Sunday, October 08, 2006

Innocent until proven guilty, part 3

Remember the “scandal” and uproar that occurred in 2005 when the identity of a CIA operative was “leaked” to the press?  Karl Rove was accused by some of leaking the name.  Democrats and the mass media were demanding his resignation.  Also accused was one of Vice President Cheney’s advisors.  

The more people accused the more likely you are to be right about someone?  Who cares about the harm done by accusing the innocent?  I wrote three blogs about the issue.  They are given below.  Then, I’m going to quote a newspaper article in its entirety with comments.

Thursday, July 28, 2005  Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

The first election I remember; I was in the fourth grade.  I was a liberal Democrat.  I consider myself to still basically be a liberal Democrat.  I am not a libertine Democrat.  There is a great deal of difference.  The first time I ever voted for a Republican was in 2000 for President Bush.  In 2004, I voted only for Republicans.  I will not vote for a Democrat until the libertine Democrats no longer control the party unless a specific Democrat eschews all libertine policies.

One of the basic democratic concepts in this country is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  The libertine Democrats of today have abandoned that basic concept of government.  Nothing new.  They have abandoned much of the basic concepts of liberal Democrats to achieve their libertine ends.  (I don’t care what Republicans believe or have done in the past in regard to this concept—one of their arguments as to why it is proper to ignore this concept.  One is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)  Of course this means, the suspicion of guilt; the accusation of guilt; the arrest for a crime; and the trial for a crime has not determined that individual to be guilty.  One is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law—only a conviction determines that individual to be guilty.

In Tucson in 1999, a University of Arizona football player was arrested for domestic violence.  A segment of the university population was demanding that he be removed from the team.  I wrote the following letter to the editor to the university’s newspaper.  (I was attending school there that semester.)

A crime occurs on campus.  I am the only witness.  You are alone and in the vicinity of the crime scene.  I identify you as the culprit.  You are arrested, charged, and booked.  Should you be suspended from school until your trial is completed?

I thought a person was supposed to be innocent until proven guilty under our legal system.  Being arrested and charged with a crime is not the same as being guilty.  Is it the proper procedure to punish before conviction?  From what I have read in the “Wildcat” recently, it seems some members of this community would prefer punishment before conviction unless, of course, they were the one being accused of an illegal act.

As a side note, the football player was never indicted nor convicted of any crime.  To have been punished for something he did not do according to the legal system is wrong.  But even if he had been tried and convicted, to be punished before that conviction would have still been wrong!

Monday, August 1, 2005  Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law (part 2)

The July 28 post is the introduction to today’s post.

Last week G.B. Trudeau in his “Doonesbury” strip clearly states that Karl Rove leaked the name of a CIA agent.  He has declared himself judge and jury.  Other similar minded Democrats have demanded that Mr. Rove either resign or be fired.  None of them seem to understand or want to follow the concept of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Even if five different reporters claim that Mr. Rove was the tipster, does that make him guilty?  No, not until he is convicted in a court of law.  Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is the basis of our legal system!  Is there any libertine Democrat out there who understands this basic concept?

We all know that reporters have been known to lie!  Consider this.  If all it takes is an accusation from a reporter to get an administrative official fired, all a reporter has to do is falsely claim that illegal information came from that particular individual.  Do you really want our government to operate under these circumstances?

I’ve got another concern.  I have not seen this addressed in the media although it may have been.  If it is illegal for a government official to give the name of a CIA agent and it should be, doesn’t the reporter and the newspaper or magazine have a moral obligation NOT to publish that information?  Doesn’t the publishing of that name for the world to see endanger the life of the agent just as much if not more than telling that name to a reporter?  Freedom of the press is not and never has been unfettered—it is not an absolute freedom.

Yet, I have not seen or heard of any demand that any reporter resign for risking the life of the agent.  I have not seen or heard of any demand that any newspaper, magazine, or its staff be punished for printing the story.  They morally have to be culpable just as the administrative or other individual(s) who originally gave the name to the reporter is culpable.  They could and should have decided not to print the name of the agent.  They did not.  Where is the moral outrage from these concerned Democrats?

Finally, we need to stop placing such undeserved value on the anonymous source or the ubiquitous “high placed official.”  If an individual is not willing to be publicly named, how do we know he is even in a position to know the given information?  How do we judge the reliability of the information?  How do we know that the information hasn’t been fabricated by the reporter?  We can’t!  

Tuesday, November 22, 2005  Mass Guilt

I was not planning on writing on this but I just have to.  This letter is so indicative of the mind set of the libertines in this country.  Actually, there were two letters that were asininely ridiculous but I’m only going to quote the shorter of the two.

