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Prosecutor Fitzgerald, Where's the Beef?
National Ledger ^ | 10-29-05 | Jim Kouri - News Analysis

Posted on 10/29/2005 10:34:11 AM PDT by smoothsailing

NEWS ANALYSIS

Prosecutor Fitzgerald, Where's the Beef?

By Jim Kouri

Oct 29, 2005

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney as well as a trusted White House security advisor, was indicted Friday by a special grand jury with five felony counts of perjury, obstructing justice and making false statements in the Valerie Plame-CIA Leak case. Libby wasn't immediately arrested, but he did resign from his White House post.

The two-year grand jury investigated allegations that someone in the Bush White House leaked the identity of a CIA covert agent to the press, a criminal act if proven true.

Plame is the wife of former US Ambassador Joe Wilson, who publicly cast doubt on Bush's case for invading Iraq -- that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons. Mr. Wilson intimated at first  that it was Vice President Cheney who dispatched him to Africa, something that turned out to be false. As facts slowly came to light, it became obvious that Mr. Wilson has a casual relationship with the truth. For instance, it was discovered that indeed it was his wife who pushed for Wilson to be sent to Niger to investigate intelligence regarding Iraq and uranium. Wilson repeatedly denied it until a memorandum written by Plame was discovered showing she highly recommended her husband for the fact-finding mission.

Ironically, it was British intelligence who made the claim that Iraq sought the capability to develop nuclear weapons and during Bush's speech in 2003 he mentioned it was a British allegation. To this day the British continue to stand by their intelligence and analysis. And the so-called "16 misleading words" are really a fabrication of the mainstream news media.

The Libby indictment -- the only one after two years of investigation -- provides more questions than answers in that not one person has been indicted for the crime of divulging the identity of a covert CIA operative. In fact, during prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference and subsequent question and answer session with gleeful news reporters, he continuously used the word "classified." But leaking classified information is not a crime, or else people such as Senator Patrick "Leaky" Leahy would be serving several prison sentences and keeping house for his new jailhouse boyfriend.

One could make the case that the indictment of Scooter Libby is actually a victory of sorts for the Bush Administration. Karl Rove, the so-called political genius in the Bush White House, was not indicted Friday as many hopeful reporters, pundits and Democrat operatives had predicted. However, Mr. Fitzgerald did give the reporters attending his dramatic press conference a ray of hope that perhaps the Democrats and the mainstream news media will eventually succeed in fulfilling Joe Wilson's dream of seeing Rove, "Frog walked in handcuffs out of the White House."

Prosecutor Fitzgerald claims that Libby knowingly misled the grand jury about his role in the exposing of Valerie Plame, a CIA secret agent whose cover was blown when administration aides leaked her name to reporters. Of course, no one asked about the fact that Joe Wilson mentioned his CIA wife in his bio posted on a seminar website well before the Robert Novak article outed Plame.

Fitzgerald, playing to the cheap media seats, went into a tirade about the seriousness of divulging classified information and its risks to national security. That is true. However, Mr. Fitzgerald's grand jury did not indict Libby for anything having to do with divulging classified information. He's charged with perjury and obstruction in a case of leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent, and if the charges be true then Libby deserves the appropriate punishment.

Once the celebrating denizens of America's newsrooms calm down, perhaps they will begin to take this case as seriously as they wish Americans to take it. As stated earlier, there are more questions than answers in this case. For instance, did Valerie Plame testify before the grand jury? Did Joe Wilson? Was Valerie Plame indeed a covert CIA agent? Who in the CIA sent Wilson, a man with no intelligence experience, to Africa to investigate the British claims that Saddam attempted to procure yellow-cake uranium? Didn't the US congress question the validity of Wilson's reportage?

And didn't congressmen report that Wilson lacked credibility? Where is Joe Wilson's CIA report? If Mr. Wilson's trip to Africa was classified, why was he blabbing about it in an op-ed piece in the New York Times? When Joe Wilson worked for the John Kerry campaign and was prominently listed on Kerry's website, why was his bio and information removed so quickly when it came out that Wilson was a liar?  Yes, there are many, many questions that need to be answered.

