Tuesday, April 2, 2019

International Fact-Checking Day

Ceci n'est pas un cigare volant, this is not a flying cigar, by Bonny Doon Vineyard, via Vincent Pousson.

In honor of International Fact-Checking Day, I would like to check a fact:

One of the signal differences between the Starr report and the Mueller report is, in fact, that while Attorney General Barr is intent on making redactions in the Mueller report before allowing members of Congress to see it, of
grand jury material, sensitive intelligence, matters that could affect ongoing investigations, and infringements on the privacy rights of “peripheral third parties.”
Attorney General Reno gave the Starr report to every member of Congress with no redactions at all (it was over his own grand jury testimony that Clinton was accused and subsequently acquitted of committing perjury, or, as I would prefer to call it, gentlemanly obfuscation of the unpleasant facts), and what Nadler was talking about was something he'd been allowed to read.

And Nadler did not ask that "no information whatsoever would or could be legally released"—he rejected calls to make the entire thing public" as Washington Post puts it:
“It’s grand-jury material. It represents statements which may or may not be true by various witnesses — salacious material, all kinds of material that it would be unfair to release,” Nadler said on the Charlie Rose show.
(It's against the law to publish grand jury proceedings without congressional approval or a court order, which has been obtained in every single one of these cases since Watergate, but AG Barr doesn't seem to want to ask for.)

And some of us remember how very salacious it was, with the porn stylings of Kenneth Starr and young Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice. Details on the use of cigars, or receptacles chosen for the presidential semen, maybe weren't what the public really needed. (Not expecting any such things in the Mueller report either, I doubt he has the appetite for such things that Starr and Kavanaugh had, but if it does so be it.) Nadler knew what he was talking about. Thanks to AG Barr, he is being prevented from knowing that now

Anyway if somebody is hoping to show that chairman Nadler is being somehow hypocritical, no cigar in the orifice for them. What he's asking for is exactly what chairman Henry Hyde was asking for, and received with no questions asked, 20 years ago. And if he ends up asking that the whole thing be published as is without redactions, that too is what Hyde or Hyde's masters asked for and got.

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