Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Quotes Larry “Karl Rove’s Mother Killed Herself Because She Hated Him” Johnson as an Unbiased Expert on the Administration

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:45 am

An L.A. Times article about Washington officials’ blabbing about Valerie Plame ends with this zinger:

Assessing Grenier’s testimony, Larry Johnson, a retired CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert, said, “They wanted to avoid any unpleasantness with the vice president.”

Besides, Johnson said, “If you can’t give the vice president and president information with any degree of confidence that it is going to be protected, then you know, the entire game is up.”

BAM! What a burn! Because, of course, Plame’s identity wasn’t protected, and the L.A. Times has been busy implying that it’s Cheney’s fault. Now an independent “retired CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert” has given them the quote they need to drive the point home. And when a “retired CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert” says it, the credibility of the statement is undeniable. Especially since there’s no indication in the article that Johnson has any pre-existing bias against anyone in the Bush Administration.

But, like Columbo always said . . . there’s just one more thing. Unbiased “retired CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert” Larry Johnson? Here’s what he once said about Karl Rove:

Karl is a shameless bastard. Small wonder his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out. It would be one thing if his vile tactics were simply mere smears of politicians like Kerry and Murtha. They are big boys and should be able to defend themselves quite ably against this turd.

An isolated outburst? Well, back when blogger Seixon was questioning the Jason Leopold story about Karl Rove’s alleged indictment, Seixon said that Larry Johnson wrote Seixon a threatening e-mail in which Johnson “repeated my mother’s name, my parents’ address, and even my birth month and year.” Seixon says that Johnson then told him: “I am prepared to ratchet this up several levels,” adding: “I know where you are living.”

None of this information appears in the L.A. Times article. It might spoil that zinger, don’t you know. Better to describe him simply as a “retired CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert.” That’s how the Journalism Experts do it.

UPDATE: More from unbiased Mr. Johnson, courtesy of Seixon:

Until Patrick Fitzgerald calls off the dogs that Porcine Ass called Rove ought to worry about who he might be getting up close and personal with in jail.


Now, if fat Karl had been at the head of the line to enlist in the Army and help lead the invasion, I wouldn’t be so cranky. But he didn’t, and Cheney didn’t, and Wolfowitz didn’t, and Rummy didn’t and the Bush daughters were busy getting drunk in DC bars. What is it about Republican chickenhawks who played every angle during the Vietnam War to avoid going to war but have no hesistation to start a war in Iraq and send other peoples children into the fray?

More at the link.

Just an unbiased expert, Mr. Johnson is.

Jan Crawford Greenburg on the Slandering of Clarence Thomas

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:35 am

I am late linking this excellent Wall Street Journal piece by ABC legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg, who has a new book out titled Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court. The linked WSJ piece explodes the myth of Clarence Thomas as a Scalia lackey, providing proof that Thomas has changed the mind of Scalia and others on many occasions:

Clarence Thomas has borne some of the most vitriolic personal attacks in Supreme Court history. But the persistent stereotypes about his views on the law and subordinate role on the court are equally offensive — and demonstrably false. An extensive documentary record shows that Justice Thomas has been a significant force in shaping the direction and decisions of the court for the past 15 years.

That’s not the standard storyline. Immediately upon his arrival at the court, Justice Thomas was savaged by court-watchers as Antonin Scalia’s dutiful apprentice, blindly following his mentor’s lead. It’s a grossly inaccurate portrayal, imbued with politically incorrect innuendo, as documents and notes from Justice Thomas’s very first days on the court conclusively show. Far from being a Scalia lackey, the rookie jurist made clear to the other justices that he was willing to be the solo dissenter, sending a strong signal that he would not moderate his opinions for the sake of comity. By his second week on the bench, he was staking out bold positions in the private conferences where justices vote on cases. If either justice changed his mind to side with the other that year, it was Justice Scalia joining Justice Thomas, not the other way around.

Greenburg provides some specific examples:

Consider a criminal case argued during Justice Thomas’s first week. It concerned a thief’s effort to get out of a Louisiana mental institution and the state’s desire to keep him there. Eight justices voted to side with the thief. Justice Thomas dissented, arguing that although it “may make eminent sense as a policy matter” to let the criminal out of the mental institution, nothing in the Constitution required “the states to conform to the policy preferences of federal judges.”

After he sent his dissenting opinion to the other justices, as is custom, Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Kennedy changed their votes. The case ended up 5-4.

Justice Thomas’s dissents persuaded Justice Scalia to change his mind several times that year. Even in Hudson v. McMillan, the case that prompted the New York Times to infamously label Justice Thomas the “youngest, cruelest justice,” he was again, initially, the lone dissenter. Justice Scalia changed his vote after he read Justice Thomas’s dissent, which said a prison inmate beaten by guards had several options for redress — but not under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Interestingly, his independence was only reinforced by his nasty confirmation hearings, which confirmed for him that his critics have no credibility.

I am looking forward to reading Greenburg’s new book, which I recently ordered. Based on this article, she appears to be willing to tell the truth, even if it benefits conservatives. That’s a refreshing attitude from a Big Media reporter.

UPDATE: One of the contributors to Confirm Them has the book and says that, so far, it is very good. Of course, he got a complimentary copy, whereas yours truly is paying the big bucks for his. I (almost) never seem to get these free advance copies of books that bloggers are always talking about. What am I doing wrong?

One of the problems could be that, for some reason, people don’t seem to see this blog as a “legal blog” — even though, after media criticism, that is probably the primary topic of the blog. I cover confirmation wars and court decisions, and I think I get the legal analysis right most of the time — far more often than, say, the L.A. Times, to take one example. Still, people don’t seem to see me as a legal analyst. I guess you have to be a law professor to be taken seriously on that front.

In any event, I’ll have a review of the book out once I get it and read it. But since I always elect “Super Saver Shipping” from Amazon, that may be a while.

Dirty Harry Land Deal Exposed by L.A. Times — Now That Election Is Safely Over

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Politics — Patterico @ 8:42 am

The L.A. Times has an article about another one of Dirty Harry Reid’s land deals. The article is by Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger. They have done good work exposing Reid’s shady deals in the past — but they had no story about his extensive shenanigans that emerged during the 2006 election season.

Timing is everything . . .

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