Scooter Libby's indictment provided a day of celebration for the Democrat Party and the liberal news media.  Soon, Libby will retain attorneys who will conduct their own investigation into this case. This is not a slam-dunk for the prosecution, the liberal-left media and the Democrat Party. They may want to re-think their plans of riding Joe Wilson to victory in the 2006 elections. 

Libby's attorneys and their investigators will pursue answers to many questions that the news media feel they should ignore. They will also have the power of discovery, full disclosure, and will be able to dissect what went on in the grand jury room. They will be able to delve into Valerie Plame's and Joe Wilson's attempts to undermine the Bush war effort. Defense counsel will look into the purpose of the CIA sending a left-wing activist with no intelligence or investigative skills on such a sensitive mission. The defense lawyers will reveal what many already know: that Joe Wilson and Valeria Plame had a hidden agenda.  These topnotch lawyers will conduct an inquiry into the relationship Joe Wilson has with Senator Chuckie Schumer or other Democrat Party honchos.

In the days ahead the Democrat Party blowhards will repeatedly talk about the Bush Administration's "culture of corruption." The fact is there has been merely one White House staffer who's ever been indicted in five years. I suggest the Democrats look at the number of indictments and convictions during the eight years of the Clinton Administration before they start their vitriolic rhetoric. And if they want to discuss issues of national security, they should go talk to Sandy "Pants" Berger.

...........................

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

© Copyright by NationalLedger.com


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cialeak
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1 posted on 10/29/2005 10:34:11 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

"Beef" is not required when you're Martha Stewarting a political enemy. And to the DemocRATS, "that's a good thing."


2 posted on 10/29/2005 10:38:04 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We Gave Peace A Chance. It Didn't Work Out. Search keyword: 09-11-01.)
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To: smoothsailing

The only beef is the one some rogue CIA folks have with this WH.


3 posted on 10/29/2005 10:41:01 AM PDT by frankjr
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To: smoothsailing
In the days ahead the Democrat Party blowhards will repeatedly talk about the Bush Administration's "culture of corruption."

The way to handle these rats is for the repubs from the president down to start governing as conservatives. Nominate a JRB type to the SCOTUS, pass laws that allow drilling in ANWR, pass laws that make building refineries easier, close the borders to illegals, start fining employers that hire illegals, cut the pork from the budget, etc. The rats will howl and it will be music to our ears.

4 posted on 10/29/2005 10:45:29 AM PDT by Mogollon
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To: frankjr
Agreed.In the end, that is what this is about, sewage at CIA and State that needs flushing.
5 posted on 10/29/2005 10:47:49 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Mogollon
"Nominate a JRB type to the SCOTUS, pass laws that allow drilling in ANWR, pass laws that make building refineries easier, close the borders to illegals, start fining employers that hire illegals, cut the pork from the budget, etc. The rats will howl and it will be music to our ears."

That is the best strategy but Bush needs to wake up and realize that he is not in Texas anymore. He needs to have a "Toto, this isn't Kansas" experience. These are not Texas state Democrats that you can cut deals with like the ones you pulled off in Austin.

Bush and the Republicans need to fight back but not by directly getting into a mud slinging fest but by pushing conservative issues that the people will back but that will make the Democrats flip totally out of their skulls.
6 posted on 10/29/2005 10:53:59 AM PDT by inpajamas
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To: smoothsailing

The growing number of books by "former" and "disgruntled" CIA employees is a sign that Goss is cleaning up the Clintonista mess at the CIA. We Americans need to support this fight to get our CIA back from the DNC. Clinton did a lot of damage to this important organization during his eight years. No matter how hard the Liberal MSM fights to suppress it, "Able Danger" is coming.


7 posted on 10/29/2005 11:00:43 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We Gave Peace A Chance. It Didn't Work Out. Search keyword: 09-11-01.)
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I'm about ''all donated out''...

But I'll find money to donate to Scooter's defense fund... Especially if his lawyers proceed as aggressively as the author recommends.


8 posted on 10/29/2005 11:00:49 AM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: smoothsailing

Don't be hasty. Fitz isn't finished. He may yet generate an indictment against Karl Rove. If he hasn,t done so by the middle of next week, I'll begin to feel better, although key questions will remain unanswered.


