October 29, 2005

AP Mocks Possible Libby Defense

From the Associated Press via Yahoo!News:

WASHINGTON - The lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide is outlining a possible criminal defense that is a time-honored tradition in Washington scandals: A busy official immersed in important duties cannot reasonably be expected to remember details of long-ago conversations.
This story will undoubtedly cause hoots of derision in the Lefty camp.

Having once been interrogated by a former FBI agent and his partner regarding suspected union activity while in federal employ (they were on the wrong track, but that's a different story that I'm not at liberty to discuss), I can speak to some of the techniques possibly used. I can't tell you if these are standard FBI interrogation techniques, but people usually revert to their training, even when in new positions.

First and throughout, they attempted to bring the power of their authority and position to bear. This was not a friendly chat, it was confrontational to the point of being abusive. The object was intimidation; truth through fear. Things like standing while I remained seated and deliberately invading my space. Some "good cop, bad cop", played to the hilt and beyond (I actually believe the "bad cop" had a personal dislike for me, and that he was surprised that I wasn't visibly rattled by it). The questioning was deliberately repetitious and punctuated by interruptions and changes of subject in order to see if my answers changed. Some questions were combative, questioning my loyalties. Question:"Oh, now you're trying to put it on [name of another employee]. Response: "There isn't anything to 'put' on anyone." The "bad cop" kept telling me that he didn't "...buy it."

As soon as the "interview" began I knew instinctively that showing any fear to these men would be as dangerous as showing it to a snarling dog. My interrogation lasted only about 45 minutes, yet I was shaky and more than ready for a smoke once I'd left that room and those men behind. This was one of the most intense experiences of my life.

The point is this - I didn't come out of that interview unscathed simply because I was innocent. I came out alright because I maintained rigid self control, I was being questioned on events that had occured the previous week (so they were fresh in my mind), I didn't allow the interrogators to rattle me, and...oh yeah, I was innocent.

I don't know the circumstances of Libby's interviews with FBI agents, but I would not be willing to dismiss out of hand any claims from him that he was confused or misspoke.

Most of this post is taken from a longer post about the Fitzgerald press conference at The Dread Pundit Bluto.

By Bluto11:46 AM | Comments |