Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When it says Libby, Libby, Libby...

...On the label label label. Remember that TV commercial from the 70's? Label the Scooter Libby trial file under Partisan Politics.

An observation, if you will (oh, I will...)
With the nation at a new and possibly unprecedented level of partisan polarization, will it be possible for Scooter Libby to get a fair trial? I don't think so and here's why.

A jury trial used to be about who made the best argument and presented the facts of the case in a way that convinced a jury. That criteria seems to have vanished. Now it would seem that stocking the jury with fellow ideologues and spinning a story you know panders to an ideological belief system is all that is required. One's ability to appeal to the public's 'common sense' for a fair and just outcome, to paraphrase Voltaire, is no longer so common. The ideological split has become so deep and the chasm so wide in this country that 'common sense' no longer has to do with the facts only with how they are spun. Keep in mind, this is without considering or opining on the partisanship of the bench.

It shocks me that 'facts' no longer seem relevant. In the world of Fox News the 'information' is clearly at the level of propaganda. The other mainstream media outlets fair only slightly better. If you listened to Bill Moyers yesterday or read any number of articles here, at Media Matters or a dozen other websites that report on media disinformation and misrepresentation (links on my site), you will find this to be true.

Then we come to the issue of dead-eye Dick slated to testify. Try and pick an impartial juror for that bit of testimony. Is the vice president credible? According to the latest polls his approval ratings are so low, the only people who find Cheney "credible" are already drunk on koolaid. One of the questions posed to potential jurors is, "During this trial, you will hear testimony about some of the evidence the Bush administration considered when deciding to go to war in Iraq" one question states. "Based on what you know at this time, do you believe that the administration misled the American people to justify going to war?" Are you fucking kidding me? This question literally precludes the facts that are known to be true. We know BushCo "cherry-picked" intel, we know they lied, what was the question again? Am I retarded? With questions like this, the fix is in from the get-go.

Will Scooter get a fair trial? If he does, he'll go to jail. If it isn't, there's always the presidential pardon.


MarcLord said...

I heard some of the selection questions on NPR. If I held a different passport, I would've been laughing snot onto the windshield. New Zealand is so in the wrong time zone...

The case got cold right after Fitzgerald was called into Abu Gonzalez's office, and then no charges were filed against Rove.

Broadway Carl said...

Hey Hope,

I'm assuming they'll find jurors who know nothing of politics and would rather read the gossip columns and sports pages than what's happening in the world. Or others who didn't care to know the specifics of the case.

Of course, there are no guarantees, but Libby did resign, so there could be a question of guilt in someone's mind because of his resignation.

As far as Cheney is concerned, everyone knows he lies about everything, so his testimony may just be disregarded.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Thanks for that hopeful bit Carl. Marc you and I may be too cynical, but I bet not.

op99 said...

I think it's entirely possible to have strong political opinions and still reach a fair verdict in a trial. I know I could. Even if the defendant was Cheney or Bush.

MarcLord said...

It pains me to say it, op99, but I'm not sure I could reach a fair verdict if I were a juror in this trial. Worse, if called on I would be lying my ass off trying to prove my impartiality; reading People magazines, toting copies of the National Enquirer, listening to Zig Ziglar tapes, and airily quoting Bible scriptures at the other potential jurors.

Under no circumstances would I divulge any knowledge of Valerie Plame's anti-proliferation team intercepting a large shipment of VX in Ceyhan, Turkey. The shipment sent on Cheney's orders to Iraq. These people committed hanging treason.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Gotta say, I'm with you Marc. In Op's defense I will say that the very thing that may keep one honest is the amount of evidence that proves guilt is so compelling.

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