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February 16, 2007

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dorf

'Morning Y'all.

lurking

Link repair -- Libby Revised Theory of Defense

lurker

I agree with Libby's revised defense but will the jury agree with it? Especially when the jury is made up of democrats.

I hope Libby is acquitted of all charges. I also hope that there will be movement within our government to prevent another runaway special prosecutor in the future.

On last night's Brit Hume's show, a topic of nominating people for the Department of Justice was covered. When the Republicans had the majority, the democrats did all they can to prevent the Republicans from confirming nominees for the DoJ.

Oh Boy, little did America know what they voted for on November 7, 2006.

Jane

Morning dorf!

Is there a revised theory of prosecution somewhere?

Jane

This is interesting:

CHUCK TODD NAMED NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR AND ON-AIR ANALYST


NEW YORK -- February 14, 2007 -- Chuck Todd has been named NBC News Political Director, effective March 12, 2007. Todd will also serve as NBC News' on-air political analyst for "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,"

"Today," "Meet the Press with Tim Russert" and MSNBC, including "Hardball with Chris Matthews." The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus and John Fox Sullivan, CEO and Publisher of National Journal Group, NBC's on-air and online partner for political coverage and analysis.

In making the announcement Capus said, "Chuck Todd is one of the most experienced political journalists in this country, and NBC has been the beneficiary of that on an informal basis through the years with his appearances on our programs. Today's announcement formalizes and expands his role with NBC News, underscoring the strength of our partnership with National Journal."

In addition to his on-air analysis, Todd will be responsible for all aspects of NBC News' political coverage, including maintaining contact with the campaigns and serving as the point person for political news and information. Todd will work closely in this capacity with Phil Alongi, NBC's executive producer for Specials and Political programming, Naomi Karam, Political desk senior editor and Tammy Haddad, vice president Washington, for MSNBC. Todd will also edit "First Read," NBC's must-read guide to political news and trends in and around Washington, D.C. (www.firstread.msnbc.com), and write weekly columns of analysis for MSNBC.com. He will be based in NBC News' Bureau in Washington, D.C.

"Chuck comes to NBC News with a great deal of political experience and will be a terrific addition to the NBC team," said Washington D.C. Bureau chief, Tim Russert. "At the same time, we want to acknowledge and thank outgoing political director Elizabeth Wilner for her outstanding contributions and valued expertise over the years."

Todd is currently the Editor-in-Chief of National Journal's "The Hotline," Washington's premier daily briefing on American Politics. In his 15 years working at "The Hotline" or one of its affiliates, Todd has become one of Washington's foremost experts on political campaigns of all levels. Since joining "The Hotline" in 1992, he has helped grow the publication beyond just a single daily political briefing to the epicenter of American politics it is today.

(Charlie your link stuff is on the other computer, sorry)

http://nbcumv.com/release_detail.nbc/news-20070214000000-nbcnewsnameschuck.html

dorf

Jane: does that mean Todd has taken some of Rus's portfolio?

MayBee

Jane, yes. The revised theory of prosecution is this (from DoJ website):

Iraq Iraq Iraq!
Halliburton!
Liars!

MayBee

TM- the best Cooper link http://wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/jan31/DX816.pdf> ever
"had somethine and about the Wilson thing and not sure if its ever"

A man may go to prison over these superb notes.

Jane

From Kaus:

America's Leading Contrary Indicator: If I were Lewis "Scooter" Libby, this is what I'd want to read right about now. ..

"Libby is guilty. And he's going to be found guilty. .."

from the Man Who Is Always Wrong, Lawrence O'Donnell. ...

Jane

dorf,

Todd is in charge of little russ starting 3/9.

dorf

Thanks Jane. I guess this trial did change a few things then. Re O'Donnel: even a broken watch is right twice a day. My unexpert analysis is hung jury. The defense did not ram their theory home in the end. (They were still oustanding in impeaching the media witnesses though) I despise political prosecutions. What a waste of time and money.

