Double Plus Un-Ungood

by Scott McLemee on July 3, 2007

All the heavy thinkers of the American right are united in condemning any cynical ideological doublethink that might be used to justify the pardon of Scooter Libby:

  • Robert Bork and James Rosen, writing in the National Review: “Lying under oath strikes at the heart of our system of justice and the rule of law. It does not matter in the least what the perjury is about.”
  • Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois, who from 1985 until 1991 was the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Intelligence: “If citizens are allowed to lie with impunity—or encourage others to tell false stories or hide evidence—judges and juries cannot reach just results.”
  • Roger Kimball, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Leftists Sacrifice Truth on the Altar of Friendship”: “In the culture wars that have been transforming American society since the 1960s, truth has been a conspicuous casualty: not only particular truths but also allegiance to the very ideal of truth as an indispensable component of any just and moral life. The competing, countercultural ideal holds that loyalty to the personal trumps loyalty to the truth….”

Oh, no, wait, I may have misread something….Plenty more at Acephalous. (And hat tip to Josh as Brainiac, whose cherry-pickings are here expropriated.)

UPDATE: Check out Phil Nugent’s commentary on the stupid things that can be said—and are, in fact, being said—about this fine moment in the history of the republic.

{ 72 comments }

1

JP Stormcrow 07.03.07 at 2:02 pm

One of the best analyses that I’ve seen so far is L33T Justice at at Kung Fu Monkey where John Rogers invokes the concept of video game “exploits”, and argues that Bushco’s exploit is their immunity to shame. His final paragraph:

I cannot help but think that as Nixon walked to the chopper, somewhere in the darkened hallways of the White House Dick Cheney shook his head, spit, and whispered: “Pussy.”

And of course for the larger exploits to work you need a legion of similarly shameless enablers.

2

SamChevre 07.03.07 at 2:15 pm

Turn-about is fair play.

Thus, I’m assuming that you now support imprisoning Daniel Ellsberg.

3

Marc 07.03.07 at 2:55 pm

Feeble Sam. The proper winger response is to blame Clinton. Ellsberg…let’s see, exposing government corruption. Libby? Punishing political opponents, enabling crooked behavior, protecting the Vice President and President from criminal liability.

The “commutation” as opposed to “pardon” angle is a cynical move to preserve Libby’s abilty to refuse to answer questions. At this point, the USA is run by a criminal gang, and this is becoming widely recognized. We may well have to ship Bush, Cheney, and the lot off to the Hague for war crimes trials to achieve justice. In a year and a half, I’d wager there will be very strong public support in the States for doing precisely that.

4

Donald Johnson 07.03.07 at 2:59 pm

Don’t know what Henry will say, samchevre, but motives matter to me. Daniel Ellsberg was exposing massive governmental deception about the justifications for an immoral war. Libby outed a CIA agent because her husband exposed massive governmental deception about the justifications for an immoral war.

I’d pardon Ellsberg, but not Libby. (Don’t know if Ellsberg was convicted, actually. I’ll google it in a second.)

5

Donald Johnson 07.03.07 at 3:00 pm

Oops, it wasn’t Henry, but Scott who wrote this post.

6

dearieme 07.03.07 at 3:02 pm

Libby should be in jail with Clinton. Bad eggs, the pair of them. And throw her husband in too.

7

Martin James 07.03.07 at 3:04 pm

But they’re off script.

Everybody knows its “always attack never defend.”

The commutation just shows they were too weak to directly attack the prosecution.

8

randomliberal 07.03.07 at 3:14 pm

For the record, Ellsberg was not convicted. He almost surely would have been, except that the Plumbers were found to have broken into his psychiatrist’s office during the Watergate investigation. The judge threw out the case.

IIRC, that was actually the Plumbers’ first job.

9

"Q" the Enchanter 07.03.07 at 3:25 pm

But Libby was only protecting the Bush Administration from the terrorists.

