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July 03, 2007

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And the band, played, on...

Speaking of really excessive sentences...

AQI seem to understand the meaning, even if others don't.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bless-the-beasts-and-children.htm>http://www.michaelyon-online.com

depressing. I'd like to think this will be another moment of clarity - a sort of second Katrina that shoves a clear reality in their face, thus altering the political landscape.

anyway, the research here is impressive.

publius: sublimation is a wonderful thing.

sublimation is a wonderful thing.

That is how you always get me. Damn it. Not fair. Just not fair.

Hilzoy: To clarify: I almost never agree with you on first reading. But then your words bounce around in the back of my head. It is not always a pleasant feeling. It is kind of like wasps looking for a place to nest. Sometimes it hurts when they actually touch down.

I can not give a writer any more credit than that.

Wasps. Now they're buzzing around in my head.

Thanks.

An article in the Boston Globe makes a similar, and similarly devastating, comparison:

Milt Romney claims that Patrick Fitzgerald went after Libby even though Fitzgerald "knew no crime had been committed". This is of course blatantly false, but Romney apparently went on to say at a campaign stop "isn't it reasonable for a commutation of a portion of the sentence to be made?" The Boston Globe points out:

As governor, Romney twice rejected a pardon for Anthony Circosta, who at 13 was convicted of assault for shooting a boy in the arm with a BB gun -- a shot that didn't break the skin. Circosta worked his way through college, joined the Army National Guard, and led a platoon of 20 soldiers in Iraq's deadly Sunni triangle.

In 2005, as he was serving in Iraq, he sought a pardon so he could to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.

In his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney often proudly points out that he was the first governor in modern Massachusetts history to deny every request for a pardon or commutation during his four years in office. He says he refused pardons because he didn't want to overturn a jury.

It's not just Bush who has no shame.

Hilzoy, I almost never agree with you on a first reading, actually I never agree with you at all. But then your words bounce around in the bottom of my intestines. It is not always a pleasant feeling. It is kind of like a rock looking for a place to fall, from a wooden seat. Sometimes it hurts when it actually touches down, but good things never come easy.

I can give a writer more credit than that, but oh, the relief!

Shall we turn off the lights and leave you two alone?

I'd like to think this will be another moment of clarity - a sort of second Katrina that shoves a clear reality in their face, thus altering the political landscape.

Yeah, because if there's one thing people generally, and Republicans specifically, care deeply about, it's the plights of black and/or retarded people in jail for violent crimes.

18 months to go

johnt: Shall we turn off the lights and leave you two alone?

Setting aside the fact that I’m happily married (thank you very much) – I think Hilzoy averages about one marriage proposal per month on this blog. So she has a lot better to choose from than a (somewhat) reformed Republican.

If you really have an issue with me complimenting her on her writing, well, that is your issue now isn’t it?

Bravo, OCSteve.

Well said.

It's alimentary my dear Steve, it's what you compliment, not that you compliment and it's redundant to say it's my issue, who else's would it be? Steve, there's a pun there somewhere.

The crowd here at ObWi seems fit to be tied in knots due to that hobgoblin "inconsistency" connected naturally to unproven but dark hints of further corruption to be hidden by a pardon.

There are a few problems with this.
1] Both before and after Bush left Texas that state was almost always at the top of the list in executions. The presumption therefore, among others, is that other Governors would not do what Bush did with Libby, that is pardon someone they knew personally. Given the political history of Texas, I might add and emphasize Bush's predecessor in that office, that is a shaky assumption at best. For charity's sake I'll limit myself to Texas.

2] As Hilzoy is put out by improper judicial proceedings and the perversion of justice, and having already mentioned by reference Ann Richards, a reminder of what Richards and Clarance Darrow Earle attempted to do to Kay Baily Hutchison is not entirely out of line. Especially for one who is so concerned with consistency in law. Hi Hilzoy!

3] The point made over and again by ObWi's various personifications of Justice, blindfolded and scales in hand, is that the ugly head of pure politics was raised from it's lair. Politics, can you believe it, and in Washington of all places!

