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June 02, 2006

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Sue

Cecil,

I've had that happen before. Scared me so bad I took 2 aspirins and went to bed. When I awoke, everything was normal again. ::grin::

pollyusa

Sara,

I agree, I had the same thoughts about the judge as you.

topsecretk9

Wall Street Journal...tonight (tomorrow really)

Fitzgerald, Scooter and Us The special prosecutor wants to use our editorial as evidence. Sorry.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

"One of the mysteries of the recent yellowcake uranium flap is why the White House has been so defensive about an intelligence judgment that we don't yet know is false, and that the British still insist is true. Our puzzlement is even greater now that we've learned what last October's national intelligence estimate really said."

Those words appeared in this column on July 17, 2003, under the headline "Yellowcake Remix." Three years later they show we were right about Joe Wilson and his false allegation that President Bush lied in that year's State of Union address about Iraq seeking nuclear materials in Africa.

So imagine our surprise when Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald declared his intention last month to use that editorial as part of his perjury and obstruction case against former Vice Presidential aide Scooter Libby, who had also questioned Mr. Wilson's claims. It suggests that his case is a lot weaker than his media spin.

Mr. Libby wasn't a source for our editorial, which quoted from the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate concerning the Africa-uranium issue. But Mr. Fitzgerald alleges in a court filing that Mr. Libby played a role in our getting the information, which in turn shows that "notwithstanding other pressing government business, [Libby] was heavily focused on shaping media coverage of the controversy concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium from Niger."

The prosecutor comes close here to suggesting that senior government officials have no right to fight back against critics who make false allegations. To the extent our editorial is germane to this trial, in fact, it's because it puts Mr. Libby's actions into a broadly defensible context that Mr. Fitzgerald refuses to acknowledge...


http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008476

topsecretk9

more...

Regarding our editorial, Mr. Fitzgerald does at least note that he "will not contend that the defendant's actions in this regard were criminal or otherwise unauthorized." But he also seems to imply that those actions suggest a pattern of malfeasance and a motive for the perjury and obstruction he alleges. Yet Mr. Fitzgerald has not indicted Mr. Libby, or anyone else, for leaking the CIA identity of Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame--which was his original mandate from the Justice Department. His actual charge of obstruction comes down to the fact that Mr. Libby and several reporters have different recollections of their conversations.

All of this matters because it suggests that Mr. Fitzgerald is scrambling even now to explain why a seasoned attorney such as Mr. Libby would lie to a grand jury. The prosecutor's original indictment doesn't mention a motive. And his mention of our editorial suggests he's now trying to invent a motive out of Mr. Libby's attempt to defend the White House from Mr. Wilson's manifestly false allegations at the onset of a Presidential election campaign. (Mr. Wilson joined the Kerry campaign until he was dropped after the official probes destroyed his credibility.)

There is all the difference in the world between seeking to respond to the substance of Mr. Wilson's charges, as Mr. Libby did, and taking revenge on him by blowing his wife's cover, which was the motive originally hypothesized by Bush critics for the Plame exposure. The more of Mr. Fitzgerald's case that becomes public, the more it looks like he has made the terrible mistake for a prosecutor of taking Joe Wilson's side in what was essentially a political fight.

topsecretk9

"Laura Bush Talks; No One Gives a [expletive]," someone who calls himself the Rude Pundit writes on his Web site, and he continues: "The Rude Pundit doesn't give a retarded dog drool what Laura Bush has to say about the Olympics."---

To which Bill, responding to his responders, writes, "It was rather though[t]less of me to compare the most asinine, brutal, criminal, disgusting, enraging, felonious, gross, horrendous, incompetent, jaundiced, kleptocratic, lazy, malicious, nefarious, objectional, psychopathic, quarrelsome, repulsive, sanctimonious, treasonous, unfit, vindictive, wasteful, xenophobic, yahooish, zealotic piece of [expletive] inhabiting the White House and the planet to persons suffering with a neurobiological disorder."---

"Go [expletive] Yourself, Mrs. Cheney" and "Bush Must Be HIV Positive By Now (you can't [expletive] 500 million people and not get infected)."---

"I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square," reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton.---

As for the keyboard, it is where O'Connor finished her evolution from lost soul to angry soul, beginning with that very first rant, which concluded with a wish that Bush, "after contracting incurable cancer and suffering for protracted periods of time without benefit of medication," go to hell.---


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401648_4.html

kate

TS-the Wall Street Journal editorial is very interesting. Seems like Fitz is no longer the untoucable he has been up to now.

Also, helpfully, the journal lets Fitz know Libby wasn't the source of the information for that editorial. Ouch.

Patton

Jeff, you may want to look into English as second language courses.

I am concerned you find plain English and facts to be 'incoherent'.

You seem to have understood: Tree, rope, journalist. Some assembly required.

