Bill Moyers Says It Beautifully

When I grow up I aspire to write as well as Bill Moyers:

We have yet another remarkable revelation of the mindset ofWashington’s ruling clique of neoconservative elites—the people whotook us to war from the safety of their Beltway bunkers. Even as Iraqgrows bloodier by the day, their passion of the week is to keep one oftheir own from going to jail.

It is well known that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby—once Vice PresidentCheney’s most trusted adviser—has been sentenced to 30 months in jailfor perjury. Lying. Not a white lie, mind you. A killer lie. ScooterLibby deliberately poured poison into the drinking water of democracyby lying to federal investigators, for the purpose of obstructingjustice.

Attempting to trash critics of the war, Libby and his pals in highplaces—including his boss Dick Cheney—outed a covert CIA agent. Libby then lied to cover their tracks. To throw investigators off the trail, he kicked sand in the eyes oftruth. "Libby lied about nearly everything that mattered,” wrote thechief prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The jury agreed and found himguilty on four felony counts. Judge Reggie B. Walton—a no-nonsense,lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key type, appointed to the bench by noneother than George W. Bush—called the evidence “overwhelming” and threwthe book at Libby.

You would have thought their man had been ordered to Guantanamo, sointense was the reaction from his cheerleaders. They flooded thejudge’s chambers with letters of support for their comrade and took tothe airwaves in a campaign to “free Scooter.”

Vice President Cheney issued a statement praising Libby as “a man…ofpersonal integrity”—without even a hint of irony about their collusionto browbeat the CIA into mangling intelligence about Iraq in order tojustify the invasion.

“A patriot, a dedicated public servant, a strong family man, and atireless, honorable, selfless human being,” said Donald Rumsfeld—thevery same Rumsfeld who had claimed to know the whereabouts of weaponsof mass destruction and who boasted of “bulletproof” evidence linkingSaddam to 9/11. “A good person” and “decent man,” said the one-timePentagon adviser Kenneth Adelman, who had predicted the war in Iraqwould be a “cakewalk.” Paul Wolfowitz wrote a four-page letter topraise “the noblest spirit of selfless service” that he knew motivatedhis friend Scooter. Yes, that Paul Wolfowitz, who had claimed Iraqiswould “greet us as liberators” and that Iraq would “finance its ownreconstruction.” The same Paul Wolfowitz who had to resign recently aspresident of the World Bank for using his office to show favoritism tohis girlfriend. Paul Wolfowitz turned character witness.

Bill Moyers gets it. Why don’t the beltway Heathers?

  1. Mimikatz says:

    These people have lost a very critical ability–the ability to step back and get some perspective, to see the bigger picture. They cannot hear anything but the sound of their own sweet voices, and they cannot hear how absolutely petulant and over-the-top they sound to the rest of us.

    Don’t they know there’s a war on? Don’t they know our brave men and women are dying in triple digits every month? That thousands have lost limbs and brains? And that this is as a result of the war that Libby and the VP and Bush lied us into while all of them cheered like credulous idiots?

    Or maybe they do know that, somewhere inside, but because they can’t face it, Libby has to be exonerated. Admit he lied about the Plame outing, and you begin to have to admit he lied about the intel too, and they lied with him or just swallowed and repeated it uncritically.

    Any way you look at it, it is selfish, intemperate, and wholly disproportionate to the harm Libby (as opposed to the troops and the country, to say nothing of the Iraqis) has suffered.

  2. Sally says:

    If only Bill Moyers would be THE guest on every talk show this Sunday to repeat what he wrote in his journal.

  3. freepatriot says:

    maybe Bill Moyers is alergic to cocktail weinies or something

    or maybe Mr Moyers never tried the cocktail weinies

    I personally think that judyjudyjudy, novakula, and the greenspanner actually DO get it, and they want to make sure YOU don’t get it

    we got a shit stain around here that is the model citizen to the cocktail weinie crowd (blissfully ignorant and lacking any sense of moral fiber)

    if we were all willfully ignorant Koolaide drinkers, like the shit stain, nobody would notice that the corporate media is feeding us bullshit, and paul wolfowitz would be a perfect â€chatacter witnessâ€

    Thank Goddess for Bill Moyers

  4. randiego says:

    â€Scooter Libby deliberately poured poison into the drinking water of democracy by lying to federal investigators…â€


  5. Anonymous says:

    â€maybe Bill Moyers is alergic to cocktail weinies or somethingâ€

    bill moyers was assistant to and press secretary for president LBJ. i think he learned that the weinies and kool-aide were poison.


    if gore doesn’t run for president, moyers would be my second choice.