Patton

The prosecution (left wing nutcase) theory is very simple:

Grossman thinks he told Libby about Plame, but, he didn't tell that to the FBI and he changed his story from a phone call to a meeting.
But since Libby is guilty, Grossman must have told him about Plame.

Miller is completely confused, has no notes to back up her near non-existent memory,
but,
since Libby is guilty, he must have told her about Plame.

Grenier has no memory of telling Libby, just a bad feeling that turned into severe indigestion,
but, since Libby is guilty, Grenier must have told him about Plame.

Schallz doesn't remember the conversation and doesn't remember why he wrote down his note;
but since Libby's guilty, he must have told Libby about Plame.

I think you can take it from there.....

Jane

The defense did not ram their theory home in the end.

They aren't done yet.

And I think a lot of cases are won or lost in the closing argument.

dorf

Jane: true 'nuff.

Patton

If you ever try to have a long conversation with a liberal, this is where you aways end up. They can't prove Bush/Cheney/Libby did anything, but they know their evil so they must be guilty of something.

No you also understand why the CIA screwed up Iraq WMD so bad undr Clinton. They knew Saddam was evil, therefore he must be guilty.

royf

No you also understand why the CIA screwed up Iraq WMD so bad undr Clinton. They knew Saddam was evil, therefore he must be guilty.


Yeah they thought he was evil until a Republican President took him out. You will never hear a liberal say Saddam was evil now, Now its the Saddam wasn't so bad story.

Pofarmer

You will never hear a liberal say Saddam was evil now, Now its the Saddam wasn't so bad story.

Good ole Uncle Saddam. Just like your Mom's brother, but with mass graves.

JM Hanes

TM:

cboldt has a really top-notch Index of all the filings, by date, topic and document #s. It's incredibly useful, not just for individual docs, but as a chronology as well. Scroll down to his "Pleading Tracker" and you'll see what I mean. As soon as typepad permits, you should plug it in at the very top of your Wilson/Plame link list.

centralcal

"The defense did not ram their theory home in the end."

I am with Jane on this. The jury has all the information, now they need someone to clearly synthesize it for them - that is what a good closing should do. Am I the only one that thinks Fitzgerald has the really harder job closing? So much of his case really went "pffft" to quote John Dickerson.

MaidMarion

TM,

"HELP: And my quick search of the Times archives on "Mitchell Russert" certainly suggests that they did not note the Mitchell issue during their trial coverage. Is that accurate? If someone could check their story for the day Russert testified and the follow-up, that would be great."

If by "Mitchell issue" you mean Libby's complaint to Russert at the beginning of his July 10th conversation...it was NOT brought up in the trial. I was perplexed why Wells didn't ask Russert about this. If Russert answered "He didn't bring up Mitchell." that would serve as another example of Libby's poor recall.

I have a question about witness lists. Who put Mitchell on the list for this trial? If it was Defense, wouldn't they have had an opportunity to pre-question her to see how she would answer various questions? If it was the Prosecution, could they have done this simply to preclude Defense from talking to her before the trial?

Jane

He may have the harder close, but I'm still worried about the jury's pre-conceived notions. Hopefully they will simply decide there is no "there" there.

centralcal

Speaking of Todd, who does have a pretty fair reputation from the Hotline, you still must wonder about his going to NBC when they have made it plainly evident how far they are moving to the left and to moonbattery.

Did you see that their military analyst (I think he's a Colonel) Allard quit the network in disgust over Arkin and the networks' current leftwing trajectory? Part of his letter is on Hot Air blog.

Pofarmer

Well, if he can make the jury forget that most of his witnesses couldn't remember sh*t, except of course, the immunized ones, who were, by the way, the leakers, then
fitz should get along just fine.

Pofarmer

who put Mitchell on the list for this trial?

Defense, but it's my understanding from those that post here, that defense wouldn't get discovery, and couldn't really force her to do anything pre-testimony.

centralcal

pofarmer: now that is what I call synthesizing! all good!

Another Bob

centralcal:

I recall reading somewhere that Chuck Todd's wife worked for some prominent lefty? (Memory is very slim, so I could very well be incorrect.)