9 posted on 10/29/2005 11:01:12 AM PDT by Elsiejay (Forever wondering)
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To: smoothsailing

If one thinks about the way Prosecutor Fitzgerald managed his rather immpressive caseload and won a very substantial number of convictions, think about this (1) Fitzgerald has thrown this whole case into the public domain where it deserves a through hearing (2) The case against Libby is mostly built around "he said / she said" and on its face is speculative, something that a good defense counsel will tear into and raise very substantial doubts in the minds of jurors (3) a lot of characters who have lied about the facts in this case, and did not figure in Fitzgeralds commentary or were peripheral to it will have to raise their hands in court and swear an oath to tell the truth and face the consequences of their earlier deception.

The whole nation will be exposed to this spectacular parade of the good the bad and the ugly and it will not be pretty. IMHO Libby will get off and there will be plenty of exposure focussed on activities in the State Department, CIA, media and Democratic party. A secret investigation within a Grand Jury could never get the response that a daily blow by blow account in an open court room will produce. The media will be forced to report the facts as they are spoken and televised, substantially depriving them of the ability to twist the facts to suit their political agendas.


10 posted on 10/29/2005 11:03:04 AM PDT by sydneysider
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To: smoothsailing

This case was the same as if someone was on trial for murder and was convicted of stealing. They didn't find what they wanted so they dropped down about five rungs just to make it look like a two year investigation wasn't a waste of time. Didn't fool me though. It was a waste of time and money.


11 posted on 10/29/2005 11:07:03 AM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: Elsiejay

Fitzgerald can't indict Rove; at least not with this grand jury. There time is through. Fitzgerald would have to seat a new grand jury to bring indictment against Rove. That is very unlikely.


12 posted on 10/29/2005 11:08:00 AM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: smoothsailing

I've been watching Fitzgerald here in IL for years now. He may be nuts but he's not a partisian hack. He's just a hack IMHO.

He has made things bad for former Gov Ryan (R) but he's tormenting the heck out of Mayor Daley too.



13 posted on 10/29/2005 11:10:42 AM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Elsiejay

As long as Rove continues to tell the truth and doesn't say anything that the 'RATS can misconstrue as a "lie," he'll be okay. No crime was committed in this fiasco. It's just another 'RAT thing.


14 posted on 10/29/2005 11:12:34 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We Gave Peace A Chance. It Didn't Work Out. Search keyword: 09-11-01.)
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To: smoothsailing

Of interest is why Libby volunteered for a perjury indictment instead of saying "I don't remember".


15 posted on 10/29/2005 11:17:00 AM PDT by ex-snook (Vote gridlock for the most conservative government)
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To: LegendHasIt

"In the days ahead the Democrat Party blowhards will repeatedly talk about the Bush Administration's "culture of corruption."

Remember all the crap and lies the Whigs have thrown at W since the day he announced. Remember that none of it stuck because people don't believe that W is an evil person.
Remember these things and rest easy. We pick up more seats next year because the Whigs have no positions on anything. They will learn that "I hate Bush, you must hate Bush too, so vote for me." doesn't work.


16 posted on 10/29/2005 11:37:18 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Everything points to it so why not call them the Whigs?)
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To: ex-snook
Of interest is why Libby volunteered for a perjury indictment instead of saying"I don't remember".

That has intrigued me as well.I have a theory,FWIW.Libby is by all accounts, a topnotch attorney and powerful behind the scene player in the hardball political cesspool of D.C.

He had to know that this SP was going nowhere with this lame investigation that had been invented by the CIA and ballyhooed by the leftist media and the DNC.

To him that meant the truth about Plame,Wilson,CIA rogue treason, and media culpability would never see the light of day.

He had to get the thing out of the secret GJ and into the public view of a court of law.

The bar will be much higher to prove his guilt, and he can call all the witnesses, supoena GJ documents and testimony,you name it.He can expose the whole sordid cabal that has been hell-bent on destroying our president and our country.

That's my take, I just hope it works.

17 posted on 10/29/2005 11:39:46 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

"Of course, no one asked about the fact that Joe Wilson mentioned his CIA wife in his bio posted on a seminar website well before the Robert Novak article outed Plame."

Seems like proof positive that Libby is innocent. With Joe out there outing his wife it seems impossible that it was not widely known in the press that his wife was CIA. Thus it is very very likely that Russett is the one that lied to the Grand Jury not Libby. This makes all the other indictments moot as they were all bassed on an asmption that Fitz made that Libby lied about his conversation with Russett.


