Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for October 29th, 2005

The Waiting is Over: The Coming Battles

Posted by Mark on October 29, 2005

The National Review editorial today is worth reading, and mirrors my views on the Libby indictment. My post yesterday was written at noon. The National Review editorial at 6:20pm. :

There has been much high-minded talk about how the Valerie Plame controversy is really about the case for the Iraq war. No. For liberals, it has always been about inflicting as much damage as possible to the Bush White House, especially by taking out through indictment its most central player in the person of Karl Rove. That has not happened. Nor has special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald alleged a conspiracy at the top levels of the Bush administration to out a CIA agent. What he instead charges in his five-count indictment is that Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, lied to investigators about conversations with three reporters. This long-hyped, two-year investigation appears to come down, in other words, to one man’s alleged dishonesty when investigators came knocking. This is not Watergate or Iran-Contra, but neither is it a trifle.

And this:

Fitzgerald’s merits aside, the limits of special-prosecutor investigations were once again evident in this case. Two years later, we still don’t know important facts. Was Plame covert? Fitzgerald can’t or won’t say. Who is “Official A” (although we can all guess)? Who were the other unnamed officials? It is a prosecutor’s job to build a criminal case, period, full stop. But in high-stakes political controversies, that’s not really the public interest — disclosure is. Then, everyone knows the facts and the public can make its judgments on what is appropriate. Offending officials can be punished with resignations and public obloquy. Except in dire cases — say, bribery — that process should take precedence over prosecutions rather than the other way around.

OpinionJournal also has an editorial worth reading. The left will continue to wail about how this is about Iraq, yet Patrick Fitzgerald, in his somewhat long-winded press conference, clearly stated this case is NOT about Iraq,but about lying to the Grand Jury. I’m thinking the Left will selectively leave out that part of his statement.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

Tough History is Coming: Peggy Noonan

Posted by Mark on October 29, 2005

I’ve been reluctant to do much blogging lately, and couldn’t figure out why. I’ve been fighting a nasty sinus infection, and feeling generally blah. Reading other blogs left me with the impression others were suffering sinus infections too. Now I know different.

Truth is, I’ve been overwhelmed, and didn’t realize it until I read Peggy Noonan’s column this morning. Here’s the first paragraphs:

It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see. It’s harder to speak of what you think you see, what you think is going on and can’t prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It involves hunches. But here goes.

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it’s a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can’t be fixed, or won’t be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with “right track” and “wrong track” but missing the number of people who think the answer to “How are things going in America?” is “Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination.”

I’m not talking about “Plamegate.” As I write no indictments have come up. I’m not talking about “Miers.” I mean . . . the whole ball of wax. Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there’s no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we’re leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma’s house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding–the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn’t think so.

But this recounting doesn’t quite get me to what I mean. I mean I believe there’s a general and amorphous sense that things are broken and tough history is coming.

Tough history is coming. And coming all at once. I haven’t been blogging because there have been too many stories, each of which appears urgent and requires deep thought, requires time. Too much, too fast. And none of them terribly important.

A long time ago, I read Charles Hummel’s wonderful booklet Tyrany of the Urgent. Separating what’s important from what is urgent, and understanding how the Urgent matters can crowd out the Important ones is always a challenge.

It’s something I’ve forgotten here at Liberty Just in Case. All the urgent stories, so eloquently listed by Peggy Noonan, have crowded out the Important stories, and left me so overwhelmed I simply didn’t want to do any blogging.

Liberty Just in Case began as a way to keep my co-workers informed and entertained by stories I found on the internet. I changed on 9/11, and so did LJiC. It became, as the description below the title says, “An ongoing dialogue about Politics, Culture, Religion and the Universe in general in a September 12th world.” It’s that last part, “a September 12th world” that is the guide to what is important at LJiC.

