The Terrapin Times

Friday, October 28, 2005

Profs Rush to Convict Libby, Condemn Bush

University professors today participated in a press release commenting on the indictment of vice presidential advisor Lewis "Scooter" Libby, judging that Libby is guilty of leaking the name of a CIA agent and attacking the Bush administration for the leak.

Libby was indicted by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on five counts -- one count of obstruction of justice, two felony counts of making a false statement and two counts of perjury. He has not been charged with leaking the name.

Public policy professor I.M. "Mac" Destler compared the leak to the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon administration. He said the events have "very much the flavor of Nixon's Watergate: senior administration aides overreaching in going after critics of a controversial war, then compounding the offense by attempting to cover up their actions."

We repeat, Libby has not been charged with outing Valerie Plame.

Journalism professor Susan Moeller said that the intense media coverage is "entirely appropriate." She said the coverage is "a welcome ... analysis of the dishonesty of the Bush White House in convincing Congress and the American people to go to war -- and of the failure of the media themselves in diligently and consistently exposing the administration's spin and misstatement."

We wonder if Moeller is talking about the media's failure to report that Joe Wilson, the man who traveled to Niger for the CIA, was recommended for the trip by his wife, the outed agent. She must be talking about how the media failed to look into how Joe Wilson lies out of both sides of his mouth, claiming that the Vice President's office sent him (which is not true) and citing a non-existent written report he claims to have given to the CIA (which is also not true.)

Instead, the media focused solely on the leak of Valerie Plame's name, and conveniently forgot about the valid points brought up by the connection between Plame and Wilson.

Yesterday, government and politics professor Mark Graber accused the Bush administration of orchestrating the withdrawal of Harriet Miers in order to distract from the indictments.

It didn't work. And now Graber is attacking the Bush administration for what it supposedly tried to distract from.

"The indictment of Lewis Libby ought to be an embarrassment for an administration that seems incapable of embarrassment," Graber said. "The Bush administration seems concerned with taking all legal steps, and some illegal, to ensure that the agencies responsible for protecting the United States provide only information that confirms preexisting conclusions and enhances the administration's electoral strategies."

Apparently Graber wasn't paying attention to the scandal. The White House -- or, rather, whoever leaked the name -- wasn't trying to silence CIA "evidence." If had been trying to silence it, they failed miserably. Instead, they were trying to make it clear that Joe Wilson is not a credible source for such information.

He got the job because of his wife. He had a political bias against the Bush administration. And his findings were never actually officially published.

Once again, university professors abuse an opportunity to provide intellectual input to important issues. Instead of taking advantage of the chance to get the university's name in the press in a respectable manner, they use it to take cheap shots at the Bush administration and make unsubstantiated claims against Republicans.

Know the people who are teaching you.


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