Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pardon You. Not.

I see that El Presidente W wants to stay away from any talk of a pardon for Scooter Libby, at least until the legal machinery has stopped billing by the hour. This whole mess, of course, is largely W's fault: Instead of simply confronting Joe Wilson's lies directly, the White House decided to be subtle about it, with leaks and insinuations and all the rest. And then there was the cowardly act of bringing the special prosecutor aboard because, again, W did not want to have to get up and explain in plain English that the Justice Department was/is perfectly capable of conducting such investigations. And then there is the eternal failure of W to control his administration; and so we had the Armitage leak and subsequent silence on his part, and Powell's as well, about whence the fair Valerie's name. (Armitage and Powell are the scum of the earth.)

And so W's eternal inability to get up and make a case verbally has yielded the inevitable return of the roosting chickens, except it is not W but instead Libby who is getting cra**ed upon. Maybe W will pardon Libby during his last day in office; it is not just with respect to North Korea and the Iranians that W is looking more and more like Slick Willy every day.

6 comments:

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Benjamin, a very persuasive, and pithy, case you make for W's failures in this whole sad, sorry affair. A wonderful article in yesterday's American Thinker by Clarice Feldman. Her take makes sense to me.

Her conclusion: "The Bush crowd is guilty only of terminal naiveté and the foolish idea that high standards of probity will ever beat the opposition's utter unscrupulousness and willingness to misuse the legal system to their own partisan ends, even if it means the ruination of an innocent and capable man and enormous hardship to his family."

I think it goes back to the "new tone" that W thought he could bring to Washington. Right. I don't think it's as much his inability to make a case, but his unwillingness to make it. You think Clinton would have put up with any of this? How utterly irritating it all is.

James F. Elliott said...

You think Clinton would have put up with any of this?

The history's not so old that you should already be re-writing it to fit into your neat little ideological sorting system.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Actually, I think it's in praise of Clinton's toughness, or at least tenacity.

Michael Simpson said...

TVD's right - had the Clinton White House been faced with someone like the Wilsons, they would have done a lot worse than leak the idea that Amb. Wilson wasn't quite qualified to be sent to Africa. It's odd to see an administration that makes claims for a "unitary executive" to have so little control over its own people.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Aye, mate. It's astonishing that Joe Wilson should be able to hide (quite successfully) behind his wife's skirts in these serious times.

We have men and women fighting and dying, and Wilson undermined their mission solely for partisan if not venal purposes. Even if what he'd written were true (it was not), there is no do-over in Iraq.

And that Valerie Plame's confidentiality should be thought to matter a whit means that these serious times are populated by very many unserious people.

And yes, you're correct about the administration. They, like all Beltway outsiders (read Republicans), still have no idea how to handle the smiling faces with longknives behind their backs, not just in the press, but in the State Department, too.

(And if Valerie Plame is any barometer, the CIA as well...)

James F. Elliott said...

There's a strange attempt from the Right to somehow cast the Libby verdict, and by extension the whole prosecution and investigation, as some sort of Left Wing persecution crusade. It's ridiculous. Here are a few unassailable facts:

The DoJ under John Ashcroft agreed to investigate, at the request of the George Tenet/Porter Goss C.I.A., to investigate the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity. James Comey, a Republican and Ashcroft loyalist, selected Republican Patrick Fitzgerald (a U.S. Attorney from Chicago well-known for weeding out corruption -- particularly among Democrats) to lead the investigation as a special prosecutor (the Independent Counsel Statute having gone bye-bye). Libby then lied to Fitzgerald, rendering his leak investigation largely meaningless, and prompting a Starr-style widening of the probe into corruption (again, something Fitzgerald is known for doing very well).

Fitzgerald threatens to throw a bunch of reporters -- and indeed throws one reporter (from the New York Times no less) into jail unless they reveal their sources. Lo and behold, Libby's perfidy is revealed and the right-hand man to the single most powerful Republican in nearly twenty years is convicted.

Only then is Fitzgerald all of a sudden some sort of political opportunist, and possibly a... liberal. Only Fitzgerald remains what he always was: a steadfast public servant.

Looks like Republicans did it all to themselves, and none of the wildest inventions of the Right can change that. It's the oldest story in the book: Hubris.