Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LIBBY'S LIES....Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy is annoyed at the nearly unanimous willingness of his right-wing colleagues to let Scooter Libby off the hook just because he happens to be a fellow conservative:

All this passionate rhetoric about his heroic service to the United States, how the investigation should never have happened, and how he got unfairly singled out and screwed (all of which I agree with) would be fine if it weren't obscuring something fairly important: Lying to the FBI and a grand jury is a very bad thing, even if we all think it was an unworthy investigation.

....The evidence that Libby lied, rather than that he was confused, was compelling. And the jury was dilligent: the post-verdict commentary showed that they liked and felt sorry for him, several thought there should have been no case, some openly hoped for a pardon, and on the one count where the evidence was considerably weaker than the others, they acquitted him. They convicted him on the other four charges, reluctantly, because they had no choice if they were going to honor their oaths.

McCarthy is right: the evidence was extremely compelling that Libby lied repeatedly, deliberately, and with premeditation. Which leads us inevitably to the big question: Why did he lie?

Take Bill Clinton. He lied too when he denied having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but in his case everyone knew exactly why he had lied: because he didn't want anyone to know he was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office. And most of us took that into account. First, because it plainly had nothing to do with the official exercise of executive power, and second, because pretty much everyone figured they might very well have done exactly the same thing in his position. It was understandable human weakness. So while we might not have approved, most of the public decided it wasn't a hanging offense.

But Libby is a different case entirely. The conservative community wants us to believe that Valerie Plame wasn't really undercover at all. They also want us to believe that outing her was, in fact, part of an entirely legitimate effort to explain that Dick Cheney hadn't been responsible for sending Joe Wilson to Niger. And finally, they want us to believe that none of this was part of a coordinated plan. Plame's name was merely mentioned in an offhand way here and there when reporters brought up questions about Wilson's trip.

But if that's the case, then why did Libby lie? Deliberately and repeatedly? Richard Armitage fessed up almost immediately. Ari Fleischer fessed up. Karl Rove had to be pushed, but eventually he fessed up too. Only Libby lied.

Why? If nobody actually did anything wrong, what was he hiding?

Kevin Drum 6:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (128)

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Comments

Geez, that's an easy one. Why did he lie?

To shield Cheney and Rove.

Next question?

Posted by: POed Lib on June 7, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think that it was to sheild Cheney. Apparently, Libbey and Rove despise each other.

Posted by: adlsad on June 7, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why? What was he hiding?

Hmmm ... could it beeee ...

SATAN??

Posted by: bleh on June 7, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

A better question is why weren't Cheney and Rove indicted?

My answer: they are so ruthless, even Fitzgerald fears wounding them. Good people have been afraid to do the right thing and drag them to prison. We have not had such an odious presence since the Joe McCarthy days.

Posted by: Sparko on June 7, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, Cheney and Satan, Satan and Cheney, the more you see the one, the more you think you like the other better.

Posted by: anandine on June 7, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth noting, as too many people defending Clinton often forget to mention, that Clinton lied not just to the public in trying to hide an embarrassment, but to protect himself from a sexual harassment case. There WAS some real legal jeopardy attached in his case, and regardless of what you think of the merits of the harassment case, Clinton lied to try and get out of it.

Posted by: plunge on June 7, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos for McCarthy (loved him in Mannequin) coming down on Libby's lying, but I still don't see how he can agree that the investigation never should have happened.

Posted by: Royko on June 7, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

> Geez, that's an easy one.
> Why did he lie?
> To shield Cheney and Rove.

For some reason Kevin has a really, really hard time accepting that. I would actually prefer an essay on why that is rather than another rehash-with-puzzled-expression.

Althought I might say "Cheney and Bush" rather than "Cheney and Rove". And I would add that Cheney's MO since the Nixon days has been to lie, stonewall, lie, and lie some more /regardless of the topic or whether or not telling the truth might work out better/. It is simply part of Cheney's core beliefs that no one needs to no nuthin about the Unitary Executive and that every inquiry should be lied to.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 7, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Plunger, a totally concocted and contrived sexual harassment case of purely political origin, so yes, the fate of the freaking world rested on whether Clinton should drop the dime on his lover. . .

Posted by: Sparko on June 7, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Crazy Dick!

For some unfathomable reason, the old boy went bat shit when Joe Wilson contradicted their marketing campaign. Very Nixonian paranoia. That's our Dick.

Maybe he'll get sent over to Turkey to use his smooth and facile diplomatic skills to work out a peaceful solution to the problem with the Kurds.


Posted by: lina on June 7, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think more noteworthy is the Mark Levin's reponse to McCarthy on the NRO Corner.

Go read it and laugh.


Or cry if you must.

As for comparisons to Bill Clinton, which have been made to justify the prosecution of Libby, let’s take a more lawyerly look: Clinton had his attorney unwittingly prepare a knowingly false affidavit, which was introduced during the course of his sworn deposition. Clinton had his subordinates repeat his knowingly false statements during both a grand jury investigation and civil litigation. Clinton’s repeated lies before a grand jury and during his deposition were not only material and relevant to underlying crimes, but the conduct went to the core of the investigation and civil suit. It’s absurd to make comparisons between Clinton and Libby.

So, I am more than happy to take up Andy’s challenge, or anybody else’s for that matter. And I am certain that those here who have expressed legitimate outrage in the Libby case do so not because he is a Republican, but because it is, in fact, an outrage. I denounce what Fitzgerald has done because I believe in the system of justice.


Posted by: gregor on June 7, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos for McCarthy (loved him in Mannequin) coming down on Libby's lying, but I still don't see how he can agree that the investigation never should have happened.

The best you can hope for from a wingnut is partial sanity.

Posted by: Disputo on June 7, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I waste little love on Libby, but I still don't understand why this is considered a big-deal case in a town where Sandy "Pants" Berger is not doing hard time.

Posted by: Shelby on June 7, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK


Why did he lie indeed.

"to shield Cheney and Rove" doesn't answer the question. If Amitage was the original leaker, what was there to shield from? It's the same one I've had since the verdict.

Libby clearly lied and obstructed justice, but there is almost no discussion in the MSM or elsewhere of that basic question.

Posted by: Del Capslock on June 7, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

So it appears that the wingnut talking pts are to whine about Clinton and Berger so as to avoid discussing the merits of the Libby prosecution. Some wingnuts even feign that they don't care about Libby in order to manufacture street cred.

Posted by: Disputo on June 7, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

I will point out the real why again as well: Outing Plame was obviously Whitehouse policy. Since no one was fired, we can assume both the President and Vice President (acting President) ordered it. If Armitage, Libby or Rove were freelancing, they would have been thrown under the bus. They were not. QED. The transparency of this black op led to the Libby perjuries, and the right-wing "she wasn't covert so no crime was committed" lie.

Please impeach??

Posted by: Sparko on June 7, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:
??? You seem to have a pretty catholic definition of "wingnut" -- anyone who isn't parrotting your party line. (That is, your personal one, not the Democratic party.) News flash: a lot of us are laughing at the idiots who think they're righteous and everyone else is a wingnut.

Posted by: Shelby on June 7, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove had to be pushed, but eventually he fessed up too. Only Libby lied.

I thought that Libby also admitted he had talked to reporters and leaked Plame’s name...when he had to. Rove did the same thing. He denied it several times to investigators and the grand jury before changing his tune, saying that he had forgotten doing so. That’s why some of the jurors stated that they thought Rove had done the same thing.

Beyond that, I like your question. I’m guessing that the answer is that the liars (Libby, Rove, Cheney, Bush, probably Hadley) knew perfectly well that they had behaved very badly and they feared they were guilty of crimes.

It appears, for all the world, that they participated in a conspiracy to out Plame in order to smear and punish Joe Wilson and hide their deceptions regard the pretexts for war.


Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 7, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK
…. Clinton lied …. to protect himself from a sexual harassment case. …plunge at 6:44 PM
It's also worth noting, to people who can't recall or wish to revise the recent past, Clinton lied to the people when he said no relations, but not under oath in his deposition because of the definition of sexual acts the Jones lawyers made:

"For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in sexual relations when the person knowingly engages in or causes:
1. Contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

Of course, there is a lot of splitting of hairs, but that's pretty common with lawyers and others being queried in those circumstances.


