Skip to comments.Not A Good Thing (If stealing and destroying secret documents isn't a crime worthy of jail time...)
Posted on 11/02/2005 7:42:22 PM PST by Libloather
Not A Good Thing
Wed Nov 2, 7:00 PM ET
Politics: If stealing and destroying secret documents, stuffing them into your pants and then lying about it isn't a crime worthy of jail time, why is having a different recollection of events than Tim Russert?
If the charges swirling around Scooter Libby -- that he deceived those investigating a crime for which he was not charged -- seem familiar, they should. Not long ago Martha Stewart was indicted and convicted, not of insider trading in a suspiciously timed stock sale, but of deceiving investigators into a crime for which she was not charged.
In both cases, is justice being served? Or are the prosecutors just trying to justify the time and money spent failing to prove that those charged committed the alleged crime?
In the Libby case, we now have a new Kafkaesque standard of justice: Merely ask someone who gets hundreds of calls a day to remember conversations with reporters years prior. Then, if they disagree with the reporter's notes -- voila! -- perjury and obstruction.
Lost in the reporting of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's Oct. 28 press conference was this telling admission: "We have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally outed a covert agent." Nor could he.
"Knowingly" is the operative word. The 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act requires the offender to knowingly reveal the name of a covert agent. The law was written after a former CIA employee named Philip Agee revealed the name of Richard Welch, CIA station chief in Greece, and others. Welch was subsequently murdered on Dec. 23, 1975, by a Greek terrorist organization.
There was no outrage or demand for a special prosecutor in 1995, when then-Rep. Robert Torricelli exposed a paid CIA informant, Guatemalan Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez, in a letter to President Clinton, a copy of which Torricelli gave to The New York Times.
A real undercover agent, Fulton Armstrong, was outed by Sen. John Kerry in this year's confirmation hearings of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Kerry mentioned Armstrong's name during questioning even after the CIA asked that his identity be kept secret.
Depends on whose ox is being gored, we guess.
Just as Caspar Weinberger's bogus indictment five days before the 1992 election was an attempt to criminalize political differences over the Reagan administration's anti-communist policies in Central America, it's reasonable to suggest the Libby indictment is a similar attempt to criminalize differences over Iraq.
Just how is national security jeopardized by having a different recollection of events than NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert? Like witnesses to a traffic accident, people see things from different perspectives. Memories fade. What you learned, where you learned it and whom you told tend to blur.
One charge against Libby stems from his testimony under oath that Russert asked him if he knew Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. In fact, the indictment alleges, Russert never asked him that, and Libby already knew that. Maybe somebody else asked him. Maybe he already knew. Who cares? This is worth 30 years in jail?
Contrast the Libby charges with the slap on the wrist given Sandy Berger. He engaged in a real cover-up when he took classified documents useful to the 9-11 commission, destroyed some of them and then lied to the National Archives about it. No jail time, just a small fine. What was he hiding? Whom was he protecting?
Libby now joins Weinberger, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and others who are guilty of nothing more than being loyal and effective servants of their party and president. Like the "Borking" of judicial nominees, the ongoing criminalization of political differences will only make it harder to attract good public servants if they can go to jail for merely talking to a reporter.
In the end, Libby may be able to echo the immortal words of Ray Donovan, Ronald Reagan's labor secretary. After being acquitted in 1987 of corruption charges in a similar trial by media, he wondered: "Where do I go to get my reputation back?"
Great read, and very good points.
Hear, hear. What a bunch of crap.
IBD is one of the good guys.
But didn't you know that only Republicans can commit crimes worthy of serious jail time? Dims are exempt. With them only their "good intentions" matter. The "Evil" Pubbies are motivated by "greed, racism, sexism and homophobia" so they deserve very lengthy stays at "Reeducation Camps".
And the liberals have already got the "SamBurglar" Sam Berger a job on the new TV show, Commander if Chief, so Sam has probably already been repaid for his $50,000 fine.
What a cryin' shame that Libby has been indicted for lying to the GJ, because of "contradictions between his testimony and the testimony of two or three reporters about what he told them, when he told them, and what words he used."
As far as I can tell, the reporters in questions have all stated either Libby didn't give them the name of the CIA employee in question, or else they said they didn't "think" he did, or they can't remember for sure.
But, because there are inconsistencies of the conversations which took place years ago, the GJ indicted one person. Why didnt the GJ indict all of the parties involved in the inconsistencies? We know why. The prosecution had an agenda.
Thats what the trial will be about. Comparing what the reporters said was said, with what Libby said was said. Looks weak to me. But the Fanatical Liberal Left got what they wanted, an indictment, albeit a little fish.
We are inexorably sliding into a fascist state. Charges can be levied without substantiation, phoney investigations, kangaroo trials, it's happening before our very eyes, many of you are only fooling yourselves, you are burying your heads in the sand. You are willingly deceived.