4]But the problem with #3 is that the investigation and trial were completely political from the start. You see you're caught in a conundrum, Fitzgerald knew from the beginning who the leaker was, therefore either Plame was not a secret agent, she wasn't, or she was and Fitzgerald choose to ignore it. He therefore and either way was derelict in his duty and assignment.
Please, no tiresome reminders that he is a republican. So was Lowell Weicker, Lincoln Chaffee, and God bless him , Lawrence Walsh.

Knowing who the leaker was Fitzpatrick set out after the White House, where the pot of gold was. He only came up with Libby.

I'll close by noting that there is some irony on Hilzoy commenting on justice denied. As the jury was denied the admittance of Armitage's identity and role we may at the least wonder at the validity and justice of the perjury conviction. Might not any number of jurors wondered at the nature of a perjury over facts that were already public and with which Libby had no part in revealing? But so be it.

Add in Joe Wilson with the dishonorable Fitzgerald and you are left with the fact that the whole thing was a farce founded in lies and proceeding on the basis of lies.
For your consideration while you thrash the Administration.

Johnt: (1), (2), (3) simply are not arguments that what Bush did was right. If you can't see that, then I can't help you. If you want to question the integrity of posters and the whole ObWi, then lovely. But even if we were the vilest hypocrites since Cesare Borgia, none of that makes when your man Bush did any less rotten.

As to (4), I do not know why you would believe that *even if Fitzgerald knew the truth*, then that somehow nullifies Libby's obligation to tell the truth before the court.

Of course, Libby lied not to FBI investigators alone, but to the grand jury. So I'm puzzled by why you think it is relevant that lying before the grand jury is no biggie as long as Fitzgerald knew the truth. Maybe you mistook Fitzgerald for judge and jury.

You are not arguing that Libby did not in fact perjure himself, just that it didn't matter because the investigation was a "farce".

So give me a rundown of the other cases in which you think that telling the truth is optional, after you've sworn an oath to tell it.

Oh, and johnt, please don't point out that Bush is a human being. So were Ghenghis Khan, Lucretia Borgia and even, so it is rumored, Dick Cheney.

If you are going to make an argument, at least make a relevant one.

Bush Commutation Flashback - Karla Faye Tucker:
when his allies on the religious right pressured him to spare murderess turned jailhouse born-again Christian Karla Faye Tucker, Governor Bush displayed his trademark resolve - and compassion. As Time recounted in 1999:

Tucker Carlson of Talk magazine described the smirk Bush wore as he mimicked convicted murderer turned Christian Karla Faye Tucker begging, "Please don't kill me," something she never actually did.

For the details, see:
"The Consistent Inconsistency of George W. Bush."

johnt @ 8:46 pm---"Fitzgerald knew from the beginning who the leaker was, therefore either Plame was not a secret agent, she wasn't, or she was and Fitzgerald choose to ignore it."

Valerie Wilson (Plame) was a covert NOC. Your comment that she wasn't is a clear marker that your opinions are useless. In 5 different legal venues, under 5 different sets of conditions, it has been established beyond any shadow of a doubt (more than reasonable doubt) that Mrs. Wilson was a very highly protected intelligence asset.

You are probably a complete fool.

Yes. Fitzgerald knew who gave Novak the top secret information about Wilson (Plame): Richard Armitage at the State Dept. The prosecutor also knew that Armitage generated a mea culpa long before the grand jury convened & was found to be not subject to prosecution.

Armitage got his information from a memo via a guy named Ford in the INR branch of the State Dept.

The information in this memo was the leak, the actual crime of revealing the covert agent's name & her work unit in the CIA & her cover front company, Brewster-Jennings.

Libby attempted to "give up" Wilson (Plame) to Judy Miller on June 23, 2003, before any other rats had started their efforts. He failed because Miller could no longer get anything into print because of her previous stooge-level publishing.

Libby's perjury prevented the FBI & the grand jury from discovering who surfaced the information in the Ford memo. Libby's obstruction of justice precluded Fitzgerald from identifying the paper & electronic trail back from the memo.

You are probably far too challenged to follow this line of reasoning, which was presented at the trial & generated Libby's conviction. And, without exception, everything I've posted here is supported by printed documents projected on a screen at the trial. They are widely available on the internet.

]But the problem with #3 is that the investigation and trial were completely political from the start.

Don't be an idiot and don't treat us like idiots. Makes us a night irritated.

By the way....