10

Katherine 07.03.07 at 4:12 pm

I was genuinely, genuinel shocked when I heard about this on the BBC news. If something like this can really be done, then US politics has gone way beyond the pale, as far as this non-US observer is concerned.

11

Hello Kitty 07.03.07 at 4:48 pm

It’s happened before, Katherine:

http://www.fas.org/news/iran/1992/921224-260039.htm

12

abb1 07.03.07 at 4:48 pm

But it’s been beyond the pale for a few years now. This is really a very minor incident.

13

thag 07.03.07 at 5:17 pm

query for you legal eagles.

Article 2 Section 2 says:
…he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Why is the commutation of Libby not in violation of that clause?

Libby was ordered to violate the law by Bush (i.e. we know that Bush signed on to the plan to expose Plame, in violation of the law).

Libby lied and obstructed justice in order to prevent Bush’s role from being properly documented.

Had it been properly documented, it could figure prominently in a bill of impeachment.

So why are we not already in “a Case of Impeachment”?

After all, if some other President commits some treasonable act that can only be proved by the testimony of two witnesses, and the President gives those witnesses some pardon or reprieve that allows them to obstruct justice, then the mechanism of impeachment would be rendered ineffective, in exactly the cases it was designed to address.

So the “Cases of Impeachment” clause has to mean: the President may neither grant pardons and reprieves to people who are themselves the defendants in a case of impeachment, or to people who may be material to a case of impeachment.

Accordingly, it seems to me that the commutation announced yesterday is without authority. It is not in conformity with the President’s constitutional powers, and so has no force.

14

"Q" the Enchanter 07.03.07 at 5:31 pm

Thag, not an expert, but it seems that at the very least some related impeachment proceeding would have to have been formally initiated for that theory to fly.

15

thag 07.03.07 at 5:36 pm

re 14:

then it turns into a game of “got there first!”.

if the mafioso can pardon his underlings before any US Rep introduces a bill, then he gets away with it. If the bill comes up before he tries the pardon, then he does not get away with it.

maybe that’s how it goes–too bad if so.

16

Martin Bento 07.03.07 at 5:47 pm

It would be interesting to have someone with the relevant expertise offer an opinion as to whether there’s anything in that. It could be an argument for introducing an impeachment resolution, even one that is allowed to idle in committee. In fact, wasn’t one introduced at one time?

17

Thomas 07.03.07 at 6:02 pm

The constitutional provision simply means that the president hasn’t the power to overturn an impeachment conviction.

18

"Q" the Enchanter 07.03.07 at 6:54 pm

“if the mafioso can pardon his underlings before any US Rep introduces a bill, then he gets away with it.”

Well, the House could initiate impeachment proceedings on obstruction of justice and political corruption theories (quid pro quo), at the very least. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get there. (But wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t, either.)

19

jet 07.03.07 at 7:09 pm

Can someone point me to a non-wing nut site that shows evidence that Libby outed, or was covering up the administration’s outing, of Plame?

I was under the impression that the great arbitrator of justice, Fitzgerald first said it was all Bush’s fault and it was about revenge, but now the story is that it was an accident by the high level bureaucrat, who won’t be prosecuted, because bureaucrats protect their own.

It’s also interesting that in 2003 Fitzgerald knew that Armitage was the leak, but kept up the investigation until Libby pissed off the wrong bureaucratic FBI agent in 2004, thus giving Fitzgerald a proper trophy for his fishing expedition.

20

ejh 07.03.07 at 7:20 pm

Remember the Rich List?

21

JP Stormcrow 07.03.07 at 7:30 pm

It’s also interesting that in 2003 Fitzgerald knew that Armitage was the leak

It’s also interesting that in 2003 Fitzgerald knew that Armitage was one of several leaks.

22

"Q" the Enchanter 07.03.07 at 8:59 pm

“It’s also interesting that in 2003 Fitzgerald knew that Armitage was one of several leaks.”

