James Wigderson: Like All Libby Defenders Ignores the Facts

James Wigderson of , a generally thoughtful rightwing website out of Waukesha, takes issue with the perceived inconsistency from two of my pieces on Paris Hilton and Lewis Libby.

On (06/09), Wigderson accurately notes my reaction to her incarceration, quoting, “Taking away someone’s liberty should be a last resort of a society to inflict upon its citizens. But in America, it’s done with appalling frequency: By prosecutors looking to inflate their win-loss record, by judges for whom taking away someone’s liberty can make them look tough, and by spectator citizens for whom watching Hilton is a sick sideshow.”

And on (07/02),
If there were any doubt that this administration believes that laws and rules are for other people, and that this government is theirs' to rule as they please, such doubts must be cast aside.

We can no longer credibly assert that this is our government; this is a cabal accountable to no one; we do not live a democracy under this administration.

Wigderson scoffs at this perceived inconsistency in the treatment of these two defendants, jeering: “We put too many people in prison, unless they're Republicans . Maybe if Libby appeared in porn films.”

Actually, the two cases are clearly different, and Wigderson’s flippant comment echoes rightwing talking points on Libby revealing a tendentious disdain for facts.

Libby is guilty on a of obstruction of justice, false statements, and perjury committed in the criminal investigation of the blowing of a CIA operative’s cover who was working on keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists.

Revealing Valerie Plame’s identity was done in retaliation for her husband’s knocking down the lie that uranium was smuggled out of Africa for use in Saddam’s nuclear weapons program, an alleged program now discredited by all but the most partisan of commentators.

Of-course, Hilton was convicted of reckless driving and violation of parole; somehow I just cannot see the equivalence of her misdemeanor with his five federal felonies that protected the outing of a NOC CIA agent and obstructed the CIA-requested DoJ investigation into this act of treason.

In Wigderson’s mind and those of many Republicans’, I guess that makes me an anti-Republican partisan, along with the CIA, elements of the FBI and the DoJ, the jurors, the Bush-appointed federal district judge, and the three-member appellate panel.

Though Libby’s misrepresentations about NBC reporter Tim Russert were included in the 22-page indictment, I suggest that Mr. Wigderson read the ; other journalists like Miller and Cooper were more central to the case, and Libby’s lies made to the Grand Jury and FBI were many and obvious.

Bush gave Libby his commutation even as Libby was appealing his case and had not served any of his 33-month prison sentence. As a editorial reads, “Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell.”

like the extraordinary Libby commutation committed outside of do trouble me.

They ought to trouble Wigderson, no matter the political party involved.


July 8, 2007 - 11:40pm