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February 07, 2007

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clarice

From Coulter:
"But in fact, the British were right and Wilson was wrong. By now, everyone believes Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Niger -- the CIA, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler's report in Britain, even the French believe it.

But at MSNBC, it's not even an open question: That network alone has determined that Saddam Hussein was not trying to acquire enriched uranium from Niger. Actually one other person may still agree with MSNBC: a discredited, washed-up State Department hack who used his CIA flunky wife's petty influence to scrape up pity assignments. But even he won't say it on TV anymore.

Shuster excitedly reported: "We've already gotten testimony that, in fact, that Joe Wilson's trip to Niger was based on forgeries that were so obvious that they were forgeries that officials said it would have only taken a few days for anybody to realize they were forgeries."

This is so wrong it's not even wrong. It's not 180 degrees off the truth -- it's more like 3 times 8, carry the 2, 540 degrees from the truth. Shuster has twisted Wilson's original lie into some Frankenstein monster lie you'd need Ross Perot with a handful of flow charts to map out in full. "

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=19334

Jim E.

Poor Timmeh.

He yaps to the FBI to confirm that Scooter didn't leak info to him during the phone call, thinking he's helping Scooter and the good ol' administration.

Then, when he realizes the phone call might be hurting his pals in the administration, he stonewalls, and tries to avoid cooperating with the GJ investigation.

Yet for all his efforts to help the administration, pro-administration partisans still hate him. And Scooter -- they guy Pumpkinhead was trying to *help* throughout this -- has his lawyer tear him a new one while he's on the stand.

Poor Timmeh.

centralcal

Excellent recap of the day, Clarice!

And Ann - oh honey, no one says it as succinctly, lethally, and humorously as you do!

clarice

Thanks..The Wash Pos essentially skipped over the cross. The NYT mentions it was a bit rough without upsetting its readers with too many uncomfortable details.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/washington/08libby.html?ei=5094&en=8fc9ba7906c7bd2e&hp=&ex=1170910800&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print> Something happened on cross but we don't want to trouble you

JM Hanes

In case anyone missed it, Arianna's got more! Wells "put up on the screen, Meet the Press-style, portions of the motion NBC filed..." LOL!

Sara (Squiggler)

Via Newsbusters:

Matthews: "If Scooter's convicted, if you're looking at the number of counts facing him. If that jury really does go to town -- and I hope they're not watching -- and hits him with four or five counts, they add up to big time in some federal penitentiary, not necessarily Allenwood [known as the country club of federal prisons]. Someplace where a guy like Scooter Libby would not be very protected from the fellow prisoners. If he faces 20 years somewhere in maximum security, he's going to think again about his situation, isn't he?"

JM Hanes

Nice try Jim E. but if Russert hadn't been contradicting Libby when he first filled Eckenrode in, do you actually think they'd have issued that subpoena?

Sara (Squiggler)

Aside from the tackiness of Matthews' remark, who puts someone convicted of white collar political crime in maximum security? Tweety really needs his meds adjusted, and soon.

PaulL

The NYTimes are pathetic. They laughably claim ****After the prosecution concludes its case, Mr. Libby’s lawyers will face a daunting task in trying to undo it.****

And they don't mention Russert's little problem with the false affidavit until the very last sentence!

MayBee

I am happy for Scooter Libby if his defense works. I take no joy in Arianna's take-down of Tim Russert. Overall, I think he is a decent man and I find her ridiculous. Always have.

JM Hanes

Sara:

I couldn't make all the way through Hardball tonight, but my favorite part was where he started disagreeing, loudly, with a point Mike Isikoff was trying to make and talked right over him into the break.

Jim E.

As much of a pompous gasbag as I find Russert, I tend to think Scooter's has bigger problems that no amount of Pumpkinhead bashing will overcome. (Total speculation, on my part, obviously. No way could I claim to predict a jury.)

