Carol Platt Liebau: No More Special Counsels

Saturday, October 29, 2005

No More Special Counsels

Two fine lawyers make a compelling case that it's time to stop using independent prosecutors. The fact is, as they point out, that Patrick Fitzgerald probably knew as early as January of 2004 that no underlying crime had been committed in the much-bemoaned "outing" of Valerie Plame. Since then, the investigation has been to punish wrongdoing that began and ended in the course of the investigation itself.

That's not to minimize what Lewis Libby allegedly did. But it does suggest that a good deal of time and energy is being diverted from things that impact the country to a number of things that don't.

As for Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame themselves, they come off like a perfectly repugnant couple of publicity hounds, completely unworthy of the fawning coverage they're receiving from the Post and elsewhere. It seems clear to me that any husband who believed his wife to be in potentially significant danger from disclosure of her identity would think twice before publishing an op/ed (filled with lies, not incidentally) in The New York Times. If she's being threatened now (as Wilson claims), that's wrong -- but it seems to me that a moment of self-awareness is in order, if he's trying to figure out how that's happened. As for Plame herself, isn't it elementary that any woman who was at all concerned with being identified would be at least somewhat reluctant to strike a pose in Vanity Fair magazine?

Now, of course, the Plame/Wilsons are happy to play the victim. It's good for business -- wanna bet that it won't be long 'til they're both writing a book and hitting the left wing lecture circuit?

If one weren't already convinced that there are some serious problems at the CIA, the fact that Valerie Plame has been an employee there certainly forces that conclusion.


Blogger Draino said...


It was only a matter of time before Repugs started crying about special prosecutors when they no longer have a political use for them. So, it wasn't enough letting the independent prosecutor statute lapse?

Gee Carol, Why don't we get rid of prosecutors all together! At least until a democrat gets elected.

I think we should do the exact opposite. Yesterday's indictment indicates the clear possibility of cover-up ala Watergate and should launch a major White House investigation.

If the Democrats have any sense at all, they will demand a further review of the alleged case made for going to war and the subsequent cover-up by this administration. Congress authorized Bush to go to war under false pretenses. If there is evidence that this administration intentionally mislead congress it is quite possibly an act of treason.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous LQ said...

I respect Bush and Cheney much more than I do Wilson and Plame but I disagree with the view that Fitzgerald wasted resources on something that doesn't impact the nation.

Perjury, obstruction of justice and false statements a few doors from the oval office, if true, have huge implications for the nation and must be investigated and prosecuted.

I firmly supported the impeachment of Clinton for lying, even though what he lied about was not a crime. Libby has the same obligation to tell the truth that Clinton did.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Draino said...

Some words from Joseph Wilson in response to Libby's indictment:

I was President George H. W. Bush's acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, and I served as ambassador to two African nations for him and President Clinton. Valerie worked undercover for the CIA in several overseas assignments and in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

But on July 14, 2003, our lives were irrevocably changed. That was the day columnist Robert Novak identified Valerie as an operative, divulging a secret that had been known only to me, her parents and her brother.

Valerie told me later that it was like being hit in the stomach. Twenty years of service had gone down the drain. She immediately started jotting down a checklist of things she needed to do to limit the damage to people she knew and to projects she was working on. She wondered how her friends would feel when they learned that what they thought they knew about her was a lie.

It was payback - cheap political payback by the administration for an article I had written contradicting an assertion President Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union address. Payback not just to punish me but to intimidate other critics as well.

Why did I write the article? Because I believe that citizens in a democracy are responsible for what government does and says in their name...


4:26 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

As I understand the story, Plame was not covert or undercover for over five years, or that she'd been in the USA for at least five years in a non-covert position, thus there was no crime in mentioning she was with the CIA. I may be a bit off detail wise, but in any case, there was no "outing" as far as the way the law for such a thing is written. So Libby's alledged lie was a result of the investigation of a crime that never occurred. While this does not excuse Libby's lie, if indeed it was, and it now appears that may be the case, it makes the whole thing meaningless as far as it's impact. The dude lied when he didn't need to. It sucks to be Libby.

Regarding the reprint of Wilson's. The guys a lowlife. A self-aggrandizing publicity hound and looking to him to preach about honesty and integrity says much about draino's judgement.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

In today's installment of Carol presents the latest attempt at Right Wing Talking Points, you write Two fine lawyers make a compelling case that it's time to stop using independent prosecutors. Let us examine how compelling their case is, shall we?

The two lawyers who formerly served in the Reagan and Bush the Smarter administrations wrote, It is clear that, at least by sometime in January 2004 -- and probably much earlier -- Fitzgerald knew this law had not been violated. (You paraphrase this starting with "The fact is", which I think denotes you agree.)

Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed Special Counsel on December 30, 2003. [cite] How could he have known "probably much earlier" than January of 2004 that no underlying crime was committed?

Unless you are going to argue for telepathy, prophecy, time-travel, and/or precognition, your witnesses have stated a falsehood as a fact. (I won't call it lying because no one needs to read your tedious "Reagan coma guy" example again.) You have once again approvingly repeated a falsehood that you could have debunked had you spent one minute of background checking.

That Rivkin and Casey would be so sloppy on such a simple fact, impeaches their entire op ed. And it is only one of the false and/or misleading statements in the piece.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

But it does suggest that a good deal of time and energy is being diverted from things that impact the country to a number of things that don't.

It being a made up fact by a couple of Republican shills? I just want you to be clear on what you are endorsing here.

And why were you willing to quote a fallacious statement without doing basic fact checking? Could it be because you are desperately seeking (in your words) to minimize what Lewis Libby allegedly did?

7:47 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

It seems clear to me that any husband who believed his wife to be in potentially significant danger from disclosure of her identity would think twice before publishing an op/ed critical of the Bush administration. Unlike the Mafia, for example, the Bush Administration views wives and children as fair game when they seek retribution.

Carol, if you edit the one section along the lines I suggest above, you would have a much more factual article.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Wilson seemed to be working for the CIA as such when did the CIA start publishing its findings in Op Ed pieces. It seems Mr. Wilson may have violated the spirit of the law by identifying himself as the "agent" who conducted the mission to Niger i.e. he stated his mission and findings in a public forum. I've often wondered why Wilson wasn't the target of the investigation.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

Marshall Art said: "Regarding the reprint of Wilson's. The guys a lowlife."

HAHAHA!!! You're kidding, right!

Compared to who Marshall? Your heros Karl Rove? Ken Starr? Richard Nixon?

Or were you referring to the guy who said this in April 2000:
“It's time to clean up the toxic environment in Washington, D.C”

If I'm not mistaken Wilson's not the one whose being arraignment on five felony counts next week.


Thanks for the chuckle Marshall Art.

1:48 PM  

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