July 5, 2007

Kinsley Pokes The Gray Lady's Eye

Michael Kinsley slams the media for their relentless non-pursuit of a critical element in the Valerie Plame leak -- the journalists. He does so in the opinion pages of the New York Times, one of the papers that demanded an investigation into the leak, only to screech about the First Amendment when Patrick Fitzgerald put reporters on the hot seat, including their own Judith Miller:

There is nothing wrong with a perjury trap, as long as both sides of the pincer are legitimate. The abuse comes when prosecutors induce a crime (lying under oath) by exploiting an action that is not a crime. The law about “outing” C.I.A. operatives is apparently vague enough that it isn’t clear whether Mr. Libby violated it. But let’s leave that aside. Exposing one of your country’s intelligence officers is a bad thing to do. If it isn’t against the law, it ought to be, right? Well, this is where the press comes in. At first many in the press supported appointing a special prosecutor to investigate.

The crime, if there was one, was leaking government secrets to journalists. If you were investigating that crime, where would you start? Yes, of course, by questioning journalists. The government leakers, if you found them, would be protected by the Fifth Amendment. You would need more and different evidence, and only journalists had it.

The special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, followed this commonsense logic straight into a First Amendment buzz saw. News organizations that insisted on the need to get to the bottom of the leak also insisted that no journalist should have to supply information to this investigation. ...

It takes two to leak. How can it be fair that one party to the leak doesn’t even have to testify about it, because leaks are so vital to the First Amendment, while the other party might go to prison for it? And if that is unfair, how is a perjury trap fair when it forces a leaker to choose between going to prison for the leak and going to prison for lying?

So as much as I dislike the war in Iraq, as much as I dislike President Bush, as much as I expect that I would dislike Mr. Libby if I ever met him, I feel that he should not have had to face a perjury trap: the choice between prison for lying, or prison for his role in a set of transactions that the press regards as not merely O.K. but sacrosanct. In fact, if journalists had a more reasonable view about this, the reporters whom Mr. Libby tried to peddle this story to would have said, “Look, outing C.I.A. agents is bad and we are not going to help you do it anonymously.” I bet that today, commuted sentence and all, Mr. Libby wishes they had done just that.

Ironically, it was Miller who did exactly what Kinsley suggested -- she didn't write about it, for whatever reason. She still went to jail for months for contempt when she refused to name Libby as her source on a story she never wrote. In the meantime, the source that resulted in the publication of Valerie Plame's name and role at the CIA had outed himself months before to the special prosecutor, all while Miller's employer both demanded an investigation into the leak and an end to questioning the reporters who received it.

I've remarked on this piece of hypocrisy for almost two years now. The New York Times and other newspapers make their living on leaks. The Gray Lady has published leaks on critical national-security programs all during the time when they cheerleaded Fitzgerald's investigation, including one that successfully tracked terrorist financing and resulted in at least one capture of a high-level al-Qaeda leader. They published that even though their own reporters, Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, acknowledged that the program broke no laws.

Shouldn't we follow the Gray Lady's editorial advice and investigate that leak, too? After all, it looks like the leaker wanted to damage national security and release highly classified material, putting our nation in grave danger. Shouldn't we start by setting up perjury traps by getting Lichtblau and Risen to sing, just as Fitzgerald did with Libby by forcing journalists to talk?

It's somewhat satisfying to see Kinsley's article in the New York Times. I can't think of another editorial board who needs to read it more.

Addendum: Kinsley does forget one key point here, though. Libby had the option to take the Fifth Amendment, which Kinsley references but for some reason doesn't think all the way through. Had Libby done that, he never would have been in the perjury trap at all.


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Comments (46)

Posted by harleycon5 | July 5, 2007 7:29 AM

The entire Libby case has to be the worst example of sheer political witchhunt, and will surely put a chill through Washington to anyone who thinks about joining a political administration for fear of unjust prosecution.

Lets look at the face of the case, which was the supposed "outing of an undercover agent"; Fitzgerald, of course, does not press this case--why? Because, as we know now, Plame was not undercover, and had "outed" herself on more than one occasion to impress elitist friends.

Then we have to ask, who leaked Plame's identity, and in this case we would think surely it was Libby, right? No, it was Richard Armitage. Huh? Where does Libby come into this tale? Read on.