This letter was in Time [magazine] (November 28, 2005) which I received today.  In my defense, I do not personally subscribe to Time.  Someone in the 1990’s anonymously subscribed for me.  The subscription runs out next year and I’m certainly not going to renew it.  Time is one of the many libertine, biased publications of the mass media.

Here is the letter in its entirety.  The writer is from California.  “Libby’s indictment points to the arrogant and ruthless behavior of the people the President values as loyal public servants.  It makes little difference whether Libby is found guilty.  He is emblematic of a culture of deceit.  Americans deserve better.”

Libby, of course, was an advisor for Vice President Cheney.  He was investigated along with others of possibly illegally identifying a CIA agent.  Here are the facts at the present time.  He has been the only one indicted so far from the administration in relation to that supposed leak of identity.  He was not indicted for leaking the identity.  (He was indicted for lying to the grand jury and obstruction of justice, if I remember correctly.  I didn’t actually go back and check and I have not read the actual indictment.)

This is how the letter writer has interpreted the situation.  He categorically knows that the people (not just Libby—his alleged actions are symbolic for the entire administration) of the President’s administration are arrogant and ruthless.  He knows this because of the indictment.  He does not even need the silly, little requirement of Libby actually being found guilty of any illegal act?  An indictment of one individual is sufficient to prove the corruption of the entire administration.  Why?  Because he knows the administration is arrogant and ruthless.  He de-clares without doubt that the administration is a “culture of deceit.”  How does he know this?  Libby was indicted.  Indicted although not found guilty.  Being found guilty does not matter!  In his way of thinking (or lack thereof), an indictment of one individual is sufficient to prove the corruption of a whole administration.  Please!!!

While I was a member of a school board, one of our male teachers was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with a couple of male students.  By the reasoning of the letter writer, the entire school board was corrupt and guilty of inappropriate sexual misconduct with students.  How utterly preposterous!

This is not guilty by association with a criminal.  This is mass guilt by one indictment.  It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so irrational and if he wasn’t serious about what he wrote.    

The following newspaper article was published in the Peoria Journal Star on September 8, 2006, page A3.

“Armitage says he leaked name

Washington, D.C. (AP)—The former No. 2 State department official said Thursday he inadvertently disclosed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame in conversations with the two reporters in 2003.

Confirming that he was the source of a leak that triggered a federal investigation, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said he never intended to reveal Plame’s identity.  He apologized for his conversations with syndicated columnists Robert Novak and Washington reporter Bob Woodward.  (Reporters who are part of the mass media’s “good old boys” network.—my addition)

For almost three years, an investigation led by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has tried to determine whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame’s identity as covert operative as a way to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the Bush administration’s march to war with Iraq.

‘I made a terrible mistake, not maliciously, but I made a terrible mistake,’ Armitage said in a telephone interview from his home Thursday night.

He said he did not realize Plame’s job was covert.”

That’s it!!!  That is the sum total of the article.  The only other article I’ve seen was another small article stating that Plame was going to sue Armitage in civil court.  I have not seen one article where any of the accusers of the innocent apologized for their accusations.  I have seen nothing from G.B. Trudeau although he convicted Karl Rove in his political strip.  How much space was given to the original story and the original accusations?  How much to the actual culprit?

Here are some facts to consider.  Ambassadors, who Plame’s husband was, are a part of what Department?  The answer, of course, is the State Department.  The head of the State Department was Colin Powell.  Colin Powell became a darling of the libertine Democrats because he was critical of the Iraq War.  Do you think the whole issue would have been handled differently if it was discovered that Karl Rove actually did leak the information?

In the mean time, how much money was spent on the Special Prosecutor and his office investigating innocent men.  We had, at least, one man indicted, who did not leak the information and one man that the vultures demanded by fired or removed from office.  Was any of that covered in this news story?  NO!!!  Talk about cover-ups!!!

Here’s another consideration.  Both of the original reporters knew who gave them the original information.  Yet, both of them remained silent for almost three years and allowed the Special Prosecutor to investigate the innocent!!!  Why???  Was this more political than the seeking of justice and the truth???  Why did it take Richard Armitage three years to finally confess that he was the source of the leak???   Will he now be prosecuted in a court of law or will it be sufficient that he said he made an unknowing mistake and he is sorry???  Will the civil lawsuit be sufficient???  Where are the libertine Democrats now???  What aren’t they demanding his blood???

Do these people even understand the concept of justice???????  


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