Gonzo Scooter Journalism February 20, 2007 5:30 PM   Subscribe

would it be too newsfilter / doublepost to link the closing arguments in the scooter libby trial? the previous post three weeks ago was pretty generic, and the commenters in the thread are right that it was almost impossible to follow what was going on (and i say this as a law student who's fascinated by these things). today, however, was some grand drama, with the defense breaking down into tears, and Fitzgerald going after not just Scooter but Elmer Fudd himself with both barrels. this is stuff that's actually accessible to the general public, but i hate crowding the blue. (grey, i got no problem with, apparently...) thoughts?
posted by spiderwire to Etiquette/Policy at 5:30 PM (31 comments total)

So you just posted all the links in order to ask whether or not it was okay to post the links (to the Blue)?

Uhhh.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2007


Just for kicks, here's Fitz' last statement, cleaned up a bit from the liveblog:
Don't you think the American people are entitled to answers? If as a result [of the fact that] [Wilson's] wife had a job, [that] she worked at CPD, she gets dragged into newspapers... People want to find out: 'Was a law broken?' When people want to know: 'Who did it? What role did the Defendant play? What role did the VP play?' -- he told you he may have discussed this with the VP -- don't you think the FBI deserves straight answers?

When you go in that jury room, your common sense will tell you that he made a gamble. He threw sand in the eyes of the FBI. He stole the truth of the judicial system. You return a guilty verdict, you give the truth back.
The entire prosecution rebuttal was just brutally good. Whole thing's quotable.

As a side note, now that the trial's substantively over, it would also be nice to have some insights from MeFi's lawyer population.
posted by spiderwire at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2007


yes, dirty. when in doubt, i'd rather vet things like this just to give the anti-Newsfilter people a chance to chime in. i'm pretty pro-Newsfilter, so it seems like the best way to give them a fair shot when i might be biased. i don't think the post ex facto arguments are productive.
posted by spiderwire at 5:35 PM on February 20, 2007


I am a) fascinated by the whole thing and b) utterly opposed to an FPP on it. It's US news/politics-centric and deadly dull and not best of the web and anyone remotely interested can go to Firedoglake and read about it in excruciating details.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:38 PM on February 20, 2007


It would be dry, dull and a pointless rehash of every news outlet and political blog in the United States, and it's some of the easiest to find current event information in this hemisphere right now. I would flag it as noise.

However, I would be interested in concise, well-considered analysis of the trial and final arguments. Hint.
posted by ardgedee at 5:39 PM on February 20, 2007


Did you munge a link, spiderwire? Both "closing" and "arguments" go to the same spot. I suppose closing was supposed to go here.

And if those links are any indication, it's too soon. What interest I'd have in this sort of thing would fall more toward a closely considered analysis of an actual transcript, not stream-of-consciousness liveblogging paraphrases.

If some post-Libby analysis is just that fucking great that it merits a post, great. The same doesn't hold if we get a post just because, "hey, the trial's over now..."
posted by cortex at 5:50 PM on February 20, 2007


How about wait a few days until there's some final rulings and some pieces in Slate, NYT, etc that explain the ramifications, then do a big roundup post of what the aftermath of the libby trial was.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:52 PM on February 20, 2007


Shorter version of what I just said: it feels too soon to tell what happened, too breaking news! to post so I say wait until we get a little perspective on it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:53 PM on February 20, 2007


Shorter version of what I just said: it feels too soon to tell what happened, too breaking news! to post so I say wait until we get a little perspective on it.

I appreciate that view. My reason for asking is that I wanted to get, e.g., dios and monju's reactions before the issue gets pundited to death -- it's so rare that we get access to such a big trial in such a raw fashion. This stuff usually happens behind closed doors.

Get them in here!
posted by spiderwire at 5:59 PM on February 20, 2007


And yes, I did munge the link. If I was smart/capable, I'd just analyze the trial myself, now wouldn't I?
posted by spiderwire at 6:00 PM on February 20, 2007


And yes, I did munge the link. If I was smart/capable, I'd just analyze the trial myself, now wouldn't I?

Wasn't trying to tweak you, sir. Please accept a rewrite, on the first part: "here's where the munged link should have gone."

For the second part, we agree. Eagle-eyed analysis would be great. I just don't think the stuff you linked here would be a good post, despite the possibility of fascinating comments from the mefi law squad.
posted by cortex at 6:05 PM on February 20, 2007


Wasn't trying to tweak you, sir.