Libby stated something under oath that others disputed. So Fitz went for the only thing he had left, the charge of perjury. He could not press the charge of leaking a covert agent's name, he would not go after Richard Armitage (he is no Bush fan, so why bother) So he decided to passify the far Left any way he could.

Call it the finest example of political witch hunt ever before exposed. Fitzgerald should be disbarred over it.

Posted by jms | July 5, 2007 7:34 AM

I suspect that the whole affair was really a trap for Judith Miller. Fitzgerald wanted to force her to reveal who tipped her off to the Muslim Charities FBI raid leak, but the NYT was successfully beating back that challenge and keeping her away from Fitzgerald's grand jury.

Along comes the Plame case, which might, for unrelated reasons, result in Judith Miller being called to testify before a grand jury. I think that Fitzgerald was deliberately assigned to the case, and the Bush administration deliberately led the press into believing that they were going to "get" Rove or Cheney. The press bought the ruse hook line and sinker, and responded with a full court press that the Plame case MUST be investigated.

Meanwhile Miller sat in jail, knowing that the end game was going to be that she was going to be forced to testify in front of a grand jury with Patrick Fitzgerald asking the questions. As you know, in that situation, Fitzgerald could ask any questions he wanted to, even about the Holy Land Foundation FBI raid leak, and Miller would be compelled to answer.

The whole Plame case makes much more sense as a misdirection ploy than it does as an issue in and of itself. Everyone knows that every aspect of the case was moot and hypocritical. Perhaps this is the reason why it was pursued.

Posted by Immolate | July 5, 2007 7:49 AM

Honestly Ed, how much does the fifth protect you when your grand-boss, the most powerful executive in the world, has proclaimed publically to one and all that he and his administration will respond cooperatively to the investigation? Perhaps if Libby knew what was going to happen, he'd have plead the fifth anyway, but he didn't. If scapegoats knew they were going to be scapegoats, there probably would be a lot less of them.

Posted by Keemo | July 5, 2007 8:04 AM

There is good reason why I have lost much faith in my government; this story brings to surface a few...

How could the NYT commit the crime (crime's) they willingly chose to do, without facing extreme punishment for these actions?

How could Berger commit the crime (crime's) he willingly chose to do, without facing extreme punishment for these actions?

Of coarse, this list could go on and on.... Sure stinks of a "good ol' boys club" thing to me. These elitists are above the very same laws that us average folks live by every day. Why was Trent Lott so pissed off at talk radio? Could the reason be that Trent is watching the "old ways of doing business" in DC getting changed by the new media?

I was traveling with a good buddy of mine to Mammoth Mountain a few years back, and we were pulled over for speeding. My buddy was driving; he is an attorney. The officer, upon getting informed that my buddy is a lawyer, let my buddy off with a warning. I asked "what the hell just happened"; my buddy told me about this silent agreement between law enforcement and lawyers; doesn't always apply, but works most of the time. Pure BS as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to see less lawyers in the political arena, or a new breed of lawyers must appear. I'd love to see our laws apply to all, rather than to some.

Posted by Monkei | July 5, 2007 8:22 AM

Libby had the option to take the Fifth Amendment, which Kinsley references but for some reason doesn't think all the way through. Had Libby done that, he never would have been in the perjury trap at all

It's amazing that this appears to be the intellect for people running our government!

Or ... is it something deeper, did Libby take the fall because he knew nothing would ever happen by doing so? (And at this point for all his bravado about respect of the jury's verdict there is no doubt that this human waste of skin will ultimately issue a full pardon to this convicted felon)

Either he is an idiot, or just part of a corrupt group.

All we need to make this complete is GWB looking over at Libby and saying "you did a hell of a job Scooter!"

Keemo ... sounds like you are "coming around". I am proud of you.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 5, 2007 8:30 AM

FWIW: I read elsewhere on the blogosphere that Russert's wife has been an employee of Vanity Fair since 1983. (Maybe someone can verify this one.)

Articles such as the cover issue on the 007 Plame-Wilson tale had to be in the hopper for a while before publication.

VF has a lengthy history of BDS with multiple hit pieces against the Bush Administration in each issue while at the same time being the megaphone for championing Democrat leading lights and policies.

It is not mere chance that the Wilson-Plame cover story and apologias have been the grist for several issues of VF.

