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Saturday, October 15, 2005

All About the Law?

Next week, or shortly thereafter, Patrick Fitzgerald will very likely pass out some indictments. Among the charges included in those party invitations may be perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, espionage...just to name a few.

Basically, all these charges have one very important thing in common: they are violations of federal law. Let me repeat: VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW.  

Remember how important that single fact was for the wingnuts during the Clinton impeachment trial? As I recall, they had plenty to say about lying and perjury and how it wasn't about sex but about respect for the law. MAJOR talking point that they all repeated ad nausium.

I'm going to bet that the wingnuts and Bush apologists and White House operatives are going to forget all that gnashing of teeth and rightous indignation once Mr. Fitzgerald is done with his paperwork. I'm sure they will begin to downplay the charges and dismiss it all as much ado about nothing, as evidenced by Richard Cohen's insulting opening volley.  Keep moving. Nothing here. Nothing serious. What's a little perjury among friends?

Well, we can't let them forget.  We've got to arm ourselves with some memory joggers. If we can build a comprehensive list here, then during the pundit media wars that will certainly follow, our side can have some ammo with which to conduct some serious rug pulling exercises.

Let me begin with a few choice ones. Feel free to add. The more the better. (emphasis mine).

Here's Kenny-Boy Starr from his first interview after his report was complete:

"I was assigned to do a job by the attorney general, and that was to find out whether crimes were committed in this (Paula Jones) sexual harassment lawsuit," Starr said. "The whole idea of equal justice under law means that you've got to play by the rules. It has nothing to do with the underlying subject matter. You just tell the truth.

"Lying under oath, and encouraging lies under oath, does go to the very heart and soul of what courts do. And if we say we don't care, let's forget about courts and we'll just have other ways of figuring out how to handle disputes," he said.

"There is no excuse for perjury -- never, never, never," he said. "There is truth, and the truth demands respect."

The Majority Whip, Tom Delay, from the minutes of the House Judiciary Committee's debate on impeachment:

. . . I believe that this nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law.

Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.

Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.

Lindsey Graham on the impending impeachment charges:

"I'm telling you now," Graham added, "if the facts don't change, this is the most compelling case of grand jury perjury I have ever seen in my life."

These are but three, there are thousands more.  Care to add a couple?

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