Friday, August 28, 2015

In Court, They Call This Perjury

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness  (Exodus 23:1, ESV).

In Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, Hillary Clinton noted

Now extreme views on women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world, but it's a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out-of-date, out-of-touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st-century America. We are going forward; we are not going back.

In the months ahead, we will find out whether Mrs. Clinton was correct in asserting "we are going forward; we are not going back" now that, The New York Times reports,

Planned Parenthood on Thursday gave congressional leaders and a committee that is investigating allegations of criminality at its clinics an analysis it commissioned concluding that “manipulation” of undercover videos by abortion opponents make those recordings unreliable for any official inquiry.

“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” the analysis of a private research company said.

Vox's Sarah Kliff summarizes

The Center for Medical Progress has, since early July, released two types of videos. Planned Parenthood has long argued that the short ones — about 10 to 15 minutes long — are highly edited.

There are also longer videos, which range from one to five hours, that CMP edited down to make the shorter pieces. CMP has described these videos as "full footage," creating the impression that they show a complete interaction with the Planned Parenthood employees.

Except they aren't as Kliff, who has viewed the entire footage CMP has released, explains:

The GPS Fusion report argues this isn't the case: The authors cite moments in the video that suggest the supposedly full videos were also doctored.

One of the most compelling examples is a few minutes into a five-hour video from a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. If you look at the timestamp in the lower left-hand corner, it jumps forward by nearly a half-hour (from about 7:46 to 8:18) in just a few seconds. You can watch it happen here, if you fast-forward to about eight minutes and 55 seconds into this video:

CMP released also for each video what it has alleged are full transcripts but Kliff found

The new report suggests, however, that the transcript has inaccuracies. Fusion GPS had an independent transcription agency make its own transcription. Comparing the two, it found that the CMP transcript had "over 4,000 words of dialog that does not appear in the independent transcript or the video." In that dialogue, a Planned Parenthood official "allegedly discusses her 'a la carte' budget ... and engages in a detailed discussion of intact fetuses and the use of medically induced abortions."

This could suggest a few things. Most innocently it could show that CMP did a sloppy job transcribing the long videos. Or it could show that there is either fabricated dialogue in the transcript, or possibly transcription of dialogue that did indeed happen but was cut from the video labeled as "full footage."

According to MSNBC's Irin Carmon, Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards wrote congressional leaders that Center for Medical Progress director David Daleiden had tried for three years "to entrap Planned Parenthood (but) he failed to succeed in convincing even a single affiliate to enter into a procurement contract with his false company."  Richards maintained that in a video filmed in Colorado, the doctor "repeatedly told the Biomax representative that legal counsel would have to review any contract with Biomax.  These references were consistently deleted from the video excerpt Mr. Daleiden released. Indeed, legal counsel did in fact review the proposed Biomax contract and objected to its terms because it did not comply with federal law."

Notwithstanding Hillary Clinton's charge, anti-choice activists have little in common with terrorists other than a habit of playing fast and loose with facts, an aversion to women making their own decisions, and an extremist views toward childbearing.  And one other thing: a contempt for the Ninth Commandment, that silly stricture against bearing false witness.  Other than that, there is nothing to her complaint.

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