Libby Juror Calls for Pardon

Wonders never cease. A juror in the Scooter Libby trial recommends he be spared jail and receive a pardon from President Bush.

“He seemed like a ton of fun. ... I didn’t want to see him and his wife and say he was guilty of a crime,” Redington told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. But she she said she had no choice given the evidence.

“I think he got caught in a difficult situation where he got caught in the initial lie, and it just snowballed,” she said.

Crooks and Liars has the video.

A "ton of fun?" He sat silent at counsel table for five weeks. What seemed fun about him?

Meanwhile, the White House is trying to tone down the pardon speculation. Tony Snow talked about the long legal road ahead for Libby.


Noting that Mr. Libby’s lawyers plan to enter a motion for a new trial, and to appeal the conviction if the retrial is not granted, Mr. Snow said that now is not the time to talk about a pardon.

“Our view is that you have an ongoing legal proceeding, and we’re very wary of saying anything that may prejudice the rights of Scooter Libby,” Mr. Snow said...

Wasn't Casper Weinberger pardoned by Bush while he was waiting for trial?

< Surging the Surge: More of the Same That Isn't Working | Out of Iraq Caucus to Unveil Iraq Proposal >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    IF having a pfamily were grounds for a pardon (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:09:19 PM EST
    the prison-industrial complex would be empty.

    But on a more serious note, and please correct me if I am wrong, is it not true that, after receiving a pardon, Scooter (or anyone having received a pardon) cannot use their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to resist being compelled to testify?

    And, for that matter, even at this stage of the proceedings, he has only a marginal ability to use that privilege?

    Seems like pardoning him might be the last thing Bushie would want to do, at least until, say, Christmas 2008....

    Some people are asking these questions (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by robrecht on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:00:36 AM EST
    Even with nice guy interviewer Larry King, David Gergen (surely no conspiracy theorist) is able to bring some focus on the substance behind the case.

    DAVID GERGEN: ... What I do think is clear is that there's a lot more to know. And there had to be a reason why the defense attorney did not put Scooter Libby and the vice president on the stand, particularly after he said some days earlier that we would be hearing from them. That decision was -- I think in addition to the Tim Russert appearance, that decision was the turning point in the case. They must have had a strong reason. Perhaps Ted Wells never even knew why Scooter Libby didn't want to go on the stand. But clearly, there's somebody behind this case. Why would Scooter Libby lie as the jury determined? Why would he not take the stand? Why would the vice president not take the stand? There's clearly something they do not wish to discuss. And I don't know what that is.

    SCOTT MCCLELLAN: And I think, Larry, it will be interesting to see if the White House can sustain not talking about this through the appeals process. They sustained it for this long, but I think they would be better served as a communications advisor now. I would be advising the White House to get out there and find some way to talk about this in enough detail to answer some of questions that David brings up that are still hanging out there.

    GERGEN: That's really interesting, Larry, that he would have come to that position. That's a very brave decision to take because I'm sure there are former colleagues of his who would like not to go down that path.

    You're so full of crap (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:09:36 AM EST
    Now you sound like nothing more than an insane person.  Your rationalizations are astounding in their absurdity.  The PROSECUTOR in this case, a Republican appointee mind you, stated early and factually that Plame's status classified.  The jurors reactions have clearly indicated they want the red meat of Cheney and Rove.  Why?  Because they just don't like them?  No, because it was clear to them that Cheney initiated this entire outing and cover-up.  And you just pretend the world's flat.

    Jim, for your "it's just this simple" rationalization to be true you do realize that EVERYONE (from prosecutor to judge to jury) involved in this prosecution must be blindly partisan, incompetent, and just plain dumb as a brick.  That is an entirely irrational position to hold.

    And if classified information is so harmless (none / 0) (#40)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:19:53 AM EST
    Why aren't you calling for the pardon of Sandy Berger.  He didn't out anybody or ruin their career or compromise an intelligence network, he just stuffed a bunch of papers in his sock like a moron.  

    Jim says: Pardon Sandy Berger!!


    I think that Libby.... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:15:07 AM EST
    should get the same deal that Jose Padilla gets.

    Same old falsehoods (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MiddleOfTheRoad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:08:05 AM EST
    What I find shameful is that the CIA sent her husband in the first place. Good management means that you use the best resources available to do the job. A real agent would have:
    been required to submit a written report.

    Wilson was qualified for the job.  Infact he had already made a prior trip to Niger on behalf of the CIA.

    Wilson was interviewed by CIA agents who wrote a written report.

