Monday, February 21, 2005

Honorless: Democratic Congressman Spouts Admittedly Baseless Accusations

In civilized society it's an axiom (or it should be) that if you accuse someone of doing something illegal or immoral, you better be able to back it up with evidence. Evidence can be argued, of course, and what you think is evidence of something might turn out to be wholly uncompelling to everyone else, but you need to have something. If you don't, you shouldn't be making the accusation. If you make the accusation and, when asked to put up the proof, you can't provide evidence, you owe an apology to the accused.

The playbook of the American left, however, sees no problem whatsoever in making claims that the left readily admits they have no proof for. The so-called "Rathergate" episode was one of those circumstances taken to the next level. At least CBS realized they needed some kind of evidence. They were so ready to make the accusation, however, that when someone spoon-fed them bogus documents, they jumped on the air. The rest of that episode is history. Apparently, however, the fallout from that little exercise in deception isn't sitting well with certain Democratic elected officials. Take Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) who, in a "town hall" meeting, accused the White House (specifically Karl Rove) of planting those fake documents to embarrass CBS:

::::::::Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY): Well, you know, they are manipulating the media, they did it in the very beginning through intimidation. They would intimidate the people in the, uh, in the press conference. And ... they would ask — they would allow questions to be asked only of people that they knew were going to ask the right kind of questions, from their point of view. And, you know, that has its effect, had, had its effect on people. People have been — people in the media have been intimidated. The media has changed in the last four years. People have changed in the last four years. They’ve had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it’s handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And it was only — what, like was it CBS? Or whatever, whatever which one Rather works for. They — the people there — they finally bought into it, and they, and they aired it. And when they did, they had ’em. They didn’t care who did it! All they had to do is to get some element of the media to advance that issue. Based upon the false papers that they produced.

Audience Member: Do you have any evidence for that?

Congressman Hinchey: Yes I do. Once they did that —

Audience: [Murmuring]

Congressman Hinchey: ...once they did that, then it undermined everything else about Bush’s draft dodging. Once they were able to say, ‘This is false! These papers are not accurate, they’re, they’re, they’re false, they’ve been falsified.’ That had the effect of taking the whole issue away.

Audience Member: So you have evidence that the papers came from the Bush administration?

Congressman Hinchey: No. I — that’s my belief.
::::::::

(Thanks to LGF and one of their "operatives" for both this transcript and the audio recording also available.) In the span of less than 30 seconds, the Congressman re-states the same accusation that CBS has tried for 5 years to prove and failed and lays it out there as a proven fact when, in fact, he knows it's baseless. He then tosses out yet another baseless accustion that Karl Rove - an employee of the White House - made up the documents CBS used and duped them into airing them. When called on that one and asked if he has evidence, he says yes, he does. When asked a second time, he then says he does not, but goes ahead and continues ranting as though he's repeating proven facts!

If a Republican congressman made an accusation that someone in Kerry's office had provided fake documentation that allowed, say, 10,000 illegal votes to be cast in a Blue state all with the full approval by John Kerry and couldn't provide evidence of it when asked, the left would be howling for the man's head on a pike. What do they do with this one? Nothing. Zip. Nada. And note that you're not seeing any of this in the MSM, either. Score another cover-up for the boys & girls in the press. This event happened, folks. We've got tape. We've got witnesses. A congressman has accused a White House official of passing forgeries and that's not news?

I agree with John Hindraker at Power Line on this one:

::::::::It's easy to write off this kind of thing as limited to the moonbat wing of the Democratic Party, but here's the thing: when is the last time you heard any Democrat criticize this kind of nonsense, or try to distance himself from it?::::::::

Indeed.