Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

Brent Budowsky letter to WaPo re Toensing's piece in Outlook section

Many thanks for this message, which I will now circulate. (I trust you
have no objection.) It saves me from having to write my own letter to
the Post, which would be different, but probably much less effective. My
arguments would be her avoidance of the actual story.  Jury tampering
did not occur to me, but that is the most serious charge. I don't think
the Post has any answer for that, given that the jury will now begin its
deliberations. I expect the judge will declare a mistrial. (The jury is
not sequestered.) A mistrial is probably what Libby's friends hoped for.
The verdict of course has little relevance to what was the main issue:
the campaign by the White House to discredit Wilson with the ridiculous
charge that his report was not credible because his wife "sent him on
the trip"! And that it wasn't Cheney's pressure on the CIA that forced
the CIA to send someone to Niger (on a pleasurable boondoggle?), where
the only thing worse than spending one week there is spending two weeks

Grayson wrote:
> *From Brent Budowsky  *
> **
> *February 18, 2007
> To: Robert Kaiser, Washington Post*
> *Mr. Kaiser, I am forwarding below the note I wrote to Messrs. Graham
> and Hiatt about Outlook's Victoria Toensing piece today.*
> *With all due respect, I have long admired your work, but that piece
> today was the most egregious attempt at jury tampering that I have
> ever seen in this or any other town.*
> *I spent six years at the core of the group writing the CIA Identities
> Law with its original sponsor, Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Setting aside my
> great differences with both Editorial and Op Ed pages at the Post on
> this case and Iraq in general, this piece was different. It was a
> clear attempt to influence the jury, after the defense rested and
> before the jury is given the case. *
> *I predict the Judge will not be a happy camper, but beyond this, the
> piece was a shameless attempt to present a nullification defense to
> the jury, by an officer of the court who has worked for the
> Departement of Justice. It is attempt to bypass the judge and jury and
> present arguments to the jury, through the Post, that would not be
> admissable for law or fact, which also included factual inaccuracy. *
> *This is the functional equivalent of the Post editorial board and the
> Libby defense team standing outside the jury room, handing the jurors
> leaflets, ignoring the judges instructions, and handing the jurors
> inadmissable evidence and telling them to vote not guilty. *
> *I believe the Post owes its readers an alternate viewpoint, presented
> with the same visibility as Ms. Toensing's piece, though the
> ridiculing artwork will not be necessary and the tone of prosecution
> is more worthy of a second tier blog than the paper of record for this
> Capital. *
> *Frankly, sir, from the beginning of this case, the Post opinion
> sections have never respected the fact that America has brave men and
> women serving in the intelligence community.*
> *That their lives can be endangered by these leaks whether felonious
> or not. That distortions of intelligence that these leaks furthered
> did grave harm to our national security. That at a minimum the men and
> women who risk their lives for intelligence deserve the same honor,
> integrity and respect deserved by those who wear our uniform. *
> *I am astonished that someone of your stature would approve what is an
> aggressive and obvious attempt at jury tampering, that your fact
> checkers would permit factual inaccuracy, and that anyone at the Post
> would use tones of ridicule and derision more akin to an internet blog
> post than the Washington Post. *
> *You owe your readers an alternate opinion, you owe those who serve
> our country in intelligence far more respect and honor, you owe the
> judge and jury a trial without attempts to influence the verdict, and
> you owe the great tradition of the Washington Post a higher standard
> consistent with the highest standards of American journalism. *
> *Please consider this, Mr. Kaiser. Whatever the politics of the Post,
> when these identities are published real intelligence officers can be
> compromised, real sources of American intelligence information in
> foreign lands are either compromised or lose their trust and refuse to
> help, real people can die, and real intelligence is lost. *
> *We live in a city, Mr. Kaiser, that has already been targeted for one
> major terrorist attack on 9-11, and is no doubt on a target list for a
> WMD atttack at some point in the future.*
> *You owe an obligation to your community, as well as integrity, honor,
> truth and the rule of law. You have a right to your opinion, but I
> suspect none of you have intelligence or military experience to assess
> the damage done by these leaks to those who serve, and obviously have
> no respect for the legal process which you attempt to influence
> through ex parte arguments aimed at
> the jury through the paper.*
> *If nothing else, I would hope you pay some deference to those who do
> have experience in military and intelligence affairs, and make an
> honest attempt to understand the damage these leaks do, to those who
> serve. It is the moral equivalent of those who perpetrate these leaks
> shooting an American Marine in the back while he or she serves in
> Iraq. Real lives are lost. When we wrote the law, not one of us ever
> dreamed the law, which was meant to be applied to enemies of America,
> would be embroiled in debates about those who wear White House badges
> or press passes from America's great newspapers. *
> *As Ms. Toensing knows, the content of her piece has nothing to do
> with the charges at trial. This is what is known as a nullification
> defense, which should be offered at trial by defense counsel, under
> the rules of evidence, not offered by a partisan attorney writing with
> the imprimateur of a former Justice Department attorney, under the
> letterhead of Washington's paper of record. *
> *This letter is on the record and I request that you publish it.*
> *Sincerely,*
> *Brent Budowsky*
> *Former Legislative Assistant to Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Member of the
> Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit.*
> *:::::::::::::::::*
> *Ed. Note: Mr. Budowsky is also a contributing editor to /Fighting
> Dems <>/.*
> *Posted by SusanUnPC on Sunday, 18 February 2007 at 16:22 | *
> *Permalink*
> <>

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