Many of you keep lying to yourselves, "Oh, we won the elections, we'll get things on track again" and yet, the ACLU continues to be successful in driving people into silence, driving our beliefs out of ALL public discourse; sermons are on the verge of being classified as "hate speech", a criminal act; the ACLU "wins" go on and on. You are deceived.
Our military is continally denegrated, slandered and impugned and we DO NOTHING. Who in the hell do you think is going to do anything about this? The GOP? You are deceived. There are a few stand-up guys but you can count them on one hand. Ah, those soothing words, "Everything's okay, we will take care of you, here, watch another football game, porn anyone?". You are deceived.
You said it!
"Depends on whose ox is being gored."
The truth in a nutshell.
Along with everything else they accuse Republicans of from atop their high horse.
Not on this site.. not decieved.. its denial that you mean maybe..
Time is past for Revolution or even Civil War.. maybe a riot can happen but not much else.. What do YOU suggest.?. bucko..
Where was John Ashcroft here? Why does the Bush admin. let this happen?
Crimes against the state, such as not recollecting the way the state wants you to recollect, are serious crimes. Anyone who doesn't recollect properly should be indicted under the state statute: Failing to recollect.
Any normal person should be held to the highest standard of recollecting as the state sees fit. If people can't recollect as the state wants them recollect, they should be indicted for failing to recollect.
Recollection is the highest duty expected of a citizen.
For example, if the state asks you to recollect what you did at 3:17 am on Dec. 17, 1997, and you don't recollect, and someone recollects better than you recollect what you don't recollect, you're just plain guilty.
Stating that you don't recollect what you should recollect just doesn't hack it.
The only defense possible is that you don't recollect what someone else does recollect because the person recollecting doesn't correctly recollect what you recollect.
Recallation is something we all need to work on before we forget to recollect.
This is worse than a double standard. This is a tax payer funded political witch hunt and vendetta against Conservatives. As a Conservative tax payer, just as with the unions, I do not want my hard earned money used against the men and women who represent my family, myself, and our beliefs.
It is time to recall Sandy Document Stuffed Underpants Berger back into court to do some explaining and made to feel the brunt of his knowingly malicious perfidious pre-meditated criminal activity.
I do believe that his low life crooked theft did more damage than Scooter Libby ever could by not being able to recall when, or how, or where, or why, supposedly he talked about V. Plame to some leftist lying scum muck racking reporter.
Give us Americans a break already. Instead of the left casting their darts and arrows at conservatives, while the conservatives boldly and proudly are fully engaged in protecting and defending America, and her way of life, and liberty against extremist fanatical Islamic terrorists, maybe the left ought to join in this battle for our future and restrain themselves from their disasterous spiral into serious unnecessariness. But, if that's the road they plow, they are digging it deep and dark.
Glad we have our side primed and ready to take on heavy load to defeat the bloodthirsty terrorists, while the left are only interested in defeating conservatives.
These are the crucial questions that must be answered and are continually overlooked by most on these FR boards!
The federal prosecutor of the Bush administration's Justice Department should explain this outrage!
1) If Libby lied on the stand, one can assume Fitzgerald proved it to the extent a D.C. grand jury bought it. Ham sandwich indicted--with a D.C. grand jury, which means a lefty one. I'll wait until a REAL jury comes back with a conviction before I start worrying.
2) Nobody had anything bad to say about this line: "Like the "Borking" of judicial nominees, the ongoing criminalization of political differences will only make it harder to attract good public servants if they can go to jail for merely talking to a reporter." This is ABSOLUTELY false. GOOD PUBLIC SERVANTS DON'T TALK TO REPORTERS TO BEGIN WITH.
If Libby was leaking, he was doing political dirty work trying to spin Wilson's lies away, whether for the prez, the VP, the RNC, or someone else. If the spin was also the truth, and the WH knew it was the truth, the spinners should have been on the record and up front, not leaking through surrogates leaking to reporters. That's playing the DC politico game, trading these leaks. In that game, only petty little backbiters win, and the public discourse loses. SO I don't care if Libby DOES get indicted for that because I'd like to see government and the press grow out of this sneaky leaking b.s.
Same reason he let Terri Schiavo die without a fight and takes on Islamic terrorists with PC rules of engagement and let's our own troops get court-martialed for 'mistreating' captured terrorists and won't shore up our borders.....weakness
I know that Bush is up against incredible opposition at every turn, but any weakness shown in these times we live in will be feasted upon by our enemies, from without and within. We have many brave warriors in our country, but there are no more Patrick Henrys, Thomas Paines, Thomas Jeffersons or George Washingtons to be found anywhere in America, (with the possible exception of Tom Tancredo); and we need them now more than ever.
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