I guess your brain simply must block out all the much worse things said and done by the left...otherwise you can't argue your position coherently....

kim

So, Polly, why do you think Val is so mum, and Joe so not? Or has Joe now clammed up, busy reading the writing on the wall?
================================

Lurker

I tell ya what...

As soon as Fitz drops this case, case is dismissed, or Libby is acquitted, the RSM / CSM (right-wing / conservative stream media) should come out as bold as the MSM / LSM were with Haditha and make it so clear how wrong the left-wingers were.

lurker

Strata-sphere wrote up his own opinion about the WSJ. Apparently he loved the WSJ article.

Let's see if the other journalists would do the same by declaring that Libby was NOT the source of their leaks.

WSJ Publicly Spanks Fitz

Strata-sphere apparently wasn't impressed with Judge Walton, either.

kim

It is the duty of the prosecutor to see that justice be done, and lack of supervision means that he must undergo a painful and unaccustomed self-examination in order to see that done. It is his duty.
=================================

pollyusa

Here is the reference the WSJ is refering to:

Libby must have testified about the WSJ article.



In addition, the government’s evidence at trial (including the defendant’s grand jury transcript) will refer to a July 17, 2003, Wall Street Journal editorial entitled “Yellowcake Remix,” which contained quotations from the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (“NIE”). This editorial resulted from the defendant’s transmittal, through another government official, of a copy of portions of the NIE to the Wall Street Journal shortly before the editorial was published. This evidence is relevant to establish that during the relevant time frame in July 2003, the defendant, notwithstanding other pressing government business, was heavily focused on shaping media coverage of the controversy concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium from Niger. The government does not intend to offer in evidence a copy of the editorial itself, and will not contend that the defendant’s actions in this regard were criminal or otherwise unauthorized.
Filing 5/12/06

Sue

Polly,

I think that is the point of the WSJ article. Politcs has become criminal.

kim

And what, pray tell us, Polly, what is Fitz's objection to Libby being 'heavily focussed' on telling the truth? And just why isn't Fitz 'heavily focussed' on Joe telling the truth?
============================

clarice

I made fun of that charge some time ago--How stupid is Fitz if he regards responding to the Wilson's lies, not an integral part of Libby's work? The man has play dough for brains.

Bob

hey clarice, please use a different metaphor... I've had many happy hours playing with Play-Doh, and can't imagine Fitz's brain having the same qualities.

Anyway I think you meant to use the more popular expression of "shit for brains"

pollyusa

My point is that Libby or the other government offical testified that Libby transmitted, through another government official, a copy of portions of the NIE to the WSJ.

This editorial resulted from the defendant’s transmittal, through another government official, of a copy of portions of the NIE to the Wall Street Journal shortly before the editorial was published
Filing 5/12/06

The WSJ states that Libby was not their source. Fitzgerald never made that claim.

The WSJ never denies the allegation they refer to about Libby playing a role.

They also don't deny that they recieved "a copy of portions of the NIE".

Kim,

I don't think Fitzgerald has any objection to Libby being "'heavily focussed' on telling the truth" (except in the GJ room).

I think the point Fitzgerald will make regarding this leak of the NIE is that Libby was not " too focused on other urgent national security matters to remember accurately what took place during his conversations with reporters" as he says in the 5/12/06 filing.

kim

Fitz hasn't any idea what truth of Libby's use of the subjunctive means. But he should be able to figure out how badly his witnesses have deceived him.
===================================

clarice

Bob, I was trying to post like a lady today..just for a change of pace.

Sara (The Squiggler)

Mark Levin at The Corner writes referring to the WSJ editorial:

At the risk of offending my dear friend Andy McCarthy, I think it’s time to replace Patrick Fitzgerald. This is just the latest mind-boggling twist in the Libby case.

I was among Fitzgerald’s first and most vociferous critics. I was appalled at allegations he made at the press conference in which he announced the indictments. I said then and I repeat now—it was way over the top to accuse Libby of blowing Valerie Plame’s cover when, in fact, Libby was not even charged with that crime. And Fitzgerald has since told the court that Plame’s classified status is not relevant to the case. Of course, Plame’s alleged classified status, and the revelation of that status, was the catalyst for the investigation in the first place.

I also take exception to Judge Reggie Walton’s ruling that Fitzgerald’s appointment doesn’t violate the appointments clause. An inferior Justice Department official does not have the authority to delegate the powers and duties of the attorney general on another inferior Justice Department official. And Fitzgerald has used that authority to take the Justice Department in a direction it has never pursued in the past, i.e., to compel testimony from a significant number of reporters about their sources and confidential discussions. This is a policy that should be set by the executive branch after much deliberation, not by a single special prosecutor. It’s particularly troublesome in this case because, by Fitzgerald’s own admission, this is a straightforward perjury matter. Moreover, I am aware of no national security considerations that might warrant such an exceptional pursuit of media sources.