Posted by: Mike on June 7, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

a lot of us are laughing at the idiots who think they're righteous and everyone else is a wingnut.

I'm sure those KKK picnics are a real hoot.

Posted by: Disputo on June 7, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Paris Hilton did not lie.

Posted by: Brojo on June 7, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

plunge: lying is not perjury. There was nothing in the world to prevent Starr, or his successor, from bringing charges against Clinton. The did not because they did not want to lose.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 7, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Could we please get past the Armitage excuse?

Anybody who has any experience with classified information, or the regulations that govern it, knows that, just because someone has revealed something classified -- whether out of knowledge or from pure speculation, whether intentionally or not -- DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT IT IS CLASSIFIED.

Suppose a soldier in wartime mentions classified plans concerning his unit's movement. Does that free up everybody with any knowledge if the plans to talk about them?

Suppose a clever reporter puts several things together and adds a small leap of speculation to get to a classified fact, and then asserts it as a fact to a knowledgeable official. Can that official then confirm the fact?

(Hint for wingnuts: these are rhetorical questions; the answers are "no.")

No matter who said what to whom, revelation or confirmation of Plame's employment was forbidden, and a conspiracy to do so many times to many people was a serious crime. That crime couldn't be proven, thanks to Libby's repeated and deliberate lies. That is the "underlying crime," and the seriousness of it is why Libby's lies were also a serious crime and deserve serious punishment.

Posted by: bleh on June 7, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK
Sandy "Pants" Berger is not doing hard time.Shelby at 6:54 PM


Sandy Berger entered a plea deal and was sentenced to
…community service and probation and fined $50,000 for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying some of them….
Obstruction of justice? Repeated lying to prosecutors? No, and there is no equivalence to Libby's crimes, one of which was claiming under oath that Timmy Russert was the one to tell him who Valery Plame was when he actually learned that from Cheney.

Posted by: Mike on June 7, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Libby lie? There was a presidential election coming up in 2004. Could the WH have feared a voter backlash to the knowledge they ousted a CIA undercover operative?

Posted by: Brojo on June 7, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Even here, no one has stated the case. Libby is shielding Chimpy & Cheney from be incriminated in how WINPAC prevented the vetting of the Niger forgeries.
Who created the forgeries is not publicly known.
Who commissioned the creation of the forgeries is not widely known.
But Bush & Cheney CERTAINLY participated in using the forgeries while simultaneously preventing their vetting.
They participated in a crimminal conspiracy to use forged nuclear documents to start a war.
THEY SHOULD HANG!

Posted by: John Forde on June 7, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Two things I have noticed:

a)Republicans want to put Democrats in jail so badly. For sex, for anything. Doesn’t matter that all those Republican leaders and committee chairmen who were after Clinton, to a man, had their own sexual bad behavior and lies to account for.

b)Republican special prosecutors must really be wimps. They can’t seem to indict and convict anybody except other Republicans.


Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 7, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Libby lie? There was a presidential election coming up in 2004. Could the WH have feared a voter backlash to the knowledge they ousted a CIA undercover operative? Posted by: Brojo

Same reason Miller and the oh so liberal NYT sat on her part of the story until after the election.

Fuck 'em all to hell! I've come to not just disagree with Republicans, but to viscerally hate them. As long as you have shithead Rethugs in congress that continue to support the war and block investigations we have a broken government.

Nixon and his crew weren't guilty of half the crimes committed by the Bush administration, and we were rid of him in less than a year once the facts came out. Decent Republicans, apparently there are none any more, would at the very least be calling for Bush's resignation.

Posted by: JeffII on June 7, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney: Who Satan aspires to be!

Posted by: ekim on June 7, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton’s repeated lies before a grand jury and during his deposition were not only material and relevant to underlying crimes, but the conduct went to the core of the investigation and civil suit.

This is complete horseshit and I'm gonna call it every time I see it. Whether or not Clinton had consensual sex with another adult is completely immaterial and irrelevant with regard to a sexual harassment suit. And it sure as hell had nothing to do with Whitewater.
That's why Starr never charged him with perjury.

Libby is a bona fide perjury convict and the right wing can't stand it.

Posted by: Ringo on June 7, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Frank Rich argued in the Times a few weeks ago that there will definitely be a pardon in this case because Bush will have to do that to keep Libby silent. That would be true with virtually any other defendant, but I'm not sure it really applies here.

The one thing we know about Scooter Libby is that he's way beyond your average dog in his slavish devotion to his master. The man is almost robotic in the loyalty department. I think he would literally fall on a live grenade to protect Dick Cheney. What's a few years in prison compared to that?

So I don't think we'll ever know why Libby lied. He will go to prison, serve a year or so, win early release, write a self-exonerating book that says nothing, and then be quietly rewarded by some Republican donor with a very, VERY high-paying sinecure. He'll spend the rest of his life playing golf and staying quiet and he'll take his secrets to the grave.

Posted by: Oregonian on June 7, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

So I don't think we'll ever know why Libby lied. Posted by: Oregonian

I think we already know why he lied - he's a true believer. There isn't an iota of difference between Libby and the 9/11 conspirators. His willingness to lie for the cause can be tied to the deaths of tens of thousand of Iraqi and American deaths. Were this 1945 and he were German or Japanese, he, as with most of the Bush administration, would have been a Class A War Criminal.

Posted by: JeffII on June 7, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

> Karl Rove had to be pushed, but
> eventually he fessed up too.

I suspect that Karl Rove was just a much, much better liar than any of the others, and did in fact outsmart Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury. He told only as much as he had to to save himself by implicating someone else.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 7, 2007 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

What I want to know is: If all these people confirmed or released classified information, whey do any of them still have clearance? If Plame's status was declassified, who declassified it and why?

Posted by: Boronx on June 7, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

What important points Kevin totally doesn't get.

First of all Rove didn't fess up, he just managed to make a fuzzy case, at least enough so, that Patrick Fitz knew it wasn't an air tight case, same as Dick Cheney did too.

And Valerie Plame's position as a CIA was RUINED, hence she lost something valuable, her career and the Bush administration, for all it's talk about national security, As I remember the administration was at one time going to trying and make congress take lie detector test for a leak that Dick Cheney actually disclosed himself.

What the Bush administration did was a vicious act against two people, Mr. Wilson and his wife, AND it was because Wilson was trying to tell Americans the truth about how the Bush administration was, with intend to do so, misrepresenting the facts about Iraq.

Repulicans want people of their own, so-called Christian constituency to think that this investigation should never have happened, and that somehow Libby was treated "unfairly, that he was singled out and screwed."

Hardly.

I mean, who really got screwed?

It was American troops who died, are were seriously injured, and those who have lost loved ones in this war because it was a drumed up lie - like you know - poor Ms. Cindy Sheehan, whose son died for Libby's noble cause to lie for the sake of this horrid administration. For taxpayers with a huge tax burden that will never be reconciled

And this is not to mention the often left out fact that thousands of Iraqi citizens have died too, and rest live in a hopeless unsecure country.

It's really too bad that the Libby will ONLY get is two and half years.

And what is really awful is the press, the media are acting like something horrible has been done to them all whilst people continue dying in a war that press helped to facilitate, for nothing short of elitist access devoid on any fact.

Posted by: Me_again on June 7, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

My guess? In his own head it works something like this: (1) Bush is an empty suit and Cheney is the only thing holding Bush up; (2) Cheney's removal from office through impeachment and/or resignation would be really bad for the country because Bush is not fit to be president without supervision (see no. 1); (3) therefore protecting Cheney is protecting the country.

Now, I personally don't agree with much of this (apart from Bush being an empty suit). But at least it makes his actions logical within their own little universe.

Posted by: Buckets on June 7, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin, I just wanted to say what a fabulous post - really, one of the most dead-on, stripped away of extraneous, that I have seen on the whole Libby matter. I hope it gets wide circulation. You demonstrate, once again, how important the Blogosphere is today. Cheers!

