Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Byzantine Symmetry?

Or obfuscation via innuendo?

I saw it 40 years ago, when the argument over facts (as opposed to the solution) of the Vietnam War had been settled: those who struggle to cobble together a case for perseverance, resort to contorting logic and distorting fact.

Thus it is with Wizard, whose comments are frequently welcomed in these pages.


To be honest, I can't tell from Wizard's September 02, 2006 post whether he is trying harder to swift-boat a diplomat with a distinguished and heroic career (Joe Wilson) or a Special Prosecutor with an equally distinguished career of effectiveness and incorruptibility (Patrick J. Fitzgerald).

Whichever the case, Wizard clearly thinks the Valerie Plame case begins and ends with Richard Armitage when he writes:
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel's chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, on obstruction charges.

Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles.
Oh, Really? "Rich"?

In the wake of his interrupted and uncompleted thought, Wizard tosses another inflammatory canard, which he also fails to substantiate:
...when Joe Wilson fanned the flames of his wife Valerie Plame's CIA status being revealed (which would have absolutely never happened if Wilson hadn't lied over and often about both the nature and results of his Niger investigation...
Lied "over and often"?

David Corn, co-author of
Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, the publication which first disclosed the Armitage leak, is including people like Wizard when he writes,
White House defenders are chortling. . . For some reason, they believe that the news from ‘Hubris’ that Richard Armitage was the original leaker means there was nothing to the CIA leak case. . . . Rove's leak (to Robert Novak and Matt Cooper) and Libby's leak (to Judith Miller and Cooper) were part of a campaign to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson. That's no conspiracy theory.
Right. This is settled history. Also settled is that the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the marketing arm of the White House whose purpose was to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the public, also availed themselves of the instruments of state power to cover-up their defective marketing and to attack and smear those who weren't buying their un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI). In the case of Valerie Plame case, they went to such lengths as to out and destroy the career of a CIA NOC officer, ironically working on Iraqi WMD.

As with the Vietnam era, people like Wizard are engaging themselves in self-delusion in order not to take a position on Iraquagmire. We used to call it Byzantine Symmetry: if you can turn away from the writing on the wall long enough and fabricate argument that 'both sides are wrong', then 'neither are right' and one has given oneself an excuse for inaction while more blood and money swirl down the Mesopotamian toilet Bush has crafted.

Wizard, for all of his putative reasonableness, is still in need of an occasional Kool-Aid.

18 Moderated Comments:

Blogger skip sievert said...

Understanding a post like this would entail a very long and arduous time of collecting obscure information. I don`t claim to understand it. I would claim that the basic premise of the reasons Bush went to war are obvious and were provoked by the classic idea to steal resources, and control the societal template in that area. It was necessary to steal the resources they thought, and we had lots of help that was given by fellow countries, that stood to gain in a cut of the proceeds. It was indeed planned to occupy, and stay in Iraq for the long term from the beginning , possibly even for ever if possible, much like we control Saudi Arabia and Egypt with money and protection.
So I have to call into question your understanding of the situation as it stands presently.
While it is possible to split hairs endlessly over rather trivial political aspects of war gaming this thing, lets get at the underlying aspects, why we do what we do as a culture.

9/06/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/06/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

vigilante, Thanks for the post, the link to one of my two original posts on the subject (the first post is located here).

First, a very, very important correction to your essay. The first quote you attribute to me is itself an exact quote from the New York Times article on September 2, 2006. In my post I have clearly and correctly identified it as a quote from the Times and provided a link to the full original Times article (you can find the Times article here, but registration may be required).

It was the New York Times that said, "Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel's chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, on obstruction charges.

Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles."


So it was the Times (and not me) who characterized it as a "rich" debate. Still, that you felt compelled to write your excellent article shows what a rich debate this actually is.

Second, I'm not defending George Bush or the White House in my post except as a by-product of the larger discussion in which I discuss the near mass hysteria that surrounded the beginnings of the investigation and the nature of ALL special prosecutors to over use (and occasionally abuse) their positions.

You will note how roundly I condemned the Clinton investigations (by the very over zealous Ken Starr).

