« Congress And Blogs | Main | Live From The Capitol Hill Blogger Row »

Harriet Miers and abortion -- an alternate take

Sometimes, I will work through certain issues purely as a mental exercise. I don't so much try to find the truth, but see if a solution is reasonable or plausible -- usually when I have no way of actually finding the truth.

This time, I'm turning that process on the issue of Harriet Miers and Roe v. Wade, in particular her supporting a constitutional amendment to ban most abortions in a questionnaire well over a decade ago.

Many people are trumpeting this as a great insight on her thinking, that it shows that she opposes abortion and would act to strike down Roe v. Wade if she were confirmed to the Supreme Court.

I find myself wondering of another interpretation might be feasible -- that while she does, indeed, oppose abortion, she would not act to strike it down.

According to the supporters of abortion rights, Roe V. Wade was a "good" decision, founded on Constitutional principles. Opponents say it isn't, and should be overturned.

But what if one thought that while abortion was wrong, the Court had acted appropriately? What to do then?

There's really only one way to overturn a Supreme Court decision on a Constitutional issue, and that's by amending the Constitution. And that's what Miers said she supported.

She could easily think that abortion is one of those issues that the framers simply didn't anticipate, and that in their absence of guidance, the Court made the best ruling it could. But if one amends the Constitution, explicitly addressing the abortion issue, Roe V. Wade would not be overturned, but simply nullified.

So I think that it's plausible that Miers could be both supportive of Roe v. Wade AND against abortion -- she wants abortion stopped, but is more concerned about the process being followed.

Do I think it's likely? Hell, no. It's a stretch. But it definitely is plausible.

For my next trick, perhaps I'll try to rationalize how Karl Rove could have revealed Valerie Plame's identity with absolutely no malice whatsoever, no criminal intent, and no law broken.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Harriet Miers and abortion -- an alternate take:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Miers supported anti-abortion amendment in 1989, report shows

Comments (41)

Hmmm.Seen in a Cap... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Seen in a Capitol Hill restroom ...

"For a gud time and nucklear weapons profilieration call Valerie at ..."

Hehe. Sorry. I couldn't resist.

For my next trick, perha... (Below threshold)
mantis:

For my next trick, perhaps I’ll try to rationalize how Karl Rove could have revealed Valerie Plame’s identity with absolutely no malice whatsoever, no criminal intent, and no law broken.

Easy. Through the power of song. He needed to rhyme with flame (the song was about Jeff Gannon).

;)

Except that this would be n... (Below threshold)
Sabba Hillel:

Except that this would be no trick as everyone in their neighborhood knew about it. Besides she has it on her business cards.

Sure, she could be against ... (Below threshold)

Sure, she could be against abortion and support Roe, either because, per your point, she thought the court had made the right ruling back in 73 or because, although she may feel the court erred in Roe, she feels Roe is settled law, a 30+ year precedent and should thus not be overturned.

"Easy. Through the power of... (Below threshold)

"Easy. Through the power of song. He needed to rhyme with flame (the song was about Jeff Gannon)."

*laughs*

Jay said:"Accordin... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Jay said:

"According to the supporters of abortion rights, Roe V. Wade was a “good” decision, founded on Constitutional principles. Opponents say it isn’t, and should be overturned."

According to probably all "pro-choice" lawyers I know (including me), the reasoning in Roe v. Wade was abysmal. It stands as one of the most illogical, poorly reasoned, incoherent opinions of all time. And, this comes from people who favor the result.

"But what if one thought that while abortion was wrong, the Court had acted appropriately? What to do then?"

I'd like to meet that person--does he/she exist?

"There’s really only one way to overturn a Supreme Court decision on a Constitutional issue, and that’s by amending the Constitution. And that’s what Miers said she supported."

Huh? What about the Supreme Court overruling itself? Check out what Lawrence did to Bower or Brown v. Board of Ed. did to Plessy v. Furgeson. Or....

Unless Miers is a complete idiot, I doubt she favors the Court's handling of Roe v. Wade--regardless of her views on abortion. Therefore, if she is driven by some anti-abortion sentiment, whether through her "born again" status or whatever, I suspect she'll be looking for rationales to overrule Roe. If, however, she's driven more by principles of judicial restraint, fairness and neutrality rather than personal religious bias, I doubt she'll be looking for reasons to unravel established precedent in the absence of some manifest injustice.

The bottom line on Miers is, "who knows?"

I didn't phrase something c... (Below threshold)
Mark:

I didn't phrase something clearly above. When I said I'm a "pro-choice lawyer" I did not mean to suggest I am a legal advocate for abortion rights. What I meant, is that I am a lawyer who slouches in favor of "choice" (but who is standing straighter with age).