Libby's biggest problem is the GJ tapes. The live-blogging was good and all, but the transcripts and audio emphasize the significance that Libby places upon the Russert call. He remembers it clearly, he references it often, and he always talks about his surprise as to what the great Russert has just told him. (Libby: "Tim Russert, in my view anyway, is one of the best of the newsmen, the most substantive.") I think this is perhaps why Fitz played all of the tapes: Libby represents that he remembers life before and after the Russert phone call. The Russert call has such extreme significance in Libby's own testimony, that the only thing that matters is that Russert contradicts him so completely.

Libby's second problem is the introduction of the 1x2x6 article. From what I understand it was barely redacted, if at all. Libby's own attorneys have suggested that Libby might not be able to overcome that article if it were admitted into evidence. Maybe the lawyer's were exaggerating that point, but I think that article is pretty dang devastating all by itself.

Anyways, I suggest folks spend some time perusing the transcripts. They're interesting, and better than the liveblogging.

MaidMarion

I sat through the second half of the trial today, and came away with some nagging questions:

1) Russert is adamant that he couldn't have told Libby about "Wilson's wife working at CIA" because he was so surprised about this very fact when he read Novak's article. The surprise is what stayed with him...and is what makes him so certain he didn't talk to Libby about this on July 10. "It was impossible." This was quite reminiscent of what Libby testified to on the tape...regarding HIS surprise when Russert brought up "Did you know Wilson's wife worked at CIA?" and why that stuck in his mind. Libby explained several times why he was sure of what he heard from Russert and the timing, plus he relayed the conversation to Rove on the 11th, i.e., not more than 24 hours of it happening. (Surely Rove has testified about this already. And if so, shouldn't Fitz charge him with conspiracy?)

But here's a question I want Russert to answer: "WHY would knowing that Mrs. Wilson "worked at the CIA" have been such a big deal to you/NBC regarding Joe Wilson's accusations?" "Working at the CIA" is meaningless...she could have been a Far East Asia analyst. All I see is a "so what if she works at the CIA?"

A big deal would have been to learn that Mrs. Wilson worked in the unit that sent her husband to Niger! That'd be a big deal because it would tell me that SHE's the one telling Joe what transpired with his report.

An even bigger deal would be to learn SHE suggested sending HIM!

But Tim insisted that knowing "Wilson's wife worked at CIA" would have been big. He testified that "No one at NBC said they'd heard about this." Bizarre.

2) During yesterday's session with the audio tapes of the March 2004, I heard Fitz ask Libby when he learned that Wilson's wife had sent him/was involved in sending Joe to Niger. Libby said "When I read it in Novak's column."

I read through the indictment and I don't see this in the list of false statements. Can anyone else find it there...maybe I overlooked it?

If it's not there, shouldn't it be? I thought he learned this from the CIA briefer back in June sometime. Seems to me THIS is a more critical piece of knowledge to be holding than knowing that Valerie "worked at the CIA" which as I say is useless information.

3) During the discussion of the Buffalo News article, which I thought was very well done by Wells, Russert made the assertion regarding Summer "He has a right to have his own opinion but not his own facts." I hope Libby's lawyers took note of this and throw it back at Russert tomorrow.

I'm sure Libby was kicking himself "Shoulda used that line on Tim to describe Wilson's Op-ed."

MayBee

Libby's second problem is the introduction of the 1x2x6 article. From what I understand it was barely redacted, if at all. Libby's own attorneys have suggested that Libby might not be able to overcome that article if it were admitted into evidence. Maybe the lawyer's were exaggerating that point, but I think that article is pretty dang devastating all by itself.

But it isn't the truth of the articles that Libby's attorneys fear he may not be able to overcome. In fact, they fear just the opposite.

Jim E.

Saw David Gergen on CNN. Was asked about what would administration do if there was a conviction. Gergen said politically, he doesn't see this administration being in a hurry to pardon Libby. He said that until today, this trial has been covered like a side-show, but that it was now picking up attention, and increasingly becoming an headache for the White House. And given that this administration is notable for how few pardons it grants, he doesn't see them thinking about a pardon until after 2008 elections.

