubbed him because they were after him. You are starting to sound like a John Bircher.

Even if they were just misstatements, that hardly vindicates him. If I make my reputation around misstatements, then I am still wrong and all my charges are false. I don’t get to claim vindication about anything. I am a sloppy speaker, who even after I have been caught, after under oath I had to come clean then went out to posture and lie some more (lies which you have regurgitated here) to claim everything I just admitted to, under oath, were not really true. Of course he continues to lie in other venues, and you repeat them, but when it turns out he could have been prosecuted for lying he proved he is smarter than Libby. Then he chose to tell the truth. Good for him, because they had him dead to rights. It is hardly vindication of much though.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Just how was the British White Paper of Sept. 24, 2002 based on the forged documents that the Italian journalist provided on Oct 9, 2002 ? The British say they learned of them in the Spring of 2003 and were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made.

Report on the U.S. intelligence community’s prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq. (SSCI Phase I)

Page 50:
On September 24, 2002 the British Government published a White Paper on Iraq’s WMD stating, “there is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium form Africa.”

Page 57:
On October 9, 2002, an Italian journalist from the magazine Panorama provide U.S. Embassy Rome with copies of document pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction. The journalist had acquired the documents from a source who had request 15,000 Euros in return for their publication, and wanted the embassy to authenticate the documents. Embassy officers provided copies pf the documents to the CIA’s redacted because the embassy, which did collect the information, was sending copies of the documents back to the State Department headquarters.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
You are starting to sound like a John Bircher.
Rough, Lance. Funny as hell, but rough!
 
Written By: cjd
URL: http://
For once words of wisdom from the good Professor:
One should really listen to political opponents rather than simply try to find ways to discredit or ridicule them.
Too bad he pays no attention to his own advice.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
There still is this offer of $5 to the first person who can name one thing, anything, that Wilson found on his 2002 trip to Niger that proved “false” President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union statement, “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

It has been waiting for someone to claim it for almost 11 months now, but it appears to be the safest five-dollar bill in America.

Your first hurtle, this statement from a letter by Joe Wilson to the Senate Intelligence Committee: "I never claimed to have "debunked" the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. I claimed only that the transaction described in the documents that turned out to be forgeries could not have occurred and did not occur."

He later told the Senate Intelligence Committee when asked how he knew the documents were forgeries (considering the CIA did not have the documents when he went on the trip to Niger) that he had "mispoken."
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
For once words of wisdom from the good Professor:

"One should really listen to political opponents rather than simply try to find ways to discredit or ridicule them."

Too bad he pays no attention to his own advice.
Hey, I’m reading and responding to this blog, which obviously has a view different than my own. And I don’t take things personally, I note when I agree with the positions, and take seriously the arguments made. I know I may be wrong, and I personally respect McQ, Dale, Billy and others, even if they don’t respect me. I like reading views contrary to my own, that’s the best way to learn!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
and take seriously the arguments made.
But not with actual counterarguments. When Wilson himself admits he "misrepresented" the import of his report, who are you to gainsay him?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/file_on_4/6401491.stm

 
Written By: DC
URL: http://

 
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