November 1, 2005

TRUTH IS IT'S OWN SHIELD (via Daniel Merriman):

What the 'Shield' Covered Up (E. J. Dionne Jr., November 1, 2005, Washington Post)

Has anyone noticed that the coverup worked?

In his impressive presentation of the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby last week, Patrick Fitzgerald expressed the wish that witnesses had testified when subpoenas were issued in August 2004, and "we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005."

Note the significance of the two dates: October 2004, before President Bush was reelected, and October 2005, after the president was reelected. Those dates make clear why Libby threw sand in the eyes of prosecutors, in the special counsel's apt metaphor, and helped drag out the investigation.

As long as Bush still faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think that officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

And Libby, the good soldier, pursued a brilliant strategy to slow the inquiry down.

Except that there was nothing to coverup--Mr. Libby could have just come out on the day the leak became an issue and said, yes, Joe Wilson was sent to Niger because his wife is CIA and she was trying to discredit the case for war. End of story. No prosecutor. No perjury. No problem.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2005 1:43 PM

Speaking of shields, Dionne's complaints are bizarre in light of his position on press shield laws. He's a silly person.

Posted by: carter at November 1, 2005 2:12 PM

Wasn't it Judy Miller and the NYT who "threw sand" by insisting on the confidentiality of their sources?

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 1, 2005 2:12 PM

Fitzerald must think everyone is stupid. He is saying that Libby's non-cooperation prevented him from proving that there was a crime of leaking classified infomation. If he thinks Libby committed that crime, doesn't he have to present evidence derived from sources other than Libby?

Posted by: sam at November 1, 2005 2:14 PM

Don't let the Republicans distract you. Treasongate isn't just about deposed vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby, who has been charged with five felony counts and faces 30 years in prison, or even deputy presidential chief of staff Karl Rove, who may soon be charged as well. The Libby charges clearly point to the real culprit: Dick Cheney, who told Libby about Plame's covert status in the first place. Cheney abused his security clearance to find out. "Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the C.I.A.," reads page five of the indictment.;_ylt=A86.I2F3jWdDOikBMAf9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA--

Posted by: Fred at November 1, 2005 2:42 PM


just one thought -- how can Cheney (the 2nd highest person in the executive branch) be accused of revealing Plame's identity in a conversation with another member of the executive (i.e., Libby)?

and, no, they're not going to get off the road anytime soon..

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at November 1, 2005 2:51 PM

I'm all for replacing Cheney.

So, Rudy or Condi as VP and giving them 3 years of pres-in waiting?

And, Fred, who leaked the name that was well-known on the DC cocktail circuit during the late 90s?

Unless Fitzie can get the CIA to open their files as to why she was pulled in and her history, we'll never know. And why is the FBI now ?ing her neighbors????

Posted by: Sandy P at November 1, 2005 3:03 PM


I love it when people give pet names to their favorite conspiratorial outrage.

Posted by: Twn at November 1, 2005 3:06 PM

JonofAtlanta: Fred's exposition is even more out there and irrelevant than you give him credit for. Not only was it OK for Cheney to talk to Libby about this, but by the reading of the 1982 statute it was OK for Libby to talk to the press. Valerie Plame had not served overseas for over five years, and thus wasn't covered.

The rest of Fred's talking points are equally forgettable, inasmuch as they simply re-state the canards, half-truths, and outright lies about the facts of this case that have been disproven time and again, but keep popping up like something out of a whack-a-mole game.

Case in point: Wilson did not say Iraq had not tried to buy yellowcake. In fact, he uncovered evidence of an Iraqi trade delegation in Niger, which could only have been there to explore the possibilities of a yellowcake purchase. The only lies in this case are in the way that he has chosen to mis-represent everything about his mission and findings, from beginning to end, in order to score cheap partisan political points.

Posted by: HT at November 1, 2005 3:11 PM


And since when has the Left ever cared about treason, other than as one of their many tools used to further their goals? Especially the only important goal, maintaining power.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 1, 2005 3:17 PM

It was TREASON I tells you!! "Giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- and that enemy is, um, The New York Times??

Posted by: Kevin Bowman at November 1, 2005 3:20 PM


Now you're getting somewhere...

Posted by: Mike Earl at November 1, 2005 3:36 PM

From Fred's comment:

...the New York Times, a paper known for its desire to be helpful to the Bush White House.

I couldn't continue reading once I stopped laughing.

Posted by: Patrick H at November 1, 2005 3:49 PM

And of course, by leaking Valerie Plame's status as a secret agent to the NYT, the Bush administration gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States by . . . uh, gee . . . I mean, if they knew that, they'd be able to . . . just be patient, it'll come to me!

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 1, 2005 4:33 PM

The Dems have lost whatever credibility they might have had left by hijacking the senate Watch Bush's numbers climb now.

Posted by: tefta at November 1, 2005 4:38 PM

Guys, Fred's comment is brilliant satire and demonstrates is the best possible way why this scandal has no legs. Calling it "Treasongate" is hilarious, the idea that a "secret" White House cadre to promote the war (when the entire administration was out there promoting the war) included Judy Miller of the New York Times, well, that's just priceless. Best of all is that the whole paranoid fantasy hangs on the idea that, when some schlub surfaces saying that "I'm the guy that Dick Cheney sent to Niger and I proved that there was no sale of yellowcake to Iraq", the Vice President, who's never heard of the guy, is not only forbidden to find out who he is and who sent him to Niger, but is guilty of treason for telling his closest aide.

Fred: I've never seen satire used so effectively. However, on the off-chance that you didn't write that yourself, our house rules call for a link to another article rather than repeating large chunks of it in the comments.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 1, 2005 4:44 PM


Joe Wilson gave a speech attacking the V-P, the war in Iraq, and American foreign policy in general on June 14, 2003 in D.C.

This was over 3 weeks before his editorial in the NYT.

He made a number of anti-American statements, and also claimed that Ariel Sharon wants to kill Palestinians every day. The organization where he spoke listed his wife (under her maiden name) on its website. This was a month before Novak's column.

And you call it treason? The press has let you down. I suppose Fitzgerald let you down. Perhaps the electorate has let you down. But worst of all, your own insanity has betrayed you.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 1, 2005 4:57 PM

Jim: And he specifically denied that he was sent by CIA, because even then he realized that that fact alone undermined his entire argument.

Fred: I truly and deeply apologize for accusing you of writing something actually written by Ted Rall.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 1, 2005 5:15 PM

fred, lean in...that's it. now listen close because I am only going to say this once --
it was Cheney who took the strawberries.

Posted by: anon at November 1, 2005 5:35 PM

Patrick H. I've learned the hard way not have a beverage in my hand or food or drink in my mouth when reading comments at the Judd Hood.

A troll exposed and the truth will set us free.

Ted Rall? Shouldn't a person like, be able to draw, if they call themselves a cartoonist?

Posted by: tefta at November 1, 2005 5:38 PM

So was that masked troll really Ted Rall's obscure younger brother Fred Rall?

Damn, talk about yer brushes with greatness--oops, I mean mediocrity!

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 1, 2005 8:45 PM

Snipping the post by Fred and replacing that long unattributed diatribe with a URL takes away a lot of the charm. First I saw the length, and then when I got to "Treasongate" I realized immediately I'd already put in more time that it deserved. But now, I'd not get that warning.

And Fred's the one with all the artistic talent in the Rall family. Ted just got the box it came in, and it was damaged in transit.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 2, 2005 1:48 AM