September 6, 2006

"It’s time for Mr. Fitzgerald to provide answers or admit that this investigation has run its course."

Says the NYT.


hdhouse said...

It would be nice before the elections but not necessary. Scooter squirming is nice but there is no mandate for Fitzgerald to shut it down other than a certain bloodlust (if the shark isn't going to take the leg off another swimmer, then let's just get a hot dog).

Can we assume that there may be more out there and he is being thorough? The administration hasn't been a bastion of helpfulness here.

Henry said...

the central question in the investigation [is] whether there was an organized attempt by the White House to use Mrs. Wilson to discredit or punish her husband, Joseph Wilson.

Funny, I thought the central question for the independent prosecutor was whether or not a crime was committed.

Thus, the NY Times dissembles merrily along.

Hey HD, maybe Fitzgerald found some old Whitewater papers and has decided to follow up. You know, on the principle of thoroughness.

SippicanCottage said...

This is in the second paragraph so I stopped reading because I'm reading nonsense:

A former diplomat, Mr. Wilson debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.

They used to at least put the fig leaf on the bait and switch tactic: "Tried to" in the come on, and then putting: "no evidence of a purchase was found." later. It's the NYTimes version of an intellectual vinyl siding contract they're trying to get you to sign.

I'll pass.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL Henry:

More billing records from the Rose Law firm were found in the private quarters.

I also enjoyed the continued irony of this line:

"A former diplomat, Mr. Wilson debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons."

they didn't even have the decency to make the line truthful by either adding a "Wilson CLAIMED to have debunked" at the front or changing the verb to one that could be proven like: "Saddam Hussein BOUGHT uranium"

The Drill SGT said...

LOL, Idefer to SIP, who's a bit faster as a typist :)

altoids1306 said...

The NYT washes its hands of the mess it helped create. Personally, I think the precedent of criminal prosecution of leakers is something the NYT will regret advocating.

Richard Dolan said...

What a pathetic editorial, particularly in contrast with the WaPo's take on the same subject.

The NYT even gets the basic facts wrong. According to the editorial, "[a] former diplomat, Mr. Wilson debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons," when it is now clear that (a) the British were right all along about Saddam's unsuccessful efforts to acquire Nigerian yellowcake, and (b) the only thing Wilson ever "debunked" was himself in this whole, sorry affair.

The NYT's editorialist gives his (highly partisan) game away when he tries to summarize the current state of affairs, after the revelation that Armitage was the source for the leak to Novak: "It’s conceivable that Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, has evidence that suggests the information in the memo was used in some illegal manner. Or his investigators may have learned something troubling about the second, unknown, source cited in Mr. Novak’s column, or about some other illegal activity. But whatever it is needs to be made public. The Armitage story is mainly a reminder that this investigation has gone on too long."

Put aside for the moment the NYT's obviously ardent wish to see someone in the White House accused of wrongdoing here, or the utter lack of any factual basis for the editorial's suggestion that Fitzgerald has found any evidence of "illegality" other than the perjury and obstruction charge against Libby. The idea that the "Armitage story" is important only because it reminds everyone of the drawn-out nature of this investigation is utterly delusional. The significance of the "Armitage story" is that it shows that there is not now -- and since the first day of Fitzgerald's investigation, never has been -- any "story" at all. Since Fitzgerald had the answer to "who leaked to Novak" literally within days of his appointment, there was never anything here to "investigate."

To its credit, the WaPo editorialists have drawn those conclusions, and have been willing to follow the facts where they now clearly lead, even though they are just as unsympathetic generally to Republican policies as the NYT. The NYT, in contrast, is slipping ever deeper into Bush Derangement Syndrome, where the only object is to attack and destroy the evildoers in the White House with whatever weapon may be at hand regardless of where the truth may lie.

Since the NYT gets every other aspect of this story wrong, it's no surprise that its conclusion is preposterous. Contrary to the editorial, it is obvious that this "investigation" has long since "run its course." The question that remains is why there was ever any "course to run" once Fitzgerald learned during his first week on this job that Armitage was the source of the leak that was the reason for his appointment in the first place.

