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Hullabaloo


Thursday, May 31, 2007

 
Freddie's Back

by digby

The good news is that Judge Walton will let us see all the fawning letters from Scooter's bff's like Hollywood Fred. The bad news is that it probably won't stop Fred from tarring the likes of Patrick Fitzgerald with Ken Starr's fetid reputation.

Here's the line of garbage Thompson threw out recently at a meeting of our conservative overlords about Fitzgerald:

...After years of sacrifice and service to his country, he sits at home with his wife and two children awaiting a prison sentence. His name is Scooter Libby.

As you may recall, for some inexplicable reason, the CIA sent the husband of one of its employees to Niger on a sensitive mission. She had suggested it. He came back to the U.S. and proceeded to publicly blast the administration. Naturally, everyone wanted to know “who is this guy?” and “why was he sent to Niger?” Just as naturally, the fact that he was married to Valerie Plame at the CIA was leaked.

Having virtually guaranteed that Ms. Plame’s identity would be ultimately disclosed by using her, shall we say, “politically active” husband, the CIA then demanded that this leak of her name be investigated by the Justice Department for a possible violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

The Justice Department, bowing to political and media pressure, appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the leak and promised that the Justice Department would exercise no supervision over him whatsoever — a status even the Attorney General does not have.

The only problem with this little scenario was that there was no violation of the law, by anyone, and everybody — the CIA, the Justice Department and the Special Counsel knew it. Ms. Plame was not a “covered person” under the statute and it was obvious from the outset.*

Furthermore, Justice and the Special Counsel knew who leaked Plames’s name and it wasn’t Scooter Libby. But the Beltway machinery was well oiled and geared up so the Special Counsel spent the next two years moving heaven and earth to come up with something, anything. Finally he came up with some inconsistent recollections by Scooter Libby, who had been up to his ears studying National Intelligence Estimates. But he worked for Dick Cheney, so that apparently was enough for the special counsel.

I didn’t know Scooter Libby, but I did know something about this intersection of law, politics, special counsels and intelligence. And it was obvious to me that what was happening was not right. So I called him to see what I could do to help, and along the way we became friends. You know the rest of the story: a D.C. jury convicted him.

In our system all citizens are guaranteed equal protection. And when we appropriate unlimited resources and give unlimited power and direct it all toward one individual, there had better be extraordinary circumstances. There were none here. Just a case of public officials without the courage to do the right thing and stop this farce before it began. In no other prosecutor’s office in the country would a case like this one have been brought.

[...]

I have called for a pardon for Scooter Libby. When you rectify an injustice using the provisions of the law, just as when you reverse an erroneous court decision, you are not disregarding the rule of law, you are enforcing and protecting it.


Hollywood hated the independent counsel law going back to his days covering up for Reagan, so it isn't surprising that he would be skeptical of a special prosecutor. Well it wouldn't be if he weren't a complete hypocrite, that is. Here he is complaining about the independent counsel statute back in 1999. While recognizing that some previous prosecutors had been overzealous, this was his main concern in the moment:

... recently, we've been exposed to a new flaw in the process, and this is they're vulnerable, the independent counsels themselves are vulnerable from attack by those who they are investigating.



Let's just say that like most Republicans (and addled TV celebrities) consistency isn't his strong suit.

So it's perfectly fine to slander Patrick Fitzgerald in front of the Cabal of National Policy, but defending yourself against the man wholeaked every dirty little insinuation that passed through his depraved mind to the mindless little sponges in the press was a "flaw in the process."

Fitzgerald has not leaked the tiniest bit of information about the case to the press. even though his sterling reputation is being flayed daily by the likes of Thompson's former proteges, Mr and Mrs Victoria Toensing. He stoically endures this because decent prosecutors with integrity are above partisan politics and take the heat when this happens, letting their case speak for itself. (As far as Thompson and his hypocritical cronies are concerned, of course, prosecutorial integrity, the rule of law and even jury verdicts are inoperative if they don't like the outcome.)

Meanwhile Judge Kenny Boy Starr is still dishing dirt to Jeff Gerth. I can hardly believe it:

A Media Matters review of Her Way by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. identified at least 33 citations of conversations with officials in the former Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) that investigated Whitewater, at least seven of which refer to an interview with former independent counsel Kenneth Starr.


You remember Ken the pious, Christian conservative man of integrity, don't you? He's a great guy, just like Hollywood Fred the "social conservative" who is makes the pundits swoon and the Republicans turn cartwheels.

I guess we should be grateful they didn't just hire Kiefer Sutherland to play Jack Bauer as president and get it over with. But it's just a matter of time. They can't win on the merits so they have to turn every election into a phony campaign pageant filled with special effects and costumes so hiring actors to play politicians really makes sense. Don't understimate their abilities --- they are master showmen. After all, they were able to convince an awful lot of people that Junior was a hero instead of the nasty little socialite in a cowboy suit he really is. If it takes hypocritically assassinating the characters of honest prosecutors while defending cheap political smear artists to do it, they have no problem with that. It's all part of the show.



*Actually we know now that Wilson was a "covered" person under the statute --- the likely reason it wasn't prosecuted is that Fitzgerald was unable to prove the required intent because of Libby's repeated lying to cover up for that malevolent reptile, Dick Cheney.


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