Saturday, May 29, 2010

William Jefferson Sestak

There is truth. Pretty much stands by itself.

There are two subsets of truth; whole truth and partial truth. That is why the oath in Court asks you to tell the "whole truth."

For example:
- Whole Truth.
In my drive from CA to FL I drove through other states including New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisanna, Mississippi, and Alabama.
- Partial Truth:
I drove through Arizona.
In the bizarro world of spin dumping on the Sestak Affair yesterday, that is the only way I can outline it in a short post.

Whole Truth:
“Were you ever offered a job to get out of this race? (The contest against Arlen Specter).

Sestak didn’t flinch.

“Yes,” he answered.

“Was it Navy Secretary?”, I asked

“No comment.”

He proceeded to talk about staying in the race but added that “he was called many times” to pull out.

Later, I asked, “So you were offered a job by someone in the White House?”

He said, “Yes.”

When the taping stopped, Joe Sestak looked surprised .

“You are the first person who ever asked me that question.”
- Partial Truth:
"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

"There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families."
Daniel Foster outlines where we are well,
Let's look back at what Rep. Sestak told local TV host Larry Kane in February.

KANE: "Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?"

SESTAK: "Yes."

KANE: "Was it secretary of the Navy?"

SESTAK: "No comment"

Later Kane asks again, "Was there a job offered to you by the White House?" to which Sestak nods and replies "yes, someone offered it."

Kane asks "It was big right?" Sestak replies, "Let me "no comment" on it."

"Was it high-ranking?" Kane asked. Sestak said yes.

That was February. Since then, Sestak has mostly "no commented." But as recently as last Sunday, he confirmed: "I was offered a job, and I answered that."

Contrast that with the White House memo, which says that Sestak was considered only for non-compensated "advisory positions" and that he had no direct contact with White House officials.

But Sestak confirms to Kane that the White House offered him a job, or at least he fails to disabuse Kane of that notion in his affirmative answer. And note Sestak assents that he was offered a high-ranking federal job. Each word here is important.

There are more than 60 boards, commissions and committees that at one time or another have advised the president. Most are not considered "high-ranking" administration positions, nor upgrades from a House seat, let alone a seat in the Senate. Besides, though vague on details, both the White House memo and Sestak use the words "Advisory Board," of which there are only two currently active: The Economic Recovery Board and the Intelligence Advisory Board. Sestak is no economist, so the most logical conclusion to draw from the White House memo — that "By virtue of his career in public service, including distinguished military service, Congressman Sestak was viewed to be highly qualified to hold a range of advisory positions. . .while holding his House seat" — is that Sestak was being considered for the Intelligence Advisory Board. The only problem with that option, as the NYT reported, is that Sestak could not have retained his House seat while serving.

In short, it appears that there is no "advisory position" in existence that Sestak would 1) be qualified for and 2) consider preferable to a Senate run and 3) allow him to retain his House seat. Which brings us to the word "job." Sestak uses it himself, not "position" or "role" or "advisory capacity" or anything else. Federal jobs pay (just ask Derb). Jobs bring clout. Jobs open up, in the language of the White House memo, "alternative paths to service" (read: power) that could give a man second thoughts about a Senate run. Could this just be sloppy language from Sestak? Maybe, maybe not.

There is more unquestionably here - something big enough for Joe Sestak sell his integrity. Admit it, this answer is lame in the extreme and opens more questions than it answers. Heck, it doesn't even answer the first question. Even Jay would have to admit that. If nothing else, they sandbagged the eventual accounting by putting this out until Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. The full truth will be known though.

As for Rep. Sestak (D-PA). Wow. You have picked up a lot of fleas. I would recommend finding a good version of Antigone.


MR T's Haircut said...

A couple of things:
1. Sestak had a chance to come clean and now is as big a liar as Bill Clinton and the Spin from the White House.
2. Sestak was the one who offered this up.  No one forced him.  And now that he defeated Arlen Specter, he is looking for friends in a big way.  Politics make strange bedfellows.
3.  Mischaracterize the intents of the phone call all you want. Paid Job, Non-payed Advisory roll position.. STILL A VIOLATION OF THE LAW and an insult to the American People and the People of Pennsylvania particularly.
4.  The BS coming out of the white house is almost like they are trying to find a way to shoot holes in the law AFTER they Violated... one more reason LAWYERS should be shot.
5.  Sestak will do damage to his reputation and the US Navy will suffer as a result.  His "Admiral" Status and the fact he is now on record as LYING, will reflect poorly on the good name and service of US Navy Officers.


AW1 Tim said...

Not only is the answer lame, but Obama has been careful to remove himself from the equastion, at least on the surface. Rahm and Bill Clinton have been the two "White House"  named which gives rise to the idea that it was Rahm's little program all along. However, nothing like that could ever be done WITHOUT the approval of Obama. It just wouldn't happen, noty in Obama's micro-mahaged world.

Then there is the issue of Clinton and Obama having lunch together a day vefore the memo release regarding the situation. A good chance for everyone involved to get their stories straight. tell as little as possible. be vague, lot's of "I don't remember" and "possibly" and "I'll have to get back to you" comments.

Occan's razor would suggest that Obama and his enablers saw Specter as the 60th vote for Obama's agenda in the Senate. They saw Sestak as an interloper whom, they couldn't count on to toe the party line. Sestak was offered a job to quit the race, likely Secretary of the Navy, which would beinviting to Sestak because of all the opportunities for political payback by him. Sestak refused the offer, deciding that being a Senator was a better path for him. Sestak then let slip that he was offered a job. Now comes the cover-up, and as everyone knows, it's the little things that will do you in.

