Sunday, March 11, 2007

Is Cheney the Republican Bill Clinton?

Is Cheney the Republican Bill Clinton?

I just finished reading “Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero.” I now know how Democrats must have felt about Bill Clinton.

I’ve been a San Francisco Giants fan most of my life. I wanted Bonds to be innocent because I loved the Giants. All I want now is for Bonds to retire before he “breaks” Hank Aaron because he is destroying a game I love.

Democrats must have felt the same way. They must have wanted Clinton to be innocent of perjury as well as of sexually abusing and raping women. At a certain point they must have wanted him to retire because he was destroying a party they loved.

I’m beginning to think Cheney is the Republican Bill Clinton. The parallels between Cheney, Bonds and Clinton are scary:

-Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' friend, was held in contempt of court and sent to prison for refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury that is investigating Barry Bonds for possible perjury that Bonds denied that he ever knowingly took steroids.

-Susan McDougal, Bill Clinton’s friend, was held in contempt of court and sent to prison for refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury that is investigating Bill Clinton for possible perjury that Clinton denied any knowledge of an illegal $300,000 loan.

-I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney’s friend, is going to be sent to prison for lying to a federal grand jury that investigated Dick Cheney’s actions to undermine a critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

It appears fairly clear now that Cheney railroaded President Bush and the US into the Iraq war with “cherry-picked intelligence.”

In the articles below Ann Coulter is right that there is a double standard in this country:

“Bill Clinton was not even prosecuted for obstruction of justice offenses so egregious that the entire Supreme Court staged a historic boycott of his State of the Union address in 2000.”

But Pat Buchanan hit the nail on the head about Cheney and company when he says:

“That larger issue is this: Were we misled, were we deceived by our government, as the White House made the case for invading and occupying Iraq? Did neoconservatives at the Pentagon cherry-pick the intelligence, stovepipe it to the vice president's office and Libby, and then feed it to sympathizers and collaborators in the media, to stampede our country into a war against a nation that, no matter how odious its regime, did not threaten us, did not attack us and did not want war with us?”

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Martyr of the War Party
by Patrick J. Buchanan (More by this author)
Posted: 03/06/2007
The conviction of Scooter Libby on four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice is first of all a human tragedy.
A man who served his country at the highest level, who sat in every morning at the senior staff meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, has been dishonored and disgraced, and will be disbarred. Unless his conviction is overturned, or he is pardoned, Libby will go to prison. His life will end with an obituary that declares in its headline and lead paragraph that he was a convicted Dick Cheney aide.
Yet, this was a narrow case. Libby's convictions call to mind Martha Stewart's, who went to prison for lying to investigators about a crime she did not commit. Libby has been convicted of lying about the outing of a CIA classified officer, a crime for which no one has been indicted.
Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was outed as a CIA "operative," was no longer covert and had not been so for half a decade when her name was pushed out of the White House to the press. Joe Wilson, her husband, target of the White House vendetta, yet contends that not only was her career destroyed, a crime was committed -- and that is why the CIA demanded an investigation.
Yet it was an arrogant and stupid thing Libby did. He lied to the FBI, to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, to the grand jury. He fabricated a story about where he learned about Wilson's wife, when, as sworn testimony proved, he learned it from Vice President Cheney and was himself moving it to the press.
However, this was about a larger issue than the narrow question of whether Libby lied about leaking the role of Valerie Plame in having her husband sent to Niger to investigate a report that Iraq had been seeking "yellowcake," a critical component in a uranium enrichment program.
That larger issue is this: Were we misled, were we deceived by our government, as the White House made the case for invading and occupying Iraq? Did neoconservatives at the Pentagon cherry-pick the intelligence, stovepipe it to the vice president's office and Libby, and then feed it to sympathizers and collaborators in the media, to stampede our country into a war against a nation that, no matter how odious its regime, did not threaten us, did not attack us and did not want war with us?
In short, were we lied into a war in Mesopotamia that is breaking our Army, has crippled an administration, and has bled and divided our country as it has not been since the days of Vietnam?
And why has the Democratic Congress, on taking power in January, not begun a broad investigation into how we got into this war?
This is the dog that didn't bark. And the reason the dog is silent suggests itself. The Congress, in voting President Bush the authority to take us to war against Iraq at a time and place of his own choosing, failed to do its duty by the Constitution. In October 2002, to get the issue off the table for the election and give themselves political cover against the Rovian charge they were tying the hands of the commander in chief in the War on Terror, a Democratic Senate -- Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Daschle, Biden, Reid all assenting -- voted Bush the blank check for war that he cashed in five months later.
The dilemma a Democratic Congress faces in any investigation into whether we were lied into war is that Congress would be investigating why a Democratic Senate failed its constitutional duty to determine the necessity for war.
And, lest we forget, the media, too, played a supporting role in pushing this nation into an unnecessary war. Columnists and commentators assured us there was a nexus between Saddam, al-Qaida and 9-11, a "Prague connection" between Muhammad Atta and Iraqi intelligence. We were told Saddam had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and was working on nuclear weapons, that enrichment of uranium was being done secretly around the country, that if we did not act now, we faced a nuclear-armed Iraq that would surely transfer atomic weapons to al-Qaida terrorists. Said Condi Rice, our proof of WMD might well come in the form of a mushroom cloud above an American city.
Scooter Libby will not lack for legal defense funds as he pursues his appeal, and there will be demands for his pardon before Bush goes home. For Scooter is a martyr of the War Party. Scooter did what he had to do to get us into this war. Then he did what he felt he had to do to discredit Joe Wilson, because Wilson was out to discredit the White House case for war. And in the end, we are unlikely to know the truth of why it was we went to war. For that record is sealed in minds and souls.