I do continue to condemn Joeseph Wilson who did lie rather blatantly about the nature and results of his trip.

Tragically I can quote dozens of sources about Mr. Wilson's duplicity, but I'll use the one here from The Washington Post (editorial, September 1, 2006):

"Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials."

I'll conclude by restating comments made to you earlier in my blog:

Defense of the Bush administration is NOT the issue here. I'm certainly not trying to defend anything Bush or Rove or Libby have done.

But what has been done by others including Joe Wilson is morally, ethically and intellectually wrong. Fitzgerald's investigation was unnecessary and over zealous.

I know you want to get Bush.... impeachment is your near term goal (I think you've got this election in the bag!!).

But get the Bush administration for their real crimes.

Two wrongs do not make a right.


That's my opinion on this matter.

I continue to have deep respect for your opinion and consider your blog must reading each week.

9/06/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Not to change the subject, but..... I do believe the Democrats have this election in the bag. I think they'll control both houses of Congress. That was your first step.

But, is the second step likely or even possible? With only two years left in his term, will Congress and the public have the will to invest the time on impeachemnt?

What do you really think the chances are?

the Wizard.......

9/06/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Something to keep in mind, FKAP:

Polls don't mean pollunka: all they do is reset the bar from winning or losing seats/control to an artificial level of expectations, as in "we (they) didn't lose (win) as many seats as expected."

Keep your mind on the real ball in this game, which is not between Republicans and Democrats. This is a struggle to regain OUR COUNTRY from the un-American neofascist cabal which took it off its tracks six years ago.

The longer this junta stays in power, the more it begins to take on the legitimacy of the traditional leadership of the Republican party (which it is not) and that would be a further tragedy.

9/07/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

What concerns me, Wizard, is that when some one such as yourself quotes with approval from David Johnston (not really the opinion of the New York Times, is it?), one is expected to defend it - instead of saying, 'don't blame me. The other guy (NYT) said it'.

Secondly, the only thing "rich" about this whole topic is that some one even raised it; in that sense - "ha-ha" - this issue rises only to the level as a 'rich' joke.

The intent of your original post is to unjustifiably cast Fitzgerald and Wilson in "controversial light" which is a standard Rovian tactic: merely to raise doubt in the public mind neutralizes the perception of a reality.

And that reality is that there was a three-level conspiracy: (a) to take this country to war in Iraq, (b) to use every political device, governmental and non-governmental, to smear those who dared expose the conspiracy, and (c) to cover up the smearing. That latter is what Fitzgerald's case is about.

And finally, if you can possibly answer this without hiding behind the Washington Post ("he said it-not me") please tell everyone what you are referring to when you say,

"...if Wilson hadn't lied over and often..."

"... Joseph Wilson who did lie rather blatantly about the nature and results of his trip...."

"Joe Wilson... is morally, ethically and intellectually wrong."


What are these so-called lies by Joe Wilson and why do you think his action was so morally flawed?

Enlighten us and enrich this discussion.

9/07/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

recidivist, Thanks for your comments. And, by the way, I want to compliment you on the tag line you use in your "about me" description: "Don't pray in my schools and I won't think in your churches." I couldn't possibly agree more. With your permission I'll use it (with proper attributes) in an upcoming essay I'm preparing on the critical importance of the separation of Church and State and the need to separate church from our legal rights.....

messenger, I'm taken quite by surprise at the hostle tone of your response. I'm not hiding behind anyone or anything. I simply wanted to correct vigilante for crediting me with a quote for comments I didn't make. Those words were written by David Johnston in The New York Times.

There certainly is a debate. The very fact you bothered to reply to me is A DEBATE. Do you object to the word "rich?" I'm not going to debate adjectives with you.

I'm not hiding from anything. I understand you disagree with me and am pleased that you have posted your objections here. You are always welcome to post over on my blog, too. You're one of the best and brightest.

But we don't agree. And you don't agree with the Washington Post Editorial or the Times (Johnston) article. That's exactly why I've learned from 5 years of moderating a political BB not to ever engage in a "quote war."