18 posted on 10/29/2005 11:44:00 AM PDT by ImphClinton (Four More Years Go Bush)
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To: smoothsailing
did Valerie Plame testify before the grand jury? Did Joe Wilson?

My guess is that if they did testify, there were a few more FALSE STATEMENTS uttered to that Grand Jury. This is most likely a case of selective prosecution.

And I think Fitzpatrick should lay off the "National Security" concerns. If he really cared, he'd be investigating the infested CIA right now.

19 posted on 10/29/2005 11:49:25 AM PDT by TravisBickle (The War on Terror: Win It There or Fight It Here)
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To: sydneysider
You said it far better than I did (see post 17) but we are definitely on the same page!

Just to add one additional thought.I believe Scooter not only wanted this fight, I bet he demanded it!

20 posted on 10/29/2005 11:49:44 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ImphClinton
You can bet the farm that Russert is sweating bullets about now.

Scooter should call everybody else first, expose as much of the CIA plot as possible,and save the Timmy the Toad for last.The classic "Star Witness".

21 posted on 10/29/2005 11:56:04 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
"That's my take, I just hope it works."

If Libby lied to get the whole thing in court, he sure has 'gone all-in' betting 30 years of his life. So that's a big maybe when he doesn't know Fitzgerald's hole cards.

22 posted on 10/29/2005 11:57:05 AM PDT by ex-snook (Vote gridlock for the most conservative government)
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To: TravisBickle
Wilson did testify,and IIRC Plame did not but was interviewed.

Scooter can supoena Wilson's testimony and the transcript of Plame's interview if he chooses.

That's the hidden time bomb in all this,IMO,what I thought might never see the light of day because of GJ secrecy, now can be exposed publicly in a court of law.

23 posted on 10/29/2005 12:06:00 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ex-snook
Could be, but one thing is certain, Libby knows more than Fitzgerald.
24 posted on 10/29/2005 12:08:51 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ex-snook
Reminds me of O.J.

Hostile elements in the CIA and and the Wilsons murder the truth but leave behind a bloody glove, but the guy who holds it up for the world to see gets charged with perjury and crucified while the murderer walks.
25 posted on 10/29/2005 12:11:43 PM PDT by inpajamas
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To: smoothsailing
I hope you're right. If this goes to trial, it will be verrry interesting.
26 posted on 10/29/2005 12:16:23 PM PDT by TravisBickle (The War on Terror: Win It There or Fight It Here)
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To: smoothsailing

The damaging thing for Libby is that he told investigators and the Grand Jury that he didn't hear about Plame's identity until a certain date, and that he heard it first from the press, and yet Fitzgerald has evidence that he heard it from at least four people in the Government before that date.


27 posted on 10/29/2005 12:21:27 PM PDT by Rocky (Air America: Robbing the poor to feed the Left)
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To: smoothsailing
Fitzgerald, playing to the cheap media seats, went into a tirade about the seriousness of divulging classified information and its risks to national security. That is true. However, Mr. Fitzgerald's grand jury did not indict Libby for anything having to do with divulging classified information

Boy you would never know that by reading some of the newspaper articles and listening to the MSM. The reporting sounds like the next step in this process is to switch to the "Lied going to War" routine we hear everyday. If Bush lied to get us to war, then I want every one of the Senators that voted for Bush to enforce Resolution 1441, every stinkin one, to be impeached along with Bush. Dems and Repubs alike (especially the Demonrats who want to take down BUSH).

28 posted on 10/29/2005 12:32:46 PM PDT by p23185
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To: Rocky
Unlike the SP or the GJ, Scooter only needs to raise reasonable doubt in the mind of one of twelve jurors in the trial court if I remember my Civics101(LOL) correctly.

A large part of Fitzy's evidence sounds like he said/she said stuff to me.The rest could just be explained away as faulty recollection.

On the other hand, maybe Scooter deliberately lied for the higher purpose of exposing a plot to undermine the war effort.All he would need in that case is one sympathetic juror.

It's all just speculation on my part, but I find it intrigueing. I hope Scooter prevails and this whole sordid mess is exposed for what it is.