Dwilkers

*If*

Libby gets convicted on any of the Russert counts

*then*

I predict a reversal on appeal based on the judge ruling against the defense calling Mitchell.

---------------

Mitchell said publicly "everyone knows".

Russert testified that if Mitchell or Gregory knew then he would know - and the charge turns on Russert knowing or not.

Winning an appeal is a shot in the dark for sure but this is a serious flaw in the trial IMO.

Jane

Maid Marion,

IIRC you can attempt to talk to anyone you want before a criminal trial, the issue is whether they will talk to you. So I don't think it matters whose witness list she was on, if any.

groupie

Most operations officers do this near the end for benefits and medals. They have an excuse for what they did and no discovery?


New sites:

http://www.psychsplash.com/

http://www.clinicalpsychologyarena.com/resources/blogs.asp

http://medblog-groupie.blogspot.com/index.html

centralcal

Another Bob:

I didn't know that about his wife, however, he himself has worked in the past on Democratic political campaigns. The following snipped is from a Newbusters exchange with him:

"As I responded to Todd: "from my perspective it would be nice if, once in a while, someone in your position would have to explain that they don't have an agenda despite having worked for Republican politicians or conservatively-oriented initiatives. Instead, we're asked to accept that neither Chris Matthews nor Tim Russert -- and now you --- have an agenda despite having all worked for liberal Democrats."

Ron in NL

Question:
What happens if Libby is convicted (only) on 1 or more Russert-related counts? If appeal were successful on 6th amendment grounds, would conviction be reversed or would case be remanded/re-tried?
Would a remand be in Libby's best interest? Clarice has identified several instances where Fitz was likely outmaneuvered by defense this time around - mistakes unlikely to be repeated.

Alcibiades

Here's something sad from John Dickerson's article at Slate:

Libby's defense attorney would read into the record the list of items he was briefed on. The list was extraordinary: al-Qaida, Hezbollah, foiled attacks in Nairobi, Ethiopian terrorists, suspicious canvassing of U.S. buildings in Beruit.

As the list was read, Libby looked the saddest I've seen him. For most of the trial, he has been pretty peppy. He writes the occasional Post-it note to his counsel but otherwise seems at ease, listening, smiling at his wife, and laughing at the rare amusing moments. The list must have been a downer, though. All that top secret information he'll never get to hear again, regardless of the trial's outcome.

Dickerson notes it but doesn't seem to understand, it's not not knowing that top secret information any more (although I'm sure there was a kick to that, too); it's working on all those project that were so vital and important and in which he believed, from which this stupid persecution caught him off from.

Jane

If I were Fitz, I'd include that diagram from the NY Times (or a recreation) in my closing.

clarice

Once again TM leads with his chin knowing he will forever be a cipher to the NYT' readers if he doesn't stop noting the flaws in their coverage. Does he care? Not at all.As for me:
Neil Lewis, et al *hi, honey*

LOL

hit and run

Pofarmer:
Well, if he can make the jury forget that most of his witnesses couldn't remember sh*t, except of course, the immunized ones, who were, by the way, the leakers, then
fitz should get along just fine.


Now there's a good angle.

--Fitz counted on Libby not having a perfect memory to get him on perjury

--Fitz was burned by the fact that no one has a perfect memory, most effectively demonstrated by his witnesses

--Fitz is now forced to count on the jurors' lack of a perfect memory to get his conviction

Jane

Ron,

I can say with near certainty that this case will never be tried again, regardless of the circumstances.

WEll at least by Fitz. I guess I can't rule out a Hillary dictate. But I'd put the chances at less than 5%.

southside

Alcibiades,
Don't you realize that any republican official especially one working for Cheney can only have the basest of intentions. The concept of public service is not recognized by the left unless it has something to do with Global warming, AIDs and debt reduction.

Ralph L.

From TM's post:
The defesne may introduce the "honest error, wrong reporter" defesnseto explain Russert, so Times readers ill be at sea.

Just like Clarice, even the errors don't stink!