Plame-Wilson know how to manipulate the media for their own self-serving narrative, starting with Wilson's politically undermining op-ed. That the media did not pursue Plame's inconsistent and contradictory testimony before Congress is just another piece of evidence that the press is not interested in presenting full facts but only "evidence" that supports its own boilerplate.

A neighbor of the Russerts served on the jury and stated his intent to use the material for publication eventually.

Russert had a different "memory" of the telephone conversation with Libby. This aspect was never pursued with the relentlessness that Fitzgerald used on Libby. Russert was allowed legal representation when he was questioned in the Grand Jury hearing even though that request does not follow protocol. Russert, who has legal training, claimed ignorance of this precedent and was granted his request.

The prosecution was suspiciously selective in determining which journalists would take the stand as witnesses.

It appears that the media had/has vested interests in selecting which details of the narrative should go to press and which should be deep-sixed.

Posted by daytrader | July 5, 2007 8:46 AM

For those that have followed the Libby issue and really broke it down the the smallest degree, there is a lot of points that would suggest the conclusion that some of the testimony that supported the eventual conviction of Mr. Libby were boiling down to he said/he said issues where in fact some of the witnesses contrary to Mr. Libby's position were even in the unique situation of having their recall improve with age.

And yet the jury come up with beyond a reasonable doubt.

Considering how far back people had to recall specific information of short and really non spectacular conversations with crystal clear detail, this concept begs credibility.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 8:58 AM

apparently many of you, like Kinsley, are simply not aware of the many unbelievable lies scooter manufactured and fed to the grand jury, all the while contradicting sworn testimony from other witnesses and physical evidence about what he have been doing with regard to plame. this guy gave the feds nine different versions of what he was up to. that is not a "perjury trap". that's just fucking perjury.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 5, 2007 9:06 AM

English teacher: Care to elaborate with specifics and citations?

BTW Where did you get your credentials?
"...physical evidence about what he have been doing with regard to plame..."
Back to school for you!

Posted by mclaurin.john | July 5, 2007 9:17 AM

what, a jury conviction isn't specific enough for you? the people that heard the evidence convicted his ass. if that doesn't convince you, nothing will.

you want to pick up on a typo and disregard the point that everybody who testified prior to libby told a consistent story. libby then testified and contradicted prior testimony or did not remember specific evidence which was recorded in his own planner. some analyst you turned out to be. when you understand basic criminal procedure, come talk to me about credentials, okay?

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 9:23 AM

that last post was my reply. but here's another suggestion for you, analyst. instead of asking me to provide links and sources to back up my claim, why don't you just admit you don't know what you are talking about?

Posted by Immolate | July 5, 2007 9:25 AM

"what, a jury conviction isn't specific enough for you?"

A jury aquitted OJ Simpson.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 9:29 AM

maybe the simpson prosecution team didn't do a very good job presenting their case? did you ever think of that one? argument by false analogy will get you disqualified in a real debate.

Posted by flenser | July 5, 2007 9:30 AM

You don't mention that the NYT, along with virtually all the other major news outlets, argued in court that Plame was not covert and could not be "outed" as part of the reason why they should not need to have their reporters testify. Kinsley does not mention it either.

That glaring difference between what these "news" people were telling their readers on the one hand and the court on the other is one of many important details in this story that has been buried.

Posted by Immolate | July 5, 2007 10:32 AM

This is a real debate, and your stated position is that a jury conviction is the ultimate test of truth: "the people that heard the evidence convicted his ass. if that doesn't convince you, nothing will."

My point in response was that the OJ jury found him not guilty, although he actually was. That debunks the concept of jury infallibility.

So you hastily erect a strawman of prosecutorial competance. There are countless factors that influence a jury's decision, and I will gladly list a dozen of them if you wish. All of them argue against jury infallibility, not for it, even the competance argument.

Perhaps if you remove the emotional component from your arguments, your logic will improve. At this point, they do not rise above the level of "screed".

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 10:38 AM

you cite one case as an example of jury fallibility and use it to impugn all jury verdicts (or just this specific one because it suits you; i;m not clear what you are arguing because you are not being clear). then you accuse me of a employing a hastily constructed straw man. i think you are projecting. you brought up the o.j. verdict and simply point to that and say the libby verdict is therefore not worth a damn. but i am the one who is writing a "screed". a jury found o.j. not guilty and that was wrong; therefore all jury verdicts are wrong. is that really what you are saying?

why don't you state specifically why you feel the libby verdict compares to the o.j. verdict? of course, you will have to stick to the evidence that was admitted at trial and testified to, so don't say plame was not covert.

better yet, since you are so smart, why don't you get a law license and offer your services to libby, since you seem to know so much more than the attorneys who actually represented him?

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 10:43 AM

furthermore, when bush and gonzalez lauded fitzgerald for the fairness and diligence of his investigation, were they lying?

i'm sorry, but your statement is just fucking ridiculous. "a hastily constructed straw man of prosecutorial competence". hahahah what a fucking crock. fitzgerald is only recognized as one of the most competent prosecutors in the country, ass hat.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 5, 2007 10:55 AM

The prosecutor disallowed exculpatory testimony from Andrea Mitchell, whose memory contradicted Russert's: http://newsbusters.org/node/10771

Check out this information and its links for further explanation.

Posted by flenser | July 5, 2007 10:58 AM

I'm just thrilled beyond words to observe the quality of the language and thought on display from an "english teacher" here. Would it be too much to ask that this "english teacher" learn to communcate without repeated uses of the term "fucking"?

Remember, kids; Nothing marks you out as a serious and thoughtful commentator like spraying the f-bomb around with liberal abandon.

Posted by swabjockey05 | July 5, 2007 11:10 AM

Kinda reminds me of my 8th grade English Teacher...couldn't do anything...including teach english.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 5, 2007 11:51 AM

Thanks for pointing out the vulgarity of "english teacher". The reliance of such devices as evidence of passion only underscores the lack of ideas or logic of his message. Subject-verb agreement problems are not evidence of typographical error either, just faulty proofreading. Now, we all make errors in expressing ourselves in print, so I will just take ET's attacks with a grain of salt.

Another point missed in the calling of witnesses in the Libby trial is why David Corn of The Nation did not testify. As a friend of Joe Wilson, he played a huge role in "outing" Plame.

According to Victoria Toensing in a rebuttal to Corn:
“The first journalist to reveal Ms. Plame was ‘covert’ was David Corn on July 16, 2003, two days after Mr. Novak’s column. The latter [Robert Novak] never wrote, because he did not know and it was not so, that Ms. Plame was covert. However, Mr. Corn claimed Mr. Novak ‘outed’ her as an ‘undercover CIA officer,’ querying whether Bush officials blew ‘the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in…national security.’ Was Mr. Corn subpoenaed? Did Mr. Fitzgerald subpoena Mr. Wilson to attest he had never revealed his wife’s employment to anyone? If he had done so, he might have learned Mr. Corn’s source.”

Toensing describes the techniques of journalistic obfuscation in her commentary, but this one serves as an example of Corn's duplicity:

" Beginning in July 2003 and through today in hyping his book, Corn uses the technique of interchanging various intelligence employee and agent status terms, presumably attempting to make them appear as synonyms to the uneducated in national security. This approach told me that for some reason he was attempting to obfuscate the issue. For example. Corn asks today, “[H]ow can you out a CIA operative who has already been identified as a CIA operative...?” Novak’s use of the term “operative” to describe Plame had nothing to do with revealing a “covert” status, only that she worked for the CIA, two distinct concepts. On September 5, 2006, Corn wrote, “Plame was an operations officer working on a top priority” and that in the “early 1990s, she became what is known as a nonofficial cover officer. NOCs are the most clandestine of the CIA’s frontline officers.” A NOC is not necessarily “covert,” and Corn’s using them as synonyms does not make them the same. Whatever she was in the early 1990s, she was not covert within five years of Novak’s 2003 column. “Covert” is a legal term requiring numerous factors, including a foreign assignment at time of publication or within five years. Another factor is that the CIA had to be taking affirmative measures to protect the covert person’s identity. Hardly the situation here where Plame went daily to Langley, and where the CIA press person admitted to Novak she was employed by the agency."

Toensing wrote the protocols for determining "covert". I'll trust her definition since it is rooted in experience.