    In addition to Wilson, there were additional reports written by the embassy in Niger and a four star General.

    would not have been allowed to write an editorial for the NYT in which he made at least one mistake.

    There was no mistake in Wilson's NYT article.  Care to tell us what the "mistake" was?

    would not have left out the fact that what he told the CIA caused them to believe that the attempt to purchase was confirmed.

    Wrong again.  There was no purchase attempt.  And the information from 1999 which led the Nigerien official to conclude that the Iraqi businessman was fishing for yellowcake, was judged by the CIA as inconclusive and not adding anything to what they already know.

    As for the CIA, what did Tenet say? That there had been no purchase? Which was not the claim. Or that there had been no attempt to purchase?

    Tenet said: "Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution".

    In other words the report was inconclusive, but had been given a normal and wide distribution within the Bush administration.

    Which leads one to wonder - how come Cheney never saw it?  The same Cheney who knew minor details about what a foreign government was alleging did not read Wilson's report, did not get in touch with the ambassador in Niger or read her reports, did not read the report of the four star general.  Is it a coincidence that Cheney knew every minor details of things that supported the push for war, but was oblivious of our reports which did not support the push for war.

    BINGO (none / 0) (#1)
    by MiddleOfTheRoad on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:03:16 PM EST
    A "ton of fun?" He sat silent at counsel table for five weeks. What seemed fun about him?

    My sentiments exactly.  Libby did not testify before them.  They did not know him as a person.

    A lot of defendants have a wife and a family.  Should having a family be grounds for getting a pardon?

    I think (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:17:36 PM EST
    he has a fifth amendment privilege until his appeal is final -- cert denied by the Supreme Court.

    As to a congressional hearing if he is pardoned, his 5th Am. privilege would only be gone as to the crimes he was charged with.  If his testimony could implicate him in other crimes, he would retain it.

    Just my opinion.

    I think he has the privilege (none / 0) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:53:58 AM EST
     until any appeal of a subsequent § 2255 action becomes final-- and also even after that if he can make a colorable argument he might incriminate himself as to other offenses that would not be barred by double jeopardy.

    Great Pic (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:47:19 PM EST

    lying to "authorities" (none / 0) (#5)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 09:30:44 PM EST
    I think that Presidents should use their pardon power in the same kinds of cases in which juries ought to use their nullification power: cases in which the law is bad, is being wrongly applied, is resulting in injustice, etc.

    In this case, we have a man who lied and who has been caught in his lie.  The juror who is recommending that he be pardoned has the attitude that it is OK and perhaps ought to be legal to lie to authorities who are investigating your crime.  He lied, and it snowballed on him.  He kept on lying to tell a consistent story and now, this, is what she is saying.

    Personally, I have to admit that, much as I hate what Libby has done, the argument has at least some appeal to me.  If I had been on the jury, I would have been happy to convict a man for what I regard as evil and lying. . .

    However, as a general rule, do I believe that persons are morally obliged to always tell the truth to authorities about their crimes when the authorities are asking?  

    I don't know, but I sure don't think so, especially when the conduct in question, of itself, might be morally, arguable morally OK, or even, morally questionable but not of a proper concern to the person asking.

    One of the heroes of the book of judges tells a lie to gain an audience with a king who is oppressing the Israelites and uses the time to kill the king.  A little later, God--according to the Bible account at least--gives the prophet Samuel a pretext to use if and when King Saul asks what he is doing going to Bethlehem (where he anoints David king).  The early Greek texts of John 8 even show Jesus telling a falsehood when asked if he is going up to a feast.

    Martha Stewart lied to authorities about her insider trading and the public has forgiven her.  She hasn't even admitted her "lie," and people just ignore it.  Clinton apparently lied to the grand jury (and the public), depending on whether you want to consider oral sex to be sexual relations.  I kind of do, because oral sex is considered by the public generally and by legal statutes to be in the same category as vaginal sex.

    Most people I know consider the Bill Clinton lie re Monica Lewisky to be a normal and acceptable type of lie, on the basis that the persons asking it "didn't have a right to know the truth by asking it of a person who did a thing that did not harm or legitimately concern the one asking."

    Most old fundamentalist church even believed that lying was appropriate in just some of these instances.

    Have I ever lied to "authorities" about a matter?  

    The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have a 1st amendment free speech right to lie and to advertise with information that turns out to be false or misleading, if I am not mistaken.  Perhaps they can even, in their advertising, say things they know are false.  

    Personally, I kind of favor criminalize lying to the public about your product and it isn't product by the 1st amendment, as far as I am concerned.  

