"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Hearing Loss of The NY Times Editors – Scooter Libby

From the opinion makers; members of the NY Times Editorial board (italics mine):

“Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case, Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell.”

The NY Times Editors always “hear” things differently; why is that?

Oftentimes, too often, I find myself visiting the pages of opinion in the Times; they irk me. Perhaps it’s their smarmy, condescending tone. Maybe it’s their utter dismissal of so many pieces of a puzzle that allows them to come to their conclusions that bothers me. One has to realize that the opinion page of any paper is just that, opinion. I don’t know why, but for some inexplicable reason I expect more from what used to be a respected paper.

So much of what people read or view these days is colored with words that conjure up images the writer wants you to envision; whether this is just the writer’s flare or rather their intent to mislead isn’t often in question. When it is judged by many that say the Democrat party is soft or weak on terror and is offering legislation on a withdrawal from Iraq and a paper publishes an article on the Democrats being “aggressive and united on Iraq” we have an issue. It implies that the Democrats are kicking butt in Iraq, when in reality they are “aggressive and united on Iraq,” in their efforts aimed at withdrawal. They are actually tough cookies to the enemy, but the only enemy they appear to really have their sites on is the president and the opposing party. If they applied half their vehemence and aggression on the enemy in Iraq that they do on efforts real and perceived from the Right, we’d probably be on course doing just what so many have been screaming about with regard to us cutting back the number of troops there.

Obviously I see the paper and Democrats as being misguided when it comes to the appropriate target, but I digress as I have since roughly half-way into the second paragraph.

In the editorials run up to revealing its hearing impairment it states:

“Mr. Libby was convicted of lying to federal agents investigating the leak of the name of a covert C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson. Mrs. Wilson’s husband, Joseph Wilson, was asked to investigate a central claim in Mr. Bush’s drive to war with Iraq — whether Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Africa. Mr. Wilson concluded that Iraq had not done that and had the temerity to share those conclusions with the American public.

It seems clear from the record that Vice President Dick Cheney organized a campaign to discredit Mr. Wilson. And Mr. Libby, who was Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, was willing to lie to protect his boss.”

The entire “Libby Episode” was painted with he said, she said; during the course of the investigation and trial it couldn’t even be revealed whether or not Plame-Wilson had “secret” standing. The “campaign to smear” Joseph Wilson began with Wilson’s hole ridden opinion piece, where over the course of time, many details were found wanting and/or outright untruths. Plame-Wilson’s was actually outed by Richard Armitage; a fact that special prosecutor Fitzgerald was fully aware of.

Ultimately, the jury found Libby guilty of a couple of counts; so to me it seems more appropriate for the paper, whether in its opinion pages or not to take the commutation of Libby’s sentence with the details in mind. Rather, the opinion reeks of the blinding, myopic vision that has struck so many during the Bush Administration’s time in office.

A court of law found this defendant guilty; the investigation in my mind was a joke and a witchhunt which ignored so much that was revealed about the dishonesty of Joseph Wilson, which the media tended to touch on then ignore. Libby lied when his memory was compared with other’s memories, which also proved wanting. In respect for the law it could be said the president decided upon the commutation with the best (best isn’t much here) of both worlds.

This isn’t good enough to the editors and it’s a shame as it reveals their dishonesty, which continues unabated and increases in intensity with each passing day.

I offer a quote, probably an inappropriate quote based upon its origin, meaning the person who stated it will dissuade those in disagreement from viewing the quote as unworthy due to the speaker. That shouldn’t be the case, as a good quote is worthy regardless of who states it:

“The day when the network commentators and even the gentlemen of the New York Times enjoyed a form of diplomatic immunity from comment and criticism of what they said — that day is gone. . . . When their criticism becomes excessive or unjust, we shall invite them down from their ivory towers to enjoy the rough and tumble of public debate. . . . The time for blind acceptance of their opinions is past. And the time for naïve belief in their neutrality is gone.”

Spiro T. Agnew – 1969

Visit NRO for some opinion that the Times editorial board would likely find worthy of prosecution. I haven’t read them yet as I like to post in as ignorant a state as possible prior to being swayed by the argument of others.

From The Editors at NRO; “Appropriate Presidential Mercy,” and from Byron York, who by far track this whole mess better than anyone, “Why Bush Saved Libby.”

May these links not let me down.

More on the Clinton pardons here and oddly an opinion piece from the pages of The New York Times in defense of those pardons written by the man himself.

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