Friday, October 21, 2005

Scott Ritter Information

Craig Rhodes provided this response to a Republican blogger's continuing questions of Scott Ritter's credibility, speaking fees, and erroneous allegations of illegal behavior:


It would appear that Spongeblog has learned his lessons well from the Karl Rove slime machine. If it worked on John McCain, Max Cleland, Joseph Wilson, Al Gore, John Kerry then why not try it on Scott Ritter.

Nevermind that Mr. Ritter's warnings before the Iraq invasion regarding the lies being used for the rationale for war, have been proven correct.

Nevermind the untold deaths and injury that have resulted from this ill fated neo-con Bush war crime.

Apparently, all of this pales in significance to the right wing blogosphere who are so desperate that they hang their hats on a dismissed case against Mr. Ritter in their futile attempt to justify an illegal war and torture.

At this point, every warning that Mr. Ritter has made has been proven correct. To question his "creditability" (sic) at this point indicates that Spongeblog is little more than a thirty percenter. As such Spongeblog and his kind have no credibility themselves except among other thirty percenters.

Getting your info from CNN does not necessarily mean that you aren't using Rove's talking points. I doubt you have a direct link to Rove. A case in point, CNN among others including NY Times, Wash. Post etc., helped Rove out a covert CIA agent in retaliation against Joseph Wilson. This is Rove's modus operandi and you're following suit.

Secondly, Mr. Ritter broke with Clinton, not because he wasn't doing enough to oust Hussein but because the CIA under Clinton was trying to use UNSCOM as a spy agency for the U.S. thus diverting its mission, which is why Mr. Ritter resigned his commission as weapons inspector. I agreed with Mr. Ritter then as now. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because I oppose W that I supported Clinton. Only those who live in a B&W world come to such simplistic conclusions.

Weapons inspection regimes under Rolph Ekeus, Richard Butler, Hans Blix (whom W ordered out of Iraq), David Kay, and Duelfer found no WMD. They had staffs of thousands and spent hundreds of millions but found nothing. And it bears noting that Kay and Duelfer were the Administration's men who were sent in after the invasion specifically to find something that would help justify the invasion. "Retroactive Justification" for war as the noted conservative George Will called it.

Both Kay and Duelfer, like the other inspectors before them, came back stating that not only were they unable to find WMD but that there probably never were any. This was what Mr. Ritter was saying before the war, which is why he was slimed by the Administration. Meanwhile nearly 2000 American soldiers are dead with thousands more maimed.

I've noticed that thirty percent of any given population will always support their leaders no matter what. It has been estimated that at least thirty percent of the German pop. supported Hitler even when he was in his bunker and Berlin reduced to rubble. We know that thirty percent supported Nixon even as he was waving bye-bye from the heliport after resigning as pres. This thirty percent rule of thumb seems to apply throughout history.

We know from the polls that W's approval rating is now into the 30 percentile range. Therefore, it's hard not to conclude that anyone now supporting this regime is among the thirty percenters. W could BBQ a baby on the WH lawn and the thirty percenters would find a way to defend him.

And yes, I believe that at this late date, with all of the info we now have as to the lies that were used to justify the Iraq invasion, anyone who still defends this war would seem to be a right "wringer".

No true conservative that I know would advocate nor support foreign entanglements much less the Iraq debacle. So contrary to your assertion, your position does not seem to be conservative.

Speaking Fees

The last time Mr. Ritter spoke here, he did it for nothing because, as he stated to me, it was his duty as a citizen. We have insisted on paying him this time, against his wishes, because he and his family deserves it.

Erroneous Allegations of Illegal Behavior

My inclination is not to descend to the level of the right wing and allow them to divert the issue from their support of an illegal war and torture, among other things, because it encourages them to continue to resort to ad hominem arguments rather than address the issues at hand.

However, since you asked, I'll address your fascination with this issue this one time. As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to spend 6 hours one on one with Mr. Ritter and during that time I asked him point blank about the questions you've raised. His answer was that the case was dismissed and that he and others involved were under a gag rule issued by the judge. He said that he would prefer to address it outright but was prevented from doing so on advice of his lawyer and until or when the judge released the gag order. He said that he had had a long talk with his wife in which he offered to stop speaking out against the Iraq invasion but that his wife had told him that she would prefer he continue the fight no matter what the right wing did to him. He said that she was the only one who could have stopped him but given her encouragement, he would continue. By the way, they have twin teenage daughters.
Craig continues with his comments:

Most of the "facts" you've cited in your post are mainly innuendo that has percolated throughout the right wing blogosphere which means there's no credibility at all to what you've written. That coupled with the Republican penchant for character assassination, as they've done with those I've identified in a previous post, should make you reconsider your prurient interest in this issue. In this country and under what's left of our Constitution since the Bushites began to shred it, a person is innocent until proven guilty (unless you've been labeled an enemy combatant or terrorist under the Patriot Act).