When Anderson Cooper mentioned that Libby would have years of appeals, Jeffrey Toobin (legal analyst) piped up and said that he thinks that appeals would take no longer than 12 months. Toobin said that assuming conviction, and assuming no winning on appeals, Libby could be in prison by next spring.

The whole conversation was about hypotheticals, but I was surprised to hear Toobin say that the appeals process shouldn't take more than one year.

clarice

Maid Marion, thanks for that report. Very good questions, too.

Who gives a fig about Gergin's views? Not I. The last time I paid attention to anything he was doing he was covering for Jason Eason's admission at Davos .

boris
During yesterday's session with the audio tapes of the March 2004, I heard Fitz ask Libby when he learned that Wilson's wife had sent him/was involved in sending Joe to Niger. Libby said "When I read it in Novak's column." ... I thought he learned this from the CIA briefer back in June sometime.

Not really established what exactly Libby was exposed to from Grossman and Grenier. With Martin from Harlow it was just along the lines of "We [CIA] used Joe because he knew the region and his wife works here".

As you point out it's not much of a blockbuster on the wow scale.

Jim E.

MayBee,

I agree with you. The article is devastating on several levels. I know that Fitz got it entered to explain Libby's state of mind, and not for the "truth" of the article (which Fitz kinda sorta vouched for), but how, exactly, does a jury separate motivation from the reporting found within the article? That article lays out a very devastating version of events. Heck, it might be totally wrong -- but how would one know whether the jury truly could follow the judge's instructions to not consider the article for its truth.

TexasToast

...but the jury may be getting pushed towards reasonable doubt about his testimony.

"When people start arguing the standard of proof, throw more logs on the fire"

---A litigator friend of mine

MayBee

but that it was now picking up attention, and increasingly becoming an headache for the White House.

Wow. Who could have seen that coming?

MayBee

does a jury separate motivation from the reporting found within the article?

Good question, Jim E. I'm not certain how they are to be introduced- if there will be a particular witness that introduces them, or if Fitzgerald will use them in closing arguments.
One can only hope Libby's attorneys have good cross examination questions or counter argument, as the case may be. Walton obviously has to have very strong instructions to the jury about how to view them.

Kazinski

Great analysis in the comments at FDL:
"I have given up trying to make sense of everything that is happening, but it seems like the witnesses for the defense are as helpful if not more to the the prosecution."

I'm going over there for commentary from now on, they have a much better grasp of reality.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Long derailed, this plot is no longer the PLAN-A script. And, I can only wonder why Wells said "not so fast" when Fitz tried to push him to "start his defense t'marra." And, then "halp-folly" came up with a number of witnesses Wells could call "instead of Jill Abramson."

All Wells said was "I'M SUBMITTING A LOT OF FILINGS TO THE JUDGE."

Hmm? Enough to keep him busy? So he can send the jurors home EARLY for the weekend?

Okay. Being a layman, I'm free to guess. Walton could dismiss the jurors, and tell them to return Monday morning.

He could, of couse, shout out to Wells, after Wells "finishes" with Russett; BEGIN NOW.

And, he can also keep all of us on pins and needles. Where we have to wait for Monday morning, too. To see the ultimate shape to come of this darn "case." Now, why wouldn't Walton dismiss? It sure has been a hanging question, up there, since last Fall.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

... And, one more thing.

Drudge got his start on the Internet, with the Monica story, Spiky Isakoff couldn't get Newsweak to print.

Arieanna Huffington's Huff-Po gets lots of lefty bloggers. Does she see a chance to climb to fame, alla Drudge? Breaking stories the left doesn't hear from its own "flagships?"

I'm not betting that what happened today in court, doesn't finally have an impact on the left before this weekend is out.

MaidMarion

Boris,

From the indictment:

6. On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying that Wilson's wife was involved in the planning of his trip.