Fitzgerald knew from the beginning who the leaker was,

Generally, most prosecutors know they lay of the land before they dive in. It's not much of a rhetorical point--try not to treat us like idiots by trying to make much of it.

johnt: if you don't trust us, you might consider famed lefty Orin Kerr's explanation of why Fitzgerald didn't close up shop. While you're at it, check out his post on why he thinks it's bizarre to call the investigation and prosecution of Libby 'political'.

Although DNFTT is the better part of valor, I'll add just a couple of questions.

Police knew just who the Watergate burglars were on the night of the break-in. Why'd anyone ever investigate anything else?

We knew who the 9/11 hijackers were pretty quickly, and that they were dead. Why'd anyone bother even trying to catch OBL and KSM? (They did try to catch OBL for a while there . . .)

Oh, and johnt, please don't point out that Bush is a human being. So were Ghenghis Khan, Lucretia Borgia and even, so it is rumored, Dick Cheney.
I protest this defamation (by association) of L.Borgia. There is not the slightest proof that all the stories about her alleged depravity have any truth in them (comparable to claims that Hillary Clinton has committed murders).

(They did try to catch OBL for a while there . . .)

Oh, come on Charley, it took at least six months before Bush jr went from "we'll catch him dead or alive" to "we are not interested in OBL".

johnt, if you think of yourself as a person of character would you kindly check back with us after reviewing--with care--the Orin Kerr material hilzoy referred you to.

Show us the sort of person you are.

Gee whiz, I seem to have touched a sore spot, ruffled a few feathers, and in a couple of cases drawn out the invective that gives liberals their reason for being.

So to handle a few, if not all, the protestations and fulminations, here goes;

Ara, having given me proof that you can follow numerical sequence and to clarify what was already clear let me emphasize that nowhere do I assert that what Bush did was right, or for that matter Libby. I do not claim that Libby didn't commit perjury though for good reason I have doubts. The Bush part of your response is easy, no one knows precisely what if any role Bush played in the non-leak of already leaked information.

The Borgia reference is catchy but unless you are willing to ignore your own moral ground in this mess, which I've touched upon, then and with due reflection you will realize that you are dismissing any moral responsibility for how and what you judge & what you are willing to ignore. There are pertinent items in my post which you may wish to read again and regard as an opportunity for self reflection.
Do you have something against the Borgia family?

whl, from one fool to another, being a fool I can relate to the problems a fellow fool has, my sympathies. But as I said there is a problem here with Fitzgerald. If as you say she was covert and her status leaked to the media, which my foolish mind tells me was what this was all about, what does your foolish mind tell you, then and tiresomely again, it was Fitzgerald's obligation, does your foolish mind know what an obligation is, to pursue just that course.

Although your cited " mea culpa" touches the heart it is legally irrelevant. If it is relevant then doubtless you would forgive Libby if a mea culpa had been forthcoming, would you not?

As to what Ford sent to Pontiac or whomever, useless eyewash & so I'll pass.
Never wise up whl, your foolishness is endearing.

gwangung, did I get that right? Thanks for the contribution.

CharleyCarp, johnt's rule #7, when drawing analogies or comparisons first pause and seek the differences. Pin this over your army cot and make sure it's the last thing you read before drifting off to dreams of a Hillary presidency.

Hartmut, I understand that no one sits down for dinner with Cheney without having a suicidal food taster along for laughs. Good point.

A brief hiatus for coffee and cigarettes and I'll return


Shorter JohnT:

let me emphasize that nowhere do I assert that what Bush did was right, or for that matter Libby.

You won't miss anything important if you skip the rest.

johnt.

Just a few points.

1. This apparently started out as a critique of the original post and the response from OCSteve. Yet nowhere do you make any comment that is relevant to that post.

2. You keep refering to Fitzgerald's obligation, yet nowhere do you provide any evidence that he did not meet his obligations,

3. You refer to non-leak of already leaked information. Apparently you are not aware of the fact that more than one leak can exist without there being a contradiction in terms.

4. Your arrogance, IMO, is virtually unmatched, except maybe by Bush and Cheney.

With that I have already violated the DNFTT rule.

I just want to add one fact to the above discussion of Bush's record in capital cases when he was governor of Texas.