Eh - you're incorrect. You... (Below threshold)

Eh - you're incorrect. You don't need a Constitutional amendment to overturn a SCOTUS decision, you need a majority of Justices who agree to do so.

My personal belief is that you are also wrong about Miers not being willing to overturn abortion rights. I grew up in Texas with the Republivangelical crowd. She'll overturn it in two seconds if she gets the chance. I've written about this at my blog, if anyone wants to hear more from me.

I don't believe one can tak... (Below threshold)
Oh, FTLOG:

I don't believe one can take seriously her answers to that questionaire. She was a politician trying to garner votes.

However, I'm not so foolish as to believe that she, or any other SCOTUS nominee, is above the political fray.

That's just not the world we live in anymore.

If you follow this link to ... (Below threshold)
McPeek:

If you follow this link to a WaPo story, you'll see how Rove could have leaked the name without committing a crime (written by the woman who wrote the Agent Identification Protection Act).

http://209.35.180.29/misc/plame.html

I understand the feeling be... (Below threshold)

I understand the feeling behind the comment to not believe a politician running for office. However, if she was lying then, is she also lying now? How are we to decide when we should believe her? If she will lie just to get a City Council job, then how much more will she lie to get a SCOTUS appointment?

No, I believe you have to take it seriously and hold her feet to the fire to explain exactly what she meant. Her answers on the questionaire about abortion would not be inconsistent with upholding the Texas law that was ruled unconstitutional by Roe v. Wade. Her answer that she believes gays should have civil rights could well be limited to voting and property rights. You have to understand her answers through the political culture at the time they were given - not by what the situation is now or what we'd like it to be.

Personally, I have little t... (Below threshold)

Personally, I have little to say about whether or not Rove or Libby or whoever leaked Valerie Plame's name broke the law. That's what the grand jury is for and the people handling it are likely very qualified to do so.

However, it is extremely unethical for someone to reveal a person's classified position simply to teach political opponents a lesson. I think you'll have a very hard time finding anyone who has written an article that will legitimately claim differently.

XT

"However, it is extremely u... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"However, it is extremely unethical for someone to reveal a person's classified position simply to teach political opponents a lesson. I think you'll have a very hard time finding anyone who has written an article that will legitimately claim differently."

I agree with that. But it begs the question: Did she hold a classified position at any relevant time? Many say her covert work had been over for many years, and her analyst job thereafter was common knowledge. There's also the issue of whether her identity was really revealed. There are many other unanswered questions here.

The Constitutional Amendmen... (Below threshold)

The Constitutional Amendment Miers said she'd support is far more radical than merely overturning Roe v. Wade. Most Constitutional scholars - and both Scalia and Thomas - believe that the Constitution reserves all questions on abortion to the states. Thus, to overturn ROe v. Wade, a Constitutional Amendment need only go so far as to clarify that the Constitution does not contain any general right of "privacy" and that such non-existent "privacy" right surely does not encompass any right to have an abortion.

With such a limited Roe-repealing Constitutional Amendment, all questions of abortion are reserved to the states. Some states will make certain abortions illegal, some will keep the current abortion-on-demand laws in place.

Miers supported not simply the repeal of Roe v. Wade, but an outright national ban on all abortions via Constitutional Amendment except those necessary to save the life of the mother (no rape or incest exceptions either). This is quite radical and something I'm not sure I would support.

What can we divine of Miers' future vote on whether to uphold Roe v. Wade from this one word answer to a political questionaire from a pro-life group from which Miers was panning for votes? Your guess is as good as mine.

"Her job was common knowled... (Below threshold)

"Her job was common knowledge"?

Did you know about it? I hardly think so. Whether she was currently assigned or not may have bearing on the legal aspect, but it has none on the ethical aspect. The fact is that you simply cannot move up into management at the CIA after your name has been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

There is absolutely no way you can claim that Plame's identity was not given to the press in an attempt to discredit her husband's report. THAT is unethical. The damage to national security and the exact legality of the issue, as I stated, is not for me to say and I have no way to determine exactly one way or the other. However, you simply cannot claim to have any ethical reason for the revelation - nor have I seen one from anywhere.

XT

You don't need a Constituti... (Below threshold)

You don't need a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe. You simply need a majority of Justices on the Supreme Court to rule that the right to privacy does not include the right to abortion. There is no codified right to privacy, there is no hint of it in the Constitution. It was granted through a series of SCOTUS decisions, including Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade.

XT

"There is absolutely no way... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"There is absolutely no way you can claim that Plame's identity was not given to the press in an attempt to discredit her husband's report."