29 posted on 10/29/2005 12:48:39 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: frankjr

That has been clear for some time. All that has happened in the last five years is to show how hard it is for a presient to control 1) the State Department, )the Defence Department, 3) the intelligence communities. Indeed, the whole of the federal government. Talk about countervailing forces, checks and balances, etc. It seems clear than carryovers from previous administrations invariably oppose an incoming administration, even those carryovers from his FATHER's administration.


30 posted on 10/29/2005 12:56:49 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: p23185
How far would impeachment go? I think 78 Senators voted to authorize use of force.They'd have to vote for their own removal after the House brought impeachment charges.

That would be a first in history, too put it mildly!

31 posted on 10/29/2005 1:01:06 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: marajade; bmwcyle
Fitzgerald can't indict Rove; at least not with this grand jury. There time is through. Fitzgerald would have to seat a new grand jury to bring indictment against Rove. That is very unlikely.

Photos courtesy of bmwcyle


32 posted on 10/29/2005 1:19:38 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (MSM pseudo reporters use "could, may, and might" when they are lying and spinning.)
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To: Grampa Dave
I can't see the top pic but the "I Nailed Joe Wilson's Wife" pic is a hoot!

ROFLOL!

33 posted on 10/29/2005 1:26:33 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
You can bet the farm that Russert is sweating bullets about now.

For a man like Russert to be named as a key witness in a criminal indictment can't be a good thing.

34 posted on 10/29/2005 1:27:40 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: smoothsailing

from http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-10-28-voa63.cfm

"The indictment, says Mr. Conyers, should be the beginning rather than the end of a process of holding the administration accountable for what he calls the pre-emptive war in Iraq." and "Senator John Kerry, the former Democratic presidential nominee who lost to President Bush in the 2004 election, accused the White House of trying to cover up the use of national security information as a weapon against a critic of administration policy in Iraq."


35 posted on 10/29/2005 1:37:53 PM PDT by p23185
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To: smoothsailing

it stands a good chance.


36 posted on 10/29/2005 1:42:56 PM PDT by fantom
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To: smoothsailing; bmwcyle

Apparently there is too much demand for the top picture.

It is is the same Rove look a like with a sign saying, "Indict this!"

Hopefully the demand will cool down a little.


37 posted on 10/29/2005 1:50:34 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (MSM pseudo reporters use "could, may, and might" when they are lying and spinning.)
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To: p23185
The usual suspects.

How much credence should be placed in the blatherings of Conyers, Pelosi, Kerry, and Kennedy in your judgement.?

You say if President Bush lied to get us to war you want him impeached.Why do you even entertain such a notion?

What were the reasons President Bush gave for pre-emptive war, do you recall? Which reason could even remotely have been a lie?

Right now you've got me scratching my head wondering what in the heck you're talking about.

38 posted on 10/29/2005 2:45:07 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ex-snook
If Libby lied to get the whole thing in court, he sure has 'gone all-in' betting 30 years of his life.

Libby will never serve a day in jail.

39 posted on 10/29/2005 2:53:18 PM PDT by sinkspur (Trust, but vilify.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Martha Stewert was investigated for a crime, insider trading, Libby was not. There was not even a crime to investigate let alone cover-up. Judicial/Media collusion!

Pray for W and Our Troops

40 posted on 10/29/2005 2:55:44 PM PDT by bray (Iraq, freed from Saddamn now Pray for Freedom from Mohammad)
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To: p23185
If Bush lied to get us to war, then I want every one of the Senators that voted for Bush to enforce Resolution 1441, every stinkin one, to be impeached along with Bush.

As I remember the Senate voted not to go to war, but to give President power to got to war in order to give him strong hand at the negotiations. I guess second was unconstitutional but it was different from the first. So many people have short memory.

41 posted on 10/29/2005 3:01:56 PM PDT by A. Pole (Out West, the aspens will already be turning.They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them)
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To: smoothsailing
On the other hand, maybe Scooter deliberately lied for the higher purpose of exposing a plot to undermine the war effort.

And what this supposed plot was?

42 posted on 10/29/2005 3:03:03 PM PDT by A. Pole (Out West, the aspens will already be turning.They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them)
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To: A. Pole
Did you read the article?
43 posted on 10/29/2005 3:15:40 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: sydneysider

Good post and welcome.