    However, to me, I somewhat believe that 5th amendment protections should be presumably accorded to a person who "lies" to authorities.  And, large segments of the public--and for that matter, the Bible itself--seem to agree.  At least, large segments of the public agree on this when the result achieved by the principle is one they would like, even if they don't wish to apply the same results in other cases.

    And, don't you and I agree about just this when it comes to the Clinton impeachment?  And, if Clinton is exonerated and excused, how do we justify convicting Martha Stewart of lying to authorities?  Sure, convict her of insider trading if that is what she did.  However, to say that she misled some FBI investigators--isn't that somewhat normal?

    OK, well now, you folks, if you wish, provide me with moral education, which I so obviously lack.

    Wrong - But I see your point. (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 09:39:13 PM EST
    it is OK and perhaps ought to be legal to lie to authorities who are investigating your crime.

    Libby was charged with no crime beyond perjury and obstruction.

    If I could have a brew with this guy I'd look him straight in the eye and say, "Horse hockey."

    "You had the chance to hang the jury and cut him loose. Now, having condemned him, don't come whimpering to me that you didn't want to do it.

    Having killed the deer you won't want to gut it."

    Libby's crime (none / 0) (#7)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:30:37 PM EST
    And, at the time he made statements to the FBI and the grand jury, he and many others were being investigated for revealing the classified status of Valerie Plame.

    The response of a large portion of the jury, "What are we doing here?  Where is Rove and the others?" and "Isn't he being made a fall guy?"
    show the moral ambivalence they felt about another one of these prosecutions, not for the original crime, but for the "crime" of lying about the crime afterwards to investigators.  And, for some reason, we don't normally prosecute murderers, rapists, drug runners and all the others with the crime of making false statements to investigators.  We either convict them of the underlying crime or let them go.  If the guy's alibi doesn't make sense, we the jury convict the fellow of murder, not of lying to police or ourselves!

    Police and prosecutors make false statements often enough it is routine and should be considered no surprise.  There is often no repercussions to them for their false statements, some of which they make in court.


    Coulter and Fox are focusing on Plame's (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by annefrank on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:54:07 PM EST
    CIA status: Libby can't be guilty because she was just a desk jockey. Remember when they used to be outraged that a political figure LIED to a grand jury?!?  LOL

    Why aren't they asked to justify the CIA's request (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by mikeyshriver on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 11:09:55 PM EST
    The commentators must know by now that the CIA only asks for such an inquiry when it believes that a NOC has been compromised.  I mean, they must know that by now.  I do.  And i learned it from reading blogs.  It was reaffirmed in the Libby rial.

    So why do they give the punditocracy a free ride to drop such insane comments without asking them a simple and relevant question: Why did the CIA ask for the investigation?

    The answer is simple.  The CIA had grounds.  A NOC had been outed.

    Besides that pesky little "truth" thing...

    Doesn't this "she was just a desk worker" meme strike anyone else as thoroughly disrespectful of the CIA overall?

    Why does Ann Coulter hate the secretaries at the CIA?


    No. Not true. (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:26:18 AM EST
    The answer is simple.  The CIA had grounds.  A NOC had been outed.

    Leaving aside the political claims that this was payback by the CIA because of blame being dumped on them by the Bush Administration...

    The CIA thought it had grounds. It thought a law had been violated. The SP investigated and found otherwise.


    You misundertand as much as jim does (none / 0) (#23)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:49:10 AM EST
    "the CIA made a referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for investigation of "possible violation."

      "Possible" is not a superfluous word in that sentence.

    "Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community."

    "Classified" is not synonymous with "covert" as that term of art is used in the IIPA.

      It's high time people oon both sides admitted the obvious fact that none of us have the information necessary to reach the conclusions our partisan biases make us want to reach and stop misrepresenting.


    Possible (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:38:33 AM EST
    'Possible' refers to the outing not the fact thet she was covert.

    Talk about being dense.


    incorrect (none / 0) (#24)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:49:38 AM EST
    The SP investigated and found "sand had been thrown in its eyes" in a successful attempt to block the investigation by I "Scooter" Libby. The SP found that Plame's status had been classified. What do you suppose that meant?  The CIA thought it had grounds and the SP said Plame's status was classified. Wonder what that meant? Methinks some of that sand is in your eyes.

    Interesting though, that a putative national security voter thinks that outing a covert CIA agent and outing a host of covert agents (the Brewster Jennings fallout) is ok when it is done by the OVP under the direction of Cheney  as an act of petty vengence when the Bush Iraq sought yellow cake in Africa lie was exposed.

    Why did Bush's speechwriters repeatedly insert that line in Bush's speeches? How many times did the CIA tell them not to? Why is it the CIA's fault Bush's speechwriters kept inserting it and it finally exploded in Bush's face? How many times should the CIA have to tell the same speech writers for the same President not to touch the hot stove? How do conservatives and putative national security voters keep insisting with a straight face it is the CIA's fault?

    Why do these people hate America, American values and seek to destroy our way of life?


    The fact is, no law was found to be broken. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:16:37 AM EST
    Above meant for the Dark Avenger (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:21:46 AM EST
    Now, you're (none / 0) (#31)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:22:26 AM EST
     ...just being like Edger and squeaky, i.e., dense.

      There have been no (outiside libby's case) findings:

     that no law was broken.
     that a law or law was broken
     that Plame was covert
     that Plame was not covert

      A lack of of express statement that "A is true" does not mean "A is false."



    My lack of lawerly abilities aside.... ;-) (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:55:35 AM EST
    The SP was appointed to find out who outed Plame, who was claimed to have been covert.

    He never charged or indicted or tried anyone for that crime.

    So I surmise that(while smiling at Mr. Berger)

    no crime was committed, or

    the SP was a failure, or

    the SP hid his findings for unknown reasons, or

    the SP decided he couldn't prove what he thought had happened.

    I'll take an Occam's Razor for this shave and conclude that the most logical and simplest and correct is:

    He found no crime had been committd.


    Platitudes (none / 0) (#41)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:32:42 AM EST
     don't become platitudes without having some grain of truth, but the  what is often true is not necessrily true in a given case.

      Using  the maxim that the simplest solution is the correct one in place of analysis is just as bad as the tendency here to claim  that the most evil conspiracy imaginable is behind everything.

      the real world isn't like that.


    So, the CIA (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:18:09 AM EST
    sent a referral because it didn't think it had grounds??

    no, that s NT what the SP found (none / 0) (#80)
    by mikeyshriver on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:00:29 AM EST
    when Fitzgerald first took the job, he "saw his mission as revealing the full chain of events behind the security breach involving Plame's work as an undercover CIA officer. . . .

    "Fitzgerald would respond with great frustration in his summation at Libby's trial almost three years later, saying that Libby's lies had effectively prevented him from learning about all of Cheney's actions in the administration's campaign to undermine Plame's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    "More than he had previously, Fitzgerald made clear in those remarks that his search for the truth about Cheney was a key ambition in his probe and that his inability to get it was a key provocation for Libby's indictment. Although Cheney was the target, Fitzgerald's investigation could not reach him because of Libby's duplicity."

    Smith writes that Fitzgerald's decision to indict Libby "may have stemmed from his pique at his inability to get to the truth about Cheney, who appeared in testimony and in White House documents disclosed to the jury as the man behind the screen, pulling the switches and levers in what one of Fitzgerald's aides described as an orchestrated 'political public relations' campaign to undermine Wilson.

    from yesterday's Washington Post article by R Jeffrey Smith.


    According to Newsweek... (none / 0) (#8)
    by annefrank on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:42:04 PM EST
    Libby doesn't qualify for a presidential pardon.

    Yes, but (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:55:08 PM EST
    " President Bush can easily waive the rules, but up until now he "seems to have followed those guidelines religiously."

    'trust me'


    LOL - you're probably right (none / 0) (#13)
    by annefrank on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:28:22 AM EST
    Will he or won't he?? (none / 0) (#14)
    by annefrank on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:41:16 AM EST
    That's the big question the media is asking regarding Bush pardoning Libby.
    But why is it even being considered? Libby is a convicted felon. Period. Why is no one asking why Libby lied? - extending the investigation through Nov. 2004.

    I totally disagree (none / 0) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:41:01 AM EST
    That juror did the job assigned. Which was to decide whether it was believed the evidence was sufficient to establish guilt. There is nothing at all wrong with believing that one was complelled by one's sworn duty to vote to convict but to feel symapthy and  empathy and to think that decisions that are beyond the jury's province should be made with mercy and leniency. A jury is only asked to put feelings of sympathy aside and decide the case based solely on the facts and law. Its members are not asked to be devoid of humanity.


    Being Scott-Irsh (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:59:49 AM EST
    I have a natural tendancy to worry over how the King's law is applied. So I think there was, and always is...

    The right to decide that the punishment does not fit the crime and irrespective of guilt, nullify the trial.