Patrick R. Sullivan

Okay, we've done the Rookies Game. When does the Slam Dunk Contest start?

Ron in NL

So a successful appeal would mean reversal,
or the the functional equivalent of a mistrial or hung jury?

Pofarmer

it's working on all those project that were so vital and important and in which he believed, from which this stupid persecution caught him off from.

If there was anything like justice, after an acquittal Libby would get his job back.

hit and run

First, Clarice at the courthouse with the wifi problems....now Tom and his ISP.

Coincidence?

There are people, in the shadows, in places higher than you can imagine, that want you silent.

Pofarmer

it's working on all those project that were so vital and important and in which he believed, from which this stupid persecution caught him off from.

If there was anything like justice, after an acquittal Libby would get his job back.

centralcal

I know you guys already all know this, but since I took a hiatus yesterday it was new info to me: Talkleft is saying Wells has requested 4 hours for Defense closing.

I dunno, Jane - 4 hours? Where is Clarice, what does she think? On the one hand I think it could really hammer home the weak prosecution, OTOH I hope the jurors don't feel "hammered." grin

clarice

If I were the defense my diagram of the prosecution's case would look something like this:http://discover.edventures.com/images/termlib/r/rube_goldberg_machine/support.gif>The Special Prosecution

clarice

If I were the defense my diagram of the prosecution's case would look something like this:http://discover.edventures.com/images/termlib/r/rube_goldberg_machine/support.gif>The Special Prosecution

Pofarmer

Clarice, I've noticed you don't seem particularly impressed with the prosecutions case.;)

Seriously, though, how often would a case with evidence like this be brought to trial?

CAL

Ron in NL,

A successful appeal would mean a retrial with Mitchell allowed to testify or her public comments played for Russert if that was what the appeal is won on.

If the appeal is won on the constitutionality of the special special prosecutor and his oversight via reading newspaper articles, then the case is over.

This case is never going to be retried though so any successful appeal would be equivalent to complete victory.

Alcibiades

I wrote: from which this stupid persecution caught him off from.

Well that's barely English. I meant "from which this stupid persecution "cut" him off."

jwest

Ted Wells is a brilliant, experienced lawyer with a flawless record of achievement.

I, on the other hand, have no legal training whatsoever.

Luckily, minor facts such as these have never stopped me from considering my approach to the defense a better solution than Mr. Wells’. It would be a variant of the “Damn right I ordered the Code Red” approach.

Fitz has tried throughout the trial to conflate the concern and action to rebut Wilson’s lies with the non-crime of “outing” Val. Fitz has bought into this line of thinking (along with the moonbats and media) from the beginning, and he structured his case around it.

Wells should have attacked this head on in a more forceful way. When Fitz asked his questions as to how important the VP’s office viewed Wilson (trying to illicit an affirmative reply) Wells should have come back on cross with a stronger reaffirmation that everyone from the President on down wanted to get the truth out and expose this liar for the publicity seeking nobody that he is.

Although Wells has taken steps to separate the two issues of rebutting Wilson and exposing a CIA clerk, it sometimes takes a slap up side the head with a two-by-four to drive the point home. By stealing Fitz’s conflation issue by asking witnesses if exposing Wilson was not just necessary, but the sworn duty of the VP, at least the 12 jurors would have grasped the basics of this case.

clarice

I think Cline is delivering it-I think he's a good match for this jury which is not the gang of boobs most people keep visualizing. CLine is suave and urbane and soft spoken and smooooth. I wish I could be there to hear this.

For those of you who think the defense hasn't hit their points yet...watch.
Jane and I have been telling you with witnesses and issues like this you get no Perry Mason. You get a series of prosecution inconsistencies, discrediting testimony, admissions and then you put them together into a narrative the jury can understand and is compelling. I believe the defense has done its job at trial and will bring the case home in the closing.

Jane

oops

Ralph L.

Sure sounds like Russert's been kicked off the Nightly News. Is Brian Williams smarter than we think? I'd never heard of Todd's predecessor.

Alcibiades

Oh crap. Correct one mistake, make another one that is worse.

Sorry everyone.

Jane

Jane and I have been telling you with witnesses and issues like this you get no Perry Mason.

That does not mean of course that we don't keep hope alive in that regard.

Alcibiades

Oh crap. Correct one mistake, make another one that is worse.

Sorry everyone.

clarice

A good closing BTW is done w/ few or any notes. It's like sitting around the campfire listening to a really good story. What's the theme of this one? Maybe every man and his memory played before a scrim featuring scarey pics of jihadis and wicked bad threats .Maybe a touch of Kafka (which this whole thing surely was) .

Alcibiades

Oh crap. Correct one mistake, make another one that is worse.

Sorry everyone.

sbw

The New York Times didn’t care to be correct the first time and, worse, didn't care to correct what it earlier missed or misrepresented. For that alone -- its unfulfilled responsibilities -- the Times lost its legitimacy and the opportunity to be considered a newspaper.

miriam

Alcibiades, I guess there is no way to go back and close the tag?

centralcal

Dumb question no. 2,018:

Who in the blogosphere, besides fdl, will be covering the close on Tuesday?

Dwilkers

I apologize if someone else has already linked this, but OMG if want to read a real howler go catch Lawrence "creepy liar" O'Donnell in this at huffpoo:

Libby is guilty. And he's going to be found guilty.

JM Hanes

If anybody knows how to throw sand in the jurors eyes, it's Fitzgerald. He's got the humble prosecutor thing down pat, so to speak. His baseball analogy was pure cornball, but we're still using it aren't we? Can't remember who posted the link, but take a look at his closing in the embassy bombing case, for a taste of things to come. I'd be interested to hear how Clarice and MaidMarion reacted to Zeidenberg, who is going to do the actual close, which I assume comes after Fitzgerald handles the rebuttal.

There was a last bit of wrangling yesterday between Fitz and Wells over the length and timing of their closings. Wells suspects that Fitz is going to run out the clock on Tuesday, so that he can wind up with the jury all to himself on Wednesday. Fitz would not commit to a time limit, so Wells now has to decide whether to curtail the Defense closing in the hope of pre-empting a prosecution one man show. Wells even suggested that if Fitz goes over, he should get an hour the next day too. I'm not sure it's really nailed down, but it looks like Wells ended up commiting himself to a 3 hour time limit without getting anything from Fitz in return. OTOH, after 3 hours you probably reach the point of diminishing returns.

Does anyone else think it skews things against the defendant when the prosecution gets to do both its rebuttal and its closing after the defense winds up? I was surprised to learn that the Defense has to close before hearing the rebuttal case, which seems to me to be a real disadvantage. Perhaps that's yet another reason for putting on fast, tight defense -- and presenting as small a target as possible by not putting Libby & Cheney on the stand.

Half way down this item, Christy Hardin Smith has some useful observations on jury instructions for anyone who is struggling to make sense of that part of yesterday's proceedings.

Ralph L.

I don't see any thing about materiality in that Th. of Def. Did Fitz address that in his case? Or do both sides do that in closing?

hit and run

Clarice:
Jane and I have been telling you with witnesses and issues like this you get no Perry Mason.
...
A good closing BTW is done w/ few or any notes. It's like sitting around the campfire listening to a really good story.


You get a Ben Matlock Moment

Pofarmer

Other Tom has been on the materiality thing from the start of this. There has been nothing presented, period, about materiality in this case. It's a political trial, plane and simple.

clarice

"One of the factors most favorable for the defense is that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any false statements Mr. Libby made to the FBI or the grand jury were intentional and not the product of mistake or memory failure. This requires not just guessing what was in Mr. Libby's head, but being all but certain about it.

"Perjury is a very difficult crime to prove without some form of corroboration," such as documents or recordings where the defendant boasts of lying or discusses a plan to deceive, Mr. Brafman said.

