Why Is Kristof Joining the Mushy Technicality Club?

  1. Anonymous says:

    it’s all I can handle to wrap myself in tinfoil for the fairly well-documented conspiracies associated with the Plame case

    ew – you’re single-handedly bringing tinfoil attire back into style. We’ll look for you on the cover of Vogue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel, I hope you’ll post your thoughts on the anthrax attacks at some point. What the heck happened to that investigation?

    Just the fact that the targets were leading Democrats and news organizations (no Republicans, no hate radio, no radical religious right on crusade) smells funny. And the targets really did figure out that opening your mouth while spores are flying around is dangerous…

    OK, tinfoil adjusted, I feel better now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought he was just trying to write one of those â€whoa there, tiger†articles such as the one that was on the recommended list of another site recently (â€Kill the Fitzmas Talkâ€) and Kristof just didn’t do a very good job of it.

    One outside possibility is that Kristof has gotten wind that the indictments WILL extend beyond perjury, and he’s setting himself up for an â€I told you so†with the added bonus of being able to say he wasn’t one of the ’anti-Bush prosecutorial zealots’ who would have jumped at any fumble but really an honest outraged citizen taking serious charges seriously. (I don’t really think that’s his game though.)

    From my reading of it this morning, the key point was this sentence: So I find myself repulsed by the glee that some Democrats show at the possibility of Karl Rove and Mr. Libby being dragged off in handcuffs. It was wrong for prosecutors to cook up borderline and technical indictments during the Clinton administration, and it would be just as wrong today.

    which to me is strikingly similar to the blog post I linked above:
    I felt something cold in my stomach when I saw the term â€Fitzmas†on this site last week. I’m all for seeing these crooks go down, but I think this air of celebration isn’t helping us – in fact, it reminds me of the Republicans before the impeachment process, and we know how well that went for them.

    I guess Kristof’s taking it up a notch by saying not just the liberalpalooza is uncouth but that non-black-and-white perjury charges would be too. I’d like to wish he’s saying that with some inside knowledge of the outcome.

  4. Anonymous says:

    But the point is, ~pockets, Kristof knows there is more than mushy Clintonesque perjury going on, because he knew it in 2003. He very articulated the danger of BushCo lying us into war, when most bobbleheads were still believing Bush was the second coming of Patton. I understand the discomfort with Fitzmas. But I think that’s very different than recognizing the gravity of lying us into war.

    As Kristof has already argued.

  5. Anonymous says:

    recognizing the gravity of lying us into war.

    Right. He’d rather have those charges — lying us into war.

    The last thing we need are debatable perjury charges that will rally the Bush/Cheney base behind them as persecuted martyrs. Make it absolutely unquestionable or don’t make it at all, is I think what Kristof is saying. Even more so if the charges are peripheral to the war (it’s one thing to lie about what day you talked to a reporter and who called whom; it’s another to lie about a mushroom cloud to the Congress and the American people on network tv).

    I’m not agreeing with him, just trying to imagine what I would argue if I did.

  6. Anonymous says:


    Thanks a lot for the context. I completely missed his article, but I would eventually have stumbled upon it and been stumped were it not for your analysis.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, perhaps you’re right, ~pockets.

    I just wonder why he doesn’t realize the legal process it may take Fitz to get to the point where he proves Bush lied us into war. He’s clearly heading in that direction. But it will likely take one or two perjury charges about who talked to what journalist when to get us there.

  8. Anonymous says:


    Let me clear–this is–as most of my stuff is–speculation.

    But it would explain why Kristof is being such a dope. Not excuse it, mind you. But explain it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The â€technicality†argument is ridiculous. Pejury and obstruction, as commenters have pointed out, are precisely the kinds of activities that make prosecuting the leak difficult. Allowing these crimes to go unpunished here would allow the criminals to benefit from their own wrongdoing. It also creates terrible incentives. There are reasons these activities are crimes that deserve punishment. Let Fitz prosecute the criminals, and let the chips fall where they lay.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Every time someone on the right, left, or in the press, suggests that this is an investigation without merit I remember that many US or foreign agents may have been put in lethal danger because of this leak.

    Someday soon I hope this argument is forcibly made by the Prosecutor and responsible members of Congress, the Agencies, and the press.

  11. Anonymous says:

    â€All it was was a telephone and a post office box,†said one former intelligence official who asked not to be identified. â€When she was abroad she had a more viable cover.â€

    That’s a good thing, considering how little work seems to have gone in to establishing the company’s presence in Boston, intelligence observers said. While the renovated building houses legal and investment firms, current and former building managers said they’ve never heard of Brewster Jennings. Nor did the firm file the state and local records expected of most businesses.

    Both factors would have aroused the suspicions of anyone who tried to check up on Brewster Jennings, said David Armstrong, an Andover researcher for the Public Education Center, a liberal Washington think tank.

    At the least, a dummy company ought to create the appearance of activity, with an office and a valid mailing address, he said. â€A cover that falls apart on first inspection isn’t very good. What you want is a cover that actually holds up . . . and this one certainly doesn’t.â€


    yep…100’s of covert agents were killed and the damage to the Brewster Jennings network is probably irreparable

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes, that’s right. The CIA did a bad job on their cover, so we should finish the job of blowing it, and if they’re killed, it’s their problem.

  13. Anonymous says:

    100s killed? That doesn’t sound realistic, what is your source (the link doesn’t work BTW)? I’d believe 100s of people were compromised, one new star on the CIA wall has been reported in the right time period (search KOS for links to this).