The rest of her response to Corn is here: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTcxZjIwZjNmMzZiZmQyYzJkODVlMmU5YTBiYTNhNWM=

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 11:52 AM

again, baseless comments that do not address the point. libby was convicted of lying to a jury. now, since you aces all seem to think libby got a raw deal, why don't you go try and sell your wisdom to him. surely, you legal experts who know so much about this raw deal he got can help him out with his appeal?

and again with the ridiculous trope of "strawman of prosecutorial competence". what a crock! i guess mentioning the court of appeals decision that unaminously upheld the trial court's decision would just be even more strawmanning on my part, huh?

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 11:56 AM

prosecutors don't disallow the presentation of "exculpatory" evidence, judges do. too bad for you guys the appeals court judges reviewed the trial court verdict and found no reason to believe scooter could win on appeal.

oh yeah, like it or not, o.j. was not guilty. blame the prosecution for that, not the jury. if you "know" o.j. was guilty, then guess what: you are wrong.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:00 PM

remember kids, when you are losing the debate on the facts and the logic, it never hurts to point out that the person you are arguing with is using profanity.

why don't you all grow up about the language.

seriously, if the verdict was so wrong and unjust, why issue the commutation? if the prosecution was so flagrantly abusive, why not simply try to win on appeal? but you know why already, don't you?

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:04 PM

novak writes a column which states that wilson's wife worked for the cia. two days later, corn writes that wilson's wife identity is classified. only in the wing nut world of vicky toesing does corn write about plame before novak does.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:07 PM

the prosecutor presented sworn testimony into evidence that plame's status as a cia officer was protected at the time of novak's column. toensig is lying, because she always lies on behalf of republicans. it is ironic indeed that she would make hay out of corn and wilson's "friendship", but never once in all her teevee appearances during the clinton impeach did she mention that she was close friends with ken starr. i guess it really is ok if you are a republican.

Posted by Barnestormer | July 5, 2007 12:07 PM

Juries get things wrong all the time, even outside Judge Ito's room. Ask a liberal what he thinks of the Innocence Project, the blanket amnesty George Ryan granted to death row convicts in Illinois or the rape cases overturned by post-verdict DNA evidence, and I suspect the infallible jury theme will come to a screeching halt.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:16 PM

my god the only people screeming about the infallible jury theme are you.

what on god's earth does any of that have to do with this specific case? i have seen many comments on why the jury railroaded poor scooter, but not one specific charge. and of course, your specific charges are all bull any way, since the appeals court has already ruled to uphold the conviction?

why don't you just admit that you don't think standards of law and justice should apply to republicans in the same manner that they apply to the rest of us. then at least you would not be open to charges of dishonesty.
like it or not, unless the president is your friend, jury verdicts are facts, even if they are wrong. of course, i think it is really incumbent on those of you crying about prosecutorial malfeasance here to prove your case, keeping in mind of course that the trial jury voted to convict, the appeals court upheld the verdict (unanimously), and that patrick fitzgerald is universally acclaimed as a tough but fair prosecutor, one of our best.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:25 PM

yeah, his own written records contradicted his statements to the grand jury, but he only got convicted because the of the jury's fallibility and an out of control prosecutor.

his sworn statements before the grand jury contradicted his own written records of what he had been doing and whom he had spoken with. yet somehow, in wingnut world, he was unfairly convicted. good luck selling that one.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 12:29 PM

so, if scooter could have gotten a simi valley jury, he could have been acquitted, too?

Posted by Todd Christian | July 5, 2007 1:23 PM

I read all that I needed to see in english teacher's first comment. Now that we have had 14 more chances, perhaps we have had enough regurgitation from that particular source.

Posted by Lightwave | July 5, 2007 1:49 PM

It was moderately amusing to see Tony Snow today pick up on Ed's story from Tuesday: the one person on Earth who has zero business commenting on Libby's commutation is Hillary Clinton.

I think we might just have our campaign slogan here. "Bush commuted, but Bubba pardoned."

Posted by jr565 | July 5, 2007 2:03 PM

english teacher wrote: so, if scooter could have gotten a simi valley jury, he could have been acquitted, too?

Cmon, one of the jurors was the neighbor of one of the witnesses and actually worked with another witness (Tim Russert). Granted it will be tough to find impartial jurors on this type of case, but this guy was on the juror after I assume both sides went through peremporty challenges and weeded out some of the "biased" jurors.
I would hope that even you would recognize that if a juror knows witnesses personally, it might cloud their objectivity slightly.
Just saying, is all.

Posted by Charles | July 5, 2007 2:07 PM

The point of the Captain's post (and the editorial upon which it is based) is that the press, and notably the NYT in this case, relies on leakers but denies any responsibility for the damage that they do -- which is another issue entirely than Libby's guilt or innocence, is it not?

While there are some problems with Kinsley's editorial (especially with respect to the 5th amendment issue) -- the willingness of the press to be a tool of unscrupulous and anonymous leakers is largely to blame for this fiasco. Novack especially does not impress, with Miller close behind, and Russert (with his admission that government sources were by default off-record when they talked to him.)

If we cannot believe the MSM, it's all too often because these people are in bed with the people they're reporting on, not because they are too much in opposition. The Washington establishment has become too established, wouldn't you say?

This isn't a liberal versus conservative issue. Some NYT reporters are still just transcribing administration and military sources as if the words were chiseled in stone. I'd rather every news article clearly delineate its sources -- and reserve rumor and anonymous sources strictly for the editorial pages.

Posted by nikkolai | July 5, 2007 2:56 PM

Fitzgerald. Nifong. Fitzfong?

Posted by Jon Prichard | July 5, 2007 4:33 PM

Just one note Capt. Ed - Libby did indeed have the right to take the fifth but was expressly and publicly ordered NOT to by the President of the United States as was everyone in the administration leading up to the investigation.

Posted by Mike | July 5, 2007 4:52 PM

Ah, now youve hit on it. It would not be unreasonable to believe that Libby did not take the Fifth because he was an honest public servant who had done nothing illegal or immoral. As Libby is a lawyer, surely he would know of his absolute ability to take the Fifth, yet he chose to cooperate fully with the investigation, possibly in the good faith belief that since he had done nothing wrong, the prosecutor would also act in good faith and no harm could result.

To think otherwise, we'd almost have to believe that Libby, knowing that he had done wrong, would choose to purposely lie, compounding his legal liability, rather than to simply say that he couldn't remember or take the Fifth.

Which is most likely? Libby is an idiot who did exactly what was most likely to cause the prosecutor to put him in prison, or Libby is an honest public servant who did his best to cooperate with the Justice Department and who told the truth as best he recalled it?

Posted by Charles | July 5, 2007 5:53 PM


There's a false dichotomy in your choice about Libby. Another possibility is that he was certain that, even if he lied and obstructed justice, he'd never serve a second of jail time, have to pay his own legal fees -- in which he was perfectly correct.

The concatenation of events that lead to him being charged, tried, and convicted was not exactly a highly probable one, and the willingness of Cheney and Bush to get him off with only a slap on the wrist wasn't exactly very unlikely.

So the choices really are that Libby was a lucky idiot, or he was an honest public servant with a bad memory (and one of the most important jobs in the administration and a law degree) or Libby was a smart, unscrupulous member of an elite that doesn't care to subject their own people to the rule of law.

Posted by Mike | July 5, 2007 6:18 PM

Dear Charles:

Is it really not possible, to your way of thinking, that Libby was simply doing his best to tell the truth? Sure, these are politically savvy people we're talking about, but to completely rule out the possibility of truthfullness and innocence seems a bit too cynical. Remember, Libby knew that he didn't out anybody.

Posted by Charles | July 5, 2007 6:29 PM


I didn't say which of the three I believe -- I was merely pointing out that you left out a choice.

Actually, there are a whole range of choices, because there's no reason to suppose that there couldn't have been a combination of all these possibilities -- and more that I didn't mention.

Pick the one that's most likely, and believe it. I won't stop you. Just don't expect everyone to share your belief.

Posted by NoDonkey | July 5, 2007 9:34 PM

During the trial of Clinton the Impeached, we kept hearing about the millions of dollars that were "wasted".

So how many dollars did bloodsucker Fitzgerald waste on this vanity witch hunt? To prove what?

No one outside of the lunatic left cares that LIbby walked. We all just wonder why this long, boring, useless investigation/trial dragged on for over two years and produced absolutely nothing besides income and fame for absolutely worthless shysters like Fitzgerald.

Our "justice" system makes US health care look like the paragon of efficacy/efficiency.

And, it's interesting how the same people who want to hug, cuddle and coddle terrorists, want other people jailed for failing to remember a some meaningless conversation, about some desk bound dingbat and her drunk of a husband.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 9:52 PM

mike, fitzgerald had libby's own personal day planner very early in the investigation. libby was obviously aware that his personal records from the period in question had been subpoenaed and given to investigators. libby also knew fitzgerald had other testimony from novak, armitage, and cooper at least, and you can expect that those who had already testified told libby they had told fitz the truth. yet, investigators came to talk to libby, and he lied. he concocted an easily refuted alibi, completely at odds with testimony he knew had been given by other witnesses, and that his own personal records contradicted. and then he did it again. he concocted multiple phony stories about what he had been doing during this period. libby obstructed the investigation by spinning in so many different directions that the only thing the jury could be sure of was that libby was in fact lying. think about it. libby deliberately walked himself into a perjury conviction to take the heat off his masters. that's the only reasonable explanation, in my opinion.

as for the issue involving the juror knowing so and so, all i can say is that the three judge appeals panel reviewed the case and determined there were no procedural grounds (i.e. jury selection) upon which libby was likely to win an appeal. i am sorry to break it to you, but complaints about the jury are F*CKING comical, because the appeals court has already ruled on this and THERE ARE NO GROUNDS FOR RELIEF on the basis of an improperly selected jury. sorry.

i think some of you don't like the fact that this particular jury was majority african american. i guess we no longer live in a day when racists are comfortable openly expressing their "opinions" and that is a good thing. but looking over some of these ridiculous complaints ABOUT A MATTER THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN REVIEWED ON APPEAL AND DECIDED, it is clear that the greatest "problem" many of you have with the jury is an unspoken one: that most of its members were black. i say that because again, there is no factual basis on which to impugn the jury, the matter has already been decided, and yet you (collective you, as in more than one) keep doing it.

Posted by english teacher | July 5, 2007 10:00 PM

do you actually want to know how much the investigation cost, or are you just looking for an opportunity to call fitzgerald a "bloodsucker"?

ken starr's inquisition cost seventy million plus dollars. why don't you find out how much fitz spent and then come back and tell me who is the bloodsucker.

Posted by jr565 | July 6, 2007 12:30 PM

english teacher,
you seem to have an absolute belief in jury infallibility. If they speak that's the end of the story. You surely know that countless decisions have been hashed to death over whether they were rightly or wrongly decided, and you know there is such a thing as jury nullification, jury bias, prosecutorial bias, defense bias, that some people get off because of money etc etc etc ad infinitum. The Emmet Till jury, all white, were in agreement too. I supposed we, were we allive at the time, shouldn't have questioned that verdict either as the jury spoke and judges signed off on the decision.
So in other words you want us to simply shut up because some obviously biased jury found Libby guilty on a process crime, while noone was found guilty on any underlying crime at all. You say justice, someone else says injustice. Tomato, tomAHto.

But if you're all about us not questioning verdicts and judges and judicial powers, the president has a power too, which is absolute. And that is to commute sentences and pardon who he wishes. By the same logic you invoke to us about how we should shut up about the Libby verdict you should shut up about any pardons that Bush might make. His power is absolute when it comes to pardons, so SHUT UP. Fair unfair, done out of patronage, Libby gets off,sorry that's the presidents perogative so SHUT UP about it.

Whether you like or don't like why he did it, the president can pardon who he likes so SHUT UP.

Posted by Steve39 | July 6, 2007 4:46 PM

The only thing I've concluded from the whole mess is that Wilson, Plame, some others in the CIA, Corn, Russert and other reporters and editors, and finally Fitzgerald--should have all been prosecuted for various crimes.

Posted by english teacher | July 7, 2007 9:07 AM

darvo, that's all you guys are doing

Deny Plame wasn't covert; no underlying crime; anyone in my administration who leaked this will be "taken care of"

Attack Plame was a desk jockey; Wilson is a prima donna; the wilson's are media hungry; fitzgerald is out of control; the jury is not trustworthy

Reverse Victim Order: Plame, Wilson, Fitzgerald etc. should be prosecuted for making poor scooter's life such a mess.

DARVO deny attack reverse victim order

it's all you people do