7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

9. On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.

I don't understand legal stuff, but if Fitz charges Libby about lying about the date he learned Valerie "worked at the CIA" or "worked at CPD", then why didn't he also charge him with perjury on the date Libby learned she "sent Joe to Niger"? Why didn't Fitz leave that point out of paras 6 & 7?

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

All I want to know now, Maid Marion, is how all of Fitz' filings are adding up for Judge Reggie Walton.

Fitz' charges are way off the wall. And, who can forget his "promise," where his minions were sure Rove would be frog marched out of the White House?

Heck, even Baghdad Bob lost his job after Baghdad fell. So why not think at some point, ahead, it's coal in all those journalists Fitmas stockings?

Besides, why would it stick out in Libby's mind that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA? All that tells you is you can spin the globe, and put your finger on some foreign spot? So much off the cuff stuff, heck, even PINCUS never heard his own managing editor, WOODWARD, say he heard the Libby leak before the Novak column.

While Pincus himself? Met the Wilson's at a 4th of July shindig, that year. If you think the "roots of aspen trees intertwine," you have NO IDEA how close and inbred this inner circle of DC hot-ten-tots really are! The biggest ruse? They pulled off "nobody heard a thing," from EVERYBODY KNEW!

Jim E.

The Washington Post homepage has the audio available. If you start listening at minute 114, it's a pretty interesting part of the transcript. He says "all" of his recollection of that week "hinges" on the Tim Russert phone call. All he does is bring up Tim Russert over and over, even though Fitz is not at that part of the week yet (Fitz is asking about Cheney, Martin, and Fleischer instead). Libby vouches for the clarity of his memory of the Russert conversation over and over.

David Walser

The Washington Post homepage has the audio available. If you start listening at minute 114, it's a pretty interesting part of the transcript. He says "all" of his recollection of that week "hinges" on the Tim Russert phone call. All he does is bring up Tim Russert over and over, even though Fitz is not at that part of the week yet (Fitz is asking about Cheney, Martin, and Fleischer instead). Libby vouches for the clarity of his memory of the Russert conversation over and over.

Jim, I don't think anyone is arguing that Libby's testimony before the grand jury was accurate (that's not the same as conceding it's inaccurate); instead, many of us find it more than just plausible that Libby's testimony was consistent with what he believed to be true (even if his belief were erroneous). Yes, it's odd that Libby could be so adamant about the clarity of his memory of his conversations with Russert if his memory is wrong, but such a thing is not beyond the realm of common human experience. After all, Russert was just as adamant that he had never spoken to the reporter from Buffalo -- until his own notes confirmed he had spoken with him twice! Or how about Agent Bond exclaiming that she would not have believed she had "said that" if she had not read what she had said in the transcript. Two prosecution witnesses have been adamantly but sincerely wrong. Shouldn't we take this into account when considering whether Libby, too, could just have been wrong? Because if we accept that as a possibility, doesn't it become far more difficult to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that he intentionally lied?

Jane

I'm saddened but not surprise by the lack of media coverage of Russert's "frying" yesterday.

Perhaps they will do better today. I won't hold my breath tho, because it seems like an indictment of Russert is an indictment of all of them.

Tom Bowler

I am happy for Scooter Libby if his defense works. I take no joy in Arianna's take-down of Tim Russert. Overall, I think he is a decent man and I find her ridiculous.

The way I first learned of Wilson's accusation of twisted intelligence was hearing Russert on Imus in the morning, going on in grave tones about what a serious thing indeed if the administration deliberately ignored contradictory intelligence for the sake of justifying the invasion of Iraq. Then I found out just how implausible Wilson's story was, and the more we learn about it the more we see there was no truth to it at all.

But by treating it with seriousness he threw the combined weight of Tim Russert, Meet the Press, and NBC behind Joe Wilson and against the Bush White House. I'm delighted to hear he's been getting fried.