Legal observers said one of the biggest strengths of Mr. Libby's defense is not a strategy or a tactic but simply the presence of Mr. Wells at the helm. "Ted Wells is probably one of the most eloquent criminal defense lawyers in the United States. He's a very charming man," Mr. Brafman said. "He'll probably deliver one of the best summations anyone has ever seen in any case."

http://www.nysun.com/article/48839?page_no=1

Pofarmer

"plain"

How did LIbby's testimony mislead investigators?

Ralph L.

Someone probably already pointed out that Cheney or Libby testifying would have overshadowed the other witnesses. But the Times "forgot" important testimony anyway. Any summations from the Post yet?

Other Tom

I think CAL is right concerning the possibilities following a successful appeal. I would add that in the event of a hung jury, technically it's up to the prosecution whether they want to try again. (If it's, say, 11-1 to convict, they want to; if it's the other way, they don't.) But in this case if it hangs I think the president will say, enough's enough--shut it down.

clarice

I think in this case, the closer has to make the jury empathize with Libby who they will portray (correctly) as a man trying his best to recollect what to him was what he knew and told people ( & when) about what had started out to him to be a matter of no significance which suddenly became the town "buzz".He has to remind us of the trick the mind plays w/ memory--he has to show--and will surely use the gj exchange York cited the other day--how he always said (though the FBI did not always note) that he was testifying w/o a chance to review his notes or discuss w/ others those notes to better reconstruct it. He has to convey the nightmarish quality of the ordeal.

Pofarmer

Well, as to Libby's testifying. You already had 8 hours on tape, as has been recounted. What's the chance, somewhere in their, that he would have contradicted what he said on the tape? I'd say that's a pretty good bet, and a potential minefield. My guess, Fitz put all that in, specifically to either a) Keep Libby from testifying or b) create a huge minefield of previous testimony.

Jane

Re: Jury instructions

The one thing I always found inane when I was trying cases is that the jury hears the jury instructions read by the Judge, but does not get to take them into deliberations. To me they always sounded too complicated to recall, or even digest upon hearing once, at the end of a trial. And that was after trying the case.

miriam

A">http://www.flashdemo.net/gallery/wake/index.htm">A soldier sings

This is an awesome song written and sung by one of our great soldiers.

It's called If I Die Before You Wake.

clarice

I heard none of that Pofarmer..I did hear that he conceded he might have told Kessler or Cooper and I heard them say he didn't. I heard the SP waterboarding him to say he told Pincus and on the stand I heard Pincus say Libby didn't--Fleischer did.

A.S.

John Dickerson has denied that in print but does the jury know that? Probably not.

I wonder why the defense never called John Dickerson. Seems impeaching Ari would be a good thing for them.

hit and run

JM Hanes:
He's got the humble prosecutor thing down pat

OK, another pop culture lawyer reference.

Fitz is Cirroc

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me!
Semanticleo

"As the list was read, Libby looked the saddest I've seen him."

The Iraqi housing shortage go to him.

clarice

Jane, I agree re jury instructions.

miriam

oops. llink fixed.

A soldier sings

Ralph L.

I remember O'Donnell as fairly sensible in the Clinton years. When did he become so delusional? He got 5 pages of comments.

Other Tom

I think CAL is right concerning the possibilities following a successful appeal. I would add that in the event of a hung jury, technically it's up to the prosecution whether they want to try again. (If it's, say, 11-1 to convict, they want to; if it's the other way, they don't.) But in this case if it hangs I think the president will say, enough's enough--shut it down.

Jane

A.S.

It's a real gamble to call someone when you have no idea what they will say. Dickerson might have been a great asset on that point, but what other things might he say?

JM Hanes

Clarice:

Is summation a separate element or just another name for the closing? Cline, not Wells, is slated for the closing, isn't he? I'm a little confused about the sequencing of closings/rebuttal etc. here.

Thomas H. Ryan

Sad -

A special good morning to you.

I've been thinking about you quite a bit since yesterday's posts, and I want you to know that.

azaghal

If I were the defense my diagram of the prosecution's case would look something like this:The Special Prosecution

Posted by: clarice | February 16, 2007 at 06:51 AM


Let me guess: the guy's name is Rube Fitzpatrickberg?

clarice

Summation is the same as closing-Fitz does his, then the defense, then Fitz does rebuttal.