Not interesting, unless you think Armitage had the requisite scienter. And no one (not even the nuttiest wingnut) thought that.

23

john m. 07.03.07 at 9:03 pm

Re: #19.

Ah, Jet, disingenuous to the point of total stupidity,

24

jet 07.03.07 at 9:47 pm

john m.

Heh, couldn’t find a link, could you?

25

JP Stormcrow 07.03.07 at 9:49 pm

Not interesting, unless you think Armitage had the requisite scienter.

I’m with you. My meaning was lost by trying to be too clever with a parallel sentence construction. Was trying to mock the psoition that “once Armitage let it slip (as you say, unknowingly), then it was fair game for everyone else to just let it rip.” (even when they had no knowledge that Armitage had done so.)

Wingnut shorthand for this is “Armitage was the leaker.”

26

David 07.03.07 at 10:29 pm

Dear Jet: No, you’re the wingnut. You folks call us moonbats and communists and traitors and so forth. I don’t blame you for being jealous of snappier and more descriptive soundbite, but you can’t have it. We’re too polite to switch to morons.

27

David 07.03.07 at 10:35 pm

Also, Jet, the finding by trial that Libby was guilty of perjury is also reason to believe that it was committed as part of a (clearly still ongoing) cover-up. But by your delusional standards a Federal Court represents a moonbat site.

28

Barry 07.03.07 at 10:52 pm

Well, david, you’ve got to admit that they *did* convict Libby. And since The Decider and the Fourth Branch both consider Libby to be a good guy, that means that the jury Hates America and Freedom.

29

"Q" the Enchanter 07.03.07 at 10:56 pm

Gotcha, JP.

30

jet 07.03.07 at 10:57 pm

Ah yes, intentions. This gets us back to the wing nut theory (yay lets stand in a circle and shout that at each other, shall we) that Cheney ordered his men to “out” Plame which would, in some never described manner, discredit Wilson.

“Like oh my god, you mean his wife works for the CIA? He must be like a total idiot and not know what he’s talking about.”

So rather than speaking of Plame innocuously,as Armitage did, those loveable rascals in power did it with grave malice and meany hurtfulness (look at those hurt feelers) to make Wilson look like he was connected to credible sources, which would, strangely, make him look bad, or so The Nation would have us believe (but perhaps to them saying a person is connected to the CIA is the highest of insults).

Or perhaps you are saying that The Loveable Gang did it to out Plame on purpose, knowing her status? I guess that is hardly provable, and completely lacking in evidence (or so says Fitzgerald), which explains the tactics in the case. The left burning scum who dare to attack the scum they had just bought. But the only evidence we have (recalled conversations and interview notes) would have us believe the conversations involving Plame were indeed in innocuous. But OMG WTF, BSH teh D3V1L!!!!11!

народовластие созерцания мертво, камрад. Пройдите водочку.

31

Anderson 07.03.07 at 11:00 pm

I was under the impression that the great arbitrator of justice, Fitzgerald

You see, Jet, that’s a stupid thing to write. Fitzgerald was not an “arbitrator.” He arbitrated nothing. He was an advocate, which is practially the *opposite* of being an arbitrator.

It’s not even good irony, because it’s too far afield from anything that anyone’s said about Fitzgerald.

So when you write stupid things, don’t be surprised if people treat you like you’re stupid.

32

jet 07.03.07 at 11:07 pm

Don’t you now, juries never get it wrong [www.breitbart.com]

33

jet 07.03.07 at 11:25 pm

Anderson,
You do realize some words are “special” and have more than one “sense”. You implied sense 1 (per the American Heritage Dictionary). I foolishly assumed everyone smart enough to be reading CrookedTimber would understand sense 2 (in the broader “sense” of the word). Hopefully I was only slightly wrong.

Yay, instead of shouting “wing nut” at each other, shall we shout “stupid”?

My book on how to make “friends” says don’t mock people when discussing things, but I realized I don’t like Quakers.