  6. ecoast says:

    I think Jimmy Carter offered a cabinet position to Bill Moyers and he didn’t take it for whatever reason. I think he was publisher of New York Newsday at the time.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mike Elston’s family must be thrilled; he is coming home to spend more time with them!

  8. katie Jensen says:

    Bill moyers knows that â€the map is not the territory.†(Bateson) I have loved him for a long time. And what amazes me is that many people in â€the know†say they love him too. Let’s hope they actually listen to what he says. It’s seems so darn clear to me that libby and Bushco committed the worst kind of treason. I just don’t understand why Democrats are not calling it that.

  9. eyesonthestreet says:

    O/T Why is it that Bush can dictate whether Harriet Meyers can testify or not when she is now a private citizen? I can understand why he can control Rove,since he is still on his staff, but why Meyers?

    About Moyers- I am sure Moyers can relate to all those insulting letters and personel threats to Walton, since he too had to weather a smear campaign from his own boss (since resigned) at PBS, the story is at Wiki, â€Charges of Biasâ€:

  10. Woodhall Hollow says:

    BTW EW — you are not only a real grown up, but you write like one. I look forward to the day when Bill Moyers interviews you!

  11. eyesonthestreet says:

    BTW, if you did not catch shill David Brooks practically leaping out of his seat talking about Walton on The News Hour it is worth it to see this guy go spastic on air.

    and glad to see Bois is hitting back at Treasury for Moore/SiCKO.

  12. AZ Matt says:

    As bmaz mentions above, the rats are looking liferafts:…..rosecutors

    WASHINGTON – A senior Justice Department official who helped carry out the dismissals of federal prosecutors said Friday he is resigning. Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice official to leave after being linked to the dismissals of the prosecutors.

  13. pdaly says:

    Bill Moyers is great. Time for him to insinuate himself into Fox Channel news programming. The followers of the Neocon ship of state are going to be in need of hand holding as this country reboots under the adult and watchful eye of Democratic oversight.

    WRT DHS, here’s an article at WIRED that mentions among other details that Americans’ travel information can be held indefinitely (while foreign travellers’ data while be held only 3 to 5 years). Curious.…..vacy_.html

  14. alabama says:

    â€Scooter Libby deliberately poured poison into the drinking water of democracy by lying to federal investigators…â€

    Since â€well-poisoning†is a a commonplace of anti-Semitic rhetoric, and since Cheney’s Stern Gang knows only too well how to exploit the uses of such a common-place, I think Moyer’s figure of speech is poorly chosen. I think he’d be wise to avoid it in the future.

  15. Neil says:

    When Moyers grows up he aspires to have an intellect and analytical abilities like yours. Not that he’s so far off… I’m just saying.

    The Heathers. I like that. Who were the most egregious heathers in this case? Toensing, Comstock, Kristol, Novak, Woodward. Who’d I miss?

  16. Anonymous says:


    â€well-poisoning†is a a commonplace of anti-Semitic rhetoric … I think he’d be wise to avoid it in the future

    I have no idea what you are referring to, but I do know that â€poured poison into the drinking water of democracy†is a powerful and understandable metaphor. Everybody understands that POLLUTION IS WRONG. Human life depends on water, let’s not poison it. OK?

    If you insist on reading something more than this into it, you must be paranoid. And this is just the kind of excessive care for â€political correctness†that castrates US politicians, and reduces public political discourse in this country to a perennial diet of political pablum. If the US needs anything, it is people who can express themselves forcefully, and are not afraid to do so. And worrying about offending someone who is overly sensitive to some vague implication that the majority of people never even thought of is NOT the solution.

    So get over it, please, and focus on what Moyers actually said.

  17. Forget Me Not says:

    MSNBC’s David Shuster on how Scooter Libby can save himself:

    â€At this point, the only thing that could essentially keep Scooter Libby from reporting to prison in the next six to eight weeks will be if Scooter Libby suddenly had his memory refreshed and went to prosecutors and said, ’Remember all of those conversations that I said I couldn’t remember about Vice President Cheney regarding the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson and regarding my testimony to the FBI and grand jury? Well, now I remember those conversations.’â€

  18. Anonymous says:

    hey EW! — loved the moyers piece. . .


    now — in the best of good humor,
    i appear here, to place my order for one
    proud pecan pie — to be shipped, f.o.b.,
    by one bmaz, TNH-resident-criminal-defense
    guru — no later than august 31, 2007
    . . .

