I deliberately avoided Richard Cohen's latest nonsense of the other day. But then watertiger sent me a tidbit from Cohen's online chat today (dirty trick, watertiger), and I got sucked in. First, let me start with this passage:
Boston: If Bush felt he needed to respond to Wilson, why not do it openly, on-the-record, based on the merits?
Richard Cohen: Good question. I'm not sure Bush was involved in this at all, but in general I agree.
"I'm not sure Bush was involved in this at all." Well maybe, Cohen, that's why you shouldn't write about this case. Because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. You see, evidence submitted at the trial made it clear that on June 9, Bush got involved. And later, on July 10, Condi passed on that "Bush is comfortable." Not to mention the fact that Dick Cheney claims to have asked Bush to declassify
Plame's identity the NIE. If Cheney did, in fact, have Bush unilaterally declassify Plame's identity the NIE, I'd say that means he was involved.
Okay. Now that we've established Richard Cohen has no fucking clue what he's talking about (and therefore all his claims that there was no underlying crime appear to be based on him talkingouttahisarse), here's the bit watertiger sent me:
I don't quarrel with the jury. In fact, let me just say that my own reading of the trial was that he was guilty. I don't believe that he forgot. But I do believe that while it is impermissible for anyone to lie to a grand jury -- I'm not quarreling with that -- I'm just saying that when you get called before a grand jury and you are a target, there ought to be a crime involved. More than that, in this government, in our government, we ought to make sure that the basis of it is not a political disagreement.
Consider the logic here. Cohen is suggesting that nothing pertaining to political disagreement should ever go before a grand jury. Leak a CIA NOC's identity because you "disagree" with a political opponent? Shouldn't go before a grand jury. Steal the records from a political opponent's shrink's office? Shouldn't go before a grand jury. Kill you political opponent? Shouldn't go before a grand jury.
To be fair, Cohen's not making that argument--he does refer to Sirica sniffing out a cover-up in Watergate, so presumably he thought the burglary was worthy of grand jury investigation. But the point is--there's no clear line here. If you can't do the investigation to determine if there is a cover-up, how are you going to know if there's a set of plumbers behind the "political disagreement"? And for what it's worth, as Libby faces down 30 months we may yet find the plumbers in this case (in the form of Hohlt and Duberstein), so perhaps Cohen should either stop writing about something he knows nothing about, or allow justice to work.
Boy, I should never read Richard Cohen. Just not worth my time.