34

"Q" the Enchanter 07.04.07 at 1:18 am

Jet, was the notion that the administration willfully outed Plame to stick it to Wilson (his wife’s career after all having been significantly, negatively impacted) a “wingnut” theory ex ante? If so, why do you suppose Fitzgerald disagreed with your assessment? Please show your work.

35

blog 07.04.07 at 1:20 am

Jet why did every wingnut on earth begin shrilly whining nepotism, publicity seeking bitch, wilson’s an uxurious pussy ruled by his wife? Maybe the intent was divert attention away fron the falsified intelligence to the wilson’s. Why did Rove declare “fair game” you wingnut ignoramus?

36

jet 07.04.07 at 2:16 am

“Q” the Enchanter,
Here [http://www.washingtonpost.com]. Now you say Fitzgerald accused/stipulated/hinted/made snide remarks that Libby intentionally outed Plame? Where’s your “homework” Dr. McFartyPants? Seeing as how I’ve read many times that Fitzgerald refused to comment on people outside of the investigation and kept comments concerning those under investigation sans speculation, you need to pull a rabbit out of your arse to keep from looking …. well you know (and if you don’t I’m sure anderson can help).
And as far as her career being “significantly, negatively impacted”, that’s a laugh. Her career was over for the colossal screwup that was the Niger investigation. Her marriage to Wilson had already mostly ended her fun as a spook, but the incredibly shoddy work coupled with Wilson’s duplicity ensured her cheerios would only be floating in piss.

I’m not saying it is a “wing nut” theory that the administration did it to end her career (can’t you educated fucks read?). Just that the evidence so far says otherwise, and her career was already ended. I said it was a wing nut theory that outing Plame somehow magically discredited Wilson (although this does make sense for The Nation types).

blog,
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect. I bet you’re just getting started?

37

blog 07.04.07 at 2:30 am

No it’s not a wingnut theory, jerk, it was an intent on the part of the OVP, that you wingnuts lapped up like the filthy dogs you are.

38

blog 07.04.07 at 2:33 am

The OVP vomited out these talking points and the wingnut dogs lapped it up and ran with it. That’s what happened and you are vomiting it forth even now.

39

jet 07.04.07 at 2:41 am

blog,
I think if only we could work out this one issue, we’d be really good friends. We even agree that it isn’t a wingnut theory, although I think you missed the part where I corrected Q on that (see the 2nd paragraph, which should be the third, of my last post). You see, you aren’t the “other”, you’re just like me. Want to meet up at a pub? We can discuss philosophy, beer, history, religion, just not politics.

That is unless you didn’t misread the post and you are saying that outing Plame discredited Wilson. In that case, we can’t ever, ever, ever be friends and you are the “other”. Just kidding. I like everyone.

40

blog 07.04.07 at 2:46 am

Whatever, that is what it was effectively intended to do, as you yourself are so amply demonstrating.

41

jet 07.04.07 at 2:51 am

blog,
Okay, I’ll just outright ask. How does outing Plame discredit Wilson?

42

blog 07.04.07 at 2:54 am

You think I can get inside the wingnuts depraved minds? Look at what they did with the info and stop playing dumb for once in your deluded wingnut life.

43

jet 07.04.07 at 3:03 am

blog,
Let’s just agree to disagree and I’ll buy you a beer should we ever meet. Even steven?

44

blog 07.04.07 at 3:12 am

I don’t know how the wingnut mind works, but Rove knows how to push all their atavistic, primitive, lizard brain buttons so effectively that it worked spendidly. All the wingnuts now believe Wilson is discredited because he is a mint tea drinking, subserviant to a woman, pussy who can’t be believed about anything. That’s how the wingnut mind works. Don’t ask me to explain it.

45

Martin Bento 07.04.07 at 3:21 am

I don’t think Plame was outed to discredit Wilson primarily. She was outed to intimidate other people in the government who might be tempted to say “inappropriate” things, and for simple revenge, one of humanity’s most basic moral instincts.

46

Matt Weiner 07.04.07 at 3:29 am

Her career was over for the colossal screwup that was the Niger investigation.

Oh bollocks upon bollocks upon bollocks. Where are you getting this from? The Niger investigation confirmed that Saddam could not have got uranium from Iraq — and he hadn’t!

47

Matt Weiner 07.04.07 at 3:29 am

Saddam could not have got uranium from Niger, sorry.

48

blog 07.04.07 at 3:33 am

Yes, but what means did they chose to do this?Nasty, filthy innuendo that was meant to discredit them. That is the sick tactics they chose to get their revenge.

49

"Q" the Enchanter 07.04.07 at 3:35 am

“Where’s your “homework” Dr. McFartyPants?”

Wow. What high school did you say you graduated from? (Actually, scratch that question; it clearly presupposes facts not in evidence.)

As to your link, I’ll quote Fitzgerald from it: “It was known that a CIA officer’s identity was blown, it was known that there was a leak. We needed to figure out how that happened, who did it, why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove it, whether we should prove it.”

Now, given those facts, what federal crimes might Fitzgerald have been investigating? Here are three possibilities: (1) The Espionage Act; (2) the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; and (3) the Federal conspiracy statute. All of these require the kind of scienter I spoke of.

So: Can you name a fourth federal offense that (a) would fit the facts Fitzgerald set out in the excerpt above and (b) would not include the same sort of scienter requirement? If not, I’m afraid we shall have to give you failing marks.

Then again, I suppose that’s alright — something tells me you’re used to being held back a grade.

50

jet 07.04.07 at 3:47 am

Matt Weiner,
You misspelled “The Niger investigation confirmed that Saddam was actively trying to get uranium…”.

And “could not have got”? Is that what it said? I thought it said the trade minister wouldn’t meet about the subject with the Iraqi delegation, but the minister was contemplative that they probably wanted uranium. So I’m going to have to go all Dr. McFartyPants on you and ask for a cite.

As for the screwup, Plame asked to have assigned someone who couldn’t keep his story straight when he came back (her husband), and botched his reporting enough that he had to take out an op-ed in the NYT’s to contradict what he reported to his debfriefing officer, oh and what he said in the Senate hearings.

And I seem to recall, but don’t have time to verify, either the Senate committee or 9-11 commission deriding the job the CIA did in tracking down all the leads in Niger, along with their reliance upon forged documents. But if you say they did a great job and she deserved a medal or something, then by all means lets start the parade.

51

blog 07.04.07 at 3:51 am

Why does jet lie?

52

jet 07.04.07 at 4:01 am

“Q” the Enchanter,
Do you even remember the question? Do you realize that reading my response, your quoting the wrong quote, your changing the subject (I think they call it “moving the goal posts”), and then you call me unkind things, makes you look like an unserious seeker of truth.

Okay, I’ll recap slowly for your obvious imparement. You implied Fitzgerald had said that Libby tried to out Plame on purpose and asked for my info. I gave you a link, which you apparently couldn’t read to the middle for the money quote. I reciprocated the challenge and you responded with vitrolic empty conjecture.

We should just agree to disagree as we don’t appear to be having the same conversation.

53

jet 07.04.07 at 4:02 am

Why does blog lie?

54

blog 07.04.07 at 4:05 am

Do you know what a fact is, jet? All the facts contradict you. Why are you lying?

55

"Q" the Enchanter 07.04.07 at 4:22 am

“we don’t appear to be having the same conversation.”

That’s for sure.

56

David 07.04.07 at 5:07 am

Jet: “your” does not mean the same as you are. However, you seem to be rather confused as to the meaning of quite a few things. To say nothing of understanding them. I will grant that you got the spirit of impairment right. As in “my spell checker is impared.”

57

Matt Weiner 07.04.07 at 5:59 am

Jet–
a) You are intelligent enough to find for yourself articles that will tell you that the Niger documents were crude forgeries and that Saddam could not have got uranium from Niger without many people knowing. Will you next be demanding cites for the absence of WMDs in Iraq?
b) Even if we assume, counterfactually, that everything you say in post #50 is true, you still haven’t provided a scintilla of evidence that Plame’s career was over because of the Niger investigation. I’d think that you’d need very good sources inside the CIA to demonstrate that.
[Of course, it is true that Plame's career ended because of the Niger investigation -- in that the administration embarked on a concerted campaign to blow her cover because they were unhappy with the facts they revealed -- and that this was a colossal screwup, but that's not the question at issue.]

58

abb1 07.04.07 at 7:19 am

I said it was a wing nut theory that outing Plame somehow magically discredited Wilson (although this does make sense for The Nation types).

Not that I care much about secret agents and ambassadors (dog eats dog, fair enough), but isn’t it a proven fact that Mr. Cheney personally suggested that perhaps Mr. Wilson’s wife “sent him on a junket”?

It seems that it would indeed discredit Mr. Wilson and his advocacy if they could make it look like his CIA wife got this gig for him to enjoy free airline food and tea in Niger. I thought that was a common knowledge.

July 5, 2006, the AP reports: Bush Told VP To Rebut Wilson

(CBS/AP) President Bush told the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case that he directed Vice President Dick Cheney to personally lead an effort to counter allegations made by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson that his administration had misrepresented intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq, according to a published report.

Mr. Bush also told federal prosecutors during his June 24, 2004 interview in the Oval Office that he had directed Cheney to disclose highly classified intelligence information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson, sources told the National Journal.

[...]Fitzgerald has not ruled out calling Cheney as a witness. It has been previously reported that the vice president cut out Wilson’s article with a pen knife and scrawled questions on it wondering whether Plame sent her husband on a “junket” to Niger to determine the accuracy of allegations that Iraq had tried to buy material to make a nuclear weapon, Plante has reported.

59

bad Jim 07.04.07 at 7:51 am

Of all the nonsense that was raised in justification of invading Iraq, the issue of seeking uranium ore was possibly the nuttiest. Iraq already had substantial supplies (anyone here old enough to remember the Israeli raid on the Osirak reactor?) which were plundered after the invasion.

It’s hard to decide which was worse, the ignorance of the pundits, the craven fear of the pontificators in chief (ZOMG: smoking gun = mushroom cloud) or their complacent complicity in the nationalist narrative (the cool crowd is down with kicking ass, only dirty FN hippies + San Fran pansies protesting).

What we have now is cognitive dissonance piled upon cognitive dissonance. It could not have been wrong to have gone to war, it could not have been wrong to discredit those who pointed out it was wrong to go to war, it could not have been wrong to lie to protect those who lied to discredit those who pointed it out, and so on ad infinitum.

Save Scooter! Our leaders can have done no wrong, no matter how big a mess they made.

60

MFB 07.04.07 at 8:15 am

This could, conceivably, have been an interesting thread.

Whatever happened to “Don’t feed the trolls”?

By the way, in my opinion Mr. Libby’s sentence was considerably too light. He was, effectively, committing treason for party-political purposes, presumably because some high-up commanded him to. Sentence the bugger to death, I say, and let him blurt out the truth to save his sordid skin as he walks to the lethal chamber.

Then strap him down and flip the switch.

61

Bruce Baugh 07.04.07 at 11:50 am

Scott, it’s a great collection of quotes. In dealing with people who had any sense of guilt or shame, it’d be an excellent opening to a discussion of the question of consistency and context.

62

John Protevi 07.04.07 at 2:06 pm

# 60 is correct in re “jet”. The thread should be about the post, out of courtesy to the author.

63

jet 07.04.07 at 3:35 pm

mfb,
Troll? This from the person who says Libby should be electrocuted. When Abb1 is the most interesting poster, either he’s really changed, or all the smart people have long left.