Cecil Turner

Libby vouches for the clarity of his memory of the Russert conversation over and over.

From the memory expert filings:

Dr. Bjork also proposes to testify that, according to numerous studies, the correlation between confidence and accuraccy in memory is weak, if it exists at all.
I believe this is a well-accepted principle. To hear repeated claims (with several variations) about how Libby's apparent confidence must mean he's lying strikes me as somewhere between clueless and disingenuous. The same applies to the "made up" arguments when misattribution is at issue. But if the relatively bright folks on this board really understand memory that poorly, I'd say the court's ruling on the memory expert (essentially that it wasn't necessary) is out-to-lunch.

maryrose

Imus had a really good comment to reporter Kelly O'Donnell this morning. He said:" Why don't these reporters {Russert included} just suck it up and tell the truth"

Florence Schmieg

I have not heard David Gergen on any program ever NOT state that ..... (put in any discussion question here) was very distressing to the White House. I think he must realize that that is a requirement for his invitations to speak on cable TV.

Martin

Cheney gets Bush to declassify the NIE and tells Libby to blab it all to Miller, which he does, but she doesn't even publish a story! So Libby's two hours plus with Miller were a complete waste of time.

If Libby is a genius, I sure haven't seen any evidence. He's another bungling bureaucrat; not surprising his story/alibi is so incompetent.

Cecil Turner

Cheney gets Bush to declassify the NIE . . .

And this "insta-declassification" nonsense is getting old. Tenet agreed to the declassification a month earlier:

The chairman of the Senate intelligence panel, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), said that Tenet had agreed to provide "full documentation" of the intelligence material "in regards to Secretary Powell's comments, the president's comments and anybody else's comments." [June 9th, 2003]

Appalled Moderate

Cecil:

One of the craftiest things Wells is doing is making all the prosecution witnesses exhibits in his project to demonstrate the elusiveness of memory. The only one he hasn't been able to shake on the stand is Ari, and we know from Dickerson's writings that there is a question regarding Ari's accuracy.

Wells might be able to make this part of his case without the memory expert.

Martin

BS Turner-in fact Libby testified at the GJ that nobody else knew the NIE had been declassified, and he never even told Bush's own people, like Hadley, this little detail:

Fitzgerald: "Was that unusual for you to have the national security advisor, the director of Central Intelligence, the White House chief of staff among others in the dark as to something that you had done regarding declassification [of the NIE]?"

Libby: "It is not unusual for the vice president to tell me something which I am not allowed to share with others"

Jeff Z

Thank you, Kazinski, for the inadvertantly funniest post on the thread:

'Great analysis in the comments at FDL:

'"I have given up trying to make sense of everything that is happening, but it seems like the witnesses for the defense are as helpful if not more to the the prosecution."

'I'm going over there for commentary from now on, they have a much better grasp of reality.'

Kaz: There have not been any witnesses for the defense yet. They're all prosecution witnesses. I think you mean FDL commenters have a much better grasp of alternative reality.

Unless, of course, you were being subtly ironic...In which case, my apologies.


"I have given up trying to make sense of everything that is happening, but it seems like the witnesses for the defense are as helpful if not more to the the prosecution."

I'm going over there for commentary from now on, they have a much better grasp of reality.

Jim E.

Cecil,

I know you aren't at all suggesting that there's no such thing as perjury. However, given the implicit standards of proof you seem to demand, I'm hard pressed to come up with a scenario -- even a hypothetical one -- in this case that could possibly convince you that Libby committed even one count of perjury.

(Unless Libby takes the stand, the defense will not be able to rely upon authorities for a memory defense.)

In the context of his entire testimony, Libby's made some very declarative statements. Contrary to what folks keep saying, Libby is NOT fuzzy on a lot of points. He has testified relatively clearly about a great number of conversations -- of which Russert stands out with apparently the greatest clarity of all. I think the cumulative effect of Libby's GJ testimony is rather damning, and Russert's part being the most significant of all. Libby's a criminal defense attorney, and knew better than most what he was doing while testifying.

If Libby was always fuzzy and saying "I don't recall" every minute and a half, I suppose folks would argue that he had to be innocent of the charges. Instead, Libby's rather confident in what transpired in a great many cases. (Libby went out of his way to testify that he has a much better memory of what he said to reporters, which may be why he's not charged with all of the statements dealing with government officials like Fleischer.) But that apparently isn't supposed to be considered in the case against him, either. That's why I'm left to wonder what type of evidence would be compelling.

If Libby actually believes his own testimony, then hopefully we can all agree that it's a good thing he no longer has access to state secrets given his predilection for manufacturing a coherent, interconnected, and totally innocent narrative of events that is repeatedly contradicted on key points by a number of other people (many of whom don't know each other) and contemporaneous notes.

Sidenote: of all the fawning and pro-Russert media coverage folks complain about, what are the odds that the Libby jury would accidentally stumble across probably the only anti-Russert headline ever printed today?

Cecil Turner

BS Turner-in fact Libby testified at the GJ that nobody else knew the NIE had been declassified . . .

BS Morgan: Tenet had discussed parts of it earlier, a few more bits in his July 11th statement, and they released the whole (key judgments) thing a few days later. They were obviously coordinating the declassification status in the month since they'd decided to declassify it. Here's a hint for ya: if the WaPo is quoting the CIA Director, it ain't a secret any more.

I'm hard pressed to come up with a scenario -- even a hypothetical one -- in this case that could possibly convince you that Libby committed even one count of perjury.

Why don't you try coming up with one plausible reason for Libby to tell the "lies" that he told? So far, there's a lot of nonsense about avoiding legal jeopardy that doesn't exist . . . or mitigating political jeopardy that his story clearly doesn't do. I find myself unconvinced it's better than a 50:50 he lied on any particular point. And that's so far off "beyond a reasonable doubt" that it isn't a close call.

If Libby was always fuzzy and saying "I don't recall" every minute and a half, I suppose folks would argue that he had to be innocent of the charges.

You keep coming back to this as evidence. Again, numerous studies have shown that believing you remember something is NOT indicative of how you actually remember it. Your point here is meaningless.

. . . given his predilection for manufacturing a coherent, interconnected, and totally innocent narrative . . .

Again, studies have shown reconstructed false memories actually do tend to be coherent and interconnected. Like Libby's vehemence, it isn't evidence one way or the other. And he was totally innocent to begin with, so that part appears moot.

Martin

Turner-live in the alternate reality called Cheneyland all you want-that's what Libby testified to in the grand jury.

Oh wait-Libby lied in his GJ testimony. Ok, you're right.

Cecil Turner

Turner-live in the alternate reality called Cheneyland all you want-that's what Libby testified to in the grand jury.

BS Morgan-you took the testimony--that nobody knew Cheney authorized Libby to discuss a part of the NIE with Miller--and generalized it to the transparently false assertion that nobody else was aware of the NIE declassification that had been ongoing for weeks. Weak.

Jim E.

"Libby's vehemence . . . isn't evidence one way or the other."

All by itself, Libby's "vehemence" doesn't mean anything. In context, though, I couldn't disagree with you more. Do you genuinely think Libby's neatly constructed "vehemence" will be irrelevant to the deliberations of the jurors? Unless the Libby testifies, the jurors -- who have a lifetime of experience of dealing with memories -- will never hear the authorities you unquestioningly cite.

"I find myself unconvinced it's better than a 50:50 he lied on any particular point."

Well, as I suspected, there's no amount of evidence that will persuade Cecil in this case. The idea that Cecil doesn't even think there's a preponderance of evidence suggesting perjury even surprises me, though. If Fitz hasn't cleared -- to Cecil's satisfaction -- the low bar of 50% on *any* charge, then I withdraw my assumption that Cecil thinks perjury is a chargeable offense.

