Lies, Damn Lies and Government Press Releases
One Shoe Drops
15 OCT 2005 00:00:00 GMT
So Scooter takes the fall. Some are comparing him to Oliver North. I think John Poindexter is more apt.\
Fitzgerald's indictment sets forth a very strong case, and one that relies a lot less on witness credibility than most commentators seem to suggest. The most basic point is that Libby stated on the record to investigators and in his grand jury testimony that he was unaware of (or did not recall) a set of highly relevant facts during during a specific time frame.\
The record also shows that Libby had not only been well apprised of these facts prior to the time in question, but had in fact been actively engaged by them.\
Charging documents, of course, are wildly one sided affairs, and it is hard to accept that someone as cagey as Mr. Libby appears to be would have boxed himself into this particular corner. Only time will tell.\
Conservatives are likely to continure to complain that Fitzgerald charged perjury because he could not prove treason. But Clinton's gonads were appropriately pressed to the coals for his sophism under oath, because come court day, truth is truth and wiggle words have no place. The prosecutor is not your mommy and most certainly not a reporter just happy to get a quote.
The Bob Novak Hierarchy of Leaks
15 OCT 2005 00:00:00 GMT
I was thinking recently that Judith Miller is a reporter in the same sense that Robert Novak is a reporter: I.e. is a person who more or less accurately transcribes slanders fed to them by well placed defamers.\
But then it occurred to me that this is a little unfair to Bob, who in fact has a detailed, if admittedly eclectic, set of rules as to whose leaks he'll print (and more importantly, against whom)\
Below is the Robert Novak hierarchy of leakers. The basic rule is that Novak will run smears generated by someone higher up the chain against a lower tier entity, but not vice versa.\
So, for example, Bob would print a smear leaked by a career military official against an adminstration or intellegence official but would not repeat a slander by a CIA official against an administration or military representative.\
- Career Military Officials\
- Charter members of the vast right wing conspiracy\
- Dick Chenney's office\
- Conservative members of Congress\
- The Bush Administration\
- The CIA\
- Franklin D. Roosevelt\
I cannot promise you that Novak has quoted Hitler, but even money says that he has (knowingly or unknowingly) at least paraphrased him at some point in his storied career.\
The broader point, however, is that if Hitler leaked dirt on Roosevelt, Novak would almost assuredly run with it (identifying him -- of course -- as a former German parliamentarian).
Hitchens Watch: Hating On Christopher
15 OCT 2005 00:00:00 GMT
If you really enjoy hating on the formerly readable Christopher Hitchens, this is the place to be: Hitchens Watch. \
I do have to wonder whether it is Iraq that has turned Mr. Hitchens into a one note right wing crank or whether he was headed in that direction in any case. Either way, he's there, so go and share the hate that only former fans can feel.
Designed By Genius, Run By Idiocy
02 AUG 2005 00:00:00 GMT
The whole intelligent design vs. evolution thing is a false debate isn't it?† Its all about the existence of meaning in the end I think.\
Why can't "descent by modification" be subsumed under intelligent designča simple mechanism to further DNA's original mission: overturning Roe v Wade.\
When we get there I promise to bring popcorn.† The only remaining question is whether we end up looking more like Mars or Venus.
Morse Code For Hostages
06 JUL 2005 00:00:00 GMT
With a Geoff headed for a separatist region of Indonesia last April, I wrote an english-to-morse code translator to assist him in case of kidnapping.\
The highly useful results can be found Here\
The translator is designed to allow potential hostages to render and memorize witty messages to blink while being displayed on video like a soon to be ritually slaughtered zoo animal. For example: \
America declared war on Islam and all I got was this stupid beheading\
.- -- . .-. .. -.-. .- / -.. . -.-. .-.. .- .-. . -.. / .-- .- .-. / --- -. / .. ... .-.. .- -- / .- -. -.. / .- .-.. .-.. / .. / --. --- - / .-- .- ... / - .... .. ... / ... - ..- .--. .. -.. / -... . .... . .- -.. .. -. --.\
I am being beheaded by stupid\
.. / .- -- / -... . .. -. --. / -... . .... . .- -.. . -.. / -... -.-- / ... - ..- .--. .. -..\
Note that in the convention of the transcription, the spaces between letters are indicated by a pause. The slashes represent word breaks which are indicated by a longer pause. \
Note also that because morse code is case insensitive you are really saying: \
AMERICA DECLARED WAR ON ISLAM AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID BEHEADING \
You are of course free to compose your own custom message. But remember this: You can either go out like a simpering South Korean contract worker, or you can go out like a man.
Faith of My Mothers
22 JUN 2005 00:00:00 GMT
John Danforth's recent NY Times Op-Ed Piece on the role of faith in politics is really one of the more moving slices of discourse I have encountered in some years. It expresses so perfectly the Sermon-on-the-Mount Christian tradition and values with which I was raised -- an Episcopalian like Rev. Danforth as it happens.\
I don't picture the Christian center reemerging from its long slumber anytime soon, but it is still lovely to encounter someone speaking so fluently of Christian charity.
Exit Poll This
09 APRIL 2005 00:00:00 GMT
Funny that the candidtate who looked so overwhelmingly conservative and mainstream to the Democratic Party faithful looked pretty much like Teddy Kenedy without the fun bits to the rest of the country.\
Bush is claiming his mandate -- and why not, he actually won by a bit this time. But the truth is that when a granite faced patrician senator from the second most liberal northeastern state takes 48% of the vote against a War President, the War President should feel a little chastened.\
What do the Democrats need to do to win an election? Apparently, find a slightly better candidate.
Osama Bin Missing
04 MAR 2004 00:00:00 GMT
Call me madcap, but I can't think that it's good news for our world anti-terror efforts that there are currently over 300 active CIA case officers in Iraq tasked to anti-insurgency efforts. Is America safer now that Saddam Hussein is in custody? Apparently not much.
Buyers Regret? Not Yet
03 MAR 2004 00:00:00 GMT
A Democratic candidate to be named later has been named. Let the polling begin\
No one is happier than George Bush (unless it's Rove) to see an end to the Democrats' run of free media. Recent polls put Kerry and Bush at close to even. Bush and Rove obviously hope that this is the Administration's low water mark.\
The economy -- although not the long term debt outlook -- will likely improve. Iraq will necessarilly get messier. There is blood in the water, and Kerry is a smart, capable and basically decent guy (which earns my vote).\
But he is also basically charisma free and packs all of the liabilities of someone who has legislated and lived in public life for three plus decades. That service, by the way, should be a plus, but as George "Gentlman's C" Bush has demonstrated more than once, sometimes no record is the best record of all.
4300 Bad Apples Don't Spoil The Whole Bunch
03 MAR 2004 00:00:00 GMT
More than absolute numbers, the fact that almost 1 in 20 Catholic priests serving since 1950 has been \accused of sexual exploitation is a signal that the Church has failed not only its flock but the 96 percent of priests who have decently and faithfully ministered to their congregations during those same years. Not every accusation is true, of course, but if experience shows anything it is that sexual assaults are under rather overreported.