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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Remembrance of Fourths Past

Ah, memories. Two years ago the treasonous outing of Valerie Plame (which undoubtedly resulted in the elimination of members of the human intelligence network that any undercover agent cultivates) was big news, and I was calling for Karl Rove's head on a platter, Robert Novak's immediate detention as a material witness, and the reestablishment of the Office of the Independent Counsel to investigate what members of the Bush Administration knew and when they knew it.

Two years later, Rove is still free and being paid by U.S. taxpayers to coordinate Republican Party business (and undermine the U.S. Constitution) out of his office; Robert Novak is still free despite having actively publicized Valerie Plame's identity once it was leaked to him, and was in fact treated with kid gloves during the investigation into this affair; and the only conviction resulting from an investigation - for perjury and obstruction during the investigation - has been essentially tossed out with the commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence.

Republicans are deflecting criticism by saying "Well, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich" - a pardon which, curiously enough, came about partly through the efforts of that same I. Lewis Libby:

...the case for the pardons was reviewed and advocated not only by my former White House counsel Jack Quinn but also by three distinguished Republican attorneys: Leonard Garment, a former Nixon White House official; William Bradford Reynolds, a former high-ranking official in the Reagan Justice Department; and Lewis Libby, now Vice President Cheney's chief of staff...

(William J. Clinton, "My Reasons for the Pardons", New York Times, February 18, 2001)

I have always felt that the Marc Rich pardon was the blackest mark against the Clinton legacy. Not the Monica Lewinsky affair, or the subsequent impeachment; a legal case can be made that Clinton did not lie when he denied having sexual relations with "that woman" (using the same arguments used by theocons in defending their definitions of marriage), and the impeachment was precipitated by improper questioning concerning incidents outside the legitimate scope of Independent Counsel Ken Starr's investigation. But to cite the Marc Rich pardon as precedent when the cases are in no way similar is simply a standard Republican approach:

1. Deny that a problem exists.
2. If that fails, blame Clinton.
3. If it is obviously not possible to blame Clinton, blame Carter.
4. If it is not possible to even blame Carter, blame FDR and the New Deal.
5. If all else fails, bring up Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick.

So, the only person to be convicted of anything in this investigation walked. Nobody is surprised. Not enough people are outraged, not just about this but about all of the things that Bush and his co-conspirators have done in the nearly six-and-a-half years of this Administration.

It's time - long past time, really - for the Office of the Independent Counsel to be reinstated to begin the investigations that will finally let the true nature of this Administration be undeniably exposed. Two hundred and thirty-one years ago this sort of thing might have resulted in a violent overthrow of the existing government. But things are different today, and - in theory - we have other courses of action available to us.

Do something about it. Write your Senator, write your Representative. Let's make this happen.

God bless America! But it's up to us to save her.

1 comment:

Super G said...

You might read my blog post yesterday on a similar theme.

The GOP has enough power to block any serious investigations. However, after Bush is gone, perhaps we can begin to explore that the US really needs to be doing ... and contrast that with what we've been doing since Bush was elected.