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May 30, 2007


Firedogs rule!

Wishing you safe travels home, ew.


Are you and Jane going to submit a brief by 5 PM today? I'd say you qualify as "the media" that Judge Walton references in his order...

Brava, excellently done. Have a nice trip home -- and stay cool, it's a scorcher here today.

I find it very interesting that Walton said he was inclined to permit disclosure after the sentencing, but wanted to be briefed on whether to allow disclosure before the sentencing.

Excellent letter and well argued. You didn't mention your book, but then, Walton probably knows (and has read) your work...

I believe the title "Defendant Libby" is a bit out of date at this point. I think "Convicted Felon Libby" is more accurate.

That does have a nice ring to it don't it Frank.
Even if the future brings a pardon by the pResident,
he will still be and forever more be " Convivted Felon Libby."

CFL for short.

Probably no need to actually mail it to Judge Walton. I'm sure he reads TNH! Good job, EW.

I don't think you should be making a distinction between "bloggers" and "the public". Bloggers are part of the public, and the public has a right to know, whether they blog or not.

What if someone mocks this letter? On a blog?!

I learned from FDL, during the trial, the judge could answer questions submitted by the jury at his discretion. I suppose he could be selective also with the letters. Natch, I'd like to see them all available to the public, though.

Most excellently well written and stated!

Anyway, in a free country, what is so wrong with being ridiculed?

Why would writing a letter on behalf of a defendant be a deep, dark secret?
Public figure.
Public trial.
Public documents.
Public interest.
Public news coverage, over a period of years.

Making the letters public would expose who is perpetuating the 'Libby was a victim of an overzealous prosecutor' meme, and would show respect for the FBI and law enforcement efforts that went into this entire investigation. One thing that became very clear during the trial was the utter disregard of law enforcement (including FBI agents) by Libby, Cheney, and other Bushites. That was one of most shocking aspects of the whole mess, and it might provide a little righteous justice if those letters reveal the self-serving, catterwauling, expedient, arrogant people the FBI agents were up against.

Keeping those letters remain under wraps subverts justice over the longer term because it makes it too easy for the "Libby as victim" meme to reestablish itself.

WO - regarding disclosure of the letters prior to sentencing - I would think the distinction is that Judge Walton does not want it to appear that any reliance he may have placed on the letters was diminished by any media scrutiny, or, God forbid, "mockery" of the contents of the letters or the authors thereof prior to the sentence. He has bent over backwards to be fair to Scooter all the way through this process and I don't think he wants to give any grounds at all for appeal of the sentence. My read on this is that he is considering very full disclosure of the letters themselves, with the only redactions being for things like addresses, phone numbers, and other information that has no bearing on the sentence. BTW, the sensitivity of these tough-guy neocons (and perhaps Presidential candidate and Libby bagman Fred Thompson) is amazing - these are the "Vulcans" who are going to keep us safe in our beds at night from teh Terra?

Ishmael - I think you are exactly right.

Ishmael - I think you are exactly right.

Marcy and Jane, you rock!

One wonders if someone from Judge Walton's staff decides to look up the two bloggers that sent the letter, what he will think of the respectful title "Reggie's Got Mail" or the "Big Time Liar" post at Fire Dog Lake.

EW and JH, Thanks for sharing your letter to Judge Walton with us. As usual, you make a compelling argument. Was like it like passing a camel through the eye of a needle or more like shooting fish in a barrel? (That one's for you Jodi.) If Walton releases the letters, and I think he will, I ask only that you mock my letter in every way that occurs to you.

Dear Judge Walton,

I have no objection to having the letter I wrote - regarding Mr. I. Libby’s sentencing - made public. I stand behind my words when I wrote them, again when I sent them to you, and now as a matter of public record.

I ask only that you remove my address from the public version. I do not wish to be subject to retribution by ideologically driven people who support Mr. Libby’s lawlessness in spite of his conviction in the court of law, on four felony counts.

well of course bloggers are different that "Normal" people

normal people don't "mock" important government officials who have been convicted of four felonies

bloggers have been known to do that

normal people couldn't pick doug fieth out of a police lineup

bloggers are known to be able to do that

and normal people do NOT scrutinize every statement a politician makes

bloggers are known to do that

now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to another site and Mock a public official who wrote a letter in support of a convicted felon ...


If GW was Impeached would he use Blackwater to stay in office?

You've given three reasons the letters should be public:
1. accountability
2. building public confidence
3. encouraging informed discourse

I think there is a fourth, or at least an Accountability Part 2. As I read your explanation of the accountability principal, the point is to let the public see what kind of people support Libby's actions.

Another critical reason for disclosure is to be sure that what they say is accurate. If their statements are inaccurate, without disclosure, there is no way that those inaccuracies can be exposed. This would seem to be inconsistent with the whole adversarial nature of the court system.

as i assume everyone here knows
by now, big media has also filed
a brief in support of access to
the libby-supporter-letters. . .

i'll be blogging on their very-
compelling arguments shortly, but
i will note that even libby's defense
team, in their filings of today, seem
to concede that most of the letters
will be public -- now, it is all over,
save for the shouting -- that being,
whether they get released before sentencing.

the big media brief really nails ted
wells' team for not playing straight
with the kushner precedent. . .

a very entertaining read, indeed. . .

safe journeys to marcy -- continued
well-being to jane. . .

