01 November 2005

Lies and Conspiracy

Of course political reality is one thing. The government is completely controlled by the Republican Party. Nonetheless, we have to ask:

It's now clear that Bush and his administration waged a campaign of deliberate deception, in which the "mainstream media" was complicit, to justify involving America in a catastrophic war.
  • How is this not an impeachable offense?

It's equally clear that Cheney, Libby and Rove (and probably others) conspired to out to the press a covert CIA operative, during wartime, with serious consequences to American intelligence assets and effectively ending her career.

  • How is this not treason?

At the very least, there should be an unceasing drumbeat in the op-Eds and commentaries across the land, demanding that Bush explain and account for his actions, and for Cheney and Rove to resign now.


  1. I have some questions:

    Can you point me to an indictment for leaking the name of a covert agent? Do you think the fact that she drove to a building in Virgina called "CIA Headquarters" for the last 6 years may have blown her cover? Does it bother you that Joe Wilson repeatedly lied about who sent him to Niger and that his investigation was erroneous? Should he, his methods, motives and findings be subject to scrutiny and he be subject to treason?

    Were you bothered by the repeated reports from the Clinton administration concerning the capabilities of Iraq to produce and use banned weapons? Are you more angered that Clinton passed H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" or that Bush actually enforced the act? How was the evidence relied on in passing that act different then when Bush actually did something? Are you more or less comfortable knowing that a dictator with a one million man army who invaded two of his neighbors, fired missles into a third country, threatened to invade Saudi Arabia and murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people can never be in power again and that his capabilities for mass murder have been dismantled? What did you think the "war on terror" would look like?

    The arguments from the anti-Bush crowd have become so tedious. Time and time again facts and history work to foil their pathetic attempts to de-rail a bold, noble and relatively successful effort. Did you hear something about some sort of election in Iraq recently? Did not get much coverage ... I wonder why.

  2. Mr. Anonymous appears to be one of many people who exist in a parallel universe. Where he sees a bold, noble and relatively successful effort in Iraq, I see a brash, ignoble and relatively unsuccessful effort. Nothing I say is likely to convince him otherwise, and vice versa. We are operating on two entirely different sets of assumptions.

    I look forward to voting in 2008 (2012? 2016?) for the man who can get us all back on the same page. I have no idea who this might be, or whether such a person can even exist, but it is the only hope this country has of becoming what it once was: a genuine democracy.

  3. You still can't answer the questions. You know the answers and know that they undermine your entire argument. Liberal denial knows no limits. I live in a universe of fact and you and I both know I could choke your blog with references proving my point. Your response is to ignore my questions and pretend that they don't exist. If you can't support your position then stop pretending that it is valid.

  4. It is illustrative of Mr. Anon's proclivity to jump to conclusions that he assumed that the responding comment was from me, when in fact it was not. I had not seen his comment. This blog is a personal ... and occasional ... foray into cyberspace, and I don't monitor it moment by moment.

    Now, to substance, I think the fact of disinformation itself makes the violation of the act difficult to prosecute. But it is very interesting that when President Clinton was accused of lying under oath about a non-crime, a trivial sexual peccadillo, the rightists all harrumphed about how serious objstruction of justice and perjury are, but now that we're dealing with a clear case of consipracy to cover up at the very least people in the administration skirting very close to the edge of violating what even the most ardent of the right wing must admit is a law designed to protect NATIONAL SECURITY, these are simply dismissed as trivial. Rove remains under investigation, and it's pretty darn clear that Libby deliberately lied under oath to conceal the fact that there was a "Get Wilson" effort underway in the White House, and that it crossed the line of talking about the identity of a covert CIA Agent. I would remind our Anon. Commenter that this is an area where people with security clearances are supposed to exercise great caution.

    And no, first of all, you are just assuming that she "drove to CIA headquarters." Her neighbors did not know who she was, and it certainly was not common knowledge. It is no defense to say, "aw, everyone knew." This is a canard, and it's untrue. As is the charge against Wilson. There is no evidence for this; it is simply right wing fantasy. And Wilson's investigation was NOT erroneous. There is no evidence AT ALL that post-First Gulf War Iraq ever sought uranium from Niger, and a huge scandal is already brewing about the OBVIOUSLY forged Italian intelligence documents that led to this false claim in the first place. See www.talkingpointsmemo.com for complete discussion of this, including references to recent breaking news in the Italian press. And again, it's just a canard to point the finger at someone else to excuse the conduct of officials in the government.

    The other questions are tangential and irrelevant. Clinton is no longer president. I do not justify Clinton's actions or inactions, the question is was Congress, were the American people, demonstrably lied to in the run-up to the current conflict, and I am convinced that the evidence is clear that they were.

    The "War on Terror" has been made infinintely harder by the conflict in Iraq, which was never about terrorists in the first place, but a neoconservative idealist plan to democratize the Middle East. Democracy is not so easy to force on people. Read the interview by Goldberg in the recent New Yorker with Brent Scowcroft (hardly an uberleftist), to see why this world view is dangerous and makes no sense.

    If you believe in representative democracy, Mr. Anon, you must face the fact that the American people now oppose this war by a significant majority. I defend your right to defend it, but the tide of public opinion has turned against you, so I would advise toning down the ad hominem attacks.

    Which brings me to this: anonymous comments on this blog containing character assassination or ad hominem attacks will be deleted in future.

  5. Apropos Clinton administration views on Iraqi WMD, and the misleading selection of quotes on this topic, see: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/006945.php

  6. Just so we are clear: you can NOT point me to a single indictment for the leaking of a covert CIA operative but you really, really hope there will be one. After two years and bundreds of thousands of dollars maybe something will turn up and nail Rove. Got it. So why make the erroneous claim that you did in the initial post?

    So we are going to use Clinton as an example in one paragraph and distance ourselves in another. I can do that. Can you point me to any incident of President Bush lying under oath? If you think that the Clinton investigation revolved solely around some sex with a pudgy intern you are missing the entire point. He repeatedly engaged in behavior that would have resulted in any CEO being fired. I however am with you on the fact that the Clinton deal was overblown, no pun intended.
    Let me be clear: the outing of a covert CIA operative is serious and does involve national security. HAS THAT HAPPENED?! Show me the evidence and call Fitzgerald because he apparently has not seen it either.
    Since we are talking about national security and security clearances, are you in the least bit curious or troubled as to how Wilson was not kept under the strictest of confidences such as a confidentiality agreement and his "findings" (one has to wonder how thorough a job a couple of chats over sweet mint tea really is)not classified, his ability to speak about his "mission" and "findings" and the curious timing issue of when he saw the forged documents. Guess he just mis-spoke. The pre-war intelligence has been investigated exhaustively and I assume you could point me to a single investigation showing how Bush "lied" about anything.(http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007508)
    Would this have even been an issue if he did not imply that Cheney had sent HIM to Niger thereby opening up who DID send him?

    Let me make sure that I understand the totality of the well-referenced and thorough point of fact referenced in "Talking Points Memo" that you referenced exhaustively, parsing the Clinton claims versus the Bush clims and I want to quote it in its entirety (gosh I hope he does not sue us over this, there is so much work product involved) part so that you can see the weight of this evidence that apparently serves as your retort:
    "It seems the president's defenders have fallen back on what has always been their argument of last resort -- cherry-picked quotes from Clinton administration officials arranged to give the misleading impression that the Clintonites said and thought the same thing about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as the Bushies did.

    Not true."

    Was there more? Did I miss something or is that it? I cite you to a law passed in 1998 which serves as a culmination of 6 years of dealing with Iraq and that is your retort? Got it.

    Tell me this: when was the war on terror easy? When was the war on terror fought properly in your opinion? Do you believe that Islamic terrorists are more likely to come out of a democratic country or a totalitarian one? Be the one who says that Arabs and muslims in particular just don't get democracy and don't deserve it (they don't seem to like the ultra-liberal version in Europe right now).
    Scowcroft? The same Scowcroft who left Saddam in power? The same Scowcroft who sat idly by when the Kurds and Shia revolted and were slaughtered by Saddam? Who met with Chinese murderers months after the Tianamen massacre (http://www.hrw.org/reports/1989/WR89/China.htm)? He may be "unmoved by stirrings of democracy in the Middle East" put who among us deny that democracy is happening? Why are you citing him, he does not exactly prove your point?

    Let's try another approach: what does "sucess" in Iraq look like to you? Are those polls reflecting public opinion the same polls that had John Kerry winning the election (from your 11/03/04 post" On a side note, I'm leaving up the post about leaked exit polls from election day, as a signal warning against getting caught up in such unreliable information. It does no good to allow yourself to be buoyed by information that just isn't true, so when they say the information isn't reliable, it's best to just ignore it, for real.
    ")? You also need a better grasp on what an ad hominum attack is and is not. I never attacked anyone in an ad hominum fashion. Examples of an ad hominum attack are:
    - 11/10/04"Wingnut traitor Dixiecrat Zell Miller ..."
    - 4/29/05 "I didn't watch the press conference. I just can't stand his smirky face or snotty voice anymore [referencing a speech by your President]".
    - 4/6/05 "I hope the Repubs do nominate this zero charisma goon [talking about Bill Frist].
    - 5/24/05 "I tried to engage these loony toons, but it was no use. An obviously futile venture, I must admit [referencing some e-mail to a website]".
    - 5/4/05 "I will therefore continue to insult, cajole, and backbite these folks [apparently Republicans], at least until that scabrous drug-addict hatemonger Rush Limbaugh is off the air for good."
    - 5/3/05 "[e-mail to Mr. Tierney]As usual, your column is Radical-Conservative nonsense.... I wish the Times would find someone other than you to replace old man Safire. At least he was witty."

    If you need more, you need only but ask. I adressed your two specific questions. Delete me all you like, I enjoy pointing out the errors in logic and fact of others and it will not deter me in the least. But tell me, if you do not want comments then why have a comment section?

  7. Another link: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Production/files/podhoretz1205advance.html

  8. Interesting questions regarding documents NOT produced by intelligence due to classified status. The summaries of the documents are interesting, germane to the war of terror, Iraq and should be revealed.

  9. Links to two independent reports on pre-war intelligence:


    As I was pondering the role of our man in Niger, I was struck by the realization that THIS is how we conduct our intelligence gathering and fact checking? Politics aside, is this not disturbing? Maybe I have read too many Clancy books but I had a certain level of understanding/hope that we did a bit more than sit down for tea with leaders. Is this as good as it gets? We send Joe Wilson? yikes

  10. I have to work for a living, so I can't address all this mish-mash of innuendo and half-truth. Just 2 points. There is a big difference between evidence strong enough to justify prosecution and evidence which will convince history. I think the evidence is quite clear that Libby and Rove discussed the identity of a covert agent with members of the Press. Fitzgerald obviously thinks he'd have a tough time proving the elements of a very strictly construed statute, but the historical evidence is sufficient. This is at the very least unpatriotic, despicable conduct. These men should resign in disgrace.

    Second, saying Clinton did things that any CEO would be fired for is just innuendo. He was never charged with anything, despite millions and millions spent by a special prosecutor. And if you're in doubt that the ultimate political jury, the Public, thinks that the CIA leak case is worse than Monicagate, a PEW poll proves otherwise: http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/11/pew-public-says-cia-leak-much-worse.html

  11. Do you see why this is so maddening? You make two comments posed as questions unsupported by facts and it takes all this time to admit you have no support for your positions just some B.S. poll and some reference to "historical evidence" which I assume means "you have nothing now but just wait". For what it's worth (because I agree with you that a leak of a covert agent is far more important than what Clinton did) Clinton paid nearly $1 million in settling a sexual harassment case and in sanctions and fended off numerous other allegations. All of which will re-surface when Hillary runs (she apparently took a very interesting approach to investigating her husbands lady friends). There is no company in America that would be comfortable with him at the helm considering he did all of his trolling for ladies on work time. My reference to Clinton was in regards to the mountain of evidence that he presented, parroted by Bush and democrats to get us into Iraq. Period. You can't refute it nor should you. It is what it is. Democrats won't touch it and neither will Republicans. They were all on the same page, right or wrong.

    Why can you not answer the questions on Iraq? Was the occupation poorly planned? Absolutely. Are there miscalculations that occur on a daily basis that cost people's lives? Absolutely, as there are in any war. You have to admit that a stable democracy is less likely to produce or support terrorists. Iraq is not a stable democracy, granted, but my God, it has been two years! Are you not impressed with the progress towards democracy? Do you think the "historical evidence" will prove this to be a success or failure? I assume you do not want the special prosecutor to stop the investigation until no stone is unturned, as do I. Why not support the efforts in Iraq? You have not posted a single comment, article or letter that speaks to the progress in Iraq and you and I both know that there has been a lot of progress. Accuracy and fairness is all I ask. I don't respond to 95% of what you post and it has to be especially misleading for me to say anything. It is your blog, not mine. Respond or not, I don't care. However, it looks bad for your position when you run and refuse to address my points which are not tangential, not mish-mash, and don't contain innuendo. They are supported by fact, I would not post if they were not. I also assume you were a little surprised at the volume of ad hominem attacks you engaged in on this blog.
    As far as the quest for a uniter comment by another poster, Bush was voted in at 51%. I don't know how much more united you can get in modern elections in the US.

  12. Do you see why this is so maddening? You make two comments posed as questions unsupported by facts and it takes all this time to admit you have no support for your positions just some B.S. poll and some reference to "historical evidence" which I assume means "you have nothing now but just wait". For what it's worth (because I agree with you th

  13. I thought I made clear to you that I don't have TIME to argue with all of this nonsense, nor do I have any obligation to you to do so. If you choose to draw specious conclusions from that, that's your business. This blog gets about 5 min. of my time now and again. I'm happy for you that you have the time to go on at length like this, and all of what you've said is there for you to admire. Think what you like. Bush has lost about 20% of his support in the last year, and the reasons for it are obvious.


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