Carol Platt Liebau: Selective Outrage? Selective "Justice"?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Selective Outrage? Selective "Justice"?

So now we learn that Colin Powell ally and "moderate" State Department official Richard Armitage -- no proponent of the Iraq War, as he's made certain to have it known -- is actually the person who "leaked" Valerie Plame's name to reporters(s). What's more, he somehow neglected to report all his contacts with the Fourth Estate for more than two years.

Help me understand. Isn't Lewis Libby being prosecuted for supposedly having "lied" to the grand jury? So how are Richard Armitage's "oversights" any different? It seems that withholding key facts is permissible, as long as one had the "right" views about the war.

Is there one standard of justice for the war's supporters, and another for its opponents?

And what will the lefties say now, with their theory about Plame having been outed as "retaliation" having been so definitively discredited?

6 Comments:

Blogger dodger said...

I always thought perjury was rather innocuous, unless it was material, material being defined as potential to affect an outcome. However, Stuart Taylor, a lawyer who writes on the law, informed me that perjury is perjury, does not hinge on materiality, and further, is relatively easy pickings. Reason: (my reason) I can attach any meaning to your words I want and you can't rely on faulty memory as a defense.

Lesson: beware. Keep your mouth shut. Use qualifiers, I can't recall, I can't recollect, I don't remember.

Clintons' rule #2.

10:26 AM  
Blogger The Ayatollah said...

Colin Powell was always overrated as a general, and he turned out to be a complete incompetent at the State Department.

Affirmatin action, ain't it something?

6:07 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Is that true, Ayatollah? I've never heard that said. Does that mean he was a poor general? Or just not as good as advertised? Not trying to be argumentative here, just a sincere wish for clarification. Got a link or something?

10:36 PM  
Blogger Mark Jakubik said...

If Stuart Taylor said that he'swrong. Under federal law (andmost statesof which I am aware) it is NOT perjury unless that alleged false statement relates to a"materialmatter." See,e.g., 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1621. This is why, contrary to what Taylor said, perjury cases are not easy pickings but are, rather, very difficultto prove. Perjury isnot,however, the only means of prosecuting someone for making false statements. I believe that there is a federal statute that makes it a crime to lie to an investigator (not sure if the materiality requirement pertains there). And of course, there is always the catch all, obstruction of justice. The point, though, is that to the extent we are talking perjury, materiality is a requirement in the federal system, which is where the Libby case is pending.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol asks for help by writing, "Help me understand. Isn't Lewis Libby being prosecuted for supposedly having 'lied' to the grand jury? So how are Richard Armitage's 'oversights' any different?"

Carol, as a lawyer, surely you know the answers to this. It is not a crime to fail to volunteer testimony before a Grand Jury (as Armitage did). It is, however, a crime to explicitly lie to a Grand Jury (as Scooter did).

For example, you already knew the answer to the question you raised and were feigning ignorance in an attempt to mislead your readers. While this is clearly amoral behavior, it is not lying.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Well Ayatollah. As it turns out, I heard both Chris Hitchens and Dennis Prager refer to Powell as "overrated". Didn't hear their reasons though.

twist tie,

Perhaps Carol is referring to the level of outrage not being directed at an obvious asshat who withheld info from his president after said prez requested the name of the leaker.

10:55 PM  

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