Mar 1, 2007

Dan Froomkin - Signs Of Life...

in the search for intelligent life forms at the Washington Post.
Palo Alto, Calif.: Love your work. Thanks for taking my question. Considering the fact that Cheney has been exposed by testimony in the Libby trial as a liar -- and time proves he is just plain wrong -- why is his opinion ever asked or printed?

Dan Froomkin: It takes an awful lot for the media to decide not to pay attention to the (first or second) most powerful man in America.

In fact, even I wouldn't suggest he should be ignored. I think that everything he says should be reported -- it should just also be put in context. And refuted, when it is obviously contradicted by the evidence.

As I wrote (perhaps somewhat hopefully) in my January 29 column, The Unraveling of Dick Cheney: "While Dick Cheney undoubtedly remains the most powerful vice president this nation has ever seen, it's becoming increasingly unclear whether anyone outside the White House believes a word he says."

But that was written in the wake of Cheney's very combative and bizarre interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Since then, the wave of media skepticism, such as it was, may have receded again.

Cleveland: Dan, please talk about the Libby trial -- why do you think it is taking so long? What about the dismissed juror? Thanks.

Dan Froomkin: That would be pure speculation on my part. But OK.

1) I think the longer the jury takes, the worse for the prosecution. What the prosecution wants is for the jurors to get together and say: OK. Especially in a case where the defense didn't actually put up a competing narrative -- they're hoping for one or more jurors going: But wait a minute...
And yet it's a complicated case and both sides asked jurors to look over the evidence carefully, so I'm not sure it's really been that long yet.

2) The juror who was dismissed (and I'm dying to know the details of why) was also the one juror who refused to wear a red T-shirt on Valentine's Day. I think the dismissal of a potential lone wolf/holdout juror is good for the prosecution.
But you really shouldn't have encouraged me to speculate.

Brooklyn, N.Y.: Hi Dan - In your column and elsewhere, there has been speculation about two possible directions after the Libby trial (assuming he's found guilty, of course): a pardon from the President, or a "flip" that would make him a prosecution witness against the VP and others. Which option (assuming he has a choice) do you think would be more beneficial to him?

Dan Froomkin: More beneficial to Libby? A pardon, undeniably.

Typically, a pardon in a controversial, political case comes with a downside: The relentless opprobrium of the media. But as I've pointed out many times, the media elite has no love for this case, and would probably welcome a pardon. The bloggers, and certain columnist/bloggers, would flog the issue for a while, but that would pass, I'm afraid.

Baltimore: Wow, it just seems that the more time passes the less stable and grounded-in-reality the VP appears. Dan, If Fitzgerald is successful in the Libby case do you feel that he will then go after Cheney? Thank you for your answer.

Dan Froomkin: I think there is an outside chance, as Murray Waas has reported, that if Libby is found guilty, Fitzgerald will try to "flip" him and turn him into a prosecution witness against Cheney.

There's little doubt that Fitzgerald thinks Cheney was at the heart of this matter. (See my Feb. 21 column, The Cloud Over Cheney.)

But it's also clear that at least thus far, Fitzgerald has lacked either the political will or the evidence to charge Cheney, or both, and I'm not sure either of those will change.

For example, I can't see Libby flipping if that means he loses the support of all those people who've been contributing millions to his defense fund -- which one observer has called legalized hush money.

Lone Juror: I didn't realize that. Is it possible she accidentally-on-purpose watched some news coverage to get out of uncomfortable jury deliberations ?

Dan Froomkin: Who knows? If I had to guess, I would say she might have been doing a little research ... which is not OK.

Huaraz, Peru: On February 16 and 17 The Post published two major opinion pieces, by Rich Lowry and Victoria Toensing, both defending Scooter Libby and criticizing his prosecution. Do you think this was appropriate, considering the jury was about to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations?

Dan Froomkin: I found those two pieces (and I believe you mean Byron York and Victoria Toensing) sadly reflective of the Washington media elite's contempt for this very important and eye-opening case.
I do not think it was an attempt at jury tampering...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick, you might be interested in some light reading to pass the time away.

"I receive e-mails every day from people expressing their support for me," says former Hollinger chief exec Conrad Black. Patricia Best writes after having dinner with Black: "He vows revenge and has a very clear plan on how he will exact it. ... In the scenario he paints, once he is found not guilty, he plans to sue everyone who defamed him in the past few years in an international spray of libel notices that will demand millions and millions of dollars in damages."

12:31 PM  
Anonymous naschkatze said...

It's official (via Jane Hamsher): they are wearing jeans again today so we all can go out and do the things that need to be done.

12:34 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...


Those were some interesting questions and answers!

I just hope the Jury gives us the Truth soon! :)

12:39 PM  
Blogger Quzi said...

He has two things right:

1) "legalized hush money"
2)"I found those two pieces (and I believe you mean Byron York and Victoria Toensing) sadly reflective of the Washington media elite's contempt for this very important and eye-opening case."

He's wrong on "jury tampering" -- Old Victoria knows exactly what she is Scooter knew what he was doing when he lied several times...

Going back to work...but I wish the jury made the wrong decision in wearing blue jeans today

12:46 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Dan Froomkin: I think there is an outside chance, as Murray Waas has reported, that if Libby is found guilty, Fitzgerald will try to "flip" him and turn him into a prosecution witness against Cheney.

An outside chance?

Well, there are signs of intelligent life in the article, and that's very encouraging!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Quzi said...


Give it another try.

1:09 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...


Just did...from another account. :)

1:21 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks!


I wanted to answer two people on this thread: Prissy Patriot and Chiacgo Native.

Prissypatriot had a question regarding Conrad Black case. This is a case of nothing but corporate fraud and defrauding the shareholders.

Black who comes from a wealthy family in Toronto and a very smart business man. Black through his company, Ravelston Corporation,had an 82% share-holding in the Toronto-based Hollinger Inc. group which, through subordinate company Hollinger International Inc.

On November 17, 2003, after an internal inquiry alleged that Black had received more than $7 million in unauthorized payments of company funds, Black resigned as Chief Executive of Hollinger.

Hollinger International also filed a $200 million lawsuit against Black and his former top lieutenant, David Radler, as well as the companies Black has used to control the publishing it.

Black and other executive defraud the company as well as the shareholders. This is another case of Tyco, Worldcom, and others.

I had posted an article of an update from Waxman's investigations. Here is what Waxman is up to:

Subcommittee Holds Hearing on The Presidential Records Act of 1978

On Thursday, March 1, the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives will hold a hearing to examine issues relating to implementation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, including the history of the act, the role of the National Archives and Records Administration in releasing Presidential records to the public, and the likely impact of Executive Order 13233 on research.

The question was asked by Chicago Native: what is the Presidential Records Act of 1978?

The Presidential Act of 1978, 44 U.S.C. ß2201-2207, governs the official records of Presidents and Vice Presidents created or received after January 20, 1981. This Act changed the legal ownership of the official records of the President from private to public.

According to Waxman, this raises the issue of Executive Order 13233 which was drafted by Gonzo when he was the WH counsel and issued by the Gerbil on November 1, 2001.

Executive Order 13233 limits access to the records of former Presidents.

1:27 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

I hope we get an answer from the Jury soon...I am sitting on pins and needles!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous hesikastor said...

I cannot see Patrick Fitzgerald lacking the will to do anything except perhaps to cut back on the lasagna. And sausage.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous wake up and see the truth said...

Hopefully all of America will soon see that Cheney expressed not a care about people that die or are maimed but just describing how he was ushered to safety. What a pathetic narcissistic bastard. His enablers and those of every neocon-lib and the Bushes should be held accountable for war crimes.

7:56 PM  

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