This makes it official: It's illegal to be Republican.
Shooting Elephants in a Barrel
by Ann Coulter
Posted: 03/07/2007
Lewis Libby has now been found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice for lies that had absolutely no legal consequence.
It was not a crime to reveal Valerie Plame's name because she was not a covert agent. If it had been a crime, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald could have wrapped up his investigation with an indictment of the State Department's Richard Armitage on the first day of his investigation since it was Armitage who revealed her name and Fitzgerald knew it.
With no crime to investigate, Fitzgerald pursued a pointless investigation into nothing, getting a lot of White House officials to make statements under oath and hoping some of their recollections would end up conflicting with other witness recollections, so he could charge some Republican with "perjury" and enjoy the fawning media attention.
As a result, Libby is now a convicted felon for having a faulty memory of the person who first told him that Joe Wilson was a delusional boob who lied about his wife sending him to Niger.

This makes it official: It's illegal to be Republican.

Since Teddy Kennedy walked away from a dead girl with only a wrist slap (which was knocked down to a mild talking-to, plus time served: zero), Democrats have apparently become a protected class in America, immune from criminal prosecution no matter what they do.
As a result, Democrats have run wild, accepting bribes, destroying classified information, lying under oath, molesting interns, driving under the influence, obstructing justice and engaging in sex with underage girls, among other things.
Meanwhile, conservatives of any importance constantly have to spend millions of dollars defending themselves from utterly frivolous criminal prosecutions. Everything is illegal, but only Republicans get prosecuted.
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh was subjected to a three-year criminal investigation for allegedly buying prescription drugs illegally to treat chronic back pain. Despite the witch-hunt, Democrat prosecutor Barry E. Krischer never turned up a crime.
Even if he had, to quote liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz: "Generally, people who illegally buy prescription drugs are not prosecuted." Unless they're Republicans.
The vindictive prosecution of Limbaugh finally ended last year with a plea bargain in which Limbaugh did not admit guilt. Gosh, don't you feel safer now? I know I do.
In another prescription drug case with a different result, last year, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Democrat), apparently high as a kite on prescription drugs, crashed a car on Capitol Hill at 3 a.m. That's abuse of prescription drugs plus a DUI offense. Result: no charges whatsoever and one day of press on Fox News Channel.
I suppose one could argue those were different jurisdictions. How about the same jurisdiction?
In 2006, Democrat and major Clinton contributor Jeffrey Epstein was nabbed in Palm Beach in a massive police investigation into his hiring of local underage schoolgirls for sex, which I'm told used to be a violation of some kind of statute in the Palm Beach area.
The police presented Limbaugh prosecutor Krischer with boatloads of evidence, including the videotaped statements of five of Epstein's alleged victims, the procurer of the girls for Epstein and 16 other witnesses.
But the same prosecutor who spent three years maniacally investigating Limbaugh's alleged misuse of back-pain pills refused to bring statutory rape charges against a Clinton contributor. Enraging the police, who had spent months on the investigation, Krischer let Epstein off after a few hours on a single count of solicitation of prostitution. The Clinton supporter walked, and his victims were branded as whores.
The Republican former House Whip Tom DeLay is currently under indictment for a minor campaign finance violation. Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle had to empanel six grand juries before he could find one to indict DeLay on these pathetic charges -- and this is in Austin, Texas (the Upper West Side with better-looking people).
That final grand jury was so eager to indict DeLay that it indicted him on one charge that was not even a crime -- and which has since been tossed out by the courts.
After winning his primary despite the indictment, DeLay decided to withdraw from the race rather than campaign under a cloud of suspicion, and Republicans lost one of their strongest champions in Congress.
Compare DeLay's case with that of Rep. William "The Refrigerator" Jefferson, Democrat. Two years ago, an FBI investigation caught Jefferson on videotape taking $100,000 in bribe money. When the FBI searched Jefferson's house, they found $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer. Two people have already pleaded guilty to paying Jefferson the bribe money.
Two years later, Bush's Justice Department still has taken no action against Jefferson. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently put Rep. William Jefferson on the Homeland Security Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat, engaged in a complicated land swindle, buying a parcel of land for $400,000 and selling it for over $1 million a few years later. (At least it wasn't cattle futures!)
Reid also received more than four times as much money from Jack Abramoff (nearly $70,000) as Tom DeLay ($15,000). DeLay returned the money; Reid refuses to do so. Why should he? He's a Democrat.
Former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger literally received a sentence of community service for stuffing classified national security documents in his pants and then destroying them -- big, fat federal felonies.
But Scooter Libby is facing real prison time for forgetting who told him about some bozo's wife.
Bill Clinton was not even prosecuted for obstruction of justice offenses so egregious that the entire Supreme Court staged a historic boycott of his State of the Union address in 2000.
By contrast, Linda Tripp, whose only mistake was befriending the office hosebag and then declining to perjure herself, spent millions on lawyers to defend a harassment prosecution based on far-fetched interpretations of state wiretapping laws.
Liberal law professors currently warning about the "high price" of pursuing terrorists under the Patriot Act had nothing but blood lust for Tripp one year after Clinton was impeached (Steven Lubet, "Linda Tripp Deserves to be Prosecuted," New York Times, 8/25/99).
Criminal prosecution is a surrogate for political warfare, but in this war, Republicans are gutless appeasers.
Bush has got to pardon Libby.