  The REAL question to my mind is this: Did Sestak accidently let slip that he was offered a job, or was it intentional?  That latter action shows a man well-versed in playing Byzantine Court (which, having risen to flag rank, would be a given these days). It may well be that the Obama administration was caught off guard and played by someone as cunning as they are. It wouldn't surprise me in the least.

  What I do know is that this whole sordid situation isn't over yet, and, unlike the "Valerie Plame" affair in the previous administration, THIS situation is fraught with danger for everyone, from POTUS on down, and has more in common with Watergate than anything else that has recently transpired, ever the "Iran-Contra"  problems.

MR T's Haircut said...

Agree Tim, but one problem, the fact that the Administration OWNS the Media and the only ones reporting this are FOX News.  I did see it on my local news last night just before the news cast ended, but, maybe it will get traction.

AW1 Tim said...

One can only hope. This sort of a story is like a splinter driven deeply under the skin. You need to get it all out, and quickly, or else it's going to become infected and require a whole new level of attention.

John said...

Political whores, the whole lot of them involved in this "culture of corruption" episode. 

Worse, it is just the part that we know about and has received some limited coverage.

What else is happening in Chicago on the Potomac?  Other than the takeover of the auto industry, the nationalization of healthcare, the takeover of the banking industry, the stifling of the capitalistic engine which pulls our economy, and spending and borrowing our progeny into guaranteed poverty?  And, those are probably the least damaging things Obama and his cronies are doing to us!

anon said...


Old NFO said...

It's not surprising, given the total lack of respect the left has for everyone else, that this story is so obviously false.  At least in Watergate Nixon and the higher ups in his administration almost certainly didn't know about the initial break in.  They were caught in a cover up of the event.  It seems obvious that this one goes all the way to the top and that rather than admit they went too far, ask for forgiveness and try to move on, they are ensnaring themselves in one lie after another.  If they were smart they would have had some flunky take the blame and resign.  Politics of Corruption anyone?

Like the appointment of self described communists and pedophile supporters to administration posts, this can only be covered up by the lapdog press for so long.  Obama's support has been in free fall for some time now.  This can only accelerate that process.

11B40 said...


Say what you will, but there's some real art in sending a perjurer to transmit your corrupt job offers.  TAlk about deniability!!!

doc75 said...

Unfortunately, all the characters involved have a "D" after their name.  Therefore the story will go away.  

ShawnP said...

Even though he is retired he is still under the UCMJ. Hmmmm Conduct Unbecoming Of a Officer anyone. Yes Civillians he is still under the draw a check from the military they still control you.

Anonymous said...

In a prior presidency, even a National Guard specialist at a remote formerly Iraqi prison was driectly directed by the Commander-in-Chief....ask any Democrat.

Somehow, this guy has a new and improved coating, far superior to the teflon Wild Bill Clinton had, and his supporters are all over the blogsphere saying nothing was done wrong, and the President didn't offer it.

What happened to the guy who told us it wasn't experience, but judgment that whould make him the best choice?  He didn't lie, we never asked the follow up: "Senator Obama, do you mena good judgement or bad?"

Our bad...oh, yeah, our way bad.

xformed said...

oops...borrowing a laptop...the guest is me....I do accept responsibility for my post, unlike the President, who cannot take responsibility for his actions.

Anon said...

You're right - Republicans have never done anything wrong.

Byron said...

You gotta love the drive-by "anon" trolls...

DG said...

"<span> big enough for Joe Sestak sell his integrity" sell it? CDR, to sell it, you've got to own it first.

DG said...

Sorry, but thats not correct. Retired military are technically reservists. A reservist can only be held to the UCMJ is they violate it while on active duty, active duty for training, or reserve duty (drill). A reservist can be recalled to AD for UCMJ actions, but not for things they did as a civilian.

Also, there is also a seperation of powers issue. If he's prosecuted, it will be as a civilian. Honestly, though, thats not going to happen. He's a scumbag, but didnt break the law - he turned down the job.

Sort of a shocker - I thought he would jump at being SECNAV to screw over everyone who stood up to him when he was being a bully.

AW1 Tim said...

Indeed. Man showed considerable restraint, given what he was likely offered. The idea that he would be given a non-paid seat on an advisory board is laughable on the face of it. It doesn't pass the smell test. US Senator is one of THE most powerful jobs in the nation.

There was definitely a crime committed here, and, like Watergate, this will not end well for those involved. This isn't going to go away, as crimes committed while in office may still be prosecuted after the individual(s) return to civilian life.

AW1 Tim said...

Difference is that, on the whole, conservatives who err leave office, apologize, and take their lumps. The other folks almost always run for cover. They check into some form of rehab, or therapy, or lawyer up, etc.

One side understands the concept of personal responsibility. the other, not so much.

jscam87 said...

I have no problem with the ADM keeping his mouth shut (White House orders) and not expanding on his answer, but to keep quiet after this obvious fabrication/story/response is not appropriate.

Anonymous said...

What was the crime?

AW1 Tim said...

 Nice try...  if you really need to ask, then this coversation is way above your paygrade.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>The crime?  Influence peddling.  18 USC, Section 210.  Unless you believe the snowjob about an "influential unpaid advisory position".  
Or the Tooth Fairy.</span>

Anonymous said...

I have a big problem with anyone adhering to an order to conceal a crime.

Therapist1 said...

Oops, cleared all the cookies.  That was me.

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