I too have worked in a field that dealt with this kind of thing and in nearly every instance the circumstances were the same as those surrounding Mr. Ritter. I'm a retired H.S. teacher and there were times in which a female student accused a male teacher of unwarranted advances. The trial in cases like this, because it involved a minor, was always behind closed doors . . . like Mr. Ritter's. In nearly every case, the female student admitted she lied, more often than not, because she had an ax to grind. At that point, again because a minor was involved, the case would be dismissed and the records sealed. However, this seemed to never fully exonerate the teacher because of the resulting ambiguities of no one being able to talk about it. More often than not, the teacher who had been falsely accused would have to leave the district to teach elsewhere. It wasn't fair nor just but that's the way it is.

Now the right wing, which in my opinion includes you because you use their talking points, is using the same ambiguities to smear/slime/character assassinate Mr. Ritter. Why? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out. He has consistently and eloquently spoken out about the illegal invasion of Iraq and now Iran, as well as Bush's official endorsement of torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions of which we're signatories.

So I would suggest that you forget your prurient interest and consider the issues that Mr. Ritter has rightfully raised. Why is it you keep harping on a dismissed case that proved nothing instead of speaking to what Bush is doing to our country? Why are you not concerned about our soldiers being killed and maimed over a war that has no justification? Why are you not concerned, like John McCain, with the Administration's official endorsement of torture . . . a first in our history as a nation? Why are you not
concerned about the largest national debt in our nation's history? Why are you not concerned about the Republican corruption of Congress with Delay being only the tip of the iceberg? Why are you not concerned about an Administration that would out a covert CIA agent charged with finding WMD? Why are you not concerned about the destruction of our environment by this same Administration? Why are you not concerned about the passing of top secret material to Israel from the Oval Office? Why are you not concerned about our loss of civil liberties through the Patriot Act which did nothing to increase our security? Why are you not concerned about the cronyism rampant in the Bush Administration that became apparent when Katrina hit, and now even more so with the nomination of Meirs to the Supreme Court? Why are you not concerned that the government has grown more under Bush than any other administration in history. I could go on but hopefully, you get the picture.

If you were a true conservative, all of the issues I've raised above would be of paramount importance to you rather than your continued diversion of the smearing of Mr. Ritter including your non sequitur extrapolations as to whether it's his first time . . . did he get away with it . . . what if it were my daughter etc. Conservatives believe in the rule of law, fiscal responsibility, no foreign entanglements and smaller government. Your tacit support of Bush coupled with your posts here forces me to conclude that you are definitely not a conservative.

I answered your questions. Now if you have the same consideration, answer those I've raised above. However, if you continue to try and divert the issues to a dismissed case against Mr. Ritter, then we have nothing else to say to each other.
Craig's response should be enough to satisfy every conservative question. Continuing this discussion without factual evidence is a capricious defamation of character. Most lawyers in So. IL do not need the extra income.


At 21 October, 2005 23:19, Blogger Spongeblog said...

The accusations against Ritter speak to character. It is intresting he has not denied them, atleast that I know of.

Gag order? Craig, if those accusations were made aginst you and you were innocent, is there any "gag order" that would keep you from telling people you were innocent? If he has issued an explicit denial please let me know because I am not aware of one and want correct info as I am sure you do. Again I ask, is this the guy you want to hang your hat on? Is he the best you have??

As far as speaking fees,I believe Ritter deserves something - a jail sentence, if guilty. His family deserve something also, my sympathy which they have.

If I am such a "right winger" what in heaven's name am I doing on this blog. It's certianly as left wing as they get. Unlike Craig I am intrested in and respect all sides of an issue and other opinoins. And I do not resort to name calling or stereo typing thoes who do not agree with me.

Your facts on Ritters disputes with Clinton are at best incomplete, but people can check that for themselves. Your facts about Blix are wrong. AFter all Blix (before the war) wanted "more time" to find the weapons the world believed Saddam had. Saddam may well have used this time to hide or give away these very weapons if he did not use them all gassing the Kurds. ( or was that Karl Rove?)

I assume that since my last post answering Craig's points never made it to your blog, open disscussion is not welcome here. Don't worry, I'll go away, I know when I am not wanted.

At 22 October, 2005 01:56, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

All comments from each party are on the blog. Since Craig's responses to the 10/21/2005 03:56:28 PM questions (linked in the post) were so extensive, a post was a better location. It was also an opportunity to consolidate some of the text to benefit other visitors.

According to the dictionary, a gag order prevents the parties from trying the case in the press and on television, and thus creating a public mood (which could get ugly) in favor of one party or the other. That means that, yes, it would keep you from telling people you were innocent because it requires talking about the case to the public. Therefore, proclaiming his innocence would directly violate the court's gag order.

Thank you for acknowledging The Philosophe Forum as as left wing as they get! I'm all for proposals for reform, new ideas for progress, and tolerance of the ideas and behavior of others. No one should limit others to established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas. Everyone deserves to live free from bigotry. I also encourage everyone to live & let live with respect & consideration for others & offer help to those in need.

As for the blog, the intent is for an online forum (e.g., a public meeting place, a medium for open discussion or voicing of ideas) in the spirit of the 18th Century Enlightenment philosophes. Beyond that & the disclaimer at the top of the page, people are free to believe what they will -- in the true sense of left wing.


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