I think Ishmael's right: redactions of irrelevant information, and then send them off after sentence is passed.

Also, it's not as if Judge Walton isn't aware of another issue: the main players in this particular trial were notable for offering one story (or at least, their impression of the facts) to the public, and then testifying to something quite different. The use of hush-hush sourcing and double-secret attribution.

This trial was all about putting people on the record. That extends to those wanting Scooter to get a slap on the wrist and a limousine home.

Great letter EW and Jane!

A concise summary of the significance of this case: the criminality of Libby and the unindicted (co-conspirator) elected officials, the threat to the rule of law Libby's efforts represented, and a reminder of the public's right to government transparency.

Some day your letter should be inscribed in stone on the outside wall of the Prettyman Court house --a literary monument to people power and to the concept "Liberty and JUSTICE for all.'

nolo and all others - I also filed an Amicus Brief, along with the "big media" in relation to the sentencing, and Libby letters, issue. The filter would not let me post a link, but if you click on my name, it should take you there. Take a look, you will like it I promise.

Additional thoughts on a memorial wall at Prettyman Courthouse:

We could have annual celebrations of people power at Prettyman Courthouse.

To mark the occasion, the court officer spray paints one of the Libby letters of support onto the wall. Then we cheer as this pernicious graffiti is spray-washed away leaving behind Marcy and Jane's rock solid letter gleaming in the sunshine Christy specializes in.

We only have to quibble about the date: 12/30? 01/16? or 03/06?

Thanks to you both!

nolo and all others - I also filed an Amicus Brief, along with the "big media" in relation to the sentencing, and Libby letters, issue. The filter would not let me post a link, but if you click on my name, it should take you there. Take a look, you will like it I promise.

Posted by: bmaz | May 30, 2007 at 22:30

as a result of the above,
i've ended up with a more
populist piece, on the "access"
legal argument memos story,
tonight -- mainly due to
serendipity, in comments,
and bmaz's provsion of a
link -- on my blog. . .

so -- while the "bad ole
big media
" arguments are more
concise, at least after i edited
'em -- and mostly free of tire-
some legal jargon, the populist
"amicus petition" has a rather
alluring charm, all its own
. . .

do take a squint. . .

Walton's order sounded to me like he was LOOKING for requests to release the letters before sentencing --- this suggests to me that there is some stuff in the letters he wants people to see (and react to) before he passes a stiff sentence.

My guess is that a lot of those letters made false/misleading statements, and Walton knows it, but he wants some "amicus" briefs describing why the letters are not credible. I assume that he has an obligation to "consider" the recommendations in the letters -- but if false and misleading assertions of facts are found in those letters, he can disregard them.

OT: Griffin is out as US Attorney.

B R E A K I N G:

the libby-letters are set-free!

thanks to the great efforts of
marcy and jane and all of yesterday. . .

walton's order is out:

right after sentencing!

i'll have an image of the order in
mere moments, there -- but as soon "as
practicable on, or after june 5, 2007
the libby-letters -- with such redactions
as are ordered by judge walton, will be public

"so ordered, may 31, 2007."

Congrats! {{{{{MARCY&JANE}}}}}

anything less than full disclosure would not be acceptable, as the letters are political capital being spent by the supporters, or as their letters will show they are traitors and extortionists. there is no room for hiding anything more.

will your state legislature create a bill to impeach, or to institute universal health care? no one else will. We need to recall our entire government, for it is clear they are all criminally involved and ignoring our wishes. for all their fine talk, there has yet to be a single filibuster. why is that?

cowards and traitors all.

Congrats! {{{{{MARCY&JANE}}}}}

...who had nothing to do with the decision?

They sent their letter on 30 May? By what method? Next day emergency delivery? The judge wrote his decision in the morning and filed it. Marcy and Jane's letter comes AFTER the fact.


Are you so sure you know diddly shit about when we sent the letter or how? And have you ever heard of fax and email?

Just checking, because while it is unlikely that our letter had any or any big effect, you apparently missed the last half century of telecommunications advances.

Smash - If you for any reason return to this post after all this time, know this. I can personally guarantee you that Marcy and Jane's letter was in Walton's hand and read, as was a brief I filed on the matter, before Walton's decision. And I know this directly from the court. There was no reason for EW to ask; it is confirmed that you don't know diddly shit.

What gets me is the folks who cry to get Libby out under "no underlying crime" talking points. They are the same folks who would be screaming "Treason", if a progressive merely mentioned the name of a Janitor working at CIA. Are you there Ann? Earth to Ann...come in Ann.

The letters must be made public, so that the world can see what incredible hypocrites are behind "Free Scooter". Otherwise they will lash out at the judge, as much as they have gone after Fitz.

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