Friday, October 21, 2005

Fitzgerald Fishing or Carlson Confusion? Part II

Now that the transcript of the Situation with Tucker Carlson is available, I thought I'd toss in a link. (click the title of this post)
CARLSON: I just have trouble believing the prosecutor can actually do this, that is, indict, bring indictments for crimes, or alleged crimes, that aren't directly related to the original leak.
I just have trouble believing the talking head can actually think this, that is, perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the investigation are somehow in his addled mind not indictable crimes.
CARLSON: ... even critics of the White House, even people who are not predisposed to like Bush or his White House, are going to say, "Well, hold on a second here. That wasn't the original crime. These are crimes that took place after the investigation."
WRONG! These are crimes (at least whoever he is paraphrasing here got that part right anyway) that took place DURING the investigation. If indeed these crimes had occurred after the investigation Tucker, or those who aren't even predisposed to disagree with Bush, might have a point.

Once again I honestly don't believe Carlson really believes this. It is so patently absurd that it truly must be Carlson desperately casting about for some sort of cogent defense and talking points prior to the coming indictments. We can only perceive Carlsons odd remark about those who are not inclined to support the President as Tucker pointing those who don't agree with the war, but support the White House on idealogical grounds (like himself) to some sort of justification.

[Update: Here is a link to a Washington Post article on the special counsel launching a website. The interesting part that bears on Tuckers seemingly idiotic reasoning discussed above is "A Feb. 6, 2004, follow-up confirming that Fitzgeralds mandate "includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation."" What makes this interesting is that besides allowing for Fitzgerald to prosecute for obstruction and perjury in the investigation, (duh...) by allowing for the special counsel to investigate all issues related to the disclosure this opens the inquiry quite substantially. Now if in the course of the investigation Fitzgerald finds other unlawful conduct related to the leak, (read the leakers were involved in a far greater conspiracy to mislead the public and Congress before the war and this leak was simply an attempt to cover up that deception) then he can investigate that as well. That should be the real cause of Carlsons dismay over a supposed fishing exbidition, yet it is clear the special counsel purview is not limited to investigating the issues "directly relating to the original leak". "Related to" in the above quote may be construed to give very broad powers to the special counsel as the degree of relation is not specified. Carlson obviously wishes "related to" to mean "directly related to" where-as Fitzgerald may take "related to" to mean tangentially related to. And if Fitzgerald is investigating crimes tangentially connected to the leak and decides to issue indictments, it's hard to imagine the judge determining that those laws should not be enforced. One can only speculate on what it was that had Fitzgerald request this clarification. And one can only assume that Tucker, by making a silly argument regarding obstruction and perjury charges being outside the scope of the investigation, is predicting a broader investigation and pre-emptively trying to strengthen an argument that the wider scope of the investigation would be uncalled for.]

Onto the Horowitz segment. Heres a debatable point by Mr. Horowitz:
This is the first time in American history that a major political party has defected from a war that it supported.
I think the Vietnam war is a case where just what Mr. Horowitz says has never happened actually happened. The Democratic party controlled Congress when the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed giving the President broad based authority to conduct the war in Vietnam, yet Johnson was so politically damaged by his conduct of the war that he didn't seek reelection in 68. Regardless... I would also argue that never in American history has an administration based the call to war so completely on falsehoods. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was a false pretext to allow the Vietnam war, but it was understood by all parties going in that Vietnam was a side show in the cold war. The overall context of the war in Iraq going in was that Saddam represented an immediate threat, and it turns out this context was drawn from misinformation and exaggeration. So once the truth of the matter comes to light, of course you can expect to see major disaffection with the policy that led us to this war. And it is not just the Democrats jumping ship. There are many Congressional Republicans publicly expressing views not supported by the White House. Furthermore to say that only one political party has defected is to ignore the fact that actually a strong majority of the American public have defected as well.
HOROWITZ:...the president has been the target of relentless attacks, the most vicious attacks in my memory, that is in my whole lifetime. I have never seen a president...

CARLSON: And most of them are stupid, I think.

HOROWITZ: ... I have ever seen a president attacked like this.
I think the ending of my previous post deals with this issue well enough so read that, and I'll leave it alone for the time being.

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