sins of omission

The oft-heard refrain on conservative radio is that "liberals" deliberately use misinformation to achieve their political ends. This is probably true. But the implied righteous posoition that conservatives are simply above such behavior (the moral majority, and all that) is blatantly deceptive.

Consider the case of Judicial Watch. During the Clinton presidency, this group was a darling of the conservative establishment, because it targeted Bill Clinton with lawsuits and legal attacks. Larry Klayman, the founder of the group, was an honored guest at many a GOP function.

However, Judicial Watch has turned its sights on VP Cheney for is involvement with Haliburton Co. accusing them of defrauding investors during his tenure by inflating revenue estimates. President Bush had tough words for lying CEOs when he signed the reform bill, but the White House's rhetoric about corporate accountability do not include members of the administration. When the courier from Judicial Watch attempted to serve Vice President Cheney with the lawsuit, the White House used the Secret Service to intimidate and threaten the courier with arrest :

Judicial Watch said its process server went the White House on July 22 to deliver the lawsuit to the vice president, who was chief executive of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. But the group said the courier was turned away by the Secret Service and allegedly threatened with arrest.

"We have served many a lawsuit on Bill Clinton, Al Gore ( news - web sites), and Hillary Clinton ( news - web sites) when they were in the White House ... Never before have our process servers been threatened with arrest," said Larry Klayman, who serves as chairman and general counsel of the 8-year-old legal foundation that has filed a number of highly publicized lawsuits against government officials.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the courier was rebuffed when he called the vice president's office for clearance. Fitton dismissed suggestions that Cheney's private attorney should have been served. "You don't serve lawsuits on lawyers, you serve them on defendants," he said.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit alleges that Cheney conspired with others to file false financial statements that misled investors. The company overstated revenues by as much as $445 million over three years, it said.

This is astonishing in its brazenness. Yet, while Judicial Watch is being excoriated as a "public relations stunt" by the White House, it is also being held up as a martyr for allegations that Clinton tried to use the IRS as a weapon against it.

IN a related issue, the current spin by GOP partisans has been that the economy's woes of lying CEOs is actually due to Clinton. The absurdity of this has been well-documented elsewhere, but that hasn't stopped Sean Hannity et al. from drumming that theme daily on talk radio.

Now, however, Jonah Goldberg of National Review has also debunked the idea that Clinton is morally responsible for lies of CEOs. He does so in the context of absolving Bush, and also gets in a good dig at Gore. It's notable however that when conservatives link to this piece, they ignore the absolve-Clinton issue entirely.

No comments: