Carol Platt Liebau: Careful What You Wish For II

Monday, October 24, 2005

Careful What You Wish For II

Very little about the Valerie Plame affair has been discussed here, because it has been a crisis almost completely manufactured by those who wish the Bush Administration ill. Interestingly, papers like The New York Times have vacillated between screaming like their collective hair's on fire about the alleged "outing" of a desk employee at CIA and arguing that no crime was committed (that's when their own Judith Miller was headed jailward).

Today, Michael Barone sets forth all the reasons that indictments in the Plame case would be both ridiculous and unjust -- particularly because none of the conduct that gave rise to the investigation was, in itself, illegal (yes, it's always wrong -- and illegal -- to knowingly give false information, whether "relevant" to the case or not. The point here is that, in exercising prosecutorial discretion, one of the relevant considerations is whether the omission was, in fact, "material" and/or deliberate.)

The other consideration, as Barone points out, is that an indictment has the potential to seriously impact the flow of information between the government and the press.

So perhaps all the "journalists" waiting with bated breath and salivating with excitement had better be careful what they wish for. Those who live by leaks had better hope that a certain one isn't prosecuted unjustly.

6 Comments:

Blogger Draino said...

Republican's keep talking about personal responsibility but any time they get into trouble with it themselves they blame everyone else. Is the law so subjective that you can make a blanket statements that DeLay, Frist, Rove, Libby and any other republican that faces indictments are merely the victims of "those who wish the administration ill"? If laws are that susceptible to political whims and who is or isn't presiding in a particular court at a particular moment, than we should forget about Supreme Court nominees, tear down our existing instituions and start all over again. Is that what you are advocating? Is that what a conservative courts are all about? I'm confused.

11:14 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Sorry Carol. I'm conservative, but I'm with Draino on this one.

Recall some time ago the whole scandal about Gore's fundraising? GOP was screaming; Dems were justifying. "When the law was written," explained the dutiful Democratic legal minds, "corruption was so rampant that fundraising couldn't be done on federal property." So you see, yes while Gore violated the letter of the law, he really didn't violate the spirit.

I remember considering using the Gore defense in going 80 mph in a 55: "You see officer, when the speed limits were enacted, we were in a fuel crunch and cars were much less safe. I'm driving safely and oil is plentiful, so I'm really not violating the spirit of the law." That was Gore's defense then. That is also the Rove/Libby/GOP defense now.

Breaking fundraising law is a crime or it isn't. Publicly disclosing the name of a CIA official is wrong or it isn't.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Officials in the Bush administration leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent during a time of war. This is not in dispute. Not only did they divulge the agent's identity, they also blew the cover of Brewster-Jennings, a CIA cover organization. This is also not in dispute. Their reason for doing so was to extract a measure of political payback to the husband of the agent in question.

How was any of this "manufactured by those who wish the Bush Administration ill?" Did Matt Cooper hold a gun to Karl Rove's head and force him to divulge Valerie Plame's identity--did Judith Miller tie Scooter Libby down and torture him to release the name? No, they acted like thugs thinking they would never be held accountable.

This is despicable on so many levels that it is hard to fathom. President Bush's father called people who leak the identities of CIA agents,"the most insidous of traitors." I doubt that you can find many sane individuals that would claim lying to a Grand Jury to cover up treason is inconsequential.

Rather than taking on Ambassador Wilson head on, they went after his wife, dropping to a level even lower than what the mob does to informants. According to you, Carol, asking any questions about Judge Roberts's wife or children was completely off limits, but you are just fine with Karl Rove claiming it was "open season" on Valerie Plame. Leaking her identity and destroying her career.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

And now a rant... It is too late for you, Carol, Micheal Barone, or any of the other wingnuts to whine and moan about the "criminalization of politics."

The right wing devoted itself incessantly to overturning the will of the American people (expressed in two general elections) by attempting to remove a sitting President from office. They did so through extra-legal and bitterly partisan means.

You have such admirable things to say about Judge Starr, here, Carol. The fact is, however, that Kenneth Starr was the sleaziest imaginable prosecutor ever. He and his office leaked like a sieve in an effort to do as much political damage to the Clinton administration as possible, and you and all of the right wing nimbots cheered him on. Have we seen this level of political hackery from Patrick Fitzgerald--no we have not.

You plead for "prosecutorial discretion," yet you backed Kenneth Starr as he spent over $50 million dollars attempting to find something, anything, to pin on Bill Clinton. All judge Starr ended up with were dubious charges of perjury and obstruction of justice related to imprecise answers to questions about an extramarital affair. Where was the "prosecutorial discretion" during Starr's tenure, Carol? Oh that's right, in your little world only Republicans are worthy of any reasoned consideration.

Oh yes, and all you Republicans were in a fine fettle over the sacredness of the oath and how perjury about a blow job (had it been proven, which it never was) by and of itself met the standard of "high crimes and misdeanors." Republican claims that Clinton's impeachment was really about the rule of law almost brought tears to my eyes. Of course, now that you minimize leaking the idenitity of an undercover CIA agent and lying about it to the Grand Jury to cover up your guilt, the Republican nattering class has demonstrated they are hypocritical prigs.

You, your party, and this administration have spent the past twelve years insulting our patriotism, our moral standing, and our character. You, your party, and this administration poured gasoline all over the body politic and threw in a match in an attempt to gain complete control. It's a little too late to start giving us friendly warnings about burning ourselves.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

After the rant, one bit of humor...

Courtesy of HouseOfSin, "I'm conservative, but I'm with Draino on this one."

I think I remember from my Catholic catechism days that this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Draino said...

LOL!!! :)

1:28 PM  

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