Friday, October 28, 2005

Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them

OK, Libby's indicted. But Paul Begala's stretching things just a tad, here, dontcha think?

And third, because the ultimate result of the alleged criminal conduct was to march 2,000 young heroes off to die in an unjust, unwise, unprovoked and unwarranted war.

The alleged criminal conduct was in outing a CIA agent. The actual current criminal charge is repeatedly lying to a grand jury, admittedly a serious crime. But thus far, I've heard no allegations by the special prosecutor that the criminal conduct at issue is the administration's case for war. In fact in today's press conference, Fitzgerald thankfully said that that subject was not under his purview. But Begala just glosses over that like so many in the MSM who gloss over the meme that the yellowcake from Niger claims have been "disproven."

The plain fact is that after a seven year non-stop investigato-rama, no senior Clinton White House official was ever even charged with wrongdoing. Much less indicted. Much less convicted. In fact, the highest-ranking Clinton official to be convicted of wrongdoing in connection with his public duties was the chief of staff to the Agriculture Secretary. Betcha five bucks you can't even name the Clinton Agriculture Secretary in question, much less his chief of staff. Unlike Nixon (whose Watergate crimes were manifest), unlike Reagan (whose White House was corrupted by the Iran-Contra crimes), unlike Bush 41 (who pardoned White House aides and Cabinet officers before they could testify against him), Bill Clinton presided over the most ethical White House staff in decades.

Since I doubt he's on crack, this is a pack of lies. Clinton was a fairly senior Clinton WH official, wasn't he? Oh but we're just talking about the White House staff. Gotcha. He was impeached although he deserved to be indicted since he was guilty of the same crimes of which Libby is accused plus civil contempt of court. I can name the Agriculture Secretary, Mike Espy, where's my five bucks?

On August 27, 1997, Espy was indicted on charges of granting favors in exchange for thousands of dollars in gifts such as sports tickets, lodging, and airfare.

So Espy himself was indicted, Mr. Begala. Just like Scooter Libby. Espy was ultimately cleared of all wrongdoing in his trial. Just as Libby theoretically could be. And you're really proclaiming the "most ethical Administration in decades" line? First of all, we've dramatically reduced expectations from Clinton's first Executive Order declaration of the "most ethical administration in history," haven't we? But I can understand why. In addition to Mike Espy's indictment, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros was indicted on 18 counts conspiracy, giving false statements and obstruction of justice. Cisneros was later pardoned by Clinton. But the "most ethical WH staff in decades" was also involved in questionable dealings with Chinese influence peddling and illegal campaign contributions, the pardon of Mark Rich, Whitewater, the Lincoln Bedroom scandal, etc. And this doesn't even include Clinton's high crimes. How can he even say this with a straight face?

Then Begala goes on to lie and smear with no support, though he rightly points out that this is the first investigation of wrongdoing in five years of this Administration. But what's the upshot? For Begala it's downplaying and lying about the ethical failures of the Clinton Administration and whining about how "Innocent people were impoverished, reputations were damaged, careers derailed" at the same time that he hypocritically engages in the same kind of behavior he decries. That Begala would even attempt to draw such a baseless comparison is laughable. Definition of a hack.

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