Prosecutor says lies shielded Cheney By R. Jeffrey Smith WASHINGTON POST 03/07/2007

WASHINGTON — In late March 2004, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald asked I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby three separate times whether his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, had discussed telling reporters that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA in an undercover role.

Fitzgerald was unconvinced by Libby's response that even though he "may have" had such a conversation with Cheney, it probably occurred after Plame's identity as a CIA employee had been published in a newspaper column.

Almost three years later, Fitzgerald told the jury at Libby's trial 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.

Jurors on Tuesday convicted Libby of obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI and perjury for lying under oath to a grand jury. They acquitted him on another charge of lying.
More than he had previously, Fitzgerald made clear in his summation that his search for truth about Cheney was a goal of his investigation, and that his inability to get it was a key provocation for Libby's indictment. Although Cheney was the target, Fitzgerald's inquiry could not reach him because of Libby's duplicity.

Fitzgerald's summation explained, in part, why he brought charges based on imperfect evidence against Libby, even though Libby was not a source for Robert Novak, the author of the July 14, 2003, newspaper column that outed Plame as a CIA employee.

The jury's verdict addresses Fitzgerald's first conclusion — that Libby lied deliberately and did not misspeak from faulty memory. But the trial showed that the prosecutor finished his investigation with his mind made up that Libby's account was meant to hide his own involvement as well as to conceal the potential involvement of the vice president.

At the trial's close, Fitzgerald expressed his concern in unusually blunt terms. After Libby's lawyers complained that he was trying to put a "cloud" over Cheney without evidence to back it up, Fitzgerald told the jury on Feb. 20, "We'll talk straight."

There was, he said, "a cloud over what the vice president did" during the period before the publication of Novak's column, and it was created by testimony showing that Cheney directed Libby and others at the White House to give out information about Wilson and Wilson's criticisms.

"We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice and lied about what happened," Fitzgerald added.

The notion that Libby was merely a courtroom stand-in for Cheney infuriated Libby's lawyers, who sought in their courtroom statement to defend both men. "Nobody in the office of the vice president is concerned about" Plame, Libby attorney William Jeffress Jr. said. "She never was part of the story they were trying to put out."
Fitzgerald disagreed. Suppose, Fitzgerald said, you were probing whether a pitcher had purposely beaned a batter, and if so, why?

"As you sit back, you want to learn why was this information going out. Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters?" Fitzgerald asked at a news conference in October. "What we have when someone charges obstruction of justice is the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure out what happened, and somebody blocked their view."

Randall Eliason, a former chief prosecutor of public corruption and fraud in the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, said Fitzgerald "would not have been doing his job" if he had not brought the charges. If "witnesses believe they can lie to the FBI and lie in the grand jury and there will be no consequences, then it becomes impossible to investigate any criminal activity, from terrorism to shoplifting."


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