March 6, 2007

Three Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Hatched by Dafydd

Let's count all the lies in the Washington Post!

Oh, wait; we haven't all day. All right, let's just count the lies in one story reporting on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's conviction today in federal court of four out of five charges brought against him by special persecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Besides the smarmy inuendo, there are three clear and obvious falsehoods, starting with this one:

Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, was sent by the CIA on a mission to Niger in 2002 to assess reports that Iraq had sought to buy nuclear materials there. He concluded the reports were false.

Not according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, he didn't.

To begin with, here are the famous (infamous?) "sixteen words" that President Bush used in his 2003 State of the Union speech, delivered on January 28th, 2003:

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

...Just so we know what Lyin' Joe Wilson later claimed to have refuted. But when Wilson was debriefed by his CIA handlers, he actually affirmed Bush's claim -- which was that Iraq had sought -- tried to obtain -- Uranium from Africa (not that we claimed Hussein had actually gotten his mits on any). In the Senate Intelligence Committee report cited above, we read this:

The intelligence report based on the former ambassador’s [Wilson's] trip was disseminated on March 8,2002....

The intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki... said, however, that in June 1999, [redacted by Senate committee]-businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted “expanding commercial relations” to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales.

(Page 43 of the document, page 8 of the pdf linked above.)

Remember, this is from the intelligence report by Joe Wilson's CIA handlers, based upon Wilson's oral debriefing of what he found in Niger.

This is very strong evidence that Iraq was, in fact, seeking Uranium from Africa... and Bush was absolutely right; and Wilson is totally wrong when he says today that he found nothing to back up the "sixteen words".

Wilson lied, and now the Washington Post has knowingly perpetuated that lie in order to boost Ambassador Wilson and damage President Bush.

Next big lie:

Testimony and evidence revealed that the vice president dictated precise talking points he wanted Libby and other aides to use to rebut Wilson's accusations against the White House, helped select which journalists would be contacted and worked with Bush to declassify secret intelligence reports on Iraqi weapons that he believed would contradict Wilson's claims.

"There is a cloud over what the vice president did," Fitzgerald told jurors in the prosecution's closing arguments. "That's not something we put there. That cloud is not something you can pretend is not there."

Wait, wait, wait -- ! Isn't that a subjective opinion? How can an opinion (let alone anything subjective) be a "lie?"

Let's deal with this question immediately. What is the definition of a lie? A lie is any word or action intended to deceive. Whether objective or subjective isn't part of the definition... that only speaks to how easy or hard it is to prove. Case in point:

Suppose one of the rabid Republican Coulter-haters were to say, at the end of a harangue about Ann Coulter, the following: "And on top of everything else, she's so fat, it's obvious she's still stuck back in the oral phase of development; she cannot be trusted, because that developmental phase doesn't even understand the distinction between right and wrong."

Is that subjective? Absolutely. Is it an opinion? No question about it: "so fat" is a comparative, and without knowing the thing it's being compared to, it's not a factual statement. Ann Coulter is certainly fat compared to Mahatma Gandhi during a 25-day hunger strike, for example.

Nevertheless, such a statement would be a lie. It's clearly false -- she is actually very thin -- and the intent is to deceive the listener into ignoring what she says on the specious grounds that her "fatness" means she's untrustworthy. A subjective opinion can be a lie, if the intent is to deceive.

Let's get back to Fitzgerald and his imaginary cloud...

The special prosecutor knows that Vice President Cheney has not been convicted of any crime. And why not? Well, for one reason, because Fitzgerald was not even able to get the grand jury to indict him, despite having had ample opportunities before that body.

And why wasn't Fitzgerald able to get the grand jury to indict Cheney? Clearly because the grand jury did not believe there was evidence that Cheney committed any crime!

Thus, what "cloud" is he talking about? Why, the only one we can see is a black cloud of suspicion. And since neither the court nor the grand jury put the suspicion there, Patrick Fitzgerald could only have been talking about what he, himself planted -- precisely by saying "There is a cloud over what the vice president did."

Which makes his second sentence a lie as well... the one where he said, "That's not something we put there." Oh yes you did, Mr. big-shot Special Prosecutor.

And the Washington Post knows it's a falsehood; yet it helps Fitzgerald put it across. The Post is an accessory after the fact to a big, fat, sloppy lie.

Finally, this one is really fascinating:

Fitzgerald and fellow prosecutors showed notes hand-written by Cheney and Libby indicating that the vice president was deeply disturbed by Wilson's explosive accusations that the White House had used bogus intelligence to justify the war. Witnesses and evidence showed Cheney orchestrating a point-by-point response to Wilson's claims -- some of it misleading -- that the administration gave to hand-picked reporters.

What is interesting is the ambiguous way the Post chose to slip this one across. What is the referrant of the word "it" in the parenthetical phrase? What is "misleading" -- Wilson's accusations or Cheney's response?

Fortunately for us (but not for the Post), we can definitively answer that question. "It" is singular... so it cannot refer to Wilson's accusations, which are plural. The pronoun can only substitute for Cheney's singular response.

We all know about the multiple layers of editorial input to which all stories in the elite media are subject; and while they may miss minor things like deceit, misrepresentation, and bare-faced fabrication in the body of a story... I'm certain they're quite strong on noun-pronoun agreement.

When they wrote "some of it is misleading," they meant some of Cheney's response.

This, then, is a direct accusation of deception against the vice president. But there is no attempt to substantiate the charge; it just lies there like a lox, waiting to be gobbled up.

This is clearly meant to make readers believe there is some legitimate body of evidence indicating that Cheney's response to Lyin' Joe Wilson was intentionally deceptive. But by dropping the deception depth-bomb without any intent to back it up, the Post's fraudulent claim itself is an attempt to deceive.

And therefore, this is a third Washington Post lie in the same story.

So that's that, there you have it, and I'm washing my hands of the whole affair. The Post retailed three obvious, provable lies -- in a story about a guy just convicted of lying!

That may become the new dictionary example of chutzpah.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 6, 2007, at the time of 6:58 PM

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Tracked on March 12, 2007 7:39 PM


The following hissed in response by: charlotte

There once was a Cheney aide Libby
who was accused of being a bit fibby
He sought to discredit a big liar
told the truth but “forgot” convos prior
Now he’s convicted, while the Plame media are lying and glibby.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 8:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: RunningRoach


Glad it was you up at the break of dawn. I need my beauty rest! Thanks for your diagnosis of this piece. From the beginning, I was committed to the notion that this whole episode perpertrated by Sen. Death...oops, Shumer, was a "Dune of Donkey Dust." Based on Fitz's bull**** to the jury along with several unfavorable rulings by the judge, there is a reasonable likeyhood that this conviction will be turned over on appeal. Then there's always "The Pardon".

[Oops, watch the language, RunningRoach.]

The above hissed in response by: RunningRoach [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 8:35 AM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Impressive breakdown...very Impressive!!! You should become a Federal Prosecutor. Heck, you could wipe out the MSM and most Politicians in just one just that short post, you convinced me that Wilson and most at the Washington Post belong in prison.

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 9:35 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

I've been disgusted with this case from day one.
Of all the articles I've read in the paper, not one has used the words "perjury trap", which this obviously was:

"In the case of United States vs. Chen, 933 F.2d 793, 796-97, A perjury trap is created when the government calls a witness before the grand jury for the primary purpose of obtaining testimony from him in order to prosecute him later for perjury." See generally Gershman, The "Perjury Trap", 129 U. Pa. L. Rev. 624, 683 (1981).

For this reason, perjury is never prosecuted in this country unless an underlying crime is prosecuted as well.

Libby was ordered by the president to cooperate fully with the grand jury. He did exactly that, and got snagged in the perjury trap for his efforts.

What if Libby had testified that he just didn't remember the items he reportedly perjured himself on? He'd be a free man today, and there still wouldn't have been an indictment on the Wilson issue.

Disgusting. And the media is the worst part - you know they understand this, but simply refuse to be honest about the issue. It is too important to get Bush. Idiots.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 10:07 AM

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