My points are extremely clear in my original posts. I stand behind them even while respecting and learning from your equally clear points you have made above.

the Wizard......

9/07/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

I find it comical that so many rationalizations can be trumpeted over such arcane points.
I think the system is very successful at its divide and conquer strategy. Can we rise above that.?

That you think there is a difference between the Democrats and Republicans is really funny.
Until our system is run in a secular humanitarian way that is administered by science, we will continue to be on a war footing under either group. Why.? In actuality it is the corporations that really run our system under either party. They will kill any number of people to promote their main value. That value is the generation of as much cash as is possible.

9/07/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Gee Whiz, Wizard! Who started a quote war by quoting and not backing it up?

One thing I have learned from years on political BB's: Never be patient with those who force me to be repetitious. So, I am repeating this query only one more time:

What are these so-called lies by Joe Wilson and why do you think his action was so morally flawed?

So far you have not enlightened us nor enriched this discussion.

9/07/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Sievert, I've read your blog and I say you're nothing but a neo-neo-neo-communist.

9/07/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Mr. Food Blogger, you are wrong. Forget my blog , it is just a director toward other websites. How you got your particular impression I don`t know. We advocate a science based system. Secular, and humanistic. Using an energy accounting system.

Technocracy is not even remotely related to Communism. Communism is a Price System same as Capitalism. One use`s a dollar, the other used a ruble. There is not really a significant difference between them.
I could mention several websites for you to go to and learn more info. however since I believe I have in the past, I assume you have not really been interested in finding out more. I you decide to, I might suggest you Google Technocracy Movement, or just Technocracy and see what comes out. We have been around since the late 1920`s.
I would encourage you to do so.

9/07/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

Don't you get it, Mr. Sievert? Mr. Food is
Choosing you out!

9/07/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Thankyou Ms.Proxy , I had no idea that he would become so fixated on our movement in such a negative way. Its rather funny.~ ! I did go to the site, and poked around a bit and made some posts.
Technocracy is just about as American as apple pie. It really changes the Rules of the Game for a better society. Why someone would want to make it into some kind of bazaar conspiracy is beyond me. Lots of big egos on these left wing sites. I have posted on both right and left, and I am not sure which is worse. Very few of either of these extremes seems to get what I am talking about. Chalk it up to severe brain washing I guess. Why can`t they understand that I am a sincere person , who is an intellectual, who would like to make people aware of another choice that most have never heard of.?
Thank you very much, I guess it is comical. I appreciate your sense of fair play.

9/07/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

I enjoy this blog, regardless of the intensity of some of the writers. I don't mean this in a perjorative sense, it is simply an opinion.

I don't believe that blogs are designed to be doctoral dissertations. While we strive for accuracy, more often than not we will end up with biased observations and that's as it should be. I read every word of the original post, and Wizard's response. His (Wizard's) research appears to be valid and his opinions are his and I have always liked his opinions. We shall take judicial notice of the fact that this makes me biased:-) I agree with his assessment of Joe Wilson, but,as he pointed out, this doesn't change the facts. The REICH RIGHT leaked for political gain.

In closing I am surprised to see the return of the Skippy the Jester. I don't like it when he visits. I have learned to enjoy and respect the opinions of my cyber-friends and I don't appreciate his vicious, albeit nonsensical attacks.

Peace......

9/07/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Sorry I don`t think in your box. Is that vicious.?
How is it that narrow mindedness has become a virtue.?

9/07/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Skip, you really must be a lonely fella. The basic idea about blogs is to present your ideas, feeling, and experiences on your own platform. Making comments on other blogs should at least half-way relate to the topic at hand. I have read your blog and the ideas you present are interesting but unworkable. But your behaviour on Vigil's blog is has always struck me as that of a three-year old whining for attention.

9/08/2006 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Every one has an opinion, and yours is just as good as anyones.

9/08/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Madmike, I'm not sure people are asking for footnotes, just to have their questions answered. Is that too intense for you?

Wizard doesn't, apparently, like follow-up questions any more than Bush.

But what about you, Mike: What are your negatives for Joe Wilson?

9/08/2006 10:32:00 AM  

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