Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Pardon Libby

Scooter Libby was convicted of various forms of lying (making false statements, perjury, obstruction of justice), although it sounds like everyone, even the jurors who convicted him, were not very happy about it. Nobody can call it justice when one guy faces 25 years in prison for lying about something that ultimately was determined not to be a crime at all.

I understand the necessity of the whole concept of perjury. I know that we need to have strict penalties for not telling the truth on important matters. But it still feels like an abuse of power, when the only crime a special prosecutor can find is that someone got in his way.

I wonder how Libby feels about the whole situation. Clearly he is taking a bullet for the Cheney office, though we don't know if it was merely to avoid political embarrassment for the administration or to cover up something more dastardly. Does he feel like a bodyguard who falls in the line of duty? Are indictments of perjury merely an occupational hazard for a high-ranking administration official? Or does he resent having his life upended by an affair in which he had such a tangential role? Or maybe both? For that matter, I wonder how Cheney feels, having a close colleague take a hard and undeserved fall for his political benefit. (I have no special insight into the Vice President, but I do not assume, as many do, that he is a heartless super-villain.)

The Bush administration is famous for demanding unswerving loyalty from its staff. I wonder if they, in turn, will show an equal loyalty to them. Don't talk to me about political consequences. This administration is the lamest duck we've seen in some time. No doubt they will let the case go to appeal, hoping that the verdict will be overturned and spare them that particular political cross to bear. But soon, before the presidential race heats up too much, they should appease their conservative base and spare this scapegoat. If there's one thing George W. can do, it's blunt candor, and his supporters would only love him more if he looked into the camera and said, "I pardoned him because I thought he got a bum deal. He's a good man and he doesn't deserve this."



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