Bush's decisions were, as some may remember, based on summaries of the cases written for him by a person going by the name of Alberto Gonzales.

It would be interesting to see if anyone knows whatever became of him.

I just want to add one fact to the above discussion of Bush's record in capital cases when he was governor of Texas.

Bush's decisions were, as some may remember, based on summaries of the cases written for him by a person going by the name of Alberto Gonzales.

It would be interesting to see if anyone knows whatever became of him.

Hilzoy & whatshisname, Having returned from the valley of death, no, not the cigs & coffee, Orin Kerr's utterly devastating argumentation, it is with sorrow that i must inform you that I have failed the test of integrity, the crucible of virtue.
I remain unrepentant in both sin and obstinacy.

As to the "political" thing. In passing I touched on this in my earlier, discomforting post. Let's try it this way, does opportunism exist, can it lead to the easier and more rewarding path, does it, can it, exist in republicans, have any republicans in the past just possibly resorted to this, is it conceivable a republican would recognize the danger in returning a clean bill of health on the WH or VP's office and conversely the approval from sources of considerable public power if a scalp is shown?

I contend and after weighing Fitzgeralds actions that he considered, regardless of length, which was the more advantageous path and took it. The personal outweighed the political, whatever the strength or weakness of the political. Unheard of ?

The close up shop thing; please Hilzoy, please. Read Kerr's remarks while considering why a little verification took over three years, just to be certain of course. That all he wanted, amomg a few other mundane things, was"verifying the facts", post Armitage. Or he wanted to know if there were "other leakers" to Novak, or other leakers to other reporters", little things like that.

But that in no way explains why Armitage, despite whl's heroic efforts, walks or why Fitzgerald pursues Libby with such dedication knowing of Armitage and at some point knowing that here was and can be only one initial leaker. Especially after the Novak column when the whole world knew.

Hilzoy I did make a few points here and there about your concern for justice, no
answer. As mentioned the whole mess was founded in lies, Wilson's and Fitzgerald's.

Obscure, sorry I forgot your name, but that's the price of being a nonentity.

For simplicity's sake and as a remembrance, this entire exercise is merely what one might regard as a reminder of a universal human frailty, whatever it's expression or location. A thought which has not yet touched down at ObWi.

Sorry I couldn't spend more time but like Diogenes I must carry my lamp elsewhere.

Hilzoy, explain to them who Diogenes is, not Laertius but Sinope, thanks.

Especially after the Novak column when the whole world knew.

There were no fewer than ten leaks to reporters before the Novak column was published, including multiple leaks by Libby to Judy Miller and Matt Cooper.

Please, there are enough strawmen in this debate already without pretending like anyone cares about "leaks" that occurred after Novak's column was already published. None of the leaks at issue in this investigation fit into that category.

Does anyone else find johnt as funny as I do?

His casual defamatory style, the self-congratulations, the way he seems to believe he is making these devastating points when he is hardly making any sense at all.

Mostly I just find him to be completely incoherent. It's kind of funny actually.

WHL, thank you for that rundown of the facts of the investigation, which should be of help in the rebutting of future trolls.

Sadly, johnt is an horrific example of the madness that infects a people when Power and Consequences are divorced. An inconsistent and unaccountable leader will inevitably drive the weakest of their followers mad. Johnt is a sad casualty of the failure of our revolutionary will.

johnt 7/05 @ 11:11--- Although your cited " mea culpa" touches the heart it is legally irrelevant. If it is relevant then doubtless you would forgive Libby if a mea culpa had been forthcoming, would you not?

Your foolishness is only exceeded by your lack of IQ. Stupidity is incurable. The mea culpa negates the applicable law because the statute (which Toensig claims to have written, but can't comprehend) requires that the traitor (Armitage) must know that the covert agent is actively undercover & the treasonous bastard seems to have convinced the FBI, Judge Tatel & Judge Walton that his numbnutziness (an Asst. SecState, jeebus!) didn't know that Valerie Wilson was a covert agent.

Fitzgerald had NO obligations. He was given plenary powers by Comey, agreed to by Ashcroft. Fitzgerald was given the same status as the Attorney General, himself--he was not a special prosecutor nor an independent counsel. That you think otherwise is silliness to the 5th power. What an ass you are--at least read the stuff in some factual wingnut paper. Even the moonie Times of DC described Fitzgerald's actual status.