Of course, Cecil just knows that Libby "was totally innocent to begin with." (That's yet another opinion I'd mistakenly never associated with Cecil, too. Does explain Cecil's own, ahem, vehemence on this matter, though.) Too bad Wells can't call upon Cecil to testify.

boris

no amount of evidence that will persuade Cecil

And you know this because you claim the evidence so far is actually compelling?

The quality of the evidence so far falls short of compelling. In fact the Libby testimony, while clearly self serving, is less likely to be a lie because it served no useful purpose for either legal jeapordy or political cover. If Libby has to forget a whole bunch of stuff to concoct such a useless lie, then the simpler explanation is that he just forgot a whole bunch of stuff.

Not **** PROOF THAT HE DIDN'T LIE **** !!!

It just drops the liklyhood a little below 50%. You seem to be claiming that LIE should be the default assumption in absence of proof to the contrary. Rational evaluation of the facts places the relliability of either assumption in the neighborhood of coin toss.

Extraneus

Speaking of vehemence, isn't it bizarre that Wilson's lies -- which in fact have led to the loss of innocent lives in Iraq at the hands of killers who take the encouragement our Democrats gladly give them -- aren't even peripherally involved in this case?

I know, I know... 20 yrs with some big guy who scares Matthews in his dreams. Still, I'm looking forward to the part where we get to Libby's motive for rebutting Wilson.

Cecil Turner

Unless the Libby testifies, the jurors -- who have a lifetime of experience of dealing with memories -- will never hear the authorities you unquestioningly cite.

Unquestioningly? Why, is citing scientific data bad if it doesn't support your case? And the memory expert is out in any event. As to the jury, some will undoubtedly have pertinent experience, but yes, memory is widely misunderstood.

Well, as I suspected, there's no amount of evidence that will persuade Cecil in this case.

As usual, you proffer a grand total of zero. Simple challenge above: present a sensible scenario that encompasses one of Libby's "lies." If you can't, you might want to consider the remote possibility it's your data that's flawed.

Of course, Cecil just knows that Libby "was totally innocent to begin with."

Of any leaking charge? Even Fitz admits there's no evidence Libby knew Plame was classified (if she in fact was). Try to fit that inconvenient fact into any criminal charge. If you can't . . .

Too bad Wells can't call upon Cecil to testify.

Apparently you believe more snark makes up for the lack of evidence. I don't think it adds.

Rational evaluation of the facts places the relliability of either assumption in the neighborhood of coin toss.

Same way I see it. And the testimony is so poor, I'm not even sure which parts Libby got right and which parts he got wrong.

Jim E.

Where in the law does it say Fitz has to prove motive?

Walter

Jim E.,

Fitzgerald need not prove motive. He must, however prove intent.

Because he cannot (legally) administer truth drugs to Libby and force him to testify accurately as to what he was thinking, he must do so by inference. That is, he must show what Libby wanted to accomplish through his actions, given the state of his knowledge when he acted. Without a direct inculpatory statement ("I did it. I meant to do it because I believe the law is an ass"--see the deserter court martial for an example of this), there are few ways to show a jury that someone intends something without also showing why that person wants to do it. So, you're back to motive.

But the appeals court will not say "there is no motive here"; they claim to examine whether the evidence was sufficient to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the requisite intent.

clarice

Walter, what a nice clear statement explaining something so complicated. Hat's off to you.

Walter

Thanks, Clarice--I just wish I could get the quote in my head right. Some famous litigator once opined that, while motive doesn't exist in the appeals courts, intent is rarely relevant at trials.

Of course, being a litigator by trade, he said it in a more quotable way.

Walter

...whether the evidence was sufficient...

And they almost always defer to the jury. If they want to overturn on sufficency of intent, they go after the jury instructions. See, eg. Quattrone, Andersen, and Aguilar.

(Not the jury's fault, folks. They did their best. If only they hadn't been mislead by that deluded trial judge, they would have come to the proper conclusion.)

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Wilson/Plame