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July 13, 2007


Although, as far as I know the AP hasn't called for a Libby pardon, the most logical way to read the article is that the AP is tacitly admitting to being among "Libby's allies".

EW - While on the subject of the media establishment and that mean Patrick Fitzgerald - WOOHOOO! On the second day of Fitzmas.... Former Press Baron, Former Canadian Citizen, Conrad Black was convicted by Team Fitz of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice!!! He faces a maximum of 35 years in prison. The trial coverage of Black, which I followed zealously, was very slanted against the prosecution, with the insinuation being that the prosecution had a "weak case", and that Fitzgerald was "criminalizing" big business practices. Any connection to Conrad Black's status as a neocon warmonger in the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, the National Post (Toronto), and his payment of "consulting" fees for one day of meetings a year to the likes of David Frum and George Will is, of course, coincidental. Now excuse me while I Snoopy dance - Black has been ripping off shareholders, unions, taxpayers and pensioners for decades in Canada and around the world, and I have to say, I think I take more personal satisfaction from this than Scooter. I doubt the Commuter will do much for Lord Voldim... I mean Lord Black.

Yes, indeedy--though they only got convictions on some of the charges, it does look like Conrad Black will be hoping for some Libby Leniency from Bush.

The irony is, the most serious charge he was convicted of was the obstruction charge (20 yrs max) for branzenly removing, while being videotaped on security cameras, with his own hands and into his own car, 13 boxes of records from his offices that had been impounded by court order in the fraud investigation. I can't help but think that this unbelieveably arrogant and stupid act by Black had a real effect on the jury's determination of his consciousness of guilt - and yes, he was acquitted on some of the charges, but one was the RICO charge, which was really a stretch in this context.

EW - Perhaps the Conrad Black story would be a good book for Vaster - Anatomy of Conceit, perhaps? There have been lots of gossipy books about Black, but none that really exposed him and the corrupt practices of his cronies - sounds perfect for you! I really think you could use this story to show the intersection of the corruption of the big business, media and political worlds. Black was at the crossroads of the neocon infiltration into all three areas - the Boards of Directors and consultants of his companies included the likes of Perle, Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, the Kohlberg Kravis gang, all the people who have been at the heart of the madness, madness, madness of the past two decades.

Robert Novak—Prince of Darkness
By Patrick J. Buchanan

"Come here," Richard Nixon whispered.

I did—as Nixon peeled the curtain back to reveal a group of reporters gathered for his press briefing.

"There," Nixon nodded. "That is the enemy."

Nixon had directed my attention to a swarthy fellow seated in the front row, separate from the rest, who seemed to be scowling, but at no one in particular. It was Robert Novak.

Conrad Black can hope all he wants for some Libby leniency, but he's a formerly-Canadian Brit, and his biographies of FDR and Nixon didn't have any lyrically written bear-on-human scenes.

more from Pat Buchanan:

"At the party in his Pennsylvania Avenue apartment to celebrate his baptism as a Catholic, Pat Moynihan said to me, among others, "Pat, now that we have made Novak a Catholic, do you think we can make him a Christian?"

If the late senator were still with us, one would have to inform him that this remains a work in progress."

Slightly off-topic, but I've been trying to come up with good suggestions for Judge Walton for additional terms of Libby's supervised release. These terms need to be related to the crime that was committed. So, when Kevin Mitnick was convicted of computer hacking, he got saddled with a whole host of terms that prohibited him from using computers. So, I'm thinking that, since Libby's crimes involved lying about his discussions with reporters, one term of his supervised release should be a prohibition on talking to reporters.


I don't doubt that Icky Toensing was pushing her preferred narrative in coaching AP and DJ, but I think the real reason they were pushing is the agenda of most of the major news organizations, most notably the Times in its casting Judy Miller as martyr for press freedom -- namely, to scupper an investigation that threatened the heart of the cozy, convenient "informed-but-never-named sources" journalistic practice. In their eyes, Fitzgerald was persecuting roguish latter-day bootleggers who were simply supplying the customers with liquid refreshment.

They are as wilfully blind to the inherent corruption as were the citizens of Chicago in the 1920s.

Years ago, while on a fishing trip to Minnesota, a friend of mine performed a prank that reminds me of this Armitage-Novak-Russert shell-game.

It "reeks" of gamesmanship.

Knowing one of his relatives would be moving into the remote cabin we occupied in a couple days, my friend left a fresh (at that moment) perch carcass wrapped in a newspaper in a drawer in the kitchen.

But that little fish was just a FRONT! My pal also put a bigger sack full of walleye carcasses in the potato bin under the old fridge.

The idea was simple. When his relatives moved into the cabin for their share of the family summer-vacation time, they would surely smell fish, (in the less-than-fresh state it would be two days later) and go looking for it.

And. he admitted, they would probably suspect who put it there. Something about an ongoing prank vendetta...

Anyway, his logic was, when they find the perch, (which was not very well hidden for SOME reason,) they'll think they beat the stink problem.

But the smell will linger, because the REAL dirty trick was the big sack of walleye carcasses in the potato bin.

Armitage is the Perch.
Rove, Libby, and Cheney are the Walleyes.

We need to keep looking for those hidden fish skeletons, because something still stinks in Washington...

Excellent analogy JEP, illuminating one of the canonical ploys in their toolchest. One thing that has made the leak affair so fascinating is the clear view it gives of GOP/Rove con methods.

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