The NYT's reference to the Cisneros "investigation" -- another exercise in prosecutorial excess for its own sake -- ought to remind even the partisan hack writing this editorial that "special prosecutors" with unlimited budgets and answerable to no one but themselves are a terrible idea. And they are a terrible idea whether the current occupant of the White House is a Dem or a Rep. History shows that, once appointed, these prosecutors are incapable of shutting down their "investigations," or of exercising any rational discretion about what should and should not be "investigated." I think that results from a combination of fear of criticism about being too lenient, coupled with egotism and the natural bureaucratic reality that no governmental entity ever wants to put an end to itself. The NYT editorialist knows that as well as the WaPo editorialists, but because its the Bush team rather than the Clinton team on the receiving end of this madness, they just are unwilling to say it. Truly pathetic.

hdhouse said...

how about this entire matter stinks like old fish. don't you find it interesting that poor richard was unmasked at this late date? a case could be made that there are grapes being squeezed somewhere to have that factoid bounce out so long after the fact.

henry - i think the key word is "organized" attempt. that means 2 or more sat at a table and said "let's do this" "you do that". it takes it out of the realm of inadvertance or a simple mistake (as in "i had no idea"). a mistake or inadvertance is a plausible defense.

does herr drill sgt actually, still, at this time, after all this, believe that saddam bought yellowcake? or when he says uranium does he mean for the bomb factories that no one can find?

i wish this blog was up and running when starr was spinning wheels. i truly do. i bet some of the comments were realling something.

SippicanCottage said...
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The Drill SGT said...

Thanks for the defense SIP, but I've been called much worse by professionals. (and some not so professionals, now that I think of it) Unless that's another way of calling me a Nazi in polite company. If so, it sets some new records around here... whatever.

What I meant, and perhaps poorly expressed was the same opinion that SIP did. The NYT still is peddling the same tired lies. What they could have done to make the OPED more accurate would be to take liberties with the original Wilson claim with something like:

A former diplomat, Mr. Wilson debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein BOUGHT uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.

that sentence is accurate on its face, though doesn't represent what Wilson really did.

Theo Boehm said...

Come on, everybody. Why so mean-spirited? Everyone needs employment, and what better for Mr. Fitzgerald than this? Think about his family. It's for the children, after all.

In fact, I would take this one step further. I think Congress should amend the relevant statutes so that each Special Prosecutor would be provided an endowment. Each case would then be investigated in perpetuity. Of course a condition for accepting the job of Special Prosecutor would be a lifetime commitment to the exclusion of all other activities.

Think of the advantages. Lawyers of a contemplative nature could avoid the hurly-burly of the private sector or the vagaries of ordinary government employment. The Government would have the advantage of knowing that its past malfeasances are being expiated, however slowly, and that it could undertake future actions in the secure knowledge that, in case of trouble, a new Special Prosecutor would be appointed to pray for its, investigate forever.

Endowed masses to be said in perpetuity worked for Medieval kings, so why not bring this useful practice up-to-date?

Mike said...

hdhouse said: "does herr drill sgt actually, still, at this time, after all this, believe that saddam bought yellowcake?"

When you've got to know that your dishonesty will be apparent for all to see, yet you say it anyway... boy, I don't know

The Drill SGT said...


Here's another Barrett story for you:

But University of Wisconsin assistant professor, Kevin Barrett, said experts are unwilling to believe theories which don't fit into their belief systems.

Simon said...

Oh please. They are so full of it. This is an incredibly obvious move for them: in light of the revelation about Armitage's role, the realization has quite simply dawned upon the New York Times that Fitzgerald's investigation is not going to prove that the Republican Party, the Bush Administration, or better yet, Bush or Rove personally, did something wrong. That being the case, Fitzgerald's utility to the New York Times is at an end, and that being the case. If he cannot be useful to their purpose, they now want to shut him down lest he discover something actively contrary to their purpose.

hdhouse said...

apologize? nope.

what wilson really did was when the bush administration told a whopper of a tall tale he said "no, that's not right".

some lies are fairly harmless as in "i once caught a fish thiisssssss big". some lies are not as in "mushroom cloud".

the nytimes does not either as a matter of routine or by carelessness lie. does it have an occasional fact issue or someone on its payroll who lies? certainly. but to blanket it as our drill instructor does with somesort of spray painter is both unfair and intellectually dishonest.

if you don't like it that bush and his friends routinely lie to the people and that if you truly believe that valerie p.'s issues are her own making, then so be it. just say that. but don't take your indefensible position and use it as a launching pad for something so cheap and tawdry as your shot against the nyts.

Sean said...

Major premise: Law school teaches you to think with discipline and precision.

Minor premise: The New York Times editorialists did not go to law school.

Simon said...
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SippicanCottage said...
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Simon said...

"what wilson really did was when the bush administration told a whopper of a tall tale he said no, that's not right.'"

What Wilson really did was to disagree with something claimed by the Bush Administration. He said "that's not right." But that isn't quite what the NYT story states: there is a gap between saying that something isn't right and proving that it isn't right. To debunk something requires a little more than ipse dixit, even if the source has credibility; when the source is a Joe Wilson or a Kevin Barret, it certainly requires more than ipse dixit.

Of course, it makes little difference to you, since you believe Wilson's claims; indeed, I suspect you'd believe anything from any source that painted this administration in a poor light, but for the vast majority of the country who do not start from the operative assumption that this president is the incarnation of the First Evil, Wilson merely asserted, not debunked.

hdhouse said... that what the word "herr" means to you? nazi? if i felt the drill sargent was a nazi i would say so. i didn't say so. but the point was made.

you preceive an attack so you go all nuts and extrapolate to it on a much wider set of issues. you know i am but one small liberal voice on a blog that features attila the hun as a centrist....

so you mirror what the investigation is all about. it is bush over reacting and overreaching (of course using the collective "bush" for its staff).

fitzgerald, by his own admission, couldn't puncture the loyalists...scooter will probably squirm in prison and with an ankle bracelet for a while and that will likely be the end of it.

but in a white house that marches lockstep in loyalty, do you think it is even remotely reasonable that a couple of them just wandered off the reservation on their own? does that make sense to you?

El Presidente said...

Hdhouse is correct. It is well known that all members of the US Military are Nazis.

SippicanCottage said...
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hdhouse said...

el presidente

1. it is not known at all
2. it is not true at all
3. i never ever said anything remotely like that
4. if that is your swipe at sarcasm, reswipe. if that was humor, you need to get out more.

Simon said...

"is that what the word "herr" means to you? nazi? if i felt the drill sargent was a nazi i would say so. i didn't say so. but the point was made."

And what point was that? If Sippican was wrong to infer Nazi connotations, what was the point you did mean to connote with the "herr" prefix?

"i am but one small liberal voice on a blog that features attila the hun as a centrist...."

Quxxo! Welcome back! Just kidding, but who are you casting as Atilla the Hun in this drama? (One assume that you mean to imply that Atilla the Hun was "conservative", itself an anachronism given that Atilla the Hun died in 453 AD, well in excess of a millennia before the earliest one could possibly date the emergence of a political philsophy resembling modern conservatism, and some twelve centuries before Edmund Burke had drawn his first breath).

El Presidente said...


According to my files, this is the first time you have disagreed with me.

AllenS said...
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AllenS said...

Yesterday, hdhouse said: "I'll advise my clients..."

Let me guess, tinfoil salesman.

monkeyboy said...

Please leave Comrade hdhouse alone, he's had a hard day moving back and forth between realities.

What? Its just a form of address.

Pogo said...

It's nice to have El Presidente back now that his stomach can... er disorder has been cured (cured) with surgery.

And hats off to hdhouse for choosing precisely the wrong moment and person to slip in a little random german salutation.

Why not Italian, or Arabic, or Eskimo? Why not "señor" or "господин" or "氏" or "ο κύριος" or something? Why German?

AJ Lynch said...

The NYT is asking for a "wrap-up report" from Fitzgrald. The Dems (aka Shumer) asked for the same thing before last fall's election (and after Libby but not Rove was indicted). The Times knows Fitz has no obligation to do that.

And hdhouse- The Drill Sgt is the most even-keeled but incisive commenter on this blog. He has never taken the low road with anyone else in the ethernet. For your sake, I hope he does not know where you live.

SippicanCottage said...
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Harkonnendog said...

hdhouse used herr because he thinks
Sergeant has Teutonic characteristics.

Anyone who thinks that herr in that context was supposed to reference Nazis is simply crazy.

No. He meant German as in "very precise" or "stands with good posture." It had absolutely NOTHING to do with the idea that Seargeant is right wing and the Nazi were fascists.


Henry said...
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Henry said...

hdhouse -- What happened to the mixed case? You were doing so well for a while. I was convinced you weren't a cockroach.

Anyway, think a minute about the sentence I quoted above. Fitzgerald's brief is to find out if a crime was committed and, if so, who was involved. The New York Times thinks Fitzgerald's brief is to find out if a crime was committed by an organized group in the White House. See the difference?

Pogo said...

Sippican, ya gotta get somma them internet tubes over t'yer place.

Or just type junk in Babelfish, and then cut & paste as is.

Not that that's what I did or anything.

hdhouse said...

I indeed am sorry that many of you have the perverse association with Herr with Nazi. I have it with a number of languages but in my life I have never called anyone a Nazi - a completely repugnant association with half of my mother's family being removed from the face of the earth by them.

and as to the definition of Herr

Herr m. (genitive: Herrn, plural: Herren)

Mr., mister, sir

Pogo said...


good on ya!
I see why you and I and many others would both be very testy about the connotations, intended or not.

WF Buckley once threatened to punch Gore Vidal on live TV for something similar.

The Drill SGT said...

Apology accepted.

I have of course lived in Germany (US Army) and am headed back there in 60 days for a bit of vacation.

I've been called worse, "baby killer" and "war criminal" come to mind. Comes from being a VN vet at the University of California in 72

As for my genetics, it's English and Dutch.

As for my politics, I'm far left of Atilla. I'm a California RINO living in Virginia.

Palladian said...

Bye-Bye, Mein Lieber Herr.
Farewell, mein Lieber Herr.
It was a fine affair,
But now it's over.
And though I used to care,
I need the open air.
You're better off without me,
Mein Herr.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Who cares what randomly chosen foreign honorifics Tovarishch House uses anyway?

SippicanCottage said...


I learned to speak a little Russian. I had two Russian emigre employees.

I called one tovarish. Trying to be pleasant.

If I didn't sign his checks, he would have popped me one. Don't ever call me that, he said.

Doverey no proverey!

Simon said...

Subject any populace to a brutal regime which mandates a certain form of address, and once free of the regime, most of the population will tend to resent the formerly-mandatory form of address.

SippicanCottage said...
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Palladian said...

Not only show tunes, Sippican, but Liza!

But, hey, I also use sliding table saws and can weld.

I'm balanced!

Harkonnendog said...

another word perversely associated with Nazis is fuhrer.

Führer (help·info) (Fuehrer when an umlaut is not used) is a proper noun meaning "leader" or "guide" in the German language.

I hope we will all recognize that HD is our fuhrer when it comes to associations with German words.


vnjagvet said...

Headhouse has the "sought" "bought" bait and switch routine down pat.


A) Sixteen words:

“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

B) Wilson:

No evidence that Saddam bought uranium from Niger.

There is no way that B disproves A. Why? Because sought does not equal bought.

Yet the ruse continues, and Komrad Headhouse promotes it here.

SippicanCottage said...
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Palladian said...

She sure sounded like one!

hdhouse said...

It is just so nice that some of you legal eagles stray off the reservations into countries where you truly know so little. take our little tovarishch thread...its cute i guess in some sort of terribly misunderstood way and i'll wager old Paul didn't spend a whole lot of time in the old USSR and perhaps doesn't understand courtesies and sarcasms.

not to put too fine a point at it but the usage of tovarishch has a little more too it, mostly ironic, a lot of it meloncholic than just the yo buddy typle of association you think of when you say comrade.

and as to "sought and bought"

There once was a fat jerk named Karl
Who's face was a perpetual snarl.
Fitzgerald was sure
That his schemes were not pure
and to jail he should go lock stock and barrel.

Bruce Hayden said...

vnjagvet has it right. The President was talking about seeking to buy uranium. And when Wilson went to Niger and debriefed, the CIA took his report to coorborate that because he told them that the Iraqis had visited for trade and the only viable trade goods are yellowcake. But then, Wilson in his article stated that there was no evidence that the Iraqis had bought yellowcake from the Nigerians, and that was supposed to, somehow, rebut the President's SoTU statement that they had tried to acquire it in Africa. Let me also add that just like sought=/=bought, Africa=/=Niger.

Similarly, Wilson never really said in that NYT article that the VP sent him, just implied it very strongly.

I have long believed that what is going on is a former state department functionary doing what they do best: saying one thing, but implying something quite different. Of course, we all don't deal with that sort of doublespeak on a daily basis, so take the intentional misdirection badly.

vnjagvet said...

Yeah, Bruce and there are always those pesky lawyers who parse words and don't rely on inferences, especially when lying is charged.

In our system, lawyers get to appear for both sides. Cool, ain't it?

Libby got the best, and Joe didn't.

Funny how the lawyer commenters on the good legal blogs have it figured out.

Bruce Hayden said...


I really don't know where lawyers learn it, it just happens. I don't think that it is in law school, though that probably does help a little. But mostly, I suspect it is due to making their livelyhoods jousting with words, both with each other, and with witnesses. At some point, I think most attorneys wake up one day listening almost as much to what isn't being said as what is.

BTW, it isn't always easy having an attorney as a parent. Some have pointed out to their tendency to cross-examine their kids. But in my case, it was that I couldn't get away with lying by omission. Somehow, my father always knew when I was skirting around something. Actually, after ten years of retirement after almost 50 years of practice, he still does it to us.

Brent said...

. . . Because sought does not equal bought.

vnjagvet, that is the most succinct, easily understood explanation of the Plame affair.

Another favorite of mine:
"This is like saying: "John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan; Reagan later died." Every word of that is true, but what it implies -- that Hinckley killed Reagan -- is false."

The anti-Bushies have dissembled and muddied the water on this one so much that the average news consumer (including all - but not limited to - NYT readers)is so confused on the facts that he/she has to fall back to the default position: dance with who brung ya. Liberals take the "liberal, anti-Bush, pro-Wilson", side. Conservatives take the opposite side. Those in the "center"? They're the "prize" that each side is trying to win in the overall battle of Public Opinion.

David said...

vnjag; nice job! If the American public ever figures out how stupid the MSM thinks they are, the blowback/payback will be brutal.

The difference between 'bought' and 'sought' is priceless in the context of the discussion.

When I point out this distinction to people who believe the Plame/Wilson conspiracy, the look of betrayal on their faces is priceless in its own right.