It's clear that you've not read any of the primary documents about the Libby trial, or even cursory newspaper coverage. You blather out drivel like a reichwing tool or fool.

You are also far too stupid to arrive at an understanding as to why Armitage was not prosecuted. Asserting your asinine, stupid, ignorant, unread opinions is of no use to the discussions on this website.

For example: you state that "she wasn't" as to Valerie Wilson's status as a protected, classified covert intelligence agent. Three different CIA directors have asserted & presented written "proof" to the FBI, Judge Tatel, Judge Walton, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence & the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. And there's your stupid comment laid over against a mountain, a metaphoric massif centrale, of absolute contradictory evidence available from every medium in existence.

Wow! Your stupidity is vast.

Valerie Plame Wilson was soooooo covert & undercover that the CIA will not even describe her work history prior to 2002. The agency is attempting to preclude Mrs. Wilson from putting her resume in evidence at the civil lawsuit against the traitors who jeopardized her life & destroyed her program of counter-proliferation in the Middle East.

At least the readers here can see how you arrive at your stated opinions: you quote them from Karl Rove's daily fantasy fax.

whl, and everyone: I probably should have said earlier in this thread that it is out of line to slam commenters on this site, including johnt. However, this: "You blather out drivel like a reichwing tool or fool" and this: "your asinine, stupid, ignorant, unread opinions", and so forth, are way over the line. Please don't do it again. Thanks.

Clearly, people feel an urge to converse like this. Maybe there should be an ObWi Zoo... And when tempers flare on the main threads we can "Take It To The Zoo", where the only posting rule is that there are no posting rules.

The benefit of this is that posting rules on the main threads can be made even tighter.

Ara, we used to have a whole blog for that exact purpose: Taking It Outside. Unfortunately, it crashed a few days ago and right now (as far as I can tell) no one can comment there until it's fixed.

johnt: Gee whiz, I seem to have touched a sore spot, ruffled a few feathers, and in a couple of cases drawn out the invective that gives liberals their reason for being.

Again, I am far from being a liberal. The reason you ruffled my feathers is rather obvious. You could have argued against any of Hilzoy’s points without that crap. Your response was offensive to me, and IMO offensive to any lady, which Hilzoy certainly is.

The screwy thing is that I agree with you for the most part. I just gave up arguing those points here. So you ended up offending someone on your “side”.

At this point I would rather associate with reasonable liberals I disagree with 90% of the time than so called conservatives.

Ara, we used to have a whole blog for that exact purpose: Taking It Outside. Unfortunately, it crashed a few days ago and right now (as far as I can tell) no one can comment there until it's fixed.

I've been putting it off until the weekend, and, if both the Japanese weather gods and the software installment gods smile, I hope to set up the temporary blog then. Really sorry that I haven't been able to do anything about it earlier.

I am all for the death penalty for ANY public official that is found to have broken the public trust. This is tantamount to treason! So Impeach away!

History will not look kindly on The Shrub no matter what he and his a$$hat cronies think.

For people's amusement, an amicus brief filed by the Bush Department of Justice, arguing against commutation of a perjury sentence.

Points for consistency: The Boston Globe published an article about Fred Thompson that shows he has always believed that loyal Republicans can (and should) leak secret information to hold onto power.

It was Thompson (according to The Boston Globe, but their source for this is Thompson's own memoir) who picked up the phone in July of 1973 (in secret, without anyone on his committee's knowledge) to leak to Nixon's lawyer that the Watergate Committee had stumbled across the infamous Oval Office "tapes."

Nixon resigned and Thompson became a Senator (albeit a lackluster one-term Senator) a movie actor and a man pretending to have principles on TV.

There is no ethical reason for doing what Thompson did in July 1973. Just as there is no ethical reason for giving Scooter a get-out-of-jail-free card today. In the 1970's, Thompson was a loyal Republican campaign manager with a law degree who inexplicably found himself in possession of information that was potential dynamite under the Nixon presidency. Today, Thompson has an exploratory committee and people listening to his blather about Scooter Libby and justice. None of his core values have changed.

Personally, I think he earns his pay on TV every time he utters the word "justice" without smirking.

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Whatnot


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