Like frik’n debating retarded 8 year olds who’s parents told them “the truth”.

64

Barbar 07.04.07 at 6:10 pm

The comment threads in Volokh were particularly interesting. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who insist that there is a liberal cabal out to get poor persecuted Republicans, and view the commutation as the triumph of the little guy (President Bush, VP Chief of Staff Libby) against the powerful liberal establishment (Fitzgerald, judges, journalists, juries, the legal system, the CIA, the FBI, the government, liberal bloggers, Bill Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Eugene Volokh, American voters, and so on). I mean, people at that point must be pretty aware of how partisan they are being, but the whole upshot of partisanship is that you don’t care.

65

Barry 07.05.07 at 3:49 pm

barbar, it’s well beyond that. These people are living in Bizarro World. There’s only enough connection between reality and them that they don’t get run over in the street, by Evul Librul cars.

66

Joshua Holmes 07.05.07 at 6:09 pm

Seriously, I can’t even remotely figure out what happened in the Plame thing, but it sounds to me like complaining about the chipped paint while the ship’s taking on water.

67

Andrew Edwards 07.06.07 at 6:36 pm

Anyone taking odds that “jet” and “blog” are the same person?

68

jet 07.07.07 at 3:11 pm

Joshua Holmes,
You’ve hit the nail on the head. It is about deliberation breaking down on both sides, with gossip and rumor being held as absolute truth. Just look at the thread above where by asking for any sort of evidence, I was called a wing nut and worse.

I only started commenting because the post was about Republicans/Conservatives saying stupid things, but Democrats/Liberals were doing the exact same thing by saying Libby was part of some Bush conspiracy to out Plame. Where is the evidence? Because the evidence we do have (notes and testimony from reporters) would directly contradict this. The only evidence “the left” has is Bush sold a war he wanted based on the CIA’s (and others’) intelligence, that was shoddy (Yay Wilson and Plame, great job on Niger), hard to believe, and distorted. So he must be evil and thus Libby had to have done it on purpose, whilst poor old innocent Armitage just happened to make the same mistake at roughly the exact same time. So the next time a soldier for “the left” has legal troubles, the right will feel completely justified in the same treatment. Are there no grown ups left in this country?

Scott McLemee should follow Joshua Holmes’ line that Libby&trade is just a symptom of a much sicker problem.

69

Scott McLemee 07.07.07 at 6:07 pm

Sure thing, chief. That logic is familiar to me from other contexts. We should never pay any attention to particular problem X. After all, general problem Y is, properly understood, the much greater evil.

“It’s absurd to demand the removal of the toxic waste dump from your back yard when transnational capitalism is the real menace!”

That is so true. And yet folks often want not to have toxic waste in their back yards. Go figure! There is just no reasoning with people, sometimes.

70

jet 07.07.07 at 6:25 pm

Scott McLemee,

So then you agree with me? In a post pointing out the ridiculous things X is saying, it is perfectly acceptable to also point out the ridiculous things Y is saying?

I started on this thread trying to figure out why it was okay to bash X with stupid things from Y. It is good to see you agree they can both be pointed out at the same time.

71

Scott McLemee 07.07.07 at 6:52 pm

George Bush and his puppetmaster should be impeached.

Also: humanity will not be free until the last capitalist is strangled with the guts of the last Stalinist.

Yes, that about covers it.

72

jet 07.08.07 at 2:27 pm

I think there may be a misunderstanding. I’m not saying it is okay to bash Y just because we are bashing X. I’m saying if X is saying stupid things in order to bash the stupid things Y is saying, then pointing them out is reasonable.

Heck maybe I’m wrong, and there is compelling evidence that Libby did it on purpose because the VP told him to, and “Libby Did It On Purose”TM wouldn’t destroy conversations between the left and right if only the right could see/hear/understand this evidence.

Comments on this entry are closed.