Huh? We don't even know who the first "leak" was--so how can motive be attributed? Nor do we know for sure whether Libby or Rove knew her status--or even her name. They knew "Wilson's wife" arranged for his boondoggle, but there is no evidence they knew more. She had not worked covertly for more than five years, and people in her sphere reportedly knew what she was doing behind the desk.

If everything you say is correct, I agree with you. But we don't know you're correct yet. Just sayin'.

Okay, so let us assume that... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Okay, so let us assume that Plame did recommend her husband simply because she disliked the current admininstration. Let us further assume he did intentional misrepresent the mission then came back and lied to make the administration look bad. What course should the White House have taken? How do you control the damage without exposing Plame? I would like a realistic answer also, given the apparent hostility and complicity from a signigicant portion of the press and CIA.

"There is no codified right... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"There is no codified right to privacy, there is no hint of it in the Constitution. It was granted through a series of SCOTUS decisions, including Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade."

Wrong. Rights to privacy are expressly codified in U.S. Statutes and probably all state statutes. Codification refers to statutory laws and not constitutional provisions or case law. Perhaps it was just your terminology that was off. But surely you don't disagree that U.S. law protects your privacy rights to medical records, tax matters, etc. That's a no-brainer.

As for the "constitutional right to privacy," I think most "strict constructionists" are being disingenuous. I think it is absolutely clear that a "right to privacy" is subsumed by the "liberties" protected by the 5th and 14th Amendments--in fact it was probably so obvious to the framers that they felt it unnecessary to ennumerate. Give me 15 minutes in a room with you, and you'll all be nodding in agreement.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm NOT saying a right to abortion was intended by the framers. I think Griswold was sound, but Roe was not. I also think most detractors of Roe are missing the boat by attacking on that privacy front.

In my opinion, the weaknesses in Roe are (1) in its reliance on junk science to deliniate the moment in the gestational life of a fetus (yes, I said life) at which it becomes a human being, and (2) the proclamation that at some magical point the state's interest in protecting that fetus is overridden by the mother's rights to autonomy over her body. Those portions of the opinion are incoherent.

B Moe, was that to me?... (Below threshold)
Mark:

B Moe, was that to me?

Since the CIA report based on the debriefing of Wilson corroborated the claims that Iraq sought yellowcake from Niger, I suspect there was little to do in terms of damage control. Wouldn't it be sufficient to point out the discrepancies between the report and Wilson's dishonest op-ed? Or, perhaps addressing his unsuitability for the role based on lack of relevant experience? I can't see how the nepotism charge adds that much. So why expose a covert agent? (NOT saying Plame was either covert or exposed by the Whitehouse--until we know more).

What you are "just sayin" i... (Below threshold)

What you are "just sayin" is trying to get back around to the legal aspect.

We have three journalists who have named specific people in the Bush Administration who spoke with them, connecting Valerie Plame as Wilson's wife and casting doubt on his report as being politically motivated.

Robert Novak printed "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger..." 14July2003

This, despite being told on July 10-11, 2003 by Bill Harlow (CIA spokesman) "in the strongest terms" he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed. Harlow has also testified that he has did not tell Novak her name - BECAUSE IT WAS CLASSIFIED.

17July2003 Matt Cooper prints "A War on Wilson" in which he also says that high level Bush officials are mounting a covert slime campaign.

I think the testimony of every journalist involved, other than Judith Miller (who has zero credibility), should indicate that it was, in fact, the Bush Administration (though we don't know for certain WHO in the Administration) released her name for political purposes.

THAT cannot be defended on ethical grounds in any way - and THAT is the point that every Bush apologist continues to dodge and evade and obfuscate.

XT

B Moe:What could t... (Below threshold)

B Moe:

What could they have done?

Simple. They could have introduced another competing expert to examine the documents and make a public report.

THAT is the way political disagreements are normally handled.

XT

Mark: On the "rig... (Below threshold)

Mark:

On the "right to privacy" - there are some limited types of privacy that are codified. I thought we were talking about abortion, though, not tax laws. Nice dodge.

I personally do believe that there is an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution. What other way is there to understand the basis for a right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

However, that right is not explicit in the Constitution. Since it isn't explicit, it is only found in judical opinion and legal cases.

I'd also disagree that Roe is incoherent. It sets three distinct periods of pregnancy - which was based on the best science available at the time.

XT

"Since the CIA report based... (Below threshold)

"Since the CIA report based on the debriefing of Wilson corroborated the claims that Iraq sought yellowcake from Niger,"

Ah, so you have seen the report youself? No, I didn't think so.

