THE DAILY BLADE: Why Scooter Libby Is Not Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
In his prosecution of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald contended that Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff was actively involved in a smear campaign against anti-war diplomat Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame and that he lied about what he said to whom during the early summer of 2003, thus obstructing the investigation to determine who “outed” Plame as a CIA agent by leaking her identity to the media.
Libby’s lawyers countered that he was too busy with pressing national security matters to be involved up to his eyeballs in a conspiracy to leak Plame’s identity and then to cover up the White House’s involvement, and if details of what he told FBI investigators conflict with what other witnesses said it’s because the matter was too insignificant to recall.
Let’s examine the prosecution’s case point by point.
The prosecution did not make its case that
In a video interview, political commentator
Memory Or Made-Up?
The brain is very quirky when it comes to filing information for short-term retrieval or long-term storage. However, short- and long-term memory both rely on attentiveness. This is why you remember a hurtful remark your best friend made 25 years ago, but can’t recall the name of someone you were introduced to at a party just five minutes earlier. At the time you were squabbling with your friend, you were paying close attention what he or she was saying. But just as the party host was making the introduction, you were distracted by music or spotted someone else in the crowd waving to you.
An article in The Washington Post explains the vagaries of human memory, as it pertains to the
"Human memory does not work like a video camera; memory is more selective," writes [
Her specialty is the murkiness of memory. Her super-specialty is explaining how memory works - and doesn't work - to juries. She has appeared as an expert witness in more than 200 cases. Loftus was called in by
"If you are having lots of conversations with similar kinds of people, lots of politicians and reporters, lots of interaction with media," says Loftus, "it can be very difficult for even the most intelligent person to know which detail you received from which source."
Loftus says that memories are fungible. She has even proposed that the oath "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" be amended to read: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth or whatever it is you think you can remember?"
"True memories," Loftus writes, "cannot be distinguished from false without corroboration."
Not Taking Note-Taking As Gospel
Can contemporaneous notes corroborate someone’s recollection of events and conversations? Researchers have known for years that the written or typed notes people take at meetings and lectures, while questioning suspects and witnesses during a crime investigation, or during interviews of sources for newspaper or magazine articles are inaccurate and incomplete, according to The Associated Press.
The brain filters out information being presented verbally so that note-takers do not record information they either know already, or that they do not completely understand. “Notes can become personal snapshots, useful for jogging memory, more than an official record,” Kenneth
Here’s how this phenomenon impacts the trial testimony:
Former Time magazine reporter
One of the few reporters whose notes were not dissected in the
He had taped his interview.
Conflicting Testimony, Conflicting Timelines
“Meet The Press” moderator Tim Russert’s testimony conflicts with Libby’s recollection that Libby did not know Plame’s identity until Russert told him on July 10 or 11, 2003; Russert says he did not know Plame’s identity until he read Novak’s July 14 column, “Mission to Niger.”
Miller’s testimony that
As far as anyone can tell from this tangled tale, the very first person to leak Plame’s identity was former
In a recent commentary in The Washington Post, Victoria Toensing, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration and an attorney, lays out her own personal bills of indictment against Armitage, the CIA, Wilson, the media, Fleischer – as well as both Fitzgerald and the U.S. Justice Department – because the Plame investigation “has enough questionable motives and shadowy half-truths and flawed recollections to fill a court docket for months.”
Law Against Inciting Racial Hatred? Who Knew?
Hilmi Aydogdu, a Kurd who heads the Democratic Society Party's branch in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir was arrested and charged by Turkish authorities with “threatening public safety by inciting racial enmity and hatred,” reports The Associated Press. Aydogdu allegedly made remarks suggesting that if
The Stiletto is surprised that there is such a law in
Circumcision Reduces Heterosexual HIV Risk
Circumcision may reduce susceptibility to HIV infection because the cells in the foreskin of the penis are known to be particularly vulnerable to the virus.
March 14, 2007
The Stiletto wrote:
The Stiletto had a lot on her plate these past few days – the Libby case, global warming, Ann Coulter, the appeals court ruling that gun ownership does not require militia membership – so this irrational and insensitive WaPo op-ed piece on H.R. 106 by columnist Jackson Diehl got back burnered. If revenge is a dish best eaten cold, The Stiletto is now ready to dig in. A nonbinding resolution, H.R. 106, was introduced by Adam Schiff (D-CA) on January 30, 2007 ("Affitrmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution"). The resolution: ...