    And yes, I understand that most lawyers and judges don't agree with that.


    and being irish... (none / 0) (#79)
    by mikeyshriver on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:42:31 AM EST
    All Irish, all County Cork, all the way back...

    I would have words about the King's anything but shall hold my tongue.

    As for this juror, I do wish he had held his.  The timing was so coincidental as to not have anything to do with providing a complement to the chattering of e right-wing machine about Libby being the fall guy for a crime that was not really a crime, etc. that even a skeptic might admit suspicion.

    There are no accidents when it comes to this Administration insofar as they play to and then play the media.

    Of course the juror has every right to make any pronouncement he sees fit.  And then the rest of us get to evaluate the intent, content and portent.

    Intent?  My take is that he means to influence future appeals, trials, retrials, motions, future everything by suggesting that this poor man is being savaged and does not deserve such.  It is the cheap ploy for a quick laugh in a bad movie, and it is effective.

    Concurrent with the already palpable right-wing media assault of Libby's being convicted of crimes that were not really crimes, being the "fall guy," walking out of the court wit his wife as she was crying... we get the personal take on the issue from someone who actually had to deliberate Libby's fate.  Talk about store-bought credibility...

    Then there is:

    Content?  The juror upheld Libby's guilt.  The juror could not contradict and could not challenge their verdict. So the juror brings up traits and commentary that are both superfluous and visceral.  Given the media's inanity on this whole issue, that they would play more the superfluous commentary by the juror and not reinforce the fact that the juror agreed that Libby was and is guilty suggests that the content equally had a bias, and not one solely predicated on one juror's heartfelt compassion for the defendant.

    Lastly,there is:

    Portent? That the White House is in a pickle about the Libby pardon (they can't but they can but they can't but they might but the law but they never bother with the law.....).  No doubt.  However, it would be great if somehow the White House didn't have to act at all but instead found its remedy by way of a groundswell of public opinion that would be focused on righting this wrong.

    I would not be surprised if it was part of the plan of the Administration to use these ensuing months post-trial, pre-appeals, to seek to alter the will of the courts by having the future legal actions be more informed by feeling than fact.  And the feeling?  Simple --not wanting to bring undue harm to this poor man whose crying pretty wife is holding on to his arm as they walk from the court house, this same poor man that the one juror really thought was kind and keen.

    The intent, content and portent all have one underlying component in my estimation -- to make sure that if a human face is placed on this issue, that it not be the face of the victim or her family, but instead on that of the perpetrator.

    The juror, wittingly or not, has aided and abetted this act of retraumatization.

    That at least is how I see it today...


    Ted Wells as a Racial Prop? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Junky on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:26:26 AM EST
    Cynical me -- but knowing politicians well, it's justified.

    Jeralyn: Just wondering if you would concede the Libby team made a calculated decision based on the USUAL makeup of DC juries (usually dominated by African-American citizens, who make up the majority of the population there).

    I believe they believed Ted Wells would ultimately be addressing a mainly black jury, therefore they decided very early (prior to actually hiring Mr. Wells) that he would best 'represent' Mr. Libby to them.  No disrespect to the talented Mr. Wells. But they figured every possible angle and that was easily one of the most obvious defensive tactics when it was clear Libby was likely to be indicted.

    Yes I really am that cynical. No apologies for that cynicism about the repugnacons and their willingness to use/exploit/dog & pony people of color and soldiers (and anyone else they can use) because this shrub cheney rove rummy condy perl feith LYING admin has blown the gaskets on any current or historical naivete allowance in my estimation.

    No, I wouldn't concede that (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:39:58 AM EST
    Ted Wells has an excellent reputation as a top white collar litigator and he has experience in these kinds of cases.  I don't think race entered into it.

    Cynical me (none / 0) (#21)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:33:13 AM EST
      thinks you are appallingly racist dismissing a higly accomplished man as a "racial prop" and your willingness to exploit his race (and anything else you can use) to attack those whome you dislike is disgusting. mouthing the words "no disrespct" intended doesn't mask the way your mind works.

    Not mutually exclusive (none / 0) (#25)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:59:50 AM EST
    A person can be accomplished AND be used as a prop. See General Colin Powel and his speech to the UN.

    It was full of bogus evidence. It was given to Powell because of his international stature (not because of his race) and he was used as a prop by the administration to advance its agenda.


    Both Wells and Powell (none / 0) (#26)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:07:34 AM EST
      would likely resent the accusation  they are exploited.  They are intelligent men capable of deciding for themselves what they will or won't do. Calling a person a "prop" (short for "property") is especially reprehensible when it is obviously an allusion to the dark days when black people were property and powerless.



    hahhahaha (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:44:53 AM EST
    Good one decon. Powel did feel like a prop, especially when they tried to get him to say something about Iraq seeking yellowcake in a speech.

    While General Powell resents is (none / 0) (#49)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:10:36 PM EST
    being used. I don't blame him a bit.

     You don't address my main point, which is you can ge accomplished and be used as a prop. I assume you are conceding this point.


    i think that is possible (none / 0) (#58)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:57:09 PM EST
      but not even arguably what hapened in either case here and i don't think it is just coincidental BOTH references are to black men who don't fit the stereotypes.

      Colin Powell knew the purpose of his speech and he knew all about the controversy behind the WMD issue-- more so than all but a few men on Earth. He was not used, handled, exploited or anything else. He was chosen because the U.N. is a diplomatic forum and at the time he was the highest ranking diplomat in the USA. Later he may have come to regret his role and he left which he was free to do because he is  A MAN free to decide for himself not an object or piece of property subject to the whims of his owner.

      Wells is a lawyer paid well for doing his job who chose to accept that job for reasons of his own.

      It's every bit as racist to employ racist categorizations and allusions  in support of Leftist positions as it is in any other context.


    What if the criticism comes (none / 0) (#59)
    by Peaches on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:11:03 PM EST
    a person of the same race.

    "There's an old saying," Belafonte said. "In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and [there] were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master ... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him.

    "Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture."

    I am sure you don't agree with Harry Belafonti, Decon. I am just wondering how far we throw the racist accusation out there. I am not sure that calling Powell a "prop" for the whitehouse is racist, although it may be wrong or misguided.


    well, (none / 0) (#60)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:20:15 PM EST
      if it's two members of the same race the bigotry may more properly be considered as class or culturally based but it comes from the same place. Prejudging people as different and almost --always lesser, in some regard-- is an obstacle to progress.

      What you allude to is basically the  "oreo" epithet of today. whether uttered by a black, white or whatever it is intended to suggest the target is less of a man.


    I am not so sure (none / 0) (#63)
    by Peaches on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:43:47 PM EST
    I think Belafonte was deliberately making a comment on Powell's race. He certainly was making Powell's race the point of his assertion. I don't think his intention was to call Powell a lesser man. Again, He may be wrong, but Belafonte was attempting to suggest that Powell, as a black man, has some responsibilities not to do the dirty work of the power elite. He is suggesting that since Black's have been historically mistreated by the power structure in the US which is predominately white, Powell is making a grave mistake to make a decision, of his own free will, to do the work of the white powerelite running our nation and determining our foriegn policy. Harsh criticism, yes. Racist or willfully asserting that a man is less than a man, I don't think so.

    more of a matter of semantics (none / 0) (#64)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:55:19 PM EST
      I equate accusing accusing someone of doing the dirty work of the power elite and shirking his responsibility a s a black man as being tantamount to accusing him of being a lesser man than Belafonte views himself who presumably would not do such things and is therefore a greater man as he sees it.

    But, wouldn't that mean (none / 0) (#66)
    by Peaches on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:05:59 PM EST
    that any time any person criticises the actions of another they are proclaiming his or herself to be a greater person?

    I don't think you mean that. I think you are correct  for the most part about making claims about someone elses race. A lot depends on the context. I don't think anyone could seriously call Belafonte a racist. However, if Ralph Nadar made the same comment, racist might be an appropriate accusation. Whether or not the accusation is accurate isn't really important, because Nadar may be saying the same thing as Belafonte and making the same assertion. But, we specualate that because Nadar does not share the experience of being a Black man in America, he is making a statement out of ignorance that at its root might be racist. Only Nadar would know.

    You are assuming someone is racist for saying Powell and Wells (whom I know nothing about) are props. Perhaps you are correct, and I'd say in most cases you are, but not in ALL cases.


    when you attack someone's morality ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:14:30 PM EST
    fortitude, strenght of character, etc., i think you are invoking the "lesser man" characerization. I do think many other pointed criticisms can me made without doing so.

    Your projection is showing (none / 0) (#61)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:20:17 PM EST
    I never said General Powell was chosen because of his race. In fact I was careful not to. You must be projecting.

    Yes Powell was the highest ranking diplomat. I note however, that during the Cuban missile crises Adlai Stevenson, UN diplomat handled the UN speeches, not SOS Dean Rusk.

    Powell was used as a prop, because he had great credibility. That does not speak ill of Powell, it speaks ill of Bush.