It's awfully funny that you are totally unwilling to admit Plame's identy should not have been revealed, yet you are so wonderfully willing to accept that Wilson misrepresented the facts. I'll admit that I don't have every single thing written on this at my fingertips, but you're going to have to provide a source for a charge like that.

XT

"perhaps addressing his uns... (Below threshold)

"perhaps addressing his unsuitability for the role based on lack of relevant experience?"

Yeah, you need to turn off Fox News for a bit.

From 1988-91 he was the ambassador to Iraq. From 1992-5, he was the ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. From 1995-7, he was the political advisor to the Commander-in-Chief United States Armed Forces, Europe. From 1997-8, he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council.

This guy knew African politics backwards and forwards. This is very unlike, say, Mike Brown who used to observe horse shows before he was put in charge of FEMA.

XT

Xpat:No dodge mean... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Xpat:

No dodge meant--I wasn't sure you meant to say what you said. You were talking privacy in that portion, not abortion, and your statement was wrong. Apparently you knew what you were talking about and merely mispoke.

As for the incoherence of Roe, I find the non-sequiturs and blatant judicial activism in the portions I mentioned in my previous post. The activism, in my opinion, was NOT in finding rights to privacy. I don't think the Roe court even needed to pin this on privacy, as they would have done just as well using the clear "liberty" language of the constitution.

Many liberties protected by the due process clauses of the 5th and 14th, and I'm talking about the non-controversial ones probably everyone agrees with, would not be possible without a recognition of privacy. I think it's pretty clear that the "p" word needn't be articulated.

XP-Holy shit, you ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

XP-

Holy shit, you know EVERYTHING, don't you?

1. Everything you know about the Plame case was leaked, and likely cherry picked. Like I said, if you're right on the facts, I agree with you. But I doubt any of us know enough to form an opinion yet.

2. Yes, I've seen the report. Yes, he understood that the Saddam regime sought yellowcake, but was unsuccessful. Why don't you know that? Yes, he did misrepresent his findings in his op-ed.

3. I don't watch FOX, thank you very much. Glad you think you know me so well.

4. Who said anything about Mike Brown? The fact is, Wilson had no experience with WMD or nuclear technology and may have not been the best choice for the job.

Notice that I offered NO justification for the administration's actions, in case what you believe about the "leak" is true.

Glad you've got it all figured out. Go ahead, show your true colors by flaming the guy who agreed with you about the moral and ethical implications of what you allege. Forgive me for being cautious and not rushing to hang the administration before the prosecutor is even ready to seek indictments--because we don't have the facts yet.

Moron.

Wow, that was a helluva cou... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Wow, that was a helluva couple segues there Xpat. Fox news to Fema, very smooth. You missed Karl Rove and the Neocon Koolaid, though, so imma have to wait for someone a little better to debate.

Ah, typical. When you can'... (Below threshold)

Ah, typical. When you can't handle the truth, try spewing hatred.

1. Everything I know about the case I learned as a matter of public record. If you don't know what I stated, then it is you who are cherry-picking. If you agree with me in principle, then you have to agree with me in reality.

2. Provide me with a link to the report and I'll be happy to rescind my remarks on that point. Until then, I have to believe you are only going on what has been "leaked" as well.

3. "If it sounds like a duck..." You quack the same way Fox News does. If it hurt, then it isn't my fault.

4. Wilson WAS qualified - unless you actually are trying to say that the Commander-in-Chief US Forces Europe has no information at all about nuclear weapons. You may want to actually think about that a bit.

As far as flaming is concerned, I never attacked you directly but addressed your comments - which is much more than I can say for you.

XT

It's okay, B Moe, if you ca... (Below threshold)

It's okay, B Moe, if you can't handle the truth, you can't handle the truth.

You asked a question and I answered it. I guess you didn't like hearing that the Bush Administration could have handled this honorably and chose not to do so.

XT

"Ah, typical. When you can'... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"Ah, typical. When you can't handle the truth, try spewing hatred."

You claim to know the truth? That's my problem, none of us do.

And where did I spew hatred? I simply, and honestly, commented on your intellectual capacity as demonstrated by your writing.

"Everything I know about the case I learned as a matter of public record."

No, everything you "know" was leaked to the press by someone with an agenda (on both sides). There is a difference; don't confuse the two.

If you can use Google, you'll easily find the CIA report. Since you've already demonstrated your willingness to make up your mind in the absence of anything resembling the whole story, I doubt you'll make the effort.

Until Fitzgerald comes forward with some information or an indictment, I'm reserving judgment. Call me a duck or a FOX follower or Bush sympathizer or whatever thing you deem undesirable, but none of that is based on any position I've articulated, nor based on reality. To suggest otherwise without supporting evidence is the act of a moron. If the shoe fits, that's not the result of hatred.

XT said:"I'd also ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

XT said:

"I'd also disagree that Roe is incoherent. It sets three distinct periods of pregnancy - which was based on the best science available at the time."

I suggest you look up "coherent" in the dictionary. Then read the opinion. Never mind, that would be as worthwhile as having my nine-year-old do it.

Hey Mark:Merriam W... (Below threshold)

Hey Mark:

Merriam Websters says that "Incoherent" means "lacking clarity or intelligibility". That is exactly what I dispute with you.

Better go find a nine year old.

I claimed my statements were based on public records - which, in case you don't understand the term, include published newspaper accounts. Everyone one of the reports is singing the same tune (except Judith Miller, who claims she just doesn't remember anything). You'll have to excuse me for taking that as corroborating evidence.

The truth is that we don't know which person actually leaked her name, but we do know it was leaked and we do know that it was used to attack the credibility of Wilson's report.

Your "honesty" leaves much to be desired in terms of actually reflecting reality. You can't even admit that much, though, so I don't have high hopes for anything else.

Taking your advice, I did google the report. Interestingly enough, the Conclusions (I must admit I didn't read all 521 pages of it yet) continue to hold up the story that the reports of Iraq trying to get uranium were faked. Conclusion 19 says: "Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa."

Uh, so Mr. Brilliant, please explain how that "corroborated the claims that Iraq sought yellowcake from Niger".

So, let's recap.

You claim Wilson actually corroborated the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium.

The fact is - he didn't. In fact, he corroborated exactly what his op-ed said - that the Administration was duped by fake documents.

I claim that, of the three reporters involved, two have stated that Administration officials connected the name "Valerie Plame" as Joe Wilson's wife and tried to discredit his report based on their relationship.

You claim - you can't know that, it was only leaked. It can't be substantiated.

The fact is that both Novak and Cooper have published everything I've attributed to them. Their stories corroborate each other.

Fitzgerald is not there to rule on any ethical question, he's a lawyer. He's there to investigate the legality of what happened. You have know that there are many things in this world that are legal, but still not ethical (such as Bill Clinton cheating on his wife).

Again, my point is that whether or not laws were broken has to wait for Fitzgerald and the grand jury to finish. However, there is enough that has been made public record by all sides to indicate that what happened was unethical and an abuse of power.

Now, I suggest you put aside your anger and actually go through what I've said. I've not claimed one person or another responsible for the leak, only that there was a leak (how else would her name have been made public?) and that it was used to try and discredit a political opponent.

Those are the facts of the matter. Think what you will of me, but if you have a problem with reality, then it isn't me that has thinking problems.

Take care, I'm off to bed.

XT

XT,'The fact is - ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

XT,

'The fact is - he didn't. In fact, he corroborated exactly what his op-ed said - that the Administration was duped by fake documents."

Keep reading the report. It's in there, and it's crystal clear. Do your homework.

As for relying on newspaper articles for your source of "truth," you're missing out. When the transcripts of Fitzgerald's examinations are released, I'll be more inclined to believe we have the whole story. Again, do your homework.

As for your dictionary exercise, you failed. I asked you to look up "coherent," which American Heritage 4th Ed. defines as "sticking together, cohering; MARKED BY AN ORDERLY, LOGICAL, AND AESTHETICALLY CONSISTENT RELATION OF PARTS." Your simplistic response concerning the three trimesters is not what I was talking about when I said the opinion was incoherent. It is the relationship between that concept and the other concepts at issue, including the analysis of state's interest. If you think you can follow an uninterrupted logical thread through that, you're not thinking or understanding.

Look, I know you won't understand any of this, so I will stop now. I took your bait and checked out your own blog, and you clearly don't understand anything remotely related to law. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you pretend to know of which you write. Your bit about Miers and voting rights and strict construction was ludicrous--you don't even understand the terms you tried to use, just as you haven't any idea what "codified" means as you used it above. Instead of trying to link misused terms and misunderstood concepts, I suggest you either give up or spend some time educating yourself.

I'm done with you.

Mark, You can kee... (Below threshold)

Mark,

You can keep trying to deny reality all you want but it simply won't work. Reality has a nasty way of forcing itself upon you.

As far as the report is concerned, I'll keep reading. However, since you are unable to refer to any part to support your claim - and I very quickly found a long list of conclusions in the report that show it to be false - I simply won't take your word for it until I see it.

"Do my homework?" Buddy, I've run circles around you. You haven't come up with anything that would dispute the truth of anything I've said. Wake up. In case you missed it, there were three journalists that were an integral part of this. I think reading what they have to say on the matter is likely to give a preview as to what the transcripts may hold. To say otherwise is to just stick your head in the sand.