September 11th, 2001 marked the end of an era, and an end to a feeling of protection for me. It was the day this nation went to war. But, in a much more personal way, it was the day I went to war. Oh, I didn’t serve in the military. Too many health problems for that. But I took up the pen, or in this case the keyboard, to promote winning the war in any way I could. In the end, that’s the purpose of Liberty Just in Case, to promote the winning of World War IV. That’s what is important. Other news stories may be urgent, but in the end, winning the war was what brought this blog into being, and will continue to be the driving motivation of its continuance.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

The Waiting is Over: The Coming Battles

Posted by Mark on October 29, 2005

The National Review editorial today is worth reading, and mirrors my views on the Libby indictment. My post yesterday was written at noon. The National Review editorial at 6:20pm. :

There has been much high-minded talk about how the Valerie Plame controversy is really about the case for the Iraq war. No. For liberals, it has always been about inflicting as much damage as possible to the Bush White House, especially by taking out through indictment its most central player in the person of Karl Rove. That has not happened. Nor has special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald alleged a conspiracy at the top levels of the Bush administration to out a CIA agent. What he instead charges in his five-count indictment is that Vice President Dick Cheney�s chief of staff, Lewis �Scooter� Libby, lied to investigators about conversations with three reporters. This long-hyped, two-year investigation appears to come down, in other words, to one man’s alleged dishonesty when investigators came knocking. This is not Watergate or Iran-Contra, but neither is it a trifle.

And this:

Fitzgerald’s merits aside, the limits of special-prosecutor investigations were once again evident in this case. Two years later, we still don’t know important facts. Was Plame covert? Fitzgerald can’t or won’t say. Who is �Official A� (although we can all guess)? Who were the other unnamed officials? It is a prosecutor’s job to build a criminal case, period, full stop. But in high-stakes political controversies, that’s not really the public interest � disclosure is. Then, everyone knows the facts and the public can make its judgments on what is appropriate. Offending officials can be punished with resignations and public obloquy. Except in dire cases � say, bribery � that process should take precedence over prosecutions rather than the other way around.

OpinionJournal also has an editorial worth reading. The left will continue to wail about how this is about Iraq, yet Patrick Fitzgerald, in his somewhat long-winded press conference, clearly stated this case is NOT about Iraq,but about lying to the Grand Jury. I’m thinking the Left will selectively leave out that part of his statement.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Tough History is Coming: Peggy Noonan

Posted by Mark on October 29, 2005

I’ve been reluctant to do much blogging lately, and couldn’t figure out why. I’ve been fighting a nasty sinus infection, and feeling generally blah. Reading other blogs left me with the impression others were suffering sinus infections too. Now I know different.

Truth is, I’ve been overwhelmed, and didn’t realize it until I read Peggy Noonan’s column this morning. Here’s the first paragraphs:

It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see. It’s harder to speak of what you think you see, what you think is going on and can’t prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It involves hunches. But here goes.

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it’s a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can’t be fixed, or won’t be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with “right track” and “wrong track” but missing the number of people who think the answer to “How are things going in America?” is “Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination.”

I’m not talking about “Plamegate.” As I write no indictments have come up. I’m not talking about “Miers.” I mean . . . the whole ball of wax. Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there’s no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we’re leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma’s house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding–the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn’t think so.

But this recounting doesn’t quite get me to what I mean. I mean I believe there’s a general and amorphous sense that things are broken and tough history is coming.

Tough history is coming. And coming all at once. I haven’t been blogging because there have been too many stories, each of which appears urgent and requires deep thought, requires time. Too much, too fast. And none of them terribly important.

A long time ago, I read Charles Hummel’s wonderful booklet Tyrany of the Urgent. Separating what’s important from what is urgent, and understanding how the Urgent matters can crowd out the Important ones is always a challenge.

It’s something I’ve forgotten here at Liberty Just in Case. All the urgent stories, so eloquently listed by Peggy Noonan, have crowded out the Important stories, and left me so overwhelmed I simply didn’t want to do any blogging.

Liberty Just in Case began as a way to keep my co-workers informed and entertained by stories I found on the internet. I changed on 9/11, and so did LJiC. It became, as the description below the title says, “An ongoing dialogue about Politics, Culture, Religion and the Universe in general in a September 12th world.” It’s that last part, “a September 12th world” that is the guide to what is important at LJiC.

September 11th, 2001 marked the end of an era, and an end to a feeling of protection for me. It was the day this nation went to war. But, in a much more personal way, it was the day I went to war. Oh, I didn’t serve in the military. Too many health problems for that. But I took up the pen, or in this case the keyboard, to promote winning the war in any way I could. In the end, that’s the purpose of Liberty Just in Case, to promote the winning of World War IV. That’s what is important. Other news stories may be urgent, but in the end, winning the war was what brought this blog into being, and will continue to be the driving motivation of its continuance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »