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First they came for the communists,
but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists
and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they
came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they
came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
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|Hollywood's Leftist Slant - Monday, November 15, 2010
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta received his Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House. He is the seventh recipient of our highest military decoration for the current war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but only the first who is still living.
Typically, S/SGT Giunta remarked, “Although this is so positive, I would give this back in a second to have my friends with me right now.”
If I had the honor of meeting him, I would say, “May you live many years, have a happy and productive life, and die in bed surrounded by your grandchildren. And then may you meet your buddies again.”
The Plame Affair: Hollywood’s Leftist Slant
David C. Stolinsky, MD
It is hardly late-breaking news that Hollywood has a leftist bias. So it should be no surprise that Hollywood’s version of the Valerie Plame affair, titled “Fair Game,” follows this longstanding pattern.
The facts are these: Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was sent to Niger, an African nation with which he was familiar, to investigate reports by British intelligence that Saddam Hussein sent envoys to attempt to buy large quantities of uranium ore. This raised the specter that Saddam was again attempting to build nuclear weapons.
Wilson was suggested for this job by his wife, Valerie Plame. Plame had been a covert CIA officer, but in recent years she worked at CIA headquarters, traveled under her own name, and may no longer have been covert. Accounts vary on this crucial point.
In a brief trip to Niger, Wilson found no evidence that uranium had been shipped. However, he could not know whether Saddam had attempted to buy uranium, which was what he was sent to investigate. Niger produces cowpeas, goats, donkeys and uranium. Would Saddam have sent envoys to buy cowpeas, goats or donkeys?
Wilson opposed our war in Iraq and disliked President Bush. So he wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, giving his arguments against the war. The theory is that the Bush administration, in an effort to discredit Wilson, revealed that he had been selected for his assignment by his wife, a CIA officer. Theories, however, should not be the basis for criminal charges.
Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was charged with lying about the alleged “outing” Plame. On the contrary, the prosecutor learned early that former State Department official Richard Armitage was the leaker. But Armitage was loudly anti-war and anti-Bush, so (surprise!) he was never charged with anything.
That is, leaking Plame’s name may not have been a crime, but if it was, someone else did it. Still, lying to federal agents is a crime in itself, even if what one lies about is not a crime. And after spending two years and millions of dollars, the prosecutor had to charge someone with something, or he would look like a fool. Besides, it was hoped that Libby would incriminate Rove, Cheney or Bush to save himself from prison. Exactly how this differs from torturing a “confession” out of a prisoner is not clear.
In my day, a crime occurred, the police investigated, a suspect was arrested, and the case was turned over to the prosecutor. But now, the prosecutor investigates, and even if a crime has not occurred, the police arrest someone who has given inconsistent statements. The process has been reversed – no provable crime occurred until the prosecutor arrived.
The basic questions are these:
● What is a lie, and what is a mistake?
● If two people recall an event differently, does this mean that one is lying, or merely that memory is fallible?
● Who can answer questions over many days and not contradict himself?
● On the contrary, if someone answers questions over many days and always gives precisely the same answers, does this suggest that he “cooked up” a story?
● Similarly, if two people tell more-or-less the same story, are they telling the truth?
● On the contrary, if two people tell precisely the same story, does this suggest that they colluded?
Memory isn’t like a DVD, which we can play many times and always see exactly the same thing. Memory is like a Word document. Every time we open it, we can edit it. We have no copy of the original. All we have is the current version, which may have been altered. And the file may degrade with time.
Eyewitness reports are unreliable. Two witnesses to a crime often give different versions of what happened. They aren’t lying – they just recall it differently. And neither one may recall what really happened.
In a classic experiment, two strangers burst into a lecture. One pretends to attack the other, and they both run out. The students are asked to write down what they saw. Invariably, some students claim that the victim attacked the assailant. They aren’t lying. They are only being human. But a prosecutor could charge them with making false statements.
Schools of law and police science should require courses in psychology, so that judges, prosecutors and police can understand the fallibility of memory. Lawyers spend their lives dealing with papers, which never change. But memories aren’t like papers. (Read “Eyewitness Testimony” by Elizabeth Loftus.)
If Libby knowingly revealed the name of a covert CIA employee, he deserved a prison term. But there wasn’t enough evidence to make this charge. So what did he do?
● Did he intentionally mislead federal investigators?
● Or did he recall events incorrectly?
● Or did he recall events differently from other witnesses, and no one can be sure who − if anyone − was correct?
Libby spoke with the late Tim Russert of NBC, and they recalled the conversation differently. So who was charged with perjury – Russert? Oh wait. Russert was a former Democratic political operative. And the "apolitical" prosecutor had indicted over 60 Republicans and two Democrats. Can anyone believe that politics was not at work here?
Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison, two years probation and a $250,000 fine. President Bush commuted the prison term, but left intact the probation and fine. Many felt that he should have pardoned Libby. As it stands, Libby will be a convicted felon for the rest of his life. He will never get a security clearance, be able to work as a lawyer or a corporate officer, touch a firearm, or (depending on the law in his state) even vote. This is his reward for decades of government service.
Of course, the film tells it differently. Plame and Wilson are dedicated public servants who revere the truth. Wilson was suggested for this assignment by someone else, and both he and Plame were reluctant to accept. Libby revealed Plame’s identity, at the behest of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. Plame’s “outing” caused the deaths of friendly Iraqis she could no longer help − a fabrication that is presented as fact.
In a printed caption in the closing credits, the film makers admit that Plame was actually “outed” by former State Department official Richard Armitage − but they omit the key fact that he was anti-war and anti-Bush. So if all I knew was what I saw in the film, I would leave the theater praising Plame and Wilson, and cursing Libby, Rove, Cheney and Bush.
You may call this a failed attempt at entertainment. I have less polite words to describe thinly veiled propaganda. Even worse, this leftist rewrite will probably find its way into the history books our young people will be assigned. Leftists have a habit of rewriting history to suit their agenda. Stalin had his opponents airbrushed out of photos. We have not yet reached that point. But abusing history, like abusing drugs, is habit-forming.
You think this is an exaggeration? Consider:
Q. When was the last time you saw a film that depicted evil conservative politicians, evil business people, or evil military personnel?
Q. When was the last time you saw a film depicting evil liberals or leftists?
Q. When was the last time you saw a film that twisted history in a conservative direction?
Q. When was the last time a school or university imparted American values?
Hollywood moguls continue their defamation of America, even though the presidency and both houses of Congress have been controlled by fellow leftists for the past two years. How many years of leftist control of the government would be needed before leftists feel that America’s “sins” are forgiven? Would 100 years be enough?
One reason the movies are dying is that many movie makers are leftists. Like most leftists, including President Obama, they persist in trying to shove their ideas down people’s throats, rather than listening to what people actually want.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: email@example.com.