As to the dictionary, I did look it up. Sorry if you didn't like my preferred dictionary. That reality thing really does keep biting you, doesn't it? However, I'm willing to use your definition. Roe still fits. Unless, of course, you just don't have the intellectual ability to go through it. That, of course, is not the problem of the decision at all.

Again with the attacks on me. Sorry, that just isn't going to work. It's just a sign of someone losing and not having the maturity to deal with it. Thanks for checking out my blog. Feel free to leave any comments you want.

By the way, I'll be adjuncting at two universities (again) next semester. If you want, I can save you a seat and you can stop by and maybe learn a thing or two.

Take care,

XT

XT:"You can keep t... (Below threshold)
Mark:

XT:

"You can keep trying to deny reality all you want but it simply won't work. Reality has a nasty way of forcing itself upon you."

"Do my homework?" Buddy, I've run circles around you. You haven't come up with anything that would dispute the truth of anything I've said. Wake up. In case you missed it, there were three journalists that were an integral part of this. I think reading what they have to say on the matter is likely to give a preview as to what the transcripts may hold. To say otherwise is to just stick your head in the sand."

What reality have I denied? I have not challenged the facts as you claim to know them, nor have I challenged your conclusions based on your limited information. I have only challenged your belief that you already know the whole story, and I counselled caution under those circumstances. Why are you so threatened by that?

A rational, thinking person does not publish personal conclusions based on reports by three journalists who each have a personal stake in this. Each arguably commited ethical violations if, indeed, there was an improper leak, and each also faces criminal prosecution under a couple possible theories. Isn't the more rational approach to wait for the transcripts of this 22-month investigation? There are likely tens of thousands of pages of testimony; much of it from witnesses you've never even heard of. Don't you think an examination of all that testimony would be prudent? Don't you think it will give you a more complete and accurate story than what is filtered through journaists with a personal interest in the outcome? Who's head is in the sand?

"As far as the report is concerned, I'll keep reading. However, since you are unable to refer to any part to support your claim..."

Not "unable," unwilling. Keep at it and you'll find it. Remember, you were the one who thought the report was not even available, and I'm the one who had read it.

With regard to dictionary skills, you again missed the point: You looked up the wrong word. Looking up the root "coherent" as I suggested will almost always give you a richer and more precise definition than looking up "incoherent," which is simply the opposite. As for choiice of dictionaries, I just double-checked using my Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged (my copy was printed in 1958) which is widely regarded as the last good Webster's since it was still prescriptive as to usage and undiluted by the popular bastardization of language. It's definition is even more precise than the American Heritage, and farther from the definition you proferred. I suggest you pick up a copy of the American Heritage, since it's the only single-volume prescriptive dictionary out there today, and it's widely regarded as second only to the 20-volume Oxford. Current Websters are adequate as a quick and rough desk reference, but serious writers or scholars seldom rely on them anymore.

"By the way, I'll be adjuncting at two universities (again) next semester."

Whoop-tie doo!

As for your teaching me a thing or two, that's unlikely. I know about your psych BS from a no-name school, and I know about your new "Ph.D. candidacy" at the phony city college. Is your program even accredited? Since you seem to believe that initials after one's name are important, and particularly if you think initials from top schools have meaning, then I would suggest you not challenge me on this front-- you woulld be horribly embarrassed.

I didn't intend to waste any more time on you, but it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet. You're an easy and foolish mark, especially in light of the drivel you post. But now I'm done. As you read the CIA report, you'll come to see I'm right. As you eventually read the Plame transcripts, you may find you were entirely correct, or you may find that your opinions were premature and even wrong--all along I've conceded that both were possible, so you won't claim any "ah-hah's" there. As you progress through your "education" I hope you will aquire reading comprehension skills, and maybe even learn to spot the existence of logical threads, or the lack thereof. For a blogger like you, those skills would make a world of difference.

Gee, Mark, you continue to ... (Below threshold)

Gee, Mark, you continue to be incredibly thin-skinned. Go ahead and impress with your titles. I've known idiots with degrees from big name schools and incredibly talented and smart people with degrees from small schools. It isn't where you come from that makes a difference.

How many times are you going to be done with me? Better take some blood pressure medicine with that coffee, it seems like you're wound a little tight.

I'm not looking for any kind of "gotcha". I'm simply point out that what you agree is a bad thing is unfolding before you. Can facts that we don't know change things? Well, they can change who is implicated in the leak, but they simply can't change the fact that Plame's identity was leaked and that attempts were made to cast doubt on Wilson's report through her identity.

