Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cry PARDON! And wear your cowardice well

Via Carson's Post, we get a Moyer's-eye-view of the Washington neo-con elite circling the GMC Yukons to keep Scooter Libby out of jail.
We have yet another remarkable revelation of the mindset of Washington's ruling clique of neoconservative elites -- the people who took us to war from the safety of their Beltway bunkers. Even as Iraq grows bloodier by the day, their passion of the week is to keep one of their own from going to jail.
One Beltway insider reports that the entire community is grieving -- "weighted down by the sheer, glaring unfairness" of Libby's sentence.

None seem the least weighted down by the sheer, glaring unfairness of sentencing soldiers to repeated and longer tours of duty in a war induced by deception. It was left to the hawkish academic Fouad Ajami to state the matter baldly. In a piece published on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, Ajami pleaded with Bush to pardon Libby. For believing "in the nobility of this war," wrote Ajami, Scooter Libby had himself become a "casualty" -- a fallen soldier the President dare not leave behind on the Beltway battlefield.

Not a word in the entire article about the real fallen soldiers. The honest-to-God dead, and dying, and wounded. Not a word about the chaos or the cost. Even as the calamity they created worsens, all they can muster is a cry for leniency for one of their own who lied to cover their tracks.

A graphic depiction of the neo-con elitist mind at work. The actual carnage is meaningless; the loss of one of their own, who lied to protect other liars, has them running for the cover of the very constitution they conveniently ignored for six years. Incredibly, the same neo-cons who called international treaties quaint but outdated, who defiled the rule of law and who oversaw the destruction of a society thousands of miles away are suddenly waving around legal precedences, howling that the sentence handed to a criminal is too tough.

Too tough. Would that they showed even an ounce of the same compassion for anyone outside their elitist circle. This is the "get tough on crime" crowd suddenly using words which have not appeared in their lexicon for almost a decade: clemency, leniency and pardon.

It goes beyond Libby however. As they lay secure in their beds fretting over the demise of I. Lewis Libby, aircraft fly over head and make their final approach to Dover and Andrews Air Force Bases delivering a cargo of corpses and shattered bodies, hidden from public view in an attempt to conceal the product of neo-con lies. They worry about Libby because they worry about their own exposure.

Libby is a neo-con caricature. But his conviction and sentence are the realities his supporters truly fear. If they can get him; they can get them. Libby's lies were not manufactured to protect himself; they were produced to protect others. He was a water-carrier.

Added to the injury the neo-cons feel is the process by which Libby arrived in his situation. He was pursued by a conservative prosecutor, found guilty by a jury of citizens and then sentenced by a Bush administration appointed judge. And they were not to be swayed by appeals outside the law. They have a passion for the law and the neo-cons can't stand it. The idea of getting tough on crime was meant for everyone but them.

The demands for a pardon for Libby further demonstrate the exclusionist beliefs of the neo-con elitists. They don't fight the wars they start, they don't obey the laws they write and they don't accept punishment for proven felonies. They all seem to ignore that Libby's post put him in a position of great power. He was entrusted to pursue his role within the boundaries of the law. When questioned he was expected to be truthful. His obstruction of justice is not just the felony alone; it is also a breach of the public's trust.

Bush is now caught between the real rock and a hard place. If he doesn't pardon Libby, he violates the exclusionist establishment of the neo-cons by exposing their vulnerability. If he does pardon Libby he illuminates that exclusionist establishment and everything it stands for: an elitist body, completely out of touch with life outside the precincts of the beltway.

Libby's sentence is anything but harsh. Reggie Walton went easy. He should have tossed Libby a kevlar helmet, the same sub-standard body armour US troops are expected to wear in combat and an M4 carbine. Then he should have ordered Libby to perform 3 months of community service in Kirkuk. And if he survived that, he still gets 2 1/2 years in jail, 2 years probation and a fine.

So, let the neo-cons howl for a pardon. It serves to demonstrate that their macho rhetoric was always bluster. Far from the tough-guys they hold themselves out to be, they whine and snivel and throw tantrums like an out of control two-year old. Their weakness is their cowardice and they are wearing it for all to see.

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