    [see my man, about the details. . .]

    yes — i am jes’ yankin’ your
    chain a little, bmaz — that is all. . .

    p e a c e

    ps: EW! — i see also quite
    spot on, was john dean’s latest.
    you got some nice ink, erh pixels, there,
    from him, too — very cool
    . . .

  19. phred says:

    alabama — Wikipedia is indeed our friend. Poisoning the well has many meanings besides the anit-semitic one you refer to (which according to Wikipedia has been applied to other ethnic groups as well, they specifically mention Koreans and Serbs). And in fact Finns, according to Wikipedia, poisoned wells in passive resistance to Soviet forces.

    In addition â€poisoning the well†refers to a logical fallacy:

    is the title of an environmental dance piece:…..20Work.htm

    is the title of a Stargate Atlantis episode wherein a group of people is willing to risk 50% mortality from a drug that will keep them from being eaten by some alien or another:…..tlantis%29

    I didn’t go beyond the first page of links returned by Google, there are undoubtedly more ways in which this expression has been applied. Had you asked me prior to raising this issue, I would have guessed it was a practice in the old west whereby an unscrupulous rancher would drive off some unwary homesteader — probably saw that in some old movie.

    At any rate, given the widespread applications of this expression, latching on to the anti-Semitic usage as if it is the sole way it is applied seems unfair.

  20. alabama says:

    phred, I’m just a retired professor of English who has run into this particular topic (or â€topos,†as we call it in the trade) over and over again in a variety of contexts, some of them old, and some of them not so old.

    This topic has a history much broader than Wikipedia, given the economy of its presentations, can report. It especially has a history in literatures and languages other than our own, mostly Eastern European–and when I saw it mentioned, innocently enough, in Moyer’s statement, it triggered a sense of contamination, and I felt that a warning was in order.

    Is every similar topic (or â€figureâ€) so contaminated? No, not at all. If, for example, Moyers had said that Libby â€poisoned the air,†then the issue would not, and could not, arise, or not at least in that way. We can call this a bit of bad luck on Moyer’s part if we like, but I think it’s worth a mention all the same.

    I find the figure’s association with Libby to be especially sensitive, given the fact that the man is Jewish, and that his previous claim to fame was winning that pardon for Marc Rich–sometimes described as the most militant and powerful patron of Israel in the world. (I’ve also said, and believe, that Rich and his friends will engineer Libby’s own pardon.)

    Where the neocons are concerned, I’ll admit to a touch of paranoia. I honestly believe that they’d grab at any straw, especially the most innocent of these, to discredit an eloquent adversary.

    That, and that only, is what I wanted to say.

  21. phred says:

    alabama — Fair enough, but I still think your characterization of this expression as being inherently anti-semitic is a stretch. Still, I am happy to agree to disagree on this point.

  22. Hector says:

    With respect to poisoning the well — I’m 65 years old. My mother’s father and mother were Jews, from Ukraine. It’s probably the case that most of the people I know in any kind of depth are Jews. I have often heard the expression â€Poisoned the well.†I have NEVER before heard it suggested that the phrase has any anti-Semitic associations. One can reasonably write any number of cogent responses to Bill Moyer’s piece on Libby and his supporters. To write a response that focuses on the alleged anti-Semitism of the phrase in question is, in my mind, inconceivably daft.

  23. radiofreewill says:

    Okay – Back to Moyers’ fine piece. Does he ’get it’ – yes. Does he admit fully of the implications – no.

    He missed the 800lb gorilla in his own article.

    The MOST obvious implication of the Perjury Conviction is that The Leaker(s) were protected by Libby’s outright lies and obfuscations.

    Fitzgerald said the investigation into the IIPA Violation was effectively cut-off by Libby’s intentional Criminality.

    Whoever intentionally exposed our national security assets, for whatever reason (SF312,) should be DULY SUSPECTED OF TREASON.

    On whose behalf would Libby have done such a thing?

    Libby’s former postion is UNUSUAL – he directly reported to BOTH Bush and Cheney;

    (Materializing before our eyes) – the most obvious suspected Leaker(s.)

    Mr. Moyers, if you are reading this, please consider that only a Domestic Enemy can ’out’ a Covert Spy and her CIA Front Company.

    Your writing is excellent, your argument is good, but imvho the payload landed off the mark.

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