Ralph L.

The Iraqi housing shortage go to him.

Posted by: Semanticleo | February 16, 2007 at 07:20
That's "went" to him.

azaghal

If I were the defense my diagram of the prosecution's case would look something like this:The Special Prosecution

Posted by: clarice | February 16, 2007 at 06:51 AM


Let me guess: the guy's name is Rube Fitzpatrickberg?

Pofarmer

I wonder why the defense never called John Dickerson. Seems impeaching Ari would be a good thing for them.

I don't think they wanted to give him a chance to back up Russert, and they'd already impeached Fleischer, and established he was the original leaker.

Other Tom

JMH, they're talking about the rebuttal argument, not a rebuttal case--the prosecution didn't put on a rebuttal case. But they still get to go first and last in argument, and the second cut is called rebuttal regardless of how the case was presented.

(Gee--odd to see my earlier post show up twice. Sorry about that.)

Ralph L.

Wilson's NYT op-ed was in early June? But he put anonymous info in Kristof's column earlier?

hit and run

(Gee--odd to see my earlier post show up twice. Sorry about that.)

Posted by: Other Tom | February 16, 2007 at 07:26 AM

Don't sweat it. We all know you're three sheets to the wind by this point. hic

Great Banana

I'm going to jump in with a little threadjack to respond to a bunch of leftward commentators from the other threads.

I figured I would put it in this thread as everyone is likely to migrate here soon. Sorry about the inconvenience, but I have some questions that I am truly curious about.

To our Leftist commentators:

First, everyone, including the U.N., believed for years that Iraq had WMD and had a WMD program. Remember, that was why there were U.N. inspectors in Iraq (i.e., the world believed that Iraq was hiding WMDs and were looking for them). Clinton believed it and stated so many times, as did just about every other major dem politician.

Thus, why is it impossible to understand that the intelligence was wrong? Yes, maybe you and other lefties would not have gone to war based on the intelligence we had, but why do you have to believe there was an evil motive, when if you look at the public record of statements for the 10 years previous to the current Iraq war it is clear that pretty much everyone agreed that Iraq had and/or sought WMDs? (yes, there was some conflicting intel - and after Bush decided, based on the intel, to believe the intel that suggested that Iraq had / sought WMDs, - Bush used the intel that supported his position to make his case - that is pretty standard procedure, it is what people do, use the best evidence that supports what they believe the right decision is).

Just because the intel seems to have been wrong regarding WMDs, does not mean that there was not a good-faith belief that it was true. Believing that everyone who disagrees with you politically is evil and motivated by evil is stupid. Indeed, assigning other people motives to make your case is poor reasoning and a weak argument.

Now, we can argue about whether the war was the right policy based on the intel we had, but to do so, the left would have to give up its belief that everyone you disagree with operates from evil motives and actually argue facts and policies. There is certainly a case to be made that the Iraq war was the wrong policy, and/or that the handling of the war has been bad. Unfortunately, simply claiming that "bush lied" and that he is evil does not make that case.

Moreover, what exactly does the left believe was the evil purpose behind the Iraq war? What exactly does the left believe that Bush is getting or sought to get out of the Iraq war? What personal benefit? Oh, I know. He was helping his "fat cat" buddies, who are making "war profits." Like the evil Haliburten. B/c, you see, the fact that those companies were already very profitable, and that the Bush family was already rich, was not enough. They needed more. B/c they are evil and greedy. Or, it’s a psychological thing, getting Saddam back for daddy. Or some other nonsense.

Intead, why not argue facts and policies? Even if Bush is evil, and doing things primarily for an evil purpose such as greed, if those policies are the right policies for the country, I would still support them, despite Bush's greed. In contrast, even if Bush was pure light and love, and doing everything for the most noble purposes in the world, but those policies were wrong for the country, I would oppose the policies. Thus, Bush's alleged motives don't really matter as much as the left seems to think. I think this logical fallacy the left falls into stems from the fact that they believe motive (or good intentions) trumps results. Thus, we hear that the left cares more about the poor, or cares more about minorities. The left does not focus on the fact that the left's policies are disastrous for the same, b/c their intentions are so good.