44 posted on 10/29/2005 3:18:54 PM PDT by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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To: A. Pole
Here's a link to an article that goes into the CIA angle in great detail and it is well sourced. CIA
45 posted on 10/29/2005 3:32:29 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: A. Pole
It went something like this:

Wilson was sent to Niger by the CIA to investigate yellow cake uranium sales to Iraq. He had no expertise in that. His wife recommended him. He lied about that. He didn't turn in a written report on his return. He lied about that. He claimed that the Office of the Vice President requested this fact-finding trip. He lied about that. He claims that the WH outed his covert-agent wife. There are two lies in that; one, she's not a covert agent and two, he identified her on his own website previous to all of this. He wrote an op-ed about his fact-finding in Niger for the Wash. Post, disclosing this classified trip, before submitting a written report to the CIA. His report has been proven false. He was a major player in the Kerry Campaign during this time.

Which makes me wonder...

How is it illegal or even unethical for the administration to investigate and try to curtail a concerted effort to undermine a major point of its current foreign policy mission? A point that was (and still is) positively confirmed by multiple international intelligence agencies and concerns the attempts of a rogue nation to produce nuclear weapons while under numerous UN sanctions against that activity and while under a cease-fire agreement with our nation from a previous war.

And so I conclude...

Any Executive administration that didn't take serious action to address a national security threat like that would have to be incompetent. Maybe they are. If I were Pres. in a situation like that Wilson and Plame would have ceased to exist.

46 posted on 10/29/2005 4:05:26 PM PDT by TigersEye (Wilson lied, people died, Sheehan cried, Schumer sighed, Hillary's wide, chicken fried.)
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To: smoothsailing
Did you read the article?

Yes. To cut to the chase, it was clear to me from the beginning (before war with Iraq) that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and that he did not have WMDs.

I have and had quite cynical view of this whole issue. Different thing is with Afghanistan, the war there had some justification and once started should have been priority and more resources should be devoted to it.

47 posted on 10/29/2005 4:15:10 PM PDT by A. Pole (Out West, the aspens will already be turning.They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them)
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To: TigersEye
Good post.I particularly like the cease to exist part.
48 posted on 10/29/2005 4:23:41 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
Here's a link to an article that goes into the CIA angle in great detail and it is well sourced.

This text is very partisan. Let me quote:

"The left accepts as gospel the Joseph Wilson-inspired allegation [...] the mainstream media is only too happy to support a leftist CIA, which is out to keep its power intact at all costs."

Intelligence services have to be free to provide inconvenient/unpleasant views and facts. If you force them to tell you what you want to hear you do not have a reliable source of information. Instead you are in an echo chamber, you are blind and deaf and you make your enemies happy.

49 posted on 10/29/2005 4:23:58 PM PDT by A. Pole (Out West, the aspens will already be turning.They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them)
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To: TigersEye
If I were Pres. in a situation like that Wilson and Plame would have ceased to exist.

Then you would hear only what is pleasing to your ears. Very smart indeed.

But Machiavelli had different opinion:

HOW FLATTERERS SHOULD BE AVOIDED

I do not wish to leave out an important branch of this subject, for it is a danger from which princes are with difficulty preserved, unless they are very careful and discriminating. It is that of flatterers, of whom courts are full, because men are so self-complacent in their own affairs, and in a way so deceived in them, that they are preserved with difficulty from this pest, and if they wish to defend themselves they run the danger of falling into contempt. Because there is no other way of guarding oneself from flatterers except letting men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you; but when every one may tell you the truth, respect for you abates.

Therefore a wise prince ought to hold a third course by choosing the wise men in his state, and giving to them only the liberty of speaking the truth to him, and then only of those things of which he inquires, and of none others; but he ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterwards form his own conclusions. With these councillors, separately and collectively, he ought to carry himself in such a way that each of them should know that, the more freely he shall speak, the more he shall be preferred; outside of these, he should listen to no one, pursue the thing resolved on, and be steadfast in his resolutions. He who does otherwise is either overthrown by flatterers, or is so often changed by varying opinions that he falls into contempt
[...]

(The Prince, chapter XXIII)

50 posted on 10/29/2005 4:33:13 PM PDT by A. Pole (Out West, the aspens will already be turning.They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them)
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