Quibbling With Giants

I don't read lefty blogs much, but Andrew Sullivan pointed portentiously to this post by Joshua Micah Marshall on the recent revelations by Bob Woodward and their possible effect on the prosecution of "Scooter" Libby. Saith Marshall:

A lot is being made of the supposed fact that Woodward's revelation disproves one of Fitzgerald's claims, namely, that Libby was the first person to tell a reporter about Plame. …

But look what Fitzgerald actually said (emphasis added) ...

… In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.

Fitzgerald chose his words carefully. He didn't state as a fact that Libby was the first government official to leak Plame's identity. Nor did he hang any of his indictment on Libby's having been the first.

Unfortunately for this argument, Fitzgerald also "actually said" (from elswhere in the same article Marshall links):

He [Libby] was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter.

So (sorry, Josh) Fitzgerald actually "chose his words" non-carefully on this point, making both the stronger and weaker assertions. Marshall relies on selective (or incomplete) reading to make his point.

[I probably remembered this from reading the Minuteman's post on the topic. He's really the go-to guy on this.]

Not that I know if this is likely to have a significant effect on the outcome of Libby's trial, which was Marshall's larger point.

URLs du Jour (11/17/2005)

  • Catching people out in inconsistency is fun and instructive. Doing so at the Weekly Standard website today is Joel Engel, who points out that while President Bush is now being pilloried for relying too heavily on (apparently) faulty intelligence in deciding to go to war with Iraq, mostly the same folks savaged him for not "connecting the dots" and otherwise paying insufficient attention to scanty and uncorroborated intelligence reports on bin Laden and al-Qaeda before 9/11. Yes, they want it both ways, as long as both ways can be used for Bush-bashing.
  • Bruce Schneier can be Tedious at times, but his column at Wired today is a must-read about Sony's evil CD copy-protection code. There are a lot of people to be mad at in addition to Sony.
  • Joanne Jacobs reports:

    After investing $1 billion in small high schools, the Gates Foundation has learned results are "mixed," according to a study commissioned by the foundation.

    "Gates Foundation," as in "Bill and Melinda Gates". I'm working out how I'd feel if I were Bill, dropping in a gigabuck and simply getting "mixed" results back out. I think I'd be homicidal.

  • Good news for First Amendment Fans from RedState. Not as good as repealing McCain-Feingold, but we'll take nuggets where we can get them. (Via Instapundit.)
  • Harriet said, "Steve, I knew Charles Darwin. I took a long boat trip with Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was a friend of mine. Steve, you're no Charles Darwin."
  • If you're concerned that your demise will not be accompanied with sufficient weeping and wailing, don't worry: you can hire mourners for your funeral. (Catch: this is Taiwan, but maybe they travel.)

Last Modified 2012-10-26 5:37 AM EDT