Friday, September 08, 2006

Byzantine Symmetry?

I'm headed into an extremely busy weekend in terms of research, preparation and presentation of several important entries to this Journal. The most important is the honor I have in presenting a tribute to Susan Kim Hanson who died on September 11, 2001 along with her husband Peter and 2 year old daughter Christine on United Airlines Flight 175 which was flown into the World Trade Center by Al Qaeda terrorists.

Sue was a medical student working on a doctoral thesis that promised to reveal the workings of a chemical believed to regulate immune responses. She had isolated in lab mice a gene suspected of being involved in asthma sufferers and AIDS patients.

But she was also loving and caring mother and wife. Sue and Peter were taking their daughter on a vacation to Disneyland when terrorists hijacked the flight and destroyed the lives, hopes and dreams of thousands.

My tribute is just one small part of the
2,996 Project. Almost three thousand different bloggers will present a tribute to one of the 2,996 people who lost their lives on September 11th, five years ago. A single blogger was assigned to each victim. Most bloggers involved in the project are not political at all. Any blogger could sign up for the project. Once signed up bloggers were assigned a name at random. I knew nothing of Sue Hanson before the assignment.

My tribute to Sue Hanson will appear on September 11, 2006 and I hope you will all return to read it. And I hope you'll attempt to read as many other tributes as your your time and your heart will permit. I intend to read all of them.

There are other important issues at hand, too. So before I embark on this weekend I write this entry to thank and compliment Vigilante for his article about my posts on the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson/Richard Armitage/Scooter Libby mess. Vigilante's article, titled Byzantine Symmetry can be found here. I ask every one of my readers to read it and the comments that followed.

My original posts on Plamegate can be found
here and here.

I have predicted in in the final sentence of my post titled Special Prosecutors that "my friends on the left will howl" and that was an understatement. Vigilante took me to task and he raised several excellent points even though he inadvertently quoted David Johnston of The New York Times and attributed that quote to me. I should be flattered the he thought I wrote that well.

I am in no way offended that he took me to task and raked me over the coals. In fact I'm flattered that he though what I wrote was important enough to devote his time and energy to publicly disagree.

To be certain Vigilante and I do disagree dramatically on this issue. I stand firmly behind every word I wrote. But his points are extremely important and every reader should read and carefully consider his argument and then make up their own minds.

I do want to disagree with the premise of his article here. He uses the phrase "Byzantine symmetry" to dismiss my points about the Plamegate affair as a form of moral equivalence. In other words, by making one side look bad you somehow cover-up the other side's misdeeds. Let me quote (I hope correctly) Vigilante. The emphasis (in red) is mine.

    "As with the Vietnam era, people like Wizard are engaging themselves in self-delusion in order not to take a position on Iraquagmire. We used to call it Byzantine Symmetry: if you can turn away from the writing on the wall long enough and fabricate argument that 'both sides are wrong', then 'neither are right' and one has given oneself an excuse for inaction while more blood and money swirl down the Mesopotamian toilet Bush has crafted."

I'll disagree with nothing else Vigilante has said. I may well be delusional, but I call them like I see them. But I absolutely and consistently disagree with anyone and any effort for moral equivalence or "Byzantine symmetry." TWO WRONGS DO NOT EVER MAKE A RIGHT, AND TWO WRONGS DO NOT EVER CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT!

I went out of my way on my essays to say that I was in no way excusing any of the evils done by Karl Rove. After all, I continue to call for Rove's resignation. Nor did I attempted or intend to exonerate or forgive George Bush for his actions and conduct of the war in Iraq.

BUT TWO WRONGS DO NOT EVER MAKE A RIGHT. I refuse to overlook the mistakes made by Wilson, Fitzgerald, the press and many left wing zealots just because their target is George Bush or Karl Rove or the un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).

Far from Byzantine symmetry, it's just plain straight line fairness and intellectual honesty.


Having said that I need to carefully consider every word Vigilante said. If he read my remarks as 'Byzantine symmetry' then I need to understand that I might have actually been less than clear. I hope today's article clears matters up.





Vigilante said...

You have wasted hundreds of words, clarifying nothing:

Why do you avoid answering me and others who have repeatedly asked you to detail what you believe to be the sins of commissions and ommissions of Ambassador Joe Wilson?

Why don't you dedicate a whole post about this? Why not as much space as you wasted above?

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Vigilante, you mean that you don't believe Joe Wilson lied in his original Times article and hundreds of television, radio and newspaper interviews?

This isn't news. It's been generally accepted for over a year that Wilson lied about his only verbal report to two minor CIA officials (sadly he never prepared any written report, which would have settled this argument). He never presented information to any official, anywhere at any time. His non-existant report was never circulated.

No one could have possible ignored a non-existant report.

His single verbal report was interpreted by CIA officials (who tesitified before Congress) to have information that bolstered, rather than discredited, the idea that Iraq wanted to obtain nuclear materials.

Is it possible that Wilson "told" these guys something else and they were the liars? Sure. Except Wilson's own story changed over and often as he appeared again and again on televsion. At one time he even claimed to have seen documents that didn't exist at the time of his visit. He later retracted that statement when presented with the proof.

The more Wilson spoke, the worse his reputation became.

You and messenger have read all this before, dozens of times. You've even pointed to some sources that attempt to "explain" some of the lies.

I didn't (and won't) reply to messenger's hostle notes because it was so obvious he wasn't interested in a discussion and certainly didn't need me to point to facts he had already read dozens of times before. I felt he was merely anxious to refute anything I presented.

Since I read mostly (almost entirely) liberal blogs and papers, I've already seen these rebuttals.

The kindest way to say this is that I have looked at the same facts messenger has reviewed and I came to a different conclusion.

I remain willing to respect and to learn from those who disagree with me. I consider you one of my teachers.

But I don't intend to engage in useless debates restating old arguments and covering old and well worn ground.

I hope you understand.

Vigilante said...

To sum up:

I asked you what've you got.

And you got nuthin'.

the WIZARD, fkap said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the WIZARD, fkap said...

Ahhh..... My Bad....

I deleted my comments from moments ago because I felt they did nothing to add to the discussion.

Thank you Vigilante for your contributions and comments.

You views are always welcome.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Readers interested in more detail and newer developments in this story should read Robert Novak's latest column, Novak: Real story behind Armitage's role.

Readers who can handle Ann Coulter's style and sarcasm should read her column last week, JOE WILSON: THE END OF AN ERROR

Vigilante said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vigilante said...

Wizard, I am going to say some heart-felt nice thing about you one of these days. I know what it is, I am just waiting until mood & moment strike.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Any readers who aren't positively numbed by the barrage of he said/she said arguments in the Joe Wilson - Valerie Plame saga will want to read David Corn's article in today's (9/16/2006) Huffington Post

Corn is the strongest and most logical of the defenders of Joe Wilson. The article aboved actually concerns a minor part of the story and involves a personal insult (attack) on David Corn and the role some claim he played in "outing" Valerie Plame.

In the interest of fairness let me let you know that Corn is close personal friend of both Wilson and Plame. He is also a Democrat Party partisan. Consider him the counter-point to right wing Coulter and Novak.

He has written several (perhaps even hundreds?) of increasingly tortured articles and now a book defending Wilson and Plame and/or extending the White House conspiracy theory.

Unbiased readers considering my points and Vigilante's points should read all these materials before making up thier minds.