As to the lefties who keep pointing out that the Iraq war is not popular and that the Dems won a majority in the House and Senate in 2006. Yes, the Iraq war has become unpopular (and we could have a whole other argument about why that is), but that does not prove or disprove whether it was the correct policy. Are you capable of discussing policy or are you only capable of discussing politics? B/c, if you only think of things in terms of politics (i.e., what benefits "my side" versus what benefits "your side") then you are never really thinking about what is a good policy, what result is best for the country or, indeed, what is good for the country.

Moreover, as to the popularity of the Iraq war (which you throw around as if proving something), why did you not support the war when it was popular and why did you not support Bush when he won reelection? Obviously, you only think the polls are correct when they support your position. Thus, why do you think we should suddenly change our minds when the polls no longer support our position?

And that brings me back to the Libby trial. I have tried to get anyone from the left to explain to me why they are so passionate about the Libby trial, when Libby's guilt or innocence proves nothing. It does not prove that the Iraq war was wrong, it does not prove that "Bush lied", it does not prove that there was a conspiracy to "out" Plame. What is the left's investment in this case? Nothing, only emotion and the belief that a conviction will vindicate their belief that Bush (and anyone associated with Bush) is "evil."

That is silly. For instance, there were scores of Clinton appointees and associates convicted for various things during the Clinton administration. If a conviction for perjury and/or obstruction and/or some other crime proves someone associated with the convict is "evil", then certainly it has been proved that Clinton was "evil." Indeed, it seems to me that the fact that Clinton admitted to perjury and was impeached - thus proving he was "evil" under this standard.

So, this is a very strange standard for the left to adhere to.

I leave the leftward commentators with a question: Do you view every decision made by any republican (and Bush in particular) through the prism of the belief that he is evil and doing everything for an evil motive? If so, do you really believe you are being logical about anything?

To give you an example, even though I am very conservative, and voted against Clinton, I still supported some of his policies and gave him credit and support when I thought he did the right thing. Can you honestly claim you do the same?

Now I return you to your regular programing.

CAL

I know O'Donnell had lost it when the Kerry/Swiftboat thing was going. His rant on tv with the lead Swiftboat guy was deranged. The fact that he has a job after that is a testimony to something and something not good at that.

My own theory at this point about Fleischer is that they need him to impeach Russert. It is better to have him as a credible witness whose undisputed testimony that he told Gregory is in the record than to have him as a guy who was 0-3 on which reporters he told.

If they can get acquittal on the Russert and Cooper charges but hung on false statements, then the next trial they can destroy Fleischers credibility by calling everyone.

Semanticleo

"You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work--and life."

Don't think anyone here has discussed the paragraph (last) in Libby's final 'love' note to Judy. But maybe he secretary wrote it.
He being so busy and all.

Barry Dauphin

O'Donnell got delusional by spending too much time with Aaron Sorkin.

Sue

JM,

The prosecution/plaintiff has the burden of proof. As such, they are given the opportunity to rebut the defense in closing. In any trial, you will see the prosecutor/plaintiff's closing arguments, the defense's closing arguments and the rebuttal argument by the prosecution/plaintiff. At that point, the judge takes over the case and gives instructions and so on.

It is all based on that burden of proof. The prosecution has a bigger hurdle to get over. Libby is innocent until they prove him guilty. Something the left doesn't seem to grasp.

Other Tom

I'll tell you one thing for certain: when a guy looks at that list of issues that were on Libby's plate that day--issues that for the most part affect us all--and elects to make a snide remark about an Iraqi housing shortage, you're talking about a seriously sick dude. And that theme has been bouncing around on the left quite a bit of late. These folks have allowed their politics to corrode their very souls. It is sickening.

boris

Libby is innocent until they prove him guilty.

If that were true in this case it never would have gone to trial.

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Wilson/Plame