Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ignorance is not strength. It's just plain ignorance.

Dear Richard Cohen:

Despite your unfounded and baseless allegations to the contrary, Scooter Libby wasn't convicted and sentenced to jail time because of the liberal agenda, or because the masses don't understand the deep and dark mysteries of politics. He knowingly and purposefully lied to a special prosecutor. And perjury, last I checked, is still a crime in this country.

If anyone is to blame for this mess, it's the administration for going through the farce of appointing a special prosecutor in the first place -- presumably to look better to the public -- and then making sure that his quest for answers was misdirected. You know, that same Janus-faced administration that claimed -- with a straight face -- that the leaker was not one of their own.

Your thesis -- that we are best served by those who practice "the dark art of politics" with "the lights off" is not only dangerous, it's stupid. And it's exactly what the administration has urged people to do. Remember the weapons of mass destruction? Remember Abu Ghraib? Or maybe how we're detaining suspected enemy combatants without lawyers or trials or any of a number of constitutional rights?

Imagine how bad it could get if the American public listened to your advice and just closed its eyes -- just buried its collective head in the sand. Maybe then we'd finally embrace that the party is never wrong, and Big Brother is only acting in our best interests. Black is white.

Clearly, we're all silly, crazy, or dangerous -- maybe all three -- for wanting to look behind the curtain. But, at least for now, we still have the right to do so.


Joe said...

I also like the far more common line about Scooter Libby going to jail because of an imperfect memory. He didn't testify "I don't remember"; he gave testimony that was false.

dara said...

I think people still don't really understand the charges, and Cohen -- who is way smarter than that -- is playing to this ignorance. The perjury has nothing to do with what Libby said in court or to the press. It's what he told Fitzgerald under oath that matters -- and that was, at best, purposefully inaccurate and clearly designed to lead the investigation away from focusing on any real or imagined involvement by the office of the Vice President.

mad said...

Scooter could've used a page out of the Alberto Gonzales book of tactics. Or maybe it was because of Scooter that Alberto said he didn't remember or didn't recall like a zillion times. Better to look like an absolute retard than go to the slam, I guess.

dara said...

I've been around enough witnesses to believe that "I don't recall" is more often than not an honest response. Usually it means that "I have a vague recollection of what you are talking about, but the specifics are unclear and I'm wary of getting myself into trouble."

Scooter -- a lawyer -- chose not to follow the conventional wisdom and couch his responses in this kind of vagueness. And from experience, I can honestly say that lawyers make the worst witnesses. They like the sound of their own voice, and are too prideful to admit when they don't know something or don't understand the question.

Julie Schuler said...

I have been more cynical of late of all parts of our government, federal and local. It makes me a lot of fun to live with.

Nice blog you have here.