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 7, 2007 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter why Libby, or Clinton lied to federal investigators. Such is a felony and both Libby and Clinton should be serving time.

Posted by: Chris Brown on June 7, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter why Libby, or Clinton lied to federal investigators. Such is a felony and both Libby and Clinton should be serving time.

Ah, see how the wingnut talking points morph over time?

Posted by: Disputo on June 7, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

One can still contend that if Clinton had resigned in August, 1999, after his second grand jury testimony (the infamous, "It depends on what the definition of is is."), our country would be in a whole lot better shape, as Gore would have been President instead of this clown. (Recall that even Gary Wills argued for resignation, and don't forget that the Democratic party's support for Clinton through any possible impeachment proceedings was contingent on his testifying then.)

Saw a great bumpersticker today: "I never thought I'd miss Nixon."

Lastly, when are the MSM pollsters going to start to ask the public about impeachment? If they can give non forced-choice answers that yielded "incompetent," "liar" and "idiot," as they did in '05, then let's get them to get the public's sense of impeachment.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 7, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Harriet Myers, er, I mean the immigration bill was just pulled...

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum wrote, "Take Bill Clinton. He lied too when he denied having an affair with Monica Lewinsky..."

With all due respect, Kevin, Clinton didn't deny having an affair. He denied having sexual relations, and most heterosexuals nowadays understand sexual relations to mean exactly one thing, coitus.

In short, Clinton didn't deny having an affair and he didn't lie when he denied having sexual relations. At long last, can we please stop repeating lying Republican talking points about this?

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on June 7, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

lampwick: the immigration bill was just pulled

Glad to hear the good news.

Posted by: alex on June 7, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mother, may I??

Why Would Libby Lie?
Dennis Kelleher
November 03, 2005
Dennis Kelleher is a legislative director for a Democratic senator. He was the deputy staff director and general counsel for the senior Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and he was a litigation partner at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The views expressed are his own.

"A key element in trying to prove a crime is showing why someone might have done something illegal. Lawyers call it proving motive. Evidence of motive is often the critical reason a prosecutor concludes that someone has committed a crime and a jury convicts someone of a crime.

Thus far, motive is the mystery in the CIA agent leak case that has rocked the White House. Why would so many of the most senior and seasoned White House officials, including apparently the vice president, engage in what appears to be a coordinated and comprehensive smear campaign that included the outing of an undercover CIA official? And why would anyone risk committing federal criminal felonies by lying about it?

I. Lewis Libby, as assistant to the president, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney and assistant to the vice president for National Security Affairs, was indisputably one of the most powerful officials in the administration. By all accounts, he is a savvy, experienced and careful lawyer who sweated the details and was prudently risk-averse and wily in the ways of dealing with the media.

He has now resigned in disgrace and is charged with the crimes of obstructing justice by lying to the FBI and the grand jury. Prosecutor Fitzgerald has charged him with these crimes for allegedly falsely testifying that he learned of a CIA agent’s identity from reporters rather than from the vice president and other senior administration officials.

If Libby lied, why would he? The prosecutor unknowingly answered that question at his press conference. He said, if the reporters testified when they were issued subpoenas in August 2004, “we would have been here [holding a press conference] in October 2004 instead of October 2005.”

October 2004 was a mere month before the presidential election on Nov. 2, 2004. Amazingly, in all the timelines of the leak investigations, there is no mention of the presidential election in November 2004 or that the basis for the war in Iraq was a key issue in that election.

Whether the charges in the indictment are true and whether Libby or anyone else is ever convicted, such a press conference on the eve of the presidential election in October 2004 would have dramatically affected that election. The reason that press conference was not held in October of 2004 is because the prosecutor had to waste a year fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to get information from reporters.

An October 2004 press conference summarizing the information in the indictment would have been explosive. If the prosecutor was in a position to know and disclose the information contained in the indictment in October 2004, it would have directly contradicted the White House’s categorical denial that Libby and Rove “were not involved” in the disclosure of the agent’s identity.

At that point, on the eve of the November 2004 election, the key question would have been, what did President Bush know and when did he know it. The answers to those questions would not have mattered: If he knew, he was in the middle of blowing the cover of a CIA agent; if he didn’t know that his vice president and many of the most senior White House officials were involved in disclosing a CIA agent’s identity to reporters, it would have confirmed many people’s worst fears that he was dangerously detached.

Moreover, few would have believed that Libby, an extremely intelligent, careful lawyer with decades of experience, would have on his own and without the knowledge or approval of at least the vice president, if not the president, disclosed classified information and blown the cover of a CIA agent. Thus, the other key questions would have been: Who else knew, when did they know and how did they participate in blowing the CIA agent’s cover?

So, if Libby lied, he likely did so to conceal the involvement of Cheney and others, to prevent a pre-election scandal and to protect the Bush/Cheney re-election.

How did Libby’s alleged lies do this? The prosecutor unknowingly answered this question at his press conference as well. Libby isn’t alleged to have told a little lie here or there. He is alleged to have fabricated elaborate stories including false dialogue, phony feelings and reactions with several reporters. As the prosecutor said, “it was a compelling story that would lead the FBI to go away.”

Importantly, the FBI didn’t just “go away” from Libby. They went “away” from Cheney and others in the White House involved in getting the information on Wilson and his CIA agent wife and toward reporters. If Libby told the truth as alleged by the prosecutor, the FBI would have gone directly to the vice president’s office and the explosive information detailed above would have been uncovered.

Libby’s alleged “compelling” lies likely also prevented the prosecutor from determining who, if anyone, broke the law by knowingly and intentionally disclosing the CIA agent’s identity. In short, Libby’s lies pointed the prosecutor “away” from the possible or probable criminals, “away” from the truth and toward reporters. This guaranteed months if not years of delays from battling over the First Amendment. That’s why it's called obstruction of justice.

The prosecutor used a convoluted baseball metaphor to try to explain this. I propose a better one: You and three friends are standing on a street corner talking about doing something wrong. The discussion ends inconclusively and your friends leave, but you, with nothing to do, hang out at the corner alone. An hour later, your three friends come running by, looking scared and they duck into an alley behind you.

Two minutes later, cops come running over and ask if you saw three men running by. Without hesitating, you tell them that you did, that they almost knocked you over, that you twisted your knee, and that they ran down the street across the park from where you were standing. The cops go dashing off—in the wrong direction. Your friends sneak safely out of the alley and go to their homes and to work. A year later, the cops learn that you lied and try to head back in the right direction.

That’s obstruction of justice and that’s what Libby is accused of doing. That’s what it means to tell “a compelling story” that leads “the FBI to go away.”

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 7, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

J. R. -

I'll defend Bill Clinton's record to the last breath, but not if means invoking aery and non-existent meanings for words.

Wife: "I gave your best friend a blow job today."

Husband: "But did you have sexual relations with him?"

Wife: "No."

Husband: "Oh, well, as long as you didn't have sexual relations, no big deal. Do you want to have sexual relations with me tonite?"

Wife: "Mm, no; but I could give you a long and tender blow job."

Husband: (Sigh) "Ok. But we never relate to each other in a sexual way anymore."

Life in J. R. world

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton, when finally confronted with evidence of his lying, confessed. He didn't go on lying.

Libby has never told the truth.

Libby should not be pardoned, or have his sentence commuted, until he stops lying and tells investigators the truth.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 7, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

lampwick, I agree that President Clinton chose his words carefully with the intent to deceive, but the words he carefully chose were the literal truth.

Never mind J.R. world. Listen to how people talk nowadays:

Mary: Sally, did you have sex with Bob?

Sally: No, but I gave him a blow job.

That's how heterosexuals talk. Oral sex is not "sexual relations" in the vernacular of Bill Clinton and most people his age or younger.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on June 7, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Libby lie?

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."
(President Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 7, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

And what are you hiding Kevin? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING!

Posted by: egbert on June 7, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Libby won't get a pardon - won't need one. He'll just claim to be suicidal, and by the third day he'll be given an ankle-bracelet and remanded to house-arrest.