And as my friend and former boss, Ed Meese, has said, once Fitzgerald determined that Libby was not Bob Novak’s source—as it was Novak’s column that apparently first disclosed Plame’s identity—that should have been the end of the investigation. After all, Libby wasn’t Novak’s source, and Fitzgerald has concluded that Plame’s classified status (if she had one) is of no consequence. What’s left?

Somebody needs to bring some common sense and rationality to this case, and that somebody is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales needs to clean up where former Attorney General John Ashcroft messed up, i.e., Ashcroft should not have recused himself under pressure from the likes of Chuck Schumer, which set the stage for the appointment of a special prosecutor. It’s not my intention to demean Fitzgerald, who by all accounts has enormous integrity. It’s too bad that it’s politically untenable to move this investigation back within the Justice Department, where it belonged from the start. Still, it’s time to bring another perspective to the government’s case and consider the appointment of a widely regarded individual who has experience beyond that of a career prosecutor—perhaps a former jurist. My guess is that this is political dynamite as well. But we ought to start talking about it.

A fresh perspective

Sara (The Squiggler)

Well I gave the link, but let me make a correction. Mark Levin writes in his own blog, not The Corner. His blog is entitled: "And Another Thing." Sorry about the mistake. Note however, that he is a former Justice Dept. Chief of Staff and knows pretty much what he's talking about.

Sara (The Squiggler)

I have an excuse, I just woke up, I'm bleary-eyed with a terrible cold after days of outside temps well above 100 degrees. I nearly fell out of the chair when I read the WSJ article from a link from Mark's remarks. To me this is huge ... two major voices calling Fitz out is big news. The WSJ has near god-like status, along with the WaPo and NYT, in Washington and Levin reaches all the right ears with his personal contacts as well as his radio show and editorial pieces. I was surprised not to find a whole new JOM post devoted to this. Doesn't anyone else see this as the bombshell I do? Maybe I'm delerious.

clarice

Thanks for the cite, Sara.

Levin has always been critical of the prosecution. Frankly, I share his view (a) that the Judge erred in denying Libby's well-reasoned Motion to Dismiss and his acknowledgement that removing Fitz will create a firestorm..Maybe we ought to wait until after all the reporters are hauled in and forced to testify about the NSA leaks under the Fitz precedent to see how long the media continues to shield him.

Sara (The Squiggler)

Well I'm so dee-leer-i-us I can't spell delirious. But then there is no one in this thread who looks at typos, now is there? Anyway, when you couple the WSJ/Levin public remarks with the breaking news about the NSA monitoring having a role in catching the Canadian terror subjects along with their Georgia counterparts, it brings it back to the public mind that President Bush and those who work under him do have our safety first and foremost at heart.

Bob

clarice, your always a "lady" as far as I'm concerned... and a very smart one as well!

Tom Maguire

One poster repeating something from a blog, implying that journalists need to be hung? And a lawyer laughing at the image?

Classy bunch aroun dhere...

Over three hundred comments on this thread, and plenty of other threads of comparable length.

If you are going to judge the entire "bunch" by a few outliers, you won't be visiting many blogs with lots of comments.

Tom Maguire

Having made it to the conclusion o fthe thread, let me associate myself with the Polly-Cecil-Sue axis regarding Ms. Herman. If memory serves (and it often does not), Sue made a similar comment a few days or weeks ago.

As to the WSJ receiving the NIE leak, that led to one of my biggest "nevermind" posts ever. But they did get an early leak (about twelve hours early, I guess, since they published on July 17 and the NIE portions were released on July 18.

Carol Herman

Stated simply, the DC jury pool is a BOON to Libby!

Go ahead, if you think "liberal" (or Black) jurors tend to convict, I think the opposite.

The disadvantage goes to Fitzgerald. Call him White Bread. Call him the prosecutor from hell. But in DC all sorts of alarm bells will go off.

Libby, by the way, worked in the Clinton WHite House, too. So if Blacks are supposed to fly off the cliff when they hear the word "BUSH" ... that's not whose got the Derangement Disease, ya know.

Again, Theodore Wells accepted the case. He's the best money can buy. And, DC is his baliwick. He's got EXPERIENCE picking jurors, by the way.

Marsha Clark didn't have a clue.

Fitzgerald will go through his free "challenges" before Wells tosses anyone off the jury.

Part of the confusion comes from the Grand Jurors. But, here, you can't blame race at all. the STATEMENT "GRAND JURIES INDICT HAM SANDWICHES" has nothing to do with color. Of even venue. It's become the new habit. Instead of grand jurors knowing they could demand to see evidence brought into them; they serve at the pleasure of the DA. And, they know they're to return INDICTMENTS. Almost the same rules apply as to get onto the Jerry Springer Show.

Talk of lowering the BAR, the BAR, itself is now a disgrace.

Heck, I'm the resident racist, and I think the DC jury pool will be fine.

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Wilson/Plame