Again, you can't possibly come up with a reasonable defense that this was not the case, so you show your immaturity by attacking me. I do hope as you progress through life that you will eventually learn to not take things so personal.

If you want to debate about dictionary skills, then at least do some with a tiny bit of intelligence. "Incoherent" and "coherent" are antonyms, since the addition of "in" as a prefix indicates the word will have the opposite meaning of the root's normal meaning. But, I'll play your silly little game - Merriam-Webster's defines "incoherent" as "lacking coherence". Now, a second-grader would then know that to fully understand the definition that they would have to look up "coherent". Sorry if I lost you initially. I hope this brings you up to speed.

As far as the report goes, I continue to believe that anyone who makes a claim should be able to back it up. Your continued inability to even properly cite your preferred source is only further proof that you really don't know what it says. Sorry, "I know" just doesn't cut it.

Never have I claimed to know "the whole story". What I have claimed, since you can't seem to comprehend my writing, is that there is enough that is known to understand that unethical actions were taken. Anything beyond that - as to who, when, where, etc. - will have to be left to the grand jury.

Do I need to sift through every word of testimony to understand that it is unethical to use confidential knowledge to attack political opposition? No. If you can't understand that, then you seriously need to take a course from somewhere in ethics. Again, it isn't the legality of what was done that I am talking about - for that you would have to go through the testimony. It is ethics. Maybe your dictionary has a definition of that word.

I appreciate the recommendation of a dictionary. I'll take it under consideration.

Since you are again "done with me", I'll be waiting for your next post.

XT

>Well, YOU brought... (Below threshold)
Mark:

>

Well, YOU brought it up, "adjunct" boy. And, who said anything about "small" schools? There are many great small schools, but they differ from yours because they have rigid admissions policies that favor demonstrated intellectual, academic and real-world success. Now, tell me your "adjunct" quip wasn't intended to mislead the readers into believing you possess those traits and therefore should be deemed more credible?

>

Perhaps that's because I'm not defending anything, but you keep attacking me as though I am.

>

Very wrong. You absolutely need to read the testimony and hear about other aspects of the investigation to get the FACTS. From those facts, you can draw ethical or legal conclusions. Right now, you lack many crucial elements that would clad your ethics case in iron. For now, you merely assume they are present and your bald statements belie your ignorance. You don't have enough factual dots to connect, and instead you rely on innuendo dots that may vanish when the whole story is released.

Once again, I'm not defending anything here but integrity. Your conclusions fatally depend on leaps of faith and logic that may or may not be justified, and you can't possibly know that today. You might know soon, as the grand jury's term ends soon.

I'm beginning to see that your reliance on the "ethics" argument is to hedge against the very real possibility that the grand jury might decline to render an indictment, or at least give the Whitehouse a pass. The hedge won't protect you, however, if there is a determination that neither Libby nor Rove were aware of her former covert status. Or if there is a determination that the status was leaked by someone outside the whitehouse. Or if the the retaliatory motive you assume to exist does not pan out. I do hope you understand there is nothing inherently wrong with saying, "Wilson's wife at the CIA sent him" -- you need much more than that to impugne anyone, even on ethics grounds.

As for the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, see if you can read as far as page 49, bottom paragraph. You'll find it says the intelligence report based on Wilson's trip shows that the former Prime Minister of Niger told Wilson he met with an Iraqi delegation in June 1999. The Prime Minister understood the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales from Niger to Iraq. We all know those sales did not take place, but clearly there was an effort by Iraq to aquire the stuff. Thus, Wilson's report to the CIA was entirely consistent with everything Bush said about the issue, and it contradicts Wilson's own Op-Ed.

Damn, XT's quotes were dele... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Damn, XT's quotes were deleted from that post somehow.

It should have looked like ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

It should have looked like this:

"Go ahead and impress with your titles. I've known idiots with degrees from big name schools and incredibly talented and smart people with degrees from small schools. It isn't where you come from that makes a difference."

Well, YOU brought it up, "adjunct" boy. And, who said anything about "small" schools? There are many great small schools, but they differ from yours because they have rigid admissions policies that favor demonstrated intellectual, academic and real-world success. Now, tell me your "adjunct" quip wasn't intended to mislead the readers into believing you possess those traits and therefore should be deemed more credible?

"Again, you can't possibly come up with a reasonable defense that this was not the case..."

Perhaps that's because I'm not defending anything, but you keep attacking me as though I am.

"Do I need to sift through every word of testimony to understand that it is unethical to use confidential knowledge to attack political opposition? No. If you can't understand that, then you seriously need to take a course from somewhere in ethics. Again, it isn't the legality of what was done that I am talking about - for that you would have to go through the testimony. It is ethics."