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

WICHDI? - What if Clinton had done it?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 7, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

In my idiom, 'sex' = 'coitus'

'Sexual relations' is a generic term, encompassing sex as well as various other non-coital relations, such as oral sex.

You grant that point yourself, when you say that he used the term with the intent to deceive. If the term was not inherently ambigious - capable of implying coitus as well as oral sex - he wouldn't have used it, since he couldn't have used it to deceive.

I really believe his affair with Monica was between him and Hillary - that's it.

But I consider parsing and sophistry to be offensive to public speech. It set a bad example for his successor, whose minions thought it was fair to claim that 'we never said that Iraq posed an 'imminent threat'' - as if the issue was the dictionary definition of 'imminent', rather than the message which they intended to convey.

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

In case anyone missed this in the letters:

The most surprising Libby letter is at p. 330--from the clever and witty Deborah Tannen of all people! Quite shocking.

James Wolfensohn appears at page 362, right before his successor at the World Bank.

You've probably seen the letter from Victoria Toensing--I didn't write down the page and my .pdf search function isn't working.

ANOTHER MAJOR NEOCON in the letters: Francis Fukuyama, page 109.

Two funny letters from anti-Libby people are: a memorably wacky letter from one "Jackson Rip Holmes," page 147, and a "Victim Impact Statement," page 175.

Posted by: Anon on June 7, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

he was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office.

What! Clinton was getting blowjobs? in the Oval Office?

Wouldn't that be considered de-facing government property?

Posted by: pencarrow on June 7, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Crapper Cleaner (Plunger) = There really are a few valid nuggets out there on Clinton; which makes it truly stupifying that you dunderheads keep going back to this kind of tripe. What? Did you read one of the primordial Drudge reports long ago and it just locked up your limited neuron set?

Read the transcripts. Clinton NEVER perjured himself. Disingenuous and misleading; maybe, at best. If the cross-examiners at those depositions had not been so piss poor in their skills, they would have either gotten Clinton to perjure himself (unlikely) or gotten the correct answers. But NO, they were tactical morons and never asked the necessary and appropriate followup questions. Oh, and another thing, perjury requires that the false statement be material to the underlying case, a burden that could not have been met; Lewinsky was not material to the specific allegations of Jones. Furthermore, there was no liability from the Jones suit itself, as evidenced by the fact that the court threw it out on a motion to dismiss and, if I recall correctly, even awarded costs against Jones. After all these years, still whining like brainless babies about Clinton. Get. A. Clue.

Posted by: bmaz on June 7, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.juancole.com/2007/03/libbys-lies-bushs-lies-irv-lewis-libby.html

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 7, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't that be considered de-facing government property?

No, it would be considered delighting the head of state.

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

If Scoots does get pardoned, who will be his lawyer, hauled before Congress to explain why?

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

I have advocated for a couple of years now for a cabinet level position, the Secretary of Presidential Stress Alleviation.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 7, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Libby will go to jail.

He will show up at 11:50 p.m. That's one day served.

He will complain that his cell is cold and that he is suffering splitting headaches. Two more days served.

A celebrity psychiatrist will visit him and declare that further incarceration will be bad for his health. Another day served.

He will be released at 12:05 a.m. Another day served in jail. Total: (five days).

Libby will be ordered to spend 40 additional days under house arrest at his mansion in McLean, Virginia (where 0.8 percent live below the poverty line) with a homing device securely attached to his right leg so that someone, somewhere will know that he's staying put and not, say, dropping by his White House office.

After Libby serves a full 45 day sentence, the homing device will be removed (only to reveal that lo and behold the battery that was supposed to power it had never been put in place by the Justice Department officials who were charged with overseeing his incarceration.)

Next stop for Libby: Burj Al Arab -- Dubai, United Arab Emirates for rest and recovery from the awful ordeal of his incarceration. (Fresh strawberries flown in daily from Maxim's de Paris, courtesy Prince Bandahar bin Sultan).

Posted by: thewayitis on June 7, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

That's not a cabinet-level position; that's a knee-level position.

I'm sorry. I seem to have morphed into a 16-year-old boy.

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have advocated for a couple of years now for a cabinet level position, the Secretary of Presidential Stress Alleviation.

And I know just who should apply for it. The left blogosphere's hottest new porn star, Miss Amica Brief!

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Many things to contend with in kevin's post, but first let me make it clear I have no problem with Libby's conviction, given the unanimous jury verdict. However....

1)Lying to a federal agent, absent being under oath, should definitely not be a felony. It is a sign of a much too expansive national government that a mere conversation with a federal employee is the equivalent of giving sworn testimony, in terms of legal jeopardy. Until this changes, no citizen with an ounce of brains should ever, under any circumstances, agree to talk with a federal agent.

2)I would hope that if I ever served on a jury, and came to believe that the case should never have been brought, I would have the courage to nullify. Jury nullification is an essential check on state power.

3)The offensive aspect of Clinton's behavior was that prior to being sued by Paul Jones, Clinton had always strongly supported very expansive rules regarding civil discovery in sexual harrassment suits, thus exposing many, many, citizens to torture by deposition. Once it was his turn on the rack, however, William the Noble decided to corrupt the legal proceedings, rather than subject himself to what he supported other, less powerful, citizens being subjected to. He decided it was Good to be The King. What an asshole.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 7, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

little ole' jim from red country: "Republican special prosecutors must really be wimps. They can’t seem to indict and convict anybody except other Republicans."

So what do you want -- that U.S. Attorneys spend equal time investigating Democrats and Republicans? That's most definitely not the way the system of justice is supposed to work.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 7, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Also, regarding Sandy Berger, it is telling that he voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law last month, rather that answer any further questions under oath regarding the matter, this time from an investigative body of the D.C. Bar Association. I highly suspect that the Bush Justice Department struck a quid pro quo with Berger, wherein they agreed to go easy on him, and not press him to publicly reveal what evidence he was so hell-bent on destroying, and in return Berger agreed to keep his mouth shut regarding facts that would embarass the Bush Administration. The entire matter reeks of criminals or lesser miscreants striking a bargain to protect one another.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 7, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Drum:

Richard Armitage fessed up almost immediately.

Did you mean to write that?

Posted by: Toby Petzold on June 7, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

bwt, Kevin, nice to see you admit that CLinton lied.

Bush: didn't lie to a grand jury
Clinton: did lie to a grand jury

what does that say about your party?

hmmmm

Posted by: egbert on June 7, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

So what do you want -- that U.S. Attorneys spend equal time investigating Democrats and Republicans? That's most definitely not the way the system of justice is supposed to work.

Jim was making a little joke about the majority of indictable folks being Republicans.

(I laughed, Jim!)

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bush lies-> death of 3500 Americans and tens of thousand of Iraqis, and displacement of 2 million people in a country of 25 million or so.

Clinton lie->No bodily harm to anyone anywhere, and a source of great pleasure to otherwise humorless Republicans.


I wish Bush had lied about a blow job. At least 3500 Americans and their families would have felt better.

Posted by: gregor on June 7, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

and second, because pretty much everyone figured they might very well have done exactly the same thing in his position.

No, sorry Kevin Dumbo. Your uncle Norman doesn't give a fat girl a come-hither look and hope everything arrives at a happy ending in the broom closet.

The real problem is this--liberals are looking for any and every excuse just to make sure that this President and Vice President have to rely on third-rate flunkies for advice. ALL OF THE GOOD PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CHASED OUT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. Someone like Scooter was invaluable and now he's gone. That leaves B-list players to advise Bush and Cheney--that leads to insanity, Hurricane Katrina, bad photo ops, and Democrats in charge.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 7, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Someone like Scooter was invaluable


Mr. Rogers made a funny.

Posted by: gregor on June 7, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bush: fooled himself into invading a third-rate dictatorship with the most powerful army in human history, then managed to cripple that army without achieving either the primary or secondary objectives of that invasion, while also administering the costliest, most incompetent, and most ineffectual military occupation in all of human history.
Clinton: didn't

What does that say about Egbert's party?

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Lying to a federal agent, absent being under oath, should definitely not be a felony. It is a sign of a much too expansive national government that a mere conversation with a federal employee is the equivalent of giving sworn testimony, in terms of legal jeopardy. Until this changes, no citizen with an ounce of brains should ever, under any circumstances, agree to talk with a federal agent.