You had already corrected it so I figured I should just make the joke ;)
posted by spiderwire at 6:13 PM on February 20, 2007


One day, we will realize that all things are in fact converging and there will be no need to make distinctions between practice and game time, being alone or with others, and posts to the grey or blue.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:25 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


i'd wait until we get a verdict
posted by pyramid termite at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2007


God Fitz is a boring speaker.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on February 20, 2007


Also, I would rather see a real transcript then someone's quickly typed notes.
posted by delmoi at 6:49 PM on February 20, 2007


I wanted to get, e.g., dios and monju's reactions before the issue gets pundited to death

You can always email them. I think this would make a bad post. Trying to put something here before it gets pundited to death often is equivalent to linking either breaking news [=teh suck for something like this which is interesting to a pretty narrow sliver of MeFi readers] or GYOB territory.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 PM on February 20, 2007


A verdict could come in as early as tomorrow afternoon. The indictment of the Veep's number one is definitely worthy as newsfilter IMO. But not until then.
posted by bardic at 7:20 PM on February 20, 2007


Err, conviction that is.
posted by bardic at 7:20 PM on February 20, 2007


I think either way, it would be newsworthy. From what I read, I would be pretty surprised if this guy walked. The defense consisted mostly of asking people if they were sure they were remembering right.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on February 20, 2007


And the inevitable pardon, as long as we're at it.
posted by bardic at 7:33 PM on February 20, 2007


God Fitz is a boring speaker.

Are you serious?
posted by spiderwire at 7:35 PM on February 20, 2007


For a lawyer, that was damn near Shakespearean of Fitz.
posted by bardic at 7:48 PM on February 20, 2007


Speaking as someone who has a great interest in the eloquence and argument of trials I have to say that the pull quote you pasted and the brief skim I had of the links suggested pedestrian wordsmithery and nothing particularly noteworthy. I understand the importance and implications of the case but as far as a pseudo-transcript goes, it was mind numbingly boring. This one seems to be the stuff of live theatre and not for reading.
posted by peacay at 8:16 PM on February 20, 2007


what's this about pretty generic?
posted by jonson at 9:07 PM on February 20, 2007


This one seems to be the stuff of live theatre and not for reading.

Fair enough. I suppose it's more a matter of looking at it in context -- Zeidenberg and Fitzgerald's ability to marshal a just enormous amount of stuff into a single, compelling narrative is just astounding. They're very good.
posted by spiderwire at 10:44 PM on February 20, 2007


When Libby gets convicted, I think there will be a very, very interesting round of negotiations, which would probably make a good case study for Game Theorists.

Fitzgerald will try to get him to roll for a light sentence, the White House will tell him to suck it up and wait for a pardon at the end of Bush's term.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on February 21, 2007


I don't know how the sentencing works but my understanding is that after conviction there's not a lot of room for a plea deal. And Walton is apparently know for setting long sentences.

I am more partial to the notion that the perjury charge is useful because it knocks out Libby as a defendant in future trials, say, against Deadeye Dick.

Here is a good explanation of why Fitz and Zeid did a great job.
posted by spiderwire at 12:09 PM on February 21, 2007


If he doesn't wait for a pardon, I'd have to guess he doesn't like Bush's chance of avoiding impeachment.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:49 PM on February 21, 2007


Bush is not gonna be impeached. Never happen. You know why? Because most people are stupid and they just don't care.

I used to be a lot less bitter than this before I found out that 74% of Australians are actually in favour of the provisions in our shitty new anti-terrorism laws that allow "terrorist suspects" to be arrested and detained without charge for up to two weeks and make it illegal for anybody to report that this has happened.

And I have absolutely no reason to believe that Americans, on the whole, are any smarter than we are.

I can't get excited about the prosecution of a scapegoat, especially one with a dumb name like "Scooter". Wake me up when Bush and Cheney are banged up in Gitmo and David Hicks is not.
posted by flabdablet at 5:21 AM on February 22, 2007


I'm still skeptical of a pardon. Bush is a stubborn, vindictive guy. I think he's pissed at Cheney and at Libby. They made him look bad ("anyone leaking will be fired..."). His legacy is going to be bad enough -- I think Bush's ego is what Scooter should be worried about. Those ain't good odds, IMO.
posted by spiderwire at 11:58 AM on February 22, 2007


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