Very wrong. You absolutely need to read the testimony and hear about other aspects of the investigation to get the FACTS. From those facts, you can draw ethical or legal conclusions. Right now, you lack many crucial elements that would clad your ethics case in iron. For now, you merely assume they are present and your bald statements belie your ignorance. You don't have enough factual dots to connect, and instead you rely on innuendo dots that may vanish when the whole story is released.

Once again, I'm not defending anything here but integrity. Your conclusions fatally depend on leaps of faith and logic that may or may not be justified, and you can't possibly know that today. You might know soon, as the grand jury's term ends soon.

I'm beginning to see that your reliance on the "ethics" argument is to hedge against the very real possibility that the grand jury might decline to render an indictment, or at least give the Whitehouse a pass. The hedge won't protect you, however, if there is a determination that neither Libby nor Rove were aware of her former covert status. Or if there is a determination that the status was leaked by someone outside the whitehouse. Or if the the retaliatory motive you assume to exist does not pan out. I do hope you understand there is nothing inherently wrong with saying, "Wilson's wife at the CIA sent him" -- you need much more than that to impugne anyone, even on ethics grounds.

As for the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, see if you can read as far as page 49, bottom paragraph. You'll find it says the intelligence report based on Wilson's trip shows that the former Prime Minister of Niger told Wilson he met with an Iraqi delegation in June 1999. The Prime Minister understood the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales from Niger to Iraq. We all know those sales did not take place, but clearly there was an effort by Iraq to aquire the stuff. Thus, Wilson's report to the CIA was entirely consistent with everything Bush said about the issue, and it contradicts Wilson's own Op-Ed.

Hi again, Mark. S... (Below threshold)

Hi again, Mark.

So glad to see you are still "done with me".

The remark about schools was meant to say exactly what it says. Every school has a wide variety of people in it.

The "adjunct quip" was meant specifically for you. You seem to think you know quite a bit and continue to say that I know nothing. I believe you are wrong on both counts. Honestly, I believe I can save a space for you if you're interested.

My statements depend entirely on what is known to the public about the entire mess. Again, it is my belief that anyone who cannot see there is an ethical problem SOMEWHERE in the Bush Administration has blinders on. I don't need to know every single detail to see that.

Actually, you don't need to know if Rove or Libby or anyone else knew what Plame's clearance level was. It doesn't matter. If they had a problem with his report, or his op-ed, then they should have dealt with that directly on factual grounds. Instead, what happened is that ettempts were made to discredit the report based on who his wife was. In my book, that's unethical. It doesn't matter what happens in the legal procedings - as I've said from the beginning (so I don't know why you are suddenly seeing that it doesn't matter). This Administration ran on a platform of restoring respect and integrity to government. In this case, they have fallen short badly.

I appreciate the citation. There's a problem, though. The bottom paragraph of page 49 is blacked out (I'm looking at the official release). In fact, the only paragraph that isn't blacked out on page 49 deals with NSC contacting the CIA to clear exact language for a statement by the President. It is directly above the section titled "The British White Paper".

What I have found on page 40 is a reference to the Prime Minister mentioning that Iraq might be willing to pay more for uranium than France, but he then stated "Of course, Niger cannot sell to them". Later, on page 42, it states that Wilson (though it refers to him as "the former ambassador") was asked by our embassy not to talk to current office holders. Instead, he talked to the former Prime Minister, the former Minister of Mines, and "other business contacts".

After debriefing with the current ambassador, they arrived at the same conclusion, "it was highly unlikely anything was going on." (p. 42).

I can't find anything in the report where Joe Wilson is contradicting himself. Perhaps you should read the actual article Wilson wrote:
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm

"The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer. I did so, and I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.

The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why). If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses. (It's worth remembering that in his March "Meet the Press" appearance, Mr. Cheney said that Saddam Hussein was "trying once again to produce nuclear weapons.") At a minimum, Congress, which authorized the use of military force at the president's behest, should want to know if the assertions about Iraq were warranted."

There is obviously a lot of stuff in the report that does not refer to Mr. Wilson, his trip, his findings, or his report. The closest I can find is where the former Prime Minister states that some people in Iraq had "wanted to increase business" with Niger - which could have meant purchasing uranium, but no further discussions took place and the exact meaning was unclear. Perhaps that is what you are referring to. I don't know. If so, it is a fairly weak link to hinge any charge to his credibility on.

Anyway, this has gotten way off track - which is supposed to be about Harriet Miers. If you want to continue talking about the issue, it's fine with me. Perhaps, though, we should find a better venue that someone else's thread on another topic.

So, until you are "done with me" again, I'll be off to enjoy my weekend.

XT




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy