Friday, July 14, 2006

Plame lawsuit's bizarre pleading

Captain Ed caught something interesting while reading the complaint. Plaintiffs use summaries of newspaper columns which they wrote (or were the source) rather than simply make factual allegations. This is really bizarre. The reason they do it, is to avoid making outright false statements in their pleading. From Ed:
We can start on page 6 of the PDF file, where the plaintiffs lay out the facts of the case. Paragraph 18b starts us off down the primrose path (emphases mine):

On May 6, 2003, the New York Times published a column by Nicholas Kristof which disputed the accuracy of the "sixteen words" in the State of the Union address. The column reported that, following a request from the Vice President's office for an investigation of allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger, an unnamed former ambassador [now known to be Plaintiff Joseph C. Wilson IV] was sent on a trip to Niger in 2002 to investigate the allegations. According to the column, the ambassador reported back to the CIA and State Department in early 2002 that the allegations were unequivocally wrong and based on forged documents.

Note the qualifying phrase, According to the column. The complaint never mentions two salient facts: (1) Joe Wilson was Kristof's source, and (2) Wilson reported nothing of the kind. According to Wilson's own testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Prime Minister of Niger told him the exact opposite

"According to the column" is a weird way to allege a fact about which the plaintiffs have complete knowledge. Wilson knows what he reported back and his sworn testimony is available about that report (which completely contradicts what was reported in the papers).

Read it all for more revelations of this type.


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