As always, you are ignorant and you don't go far enough. Stop thinking you're competent to discuss these matters rationally.

Absent being under oath, one does not say "boo!" to a member of the Federal Government. In fact, as my old friend G Gordon Liddy once said about Federal agents who smash into a man's house unannounced:

"If they smash in unannounced, screaming at you and assault you with lethal force, you have two choices. You can die under their bullets, or you can shoot back and try to defend your wife and family. If they're wearing flak jackets, don't shoot them there, shoot them in the head."

Law and order is making a comeback in this country. Liberals just don't know it yet.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 7, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Libby isn't a conservative. He's a neo-conservative.

Posted by: Luther on June 7, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Norman -

My father is an IRS agent, my sister is a lesbian, and I am a liberal academic.

And we know where you live... yes, we know...

Posted by: lampwick on June 7, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Libby isn't a conservative. He's a neo-conservative.

Mr. Libby is a patriot and a defender of YOUR right to say naughty things about him.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 7, 2007 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Libby couldn't defend his wang from a zipper. He has exactly the same experience defending our freedoms as Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, the Kooky Kagans, Bush, Kristol and Joana Goldberg. Every now and then you say something truly intelligent Mr. Rogers; you are due any month now...

Posted by: bmaz on June 7, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK


I waste little love on Libby, but I still don't understand why this is considered a big-deal case in a town where Sandy "Pants" Berger is not doing hard time.

Because there is a presumption of "ownness" (not onus) regarding the documents Berger removed and destroyed.

Berger, himself, signed off on declassifying them in the first place, and they were copies, not the originals. Whatever secrets that Berger was preventing/protecting from becoming public information (presumably he and Clinton had mistakenly declassified them) still exist as original documents for investigators to evaluate if Berger had intended his theft/destruction as a cover-up for his or Clinton's wrongdoing.

That's not the case with Libby's lying. Libby's lies are preventing a full investigation. You don't have to go beyond that, to answering "Was Plame covert?" or "Did Libby lie for a just cause?"; the fact that he lied, repeatedly, not by mistake, not by faulty memory, was plainly true. And that's what he was convicted of: Perjury and obstruction.

Posted by: Maeven on June 8, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

If, in these United States, adminstration succeeded administration through force of arms (as in many a broken country) rather than at the ballot box, Libby, Cheney, and the rest would be charged with war crimes, tried, and found guilty. If it weren't for the infinite clemency of our democratic system, which Bush has done his utmost to undermine, all of the aforementioned would be hanging from nooses right now.

Posted by: lampwick on June 8, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

And we know where you live... yes, we know...

I think I've mentioned eighty or ninety times that I live in New Hampshire and Connecticut, based on whether or not my wife is perturbed with me (she's peeved at me because I won't buy her a Hybrid.)

Right now, I'm sitting in my study, with my hunting dogs at my feet, and I'm listening to whatever is on ESPN. I am going to make a few more insightful and brilliant comments and then I will retire for the evening.

I am protected by my love of country and at least a dozen weapons, all of them well within my capability of using with either one hand or two hands, depending on the routes my attackers use. For example, I can use a sawed-off shotgun and a .357 magnum if I put down my drink and use my good arm to hold the shotgun. Invariably, the shotgun's recoil will cause me to drop the weapon, so I have to remember to do a little hop-step in case it discharges when it clatters to the floor. I do not want to be shot in the foot again--it does hurt, but it isn't as big of a deal as some people like to think. Wrap it in a t-shirt, suck it up, and call a cab because the ambulances are so slow around here.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 8, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatives who try to portray Libby as some noble patriot who has given his life to public service are really projecting an image for how they want to be viewed.

Libby's entire career in government has been for self-interest. All of his pro-bono work was actually quid pro quo work - Libby donated professional legal services to rich, powerful and connected people ("Someday I’ll call on you for a service for me....").

Like most Republicans (and DINOs) in politics today, Libby bounced between government and private/corporate work. These people use their time in government to change the laws so that they can make more money when they return to the business world. They do not seek the power of government to help the sick, the underprivileged, the poor, the working classes, making the world a better, safer, healthier place for all. It's only about themselves.

Posted by: Maeven on June 8, 2007 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

To protect Cheney. Why wasn't Cheney nailed? Because Scooter obstructed justice.

Posted by: nemo on June 8, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Norman -

Well, we have this much in common. We are both clumsy enough to be dangers to ourselves, and we both write blog comments to the blare of sports broadcasting.

Posted by: lampwick on June 8, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

I have advocated for a couple of years now for a cabinet level position, the Secretary of Presidential Stress Alleviation.

Ah, so that is what you're working on your doctorate for....

(ducking)

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Bush lies-> death of 3500 Americans and hundreds of thousand of Iraqis, and displacement of 2 million people in a country of 25 million or so.

Fixed it for you.

Posted by: Stefan on June 8, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously the CIA felt that an official investigation should be conducted into the outing of one of their top, career CIA operatives.

Obviously, John Ashcroft initially stiff-armed the CIA request for an official investigation for several months until Ashcroft finally recused himself, giving one of his deputies, James Comey, the authority to appoint a special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, who was assigned the task of launching a full-scale investigation into the illegal disclosure of Valerie Plame's covert CIA "protected" identity.

Which just made me wonder about something. Did Ashcroft finally recuse himself because a large number of CIA officials threatened to resign if a full-scale investigation wasn't begun into the illegal outing of one of their colleagues?

In other words, did something happen in this case that was similar to what happened in the hospital visit to Ashcroft's bedside by Gonzales and Card several months later in March 2004?

Reportedly, Bush, Cheney, Gonzales and Card backed down from their demand that the DOJ reauthorize (rubber-stamp) their illegal, warrantless wiretapping program, but only after approximately 30 top DOJ officials threatened to resign in protest if the illegal, warrantless wiretapping program was not brought into compliance with the "rule of law."

Therefore, I bet something similar happened in the Fall of 2003, after the CIA requested a comprehensive investigation into who was responsible for breaching national security by illegally disclosing the identity of one of their top, covert CIA operatives.

Did top CIA officials threaten to resign if an investigation wasn't immediately begun? Was this what prompted John Ashcroft to recuse himself?

Was this when the criminals in the Bush administration, responsible for committing such a traitorous act, decided to fall back on Plan B, which was for one of those responsible, Scooter Libby, to assume the role of a "firewall" who would "stonewall" the official investigation in an attempt to protect the higher-up villains in the Bush administration?

It is becoming quite obvious that John Ashcroft needs to testify under oath before Congress so that these questions can be asked: did CIA officials threaten to resign if an investigation wasn't started into the outing of Valerie Plame? Was this why you suddenly recused yourself and handed the ball off to James Comey? Was this why the Bush crime family in the White House canned your ass as Attorney General, and replaced you with a "loyal" member of their crime family, Alberto Gonzales?

Okay, maybe that last question is a little over the top, but not by much.

Posted by: The Oracle on June 8, 2007 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK


Disputo: So it appears that the wingnut talking pts are to whine about Clinton


the republicans biggest problem with monica?..

she was a girl...

Posted by: roseanne barr on June 8, 2007 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

On the off chance that Norman is not a parody, his possession of a sawed-off shotgun (unless it is a muzzle loading black-powder gun) is a violation of the US Code. They are also notoriously difficult to use one handed. So Normie, you should turn yourself in to the ATF and accept your punishment, as any decent, law abiding citizen would.

Posted by: Dano on June 8, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Take Bill Clinton. He lied too when he denied having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but in his case everyone knew exactly why he had lied: because he didn't want anyone to know he was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office.

Kevin, a couple of points:
1. Clinton was accused of lying in a civil case, not a criminal investigation. Prosecutions for perjury in civil cases are rare. OTOH, prosecutions for obstruction of justice are much more common, as Martha Stewart can certainly attest.

2. Why in the hell did you bring up Clinton??? I thought the "Yes, but Clinton..." excuse was the reserved exclusively for the wingnuts.

Clinton’s repeated lies before a grand jury and during his deposition were not only material and relevant to underlying crimes, but the conduct went to the core of the investigation and civil suit.

This is sheer unadulterated horseshit. Even Clinton had responded to Paula Jones' lawyers by given detailed descriptions of his trysts with Monica Lewinsky right down the blue dress and cigar, it would not have strengthened the Jones case one bit. Whatever else can be said about Clinton's dalliances with Lewinsky, it was consensual and therefore any details about it are totally irrelevant in a sexual harrassment case. But Jones' legal team at that time (which included behind-the-scenes cretins like Ann Coulter) weren't at all interested in Paula Jones' interests, their prime motivation was ruining Bill Clinton's Presidency.

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave on June 8, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

lampwick: 'Sexual relations' is a generic term . . .

American Heritage College Dictionary:

sexual relations, pl.n.

1. Sexual intercourse
2. Sexual activity between individuals

Thus, the first meaning of "sexual relations" (and consquently the most commonly used) is not generic as you claim, but very specific.

You are deliberately delving down into secondary meanings to condemn Clinton, which tells me you have a political agenda in mind, more than an objective offense to Clinton's testimony.

While Clinton was certainly deceptive, accusing him of using a generic term, when that term is only generic if you push down to secondary and less common meanings, is every bit as unfair as any misleading statements Clinton made.

In the law, primary meanings of words and terms are what are used, unless they are specifically defined otherwise or the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: The offensive aspect of Clinton's behavior was that prior to being sued by Paul Jones, Clinton had always strongly supported very expansive rules regarding civil discovery in sexual harrassment suits, thus exposing many, many, citizens to torture by deposition. Once it was his turn on the rack, however, William the Noble decided to corrupt the legal proceedings, rather than subject himself to what he supported other, less powerful, citizens being subjected to. He decided it was Good to be The King. What an asshole.

Bullshit.

Clinton never supported bad-faith claims of sexual harassment brought for partisan political purposes, not real injury, which is exactly what Jones' case was.

Moreover, he did participate in the deposition; his misleading testimony doesn't have anything to do, therefore, with being subject to the "torture" of a deposition, since it didn't keep him from being deposed.

What an asshole you are for misrepresenting the situation to suit your own political distaste for Clinton and his policies.

What is more interesting is why Jones' or her attorneys weren't prosecuted or punished for filing a false affidavit or why her attorneys weren't sanctioned by the court for falsely asserting that the relationship between Clinton and Lewsinsky was nonconsensual when they had already been informed by their spy that it was Monica who initiated the affair.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I can understand why the Radical Right is always bringing up the Clenis. But why does Kevin have to give them avenues and straight lines to help them do so? George W Bush's very first statement as President was that he was going to bring "honor and dignity back to the White House". Bush has been President for more than 6 years, and controlled Congress most of that time.

Why is anything related to Bill Clinton relevant to the discussion of Irving Libby's _conviction_ by a jury of his peers (note that the Right is writing this as "peers", because of course mere Citizens are not qualified to judge one so exalted) and that fact that Libby's /obstruction of justice/ prevented further investigation into the /national security crime/ that was committed somewhere in the White House?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 8, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I can't believe you'd let that last sentence go past:
Why? If nobody actually did anything wrong, what was he hiding?
Well, maybe that's put sarcastically or as a conditional, but you should directly confront the now-discredited right-wing spin that "there was no crime." Valerie Plame may have worked at a desk in CIA HQ a lot, but she was "undercover" as part of the front company Brewster-Jennings, and did go overseas a few times. The CIA has released the evidence that she was "undercover", albeit as a NOC. You shouldn't be such a tool.

As for the dextro-hacks around here: perjury is a crime even if not to cover another "real crime" anyway. If you lie to protect your neighbor, who turns out not to have killed anyone anyway, it is still perjury. Get it?

Posted by: !!! on June 8, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Lampwick and the rest of you arguing about dictionary definitions, please pay attention.

As was pointed out by someone earlier in this thread, Paula Jones's lawyers provided Clinton with an extremely specific definition of "sexual relations" (which did not include receiving a BJ) and expressly asked him to answer the question according to that definition. So he did.

Perhaps you feel that Clinton should have said: "Hey, I know you guys are trying to hang me, but you're not doing a very good job of it. Let me help you out. There's a loophole in the definition of "sexual relations" you gave me. You should have expanded it to include receiving a BJ, not just giving one. Why don't you ask me the question again that way? I'll have to answer yes and then you'll have what you want."

Are you saying that Clinton's failure to volunteer that information was perjury? If so, there is no court in the land that would agree with you.

Posted by: agent zero on June 8, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

One point that seems to have been missed.

It is not a crime to be fellated in the Oval Office.

It is a crime to knowingly disclose the name of a covert CIA operative. Why was Armitage--who admitted that he had disclosed Plame's identity--not been charged?

Posted by: raj on June 8, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK
Law and order is making a comeback in this country Norman Rogers at 11:41 PM
Crime rises under Bush Violent Crime Up For Second Year Some Point to Cuts in Federal Funding By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, June 2, 2007; A01

The number of violent crimes in the United States rose for a second straight year in 2006, marking the first sustained increase in homicides, robberies and other serious offenses since the early 1990s, according to an FBI report to be released Monday.
The FBI's Uniform Crime Report will show an increase of about 1.3 percent in violent offenses last year, including a 6 percent rise in robberies and a slight rise in homicides, according to law enforcement officials, who described key findings in advance of the report's release. That follows an increase of 2.3 percent in 2005, which was the first significant increase in violent crime in 15 years….

Law 'N Order was always Nixon's racist code tern for helping his southern strategy. It worked as a political issue until Clinton actually got a law to financially increase the number of police on the beat and reduce crime. Since that took away a Republican wedge issue, Bush lowered funding, and voila! Crime's up baby!

Posted by: Mike on June 8, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin failed in his highmindendness and evenhandedness by not making any reference to Sandy Berger's case.

Any columnist to the left of the uberboys at the Corner is mandated by law to temper his or her criticism of the wingnuts by alluding to remotely related shortcomings on the liberal side, at least if the columnist is employed by a national publication.

Posted by: gregor on June 8, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Seems obvious based on testimony at Libby's trial that Cheney was the one who told Libby to spread Valerie Plame's identity around. Libby, by all accounts a sharp legal mind, probably knew that Cheney was thereby quite likely committing a crime. Libby may even have checked the relevant statute himself because he would have known how to do that and where to look. So Libby took a bullet for the team, knowing that Cheney will see to it that Bush pardons him.

Posted by: Bob C on June 8, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Libby lied because it never occurred to him that he couldn't get away with it.

Posted by: reasonwhy on June 8, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, if one is going to support expansive civil discovery in sexual harrassment suits, then one is going to support torture by deposition of one fellow citizens. That's the nature of the civil discovery process, and, yes, everyone other than a dishonest hack such as yourself understands that lawsuits and depositions are deployed every day for no other reason than to inflict pain on people. Bill Clinton was fine with that, until it was his turn, and then he took it upon himself to behave in such a way as to be held in contempt and lose his license to practice law.

Yes, yes, I know to a lackwit tribalist such as yourself, the fact that your hero was held in contempt and was disbarred is merely evidence of how awful his political enemies are, but guess what? Just as to anybody but a nitwit the fact that Libby was convicted is overwhelmingly indicative that he committed a crime, the fact that William the Noble was disbarred and held in contempt is overwhelmingly indicative to anyone but a nitwit that William the Noble did, in fact, corrupt the sort of legal proceeding that he thought his fellow citizens should be subject to.

Quit diddling yourself to the memory of your idol. It reminds one of the sort of drip who used to toss her panties on stage at the sight of an obese, overmedicated, Elvis.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: . . . he took it upon himself to behave in such a way as to be held in contempt and lose his license to practice law.

Which is utterly irrelevant, to anyone other than a mendacious pr*ck like yourself, to the issue of whether he was subjected to "torture."

Your argument was that under "Clinton's" rules, people were subjected to depositions (or "torture" if you will).

Clinton was subjected to the deposition. He did not escape the deposition. He did not escape the thing you called "torture" any more or any less than any other defendant in a sexual harrasment suit. His behavior during that deposition is utterly irrelevant to the issue of whether he was forced to endure one. He was forced to endure a deposition and therefore he was subject to the same experience as any other sexual harrassment defendant.

Therefore, it is an outright lie to proclaim that he refused to subject himself to the very thing he was forcing others to be subjected to.

This type of dishonestly is, of course, not uncommon with you.

You are a mendacious boob who lies when caught in either a lie or a logical inconsistency.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Whether or not Clinton had consensual sex with another adult is completely immaterial and irrelevant with regard to a sexual harassment suit."

Very true, and as I remember, the judge in the Paula Jones lawsuit even ruled that the issue was immaterial. So I never could quite figure out where the "perjury" was.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 8, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: Quit diddling yourself to the memory of your idol.

Much better than diddling oneself to the thought of oneself, as you do.

;-)

Now throw away your mirrors and try to look beyond your own ego.

There's a whole world of truth out there to be discovered.

You might even enjoy it, although your self-obsession will likely be very, very hard to overcome.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"If Plame's status was declassified, who declassified it and why?"

Bingo.

He didn't want to testify that Cheney declassified Plame's status in order to spread his "junket" talking point. That's why Cheney wasn't called to the stand (further pissing off the judge).

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 8, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Just heard a reporter/commentator on NPR (On Point) this a.m. totally reiterating the infuriating line, why was Libby convicted when the investigation of the original crime "was apparently going nowhere," and the real perpetrators are walking around free?

Can we say, circular logic? I knew we could.

1) outing a CIA agent is a bad thing, and a possible abuse of power (and no, we don't have to listen to any more bs about she wasn't "really" covert).

2) Such a crime is eminently worthy of investigation.

3) Successfully obstructing said investigation prevents underlying crime from being disclosed. That's why we have "obstruction of justice" charges.

3a) If there was nothing bad or criminal going on, why obstruct said investigation in the first place?

4) Successfully obstructing said investigation is a bad thing and deserves to be prosecuted.

Seems pretty simple to me. I guess it all starts looking terribly complicated when the convict is a guy you go to cocktail parties with.

Posted by: DrBB on June 8, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal: So I never could quite figure out where the "perjury" was.

It wasn't anywhere.

The court (and the state bar) did not sanction Clinton for perjury, despite the many conservative attempts to portray it as such.

In any event, and despite Will Allen's rants, a normal sexual harassment defendant would never have been subjected to the deposition that Clinton endured because a consensual relationship, even with a supervised employee, would not have been deemed relevant.

I believe either that Jones' attorneys failed to disclose to the judge that they already had indisputable knowledge that the affair was not only consensual but instigated by the "victim" (Lewinsky) or the judge (being a Republican) allowed the line of questioning despite discovery rules under which such a line of questioning was improper.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, you quite possibly are the most stupid person I've encountered in this forum, which is really saying something. Follow closely. The reason despositions under expansive discovery rules are so painful is that people are forced under oath to reveal very private and personal details, such as, oh, whose mouth they are putting their penis in, even if the mouth doesn't belong to someone who is party to the lawsuit. Thus people who support expansive discovery rules are in favor of forcing people under oath to reveal such details, with full knowledge that a good many lawsuits are filed for no other reason that to subject people to such a painful process. Bill Clinton supported this use of the law, until it came time for his turn on the rack. Once there, he decided that such a process wasn't so good, and corrupted the proceedings in an effort to spare himself embarassment, and by engaging in that corruptive behavior, he got himself cited for contempt and disbarred.

You're just shinin' us here, right? You really aren't this dumb, are you?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: The reason despositions under expansive discovery rules are so painful is that people are forced under oath to reveal very private and personal details . . .

Just as Clinton was.

Clinton did not escape any "torture," any punishment, any deposition requirement, or any other imposition that another defendant would have been subject to, including being subject telling the truth under oath.

Nothing in the law other than what Clinton himself was also subject to forces anyone to reveal painful personal information.

As you so clearly point out, Clnton was punished for not telling the truth, just like any other person subject to such a deposition would be and many are.

Moreover, he didn't get the benefits of any other defendant who likely would never have had to answer that line of (irrelevant) questioning in the first place.

You. Continue. To. Lie.

Clinton avoided nothing that another person subject to deposition would be subject to and you have identified no such thing.

You. Continue. To. Lie.

If you think calling me stupid is going to change your lies to truth, you are even more obstinately dimwitted than I already believe you to be.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, you towering imbecile, he avoided nothing, because his attempt to not tell the truth was discovered. He attempted to avoid the awful part of such discovery by corrupting the deposition. In other words, he supported the legal environment in which people would enter such a deposition and then be expected to tell the truth, but when he entered such a deposition, he personally extended no such expectation to himself.

Again, you really are not this stupid, are you?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Since you are so dimwitted, Will, he it is in smaller words:

The rules that you say Clinton supported demand that a deponent tell the truth or face the consequences (sanctions) it they do not.

Clinton subjected himself to telling the truth or facing the consequences, which he ultimately did (btw, he agreed to the sanctions, they were not forced on him), the same as any other sexual harassment defendant.

The fact that Clinton "abused" the process, in your words, is irrelevant to whether he subjected himself to the rules.

The only way Clinton could have done what you accuse him of doing, avoiding what other defendants cannot, would have been to refuse to be deposed and/or refuse to answer to the charges that he misled the court, by declaring himself above the law and beyond the reach of legal process.

He did neither of those things.

No sexual harassment defendent has ever been subjected to more legal process or more legal requirements than Clinton was in his suit.

To say otherwise is to lie.

And you say otherwise.

Ergo . . .

I'm sure these words aren't small enough for your tiny little brain, but no one can say I didn't try.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: In other words, he supported the legal environment in which people would enter such a deposition and then be expected to tell the truth, but when he entered such a deposition, he personally extended no such expectation to himself.

Clinton did enter a deposition where he was expected to tell the truth.

Whether he extended any such expectation to himself is irrelevant to what he was subjected to.

There is no evidence at all that Clinton, tried to repeal it, tried to modify it, or in any other way stopped supporting the law.

That's like saying a person who gets caught speeding is really arguing for the speed limits to not exist.

I don't believe that the vast majority of people who speed do so with the intent of communicating their displeasure with speed limits.

Simply finding a law inconvenient and acting accordingly does not indicate opposition to the law in general or even to oneself, especially when one might feel the law is being improperly applied to oneself.

You cannot show or prove what Clinton's position would be towards similar actions of another person wrongly accused of sexual harassment and subject to an "illegal" line of questioning in a deposition on the false charges.

Your speculation about his intent is born of pure hatred of both Clinton and the legal system (or perhaps just the sexual harassment laws which you seem to find so onerous) and is insufficient evidence of anything but your mendacity and obstinacy.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: Again, you really are not this stupid, are you?

If one wrestles with a pig, one expects to get muddy, but I don't think your dishonesty rubs off on me as stupidity.

Sorry, try again.

Try listing any legal requirement that any other sexual harassment defendant is subject to that Clinton was not subject to.

You haven't after many many posts, so I assume you can't, but I will continue to give you the option of doing so.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, a person who risks suffering the consequences by lying in a deposition such as this (and again let it be noted again that Clinton always supported such despositions, and supported the notion that such depositions should not be corrupted, until, that is, he was deposed), is not subjecting himself to the rules, because, (read very slowly, you numbskull)the first rule is to tell the truth. One cannot subject oneself to a rule while violating the rule.

One may as well say that a bank robber subjected himself to the rule against bank robbery because he was caught and imprisoned. You are an utter and complete moron. Congratulations.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: One cannot subject oneself to a rule while violating the rule.

Sure you can, because you are lying about the rule.

The rule is tell the truth or risk the consequences for not telling the truth.

One may as well say that a bank robber subjected himself to the rule against bank robbery because he was caught and imprisoned.

In any event, it is not about what one subjects oneself to and this is your inanity.

It is what Clinton was subject to.

No deponent in any sexual harassment deposition subjects themselves to the deposition.

You are lying by implying this is so.

No one who commits sexual harassment, and Clinton didn't even commit that wrong, is agreeing to subject themselves to deposition.

And you didn't even characterize it as such.

You stated that other defendants are subjected to "torture" (depositions).

Not that they subject themselves to such depositions, but that they are subjected (or subject) to.

Clinton was subjected to a deposition, just like every other sexual harassment defendant.

He escaped absolutely nothing that any other defendant has to face.

You can try to twist the historical circumstances, my words, your words, or anything else you want into a pretzel, but the bottom line is Clinton was "subjected to" the same "torture" that every single other defendant is in a civil case such as this and more.

And better being called a moron, than actually being a lying moron who denies his own words, like you.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen (11:10): . . . to what he supported other, less powerful, citizens being subjected to . . .

Again, Clinton did not escape being subjected to the same requirements that "he supported other, less powerful, citizens [be] subjected to."

Your dishonest claim that he somehow avoided being subjected to the same requirements notwithstanding.

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

No anonymous, being subjected to a deposition includes being subjected to the responsibility to tell the truth, and, especially as an officer of the court, Clinton supported the notion that other, less powerful citizens were subjected to the responsibility to tell the truth. Laws, you imbecile, are not worded as either/or choices, such as "you can either choose to tell the truth, or choose to be cited for contempt; take your pick!".

What an idiot. Do you think judges are akin to game show hosts?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Will, just a reminder again:

IIRC, Clinton was asked about "sex" by the Paula Jones' lawyers using a definition that emphasized the act which could actually cause reproduction (a very reasonable definition, in fact), and the converse of the actual act (IOW, contact with female genitalia, which means that a blow job didn't count.) That means he didn't really lie about that. If the other side's lawyers were that dumb, that's their (and right wing nuts') tough crap. Also, they weren't Federal investigators, which would have made real perjury more serious as far as national interest goes.

OTOH, see cogent point upthread that Valerie Plame was indeed undercover (Remember Brewster-Jennings?), and so there really was an underlying crime (and there really was lying, by any reasonable definition.)

Posted by: Neil B. on June 8, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK
…being subjected to a deposition includes being subjected to the responsibility to tell the truth…Will Allen at 4:54 PM
Question: did you have sexual relations

Answer: define sexual relations…..

Answer: "For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in sexual relations when the person knowingly engages in or causes:
1. Contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

Oral Sex? Not included. Intent to gratify? Nope.

It is also worth noting that, in order to be perjury, a statement must be about something germane (…the crime of perjury if the statement is shown to be materially false -- that is, the lie is relevant and significant to the case). Lewinsky wasn't relevant or material to the Jones case, which was tossed out of court.

Will Allen: dumber than mht, rdw and all the other whack jobs. Will Allen: Number One!!

Posted by: Mike on June 8, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me, Mike and Neil B., what was Clinton disbarred and cited for contempt for, if not for corrupting a legal proceeding?

You folks and your idolatry are worse than a pack of 13 year old girls at a boy band concert.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

re Will Allen @5:23PM:
1. President Clinton was "disbarred and cited for contempt" as a result of not volunteering information in a civil sexual harassment suit that was later dismissed by the Judge.
2. Libby was convicted on four criminal counts of obstucting justice and lying to Federal agents attempting to investigate who had illegally revealed classified information relating to WMD, nuclear proliferation and the invasion of Iraq.
3. Apples are not oranges.
4. Recognizing the difference does not equate to idolatry.
5. Failing to recognize the difference does equate to obtuseness, bias or both
D.E. Stamate
USN (ret)

Posted by: Doug on June 8, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Doug, you illiterate dunce, did I ever once say that what Clinton did was as bad as what Libby did? Sheesh, would you endeavor to at least read a thread before starting to argue with someone?

If you want to minimize what it means to get cited for contempt and disbarred, for one's behavior in a legal proceeding, well, just go ahead and squeal and throw your panties at the object of your affection. It's what you do best.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

I see Will Allen still epitomizes obstinate obtuseness and the unfailing ability to hang himself up on one of his own points of fancy while claiming everyone else around him is the idiot. Still though he managed to turn this back into discussing Clinton's affairs rather than Libby's criminal convictions on far more serious charges than anything Clinton was ever facing even in the worst case scenarios surrounding the Lewinsky/Jones mess.

There are two possible motivations for Libby to have lied in this matter to this extent for this long, either he is covering up for the political smear job being covered up by his boss, or he is covering up the intentional crippling to potential destruction of a CIA unit that could have refuted the deceptions surrounding the WMD arguments for the Iraq war wanted by his bosses (Cheny and possibly Bush). I honestly do not know which, as the former motive provides superb cover for the latter possibility, yet everything that comes into public view about what was done to the unit Plame headed indicates that this could have been a motive as well with the appearance of silencing a critic being the perfect cover, especially given this Administration's history of retaliation against those that can credibly dispute what they claimed. Either way though it was clearly at the minimum the designs of Dick Cheney, I have never been able to decide whether GWB was an active member of this movement or simply used it for the obvious political creds of being a "war President" and left all the details to Cheney. Given that this is the weakest President and strongest Vice President in American history these are no small criminal acts we are talking about here all around, and having Libby only doing time for successfully obstructing the investigation into who was the source of the leak and/or the person(s) responsible for coming up with the idea of the leak of Plame's CIA connection has to be seen as a success for the most part to avoid prosecution for these clearly criminal and IMHO treasonable actions. The one bright spot is that the investigation is currently inactive, not ended, and if Libby goes to jail then something may yet break loose, especially if in the end enough pressure is put on Libby by his wife who I doubt is the same committed true believer in the PNAC/neoconservative vision that her husband is.

Posted by: Scotian on June 8, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian I see is another incisive commenter. I'll simply note that it was not I who raised the issue of Bill Clinton, nor was Bill Clinton the primary focus of my initial post on this thread. This forum does tend to have more than a few Clinton-worshippers, however, so any remark which does not pledge unalloyed allegiance to the One True God, is met with the single minded fury of The Faithful, and the thread turns into All Clinton, All the Time. It really is sorta creepy.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 8, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Doug,
"lying to Federal agents attempting to investigate who had illegally revealed classified information relating to WMD"

Well, that would be ...allegedly illegally revealed classified info..., wouldn't it?

Posted by: Dave! on June 9, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

The very idea that a President was doing blow jobs with a young girl in the White House was deplorable to me. The very idea the Democrats knew what Bill Clinton was and nominated him anyway, and now his wife, is deplorable to me. I could not stand Joe Wilson before all the stuff with his wife came out because I think he is a flim flam man, which tells me her character is phony, so the thought of Mr. Libby going to jail because of them is deplorable to me. Everyone knew about Plame as Andrea Mitchell said, then couldn't testify, another phony deal, so I see nothing here that warrented jail time. It is all partison and disgusting.

Posted by: Rita on June 9, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK
....any remark which does not pledge unalloyed allegiance to the One True God, ....Will Allen at 9:52 PM
That is some Clinton Fixation you have there. On any thread discussing any of the individuals from the Bush administration who have had to resign or who were indicted, guys like you who remain in thrall to the Mighty Clentis™ immediately begin yammering about the good old days when Clinton was persecuted by ultra-right partisans like Scaife who were aided by hacks like Sentelle, Olson, Starr, Silberman and others. You should be careful of using all that straw for construction of your strawman, chum. Most regard Clinton as too moderate, but object to the smear&lie campaign of Republican partisans. Say what you like, but if you're not truthful, you will be called on it.
...It is all partison and disgusting. Rita at 9:01 AM
Yes, it is partisan and disgusting to reveal a covert agent to attempt to intimidate her husband merely because he exposed one of Bush's lies. Of course, it is the solemn obligation and political duty of every red-blooded partisan Republican to smear and threaten those not showing the proper deference to the lies of your Dear Leader. It's even more deplorable to regard the crimes, lies and illegal partisan acts plotted in the White House by Bush, Rove, Cheney and their minions. Yep, a private sexual act is deplorable, but subverting the Constitution for partisan gain, why that's just ducky. Posted by: Mike on June 9, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

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