    From the demeanor of Powell's public comments and his allies, it is  clear, Powell resents his being used with that speech.


    Again... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:24:56 PM EST
      you act as though  that Powell was not free to do what he wanted to do. Your's  might be a "benign" racism-- the poor guy so put upon -- but it IS predicated on the assumption he was unable to make his own decision of his own free will. It would be less racist to criticize him for what he did rather than imply he was victimized.

    Powell was and is a solider (none / 0) (#71)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:27:28 PM EST
    and by all accounts he was the consumate professional. He did what he was asked to do. That speaks well of Powell. Neither this fact, nor the fact that he had (and has) "free will" is mutually exclusive of the Bush administration using him as a prop. You think they didn't know and count on Powell's training as a solider and professionalism?

    Your foolish and clumsy attempt to paint me as a racist is only betraying a lack of logic on your part. Give it up.... as someone recently posted here, better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a ....

    BTW returning to the subject of covert or not covert. Everyone of Plame's former CIA classmates (people with personal knowledge of the subject)- who are retired and able to speak- all categorically state she was covert. Many of these people are card carrying Republicans.


    you still miss the point (none / 0) (#72)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:39:20 PM EST
      POWELL was as fully aware of his reputation and stature as anyone else and HE CHOSE TO DO IT. He's a grown man and he did not have to be a "good soldier."

      I can credit him with reassessing after the fact but he did what he did not as a prop or object or tool anything other derogatory term. Why of all the people in the administration is he the one being used as opposed to anyone else. If you have a reason for that other than his skin color what is it?

      If bush were to give a speech tomoorow repudiating his prior actions and saying he was used by Cheney and Wolfovitz, et al would you let him off the hook?


    The fact that he chose to do it (none / 0) (#73)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:57:12 PM EST
    is not mutually exclusive to the fact the Bushies knew he would do it and USED him accordingly. I never used the phrase "good solider" because of other conotations. That fact that he chose to do it, has nothing to do with the motivations of Bush Cheney in asking him to do it.

    I think your problem is you assume that Powell knew what Bush and Cheney knew. I don't think that is necessairly true. In fact, if Powell knew what Bush and Cheney knew, I believe Powell would have refused to make the speech.

    Powell's mistake was he trusted Bush. I do not think ill of him for it, all things considered. I don't think you have thought this through, you are too busy trying to score points clumsily accusing me of racism.

    As to you 2nd question, the answer is no. Too much evidence that Bush knew or should have known. Further the buck (as HST would say) stops with Bush.


    The buck might stop with Bush... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:21:55 PM EST
    ... but it leaves its mark on all with reponsibility.

      I do assume that Powell KNEW the same things as the others. I also assume he may have interpreted what was known differently and reluctantly agreed to push a position about which he had reservations and now regrets having done so. My point is I don't think you would be so eager to let him off the hook as a poor little misled lackey if you didn't think there were points to be scored by portraying him as a stooge or tool, prop or whatever other name you want to call it and i do find it odd that its the black guy who gets that unflatteringly weak banner to carry while the whoiter guys all get to be powerful, machiavellian puppet-masters.


    There is not a whole lot of evidence (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:44:13 PM EST
    pointing to Powell. I can't help that. If you want to make him a part of the cabal, be my guest. Lay out your evidence.

    The evidence, if you care to look at it points at Bush, Cheney, Rumdfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and the underlings of the latter 4.

    As for Powell it is not logical to assume because someone is smart, accomplished or even principled, that they cannot become a prop or stooge or pawn of someone else. It happens all the time.

    It really is immaterial whether Powell knew or didn't know everything Bush Cheney knew. There is a quote in Hubris by the  Bushies talking about how Powell should deliever the speech because he was the most popular member of the administration and "could afford a few poll points" better than anyone else. Still think the Bushies weren't using Powell (with or without his consent)?

    With regard to your other comments, you don't know me, yet you make assumptions about my character, apparantly because it fits your preconcieved notions about "the left" as though I am representative of all on the left. You are transparantly obvious and clumsey.


    where do you get that!? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Sailor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:20:02 PM EST
    There are many definition for property and that one is pretty twisted. Try
    Also called prop. a usually movable item, other than costumes or scenery, used on the set of a theater production, motion picture, etc.; any object handled or used by an actor in a performance.

    "Prop" (none / 0) (#57)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:25:40 PM EST
     is short for "property." that's why the person in a theater responsible for the "props" is the property manager.

      From your own cut and paste job you should get the point that use of that perjorative was equating Wells "to an object used or handled."

      Have you never learned the adage better to remain silent and be tthought...?


    Such a wonkish crime (none / 0) (#29)
    by dutchfox on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:19:17 AM EST
    This is all so silly. I love reading TalkLeft. Not to rain on Jeralyn's and Jane's parade, but....

    I'm also reading Martin Wisse's blog -

    The Scooter Libby trial was about the least important of the crimes the Bush administration has committed, just like the "cash for honours" scandal is about the least important of Blair's crimes, but they are also the only crimes recognised as such by the political establishment and the media in both countries. It has always been that way; Nixon stumbled over Watergate, a tawdry coverup of a failed burgle attempt, not over waging a secret war against Cambodia and Laos.

    The opposition, such as it is, in both countries is loath to attack the government on the real crimess because they're just as complicit in them and/or want to be able to pursue similar policies once they're in power. Hence the focus on wonkish, minor crimes rather than the reality behind those crimes.

    Re: the focus on wonkish, minor crimes (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:32:47 AM EST
    In a nation that prides itself on living by the rule of law, Mr. Libby should have been tried for treason.

    Mr. Libby's lies helped get a lot of people killed, helped undermine our ability to defend ourselves against the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and helped midwife a war that cuts us all to the quick with every passing day. If that isn't treason, then treason simply does not exist as an actionable criminal act.


    edger advertise his blog (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:11:18 PM EST
    Don't you think it dishonest to make a bunch of claims with no proof except at the bottom of 300 or so word comment?

    A casual reader could look at that and think it was the result of a journalist who had done much research, and thus drift on by, believeing accurate what they had read.

    When it fact, the link us to your own blog...


    in this instance make it 40 or so words. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:12:29 PM EST
    in this instance make it 40 or so words. (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:12:57 PM EST
    OFF TOPIC (none / 0) (#55)
    by Sailor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:20:49 PM EST
    and yet another personal attack

    Wichita, huh? A bit up I35? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:25:11 PM EST
    i agree with all of that (none / 0) (#35)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:59:28 AM EST
     but it's a different issue, isn't it?

      The failings of Wilson/Plame and the general seamy nature of the entire enterprise don't justify breaking the law as libby has been do to have done, nor do they in the opinion of many justify-- dishonest, unethical and "dirty" actions by people in the Administration -- even if those actions were not illegal.

      You will not see me say a single word in defense of Wilson or his blog buddies. Despite that utter disdain for them I also am utterly disgusted at what the Administration did.

    Then we are in partial agreement. (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:01:34 AM EST
    Then we are in partial agreement.

    See my response re jury's duty below.


    Myth and disinformation campaign (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:24:09 AM EST
    IOW, denial, avoidance, and evasion of responsibility, by supporters of the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and to Libby's trial.

    Libby's guilty verdict: Media myths and falsehoods to watch for

    The big one of course will be the oft-repeated claim that "No underlying crime was committed":

    Since a federal grand jury indicted Libby in October 2005, numerous media figures have stated that the nature of the charges against him prove that special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation of the CIA leak case found that no underlying crime had been committed. But this assertion ignores Fitzgerald's explanation that Libby's obstructions prevented him -- and the grand jury -- from determining whether the alleged leak violated federal law.
    ...but there are eight more in the article.

    Edger (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:15:45 PM EST
    Armitage told the DOJ three months before Fitzgerald came on board he was the leaker.

    How was Fitzgerald impeded?

    He wasn't.

    Are the other 8 claims as inaccurate as this one?


    I don't wear glasses (none / 0) (#48)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:08:17 PM EST
    My vision is 20/20. You seem to be wearing rose colored glasses. The comments below by others address your points. I don't believe Wilson has been substantively disproved on any point. As for going to the press, well that's what whistleblowers do, its the nature of the beast.

    you always think you are showing something... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:07:42 PM EST
     Unfortunately, while you always do, it's never what you think you are showing and if you did understand what you show you'd stop showing it.

    It's always very telling when people (none / 0) (#68)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:12:26 PM EST
    so obviously see themselves in others actions............ right, decon?



    personal attack? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Sailor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:24:11 PM EST
    look, you claimed it was used in a racist manner, as in chattel, I merely pointed out that there are many definitions of the word 'property' and in this context it was used as in a theatrical property (AKA prop.)

    And then you make a personal attack instead of some rebuttal of why you think it was used as in slave ownership.


    Please stay on the topic of the pardon (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:32:07 PM EST
    Thanks, some comments with name-calling and insults have been deleted from this thread.