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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA for July 18, 2007


O Lucky Man

If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
President George Bush, Sept 30, 2003

Well, truer words were never spoken. It’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts in this world. And Lucky Scooter Libby can thank his glittering stars that he knows a lot of well connected cronies in a Capitol of Cronies. He can especially thank his pal, President Bush, for commuting his sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice. And thank his future stars that there’s still the possibility that as our Crony-in-Chief hustles out the door at the end of his disgraceful administration he’ll pardon Libby altogether – the ultimate Crony Cash-In – which means Libby will walk free, right into lucrative lobbying jobs, a big, fat tell-nothing book contract, his fines and legal bills reimbursed by all his generous friends.

And it’s not just a case of being rich and famous, either. Poor Paris Hilton thought she was a Somebody, but she still got some jail time for her crimes. Clearly, just being a Somebody doesn’t count. But being a Somebody who knows the Right Somebody, well, that does the trick, doesn’t it?

Our Crony Veep must also be heaving a sigh of relief. Libby’s stay-out-of-jail card removes the threat that some ugly prison time might have loosened Libby’s lips and maybe sunk Dick’s ship. That’s safely avoided now.

Of course, accountability for OCV is highly problematic anyway since he has recently declared himself to be outside of government altogether. Apparently, Cheney has become a Chimera, accountable to no one when he isn’t hiding inside his super secret, man-sized, walk-in office safe, that is.


Oh, sure, some Democrats in Congress are making noises that they want an investigation to see if this latest sweet deal is actually an ongoing conspiracy to further obstruct justice, but Democrats don’t have a large enough majority in Congress to counter Republican interest in keeping all this zipped up and under the carpet. After all, both Republicans and Democrats are now chasing the same vital agenda: Nov, 08-- How to return to/get/hold/stay in power. Compared to that, law, truth, justice and the American Way aren’t worth zip.

True, according to various polls, the American people are indicating disgust with Congress and low ratings for this administration, but the American people have nobody to blame for this mess but themselves. They voted these guys into office, not once but twice, then during the last election they ensured the status quo; a grid-lock, do-little Congress. So the cronies in office will continue to do what they were elected to do: Look out for number one.

It’s all part of the End Game started by Ronald Reagan over 20 years ago: The Devaluation of the Commons, the Government Is Bad Holy Mantra, the Rise of Privatization via The Corporation, the Lack of Accountability Creed, the Rule of I’m All Right, Jack. It’s the untrammeled reign of the Greed is Good Boys, the unfettered free market at work, capitalism at its finest, all fully supported by the American voter! Poisoned pets, imported tainted foods, a gutted EPA, a gutted FDA, an outsourced country, a privatized war, a conservative Supreme Court now tending to rule in favor of corporations and businesses over the Common Citizen. (Don’t even think about Class Action Lawsuits; they’ve gone the way of the Dodo. You want justice for The Little Guy? Go buy it, just like everyone else!) It’s the neo-con’s Conservative Dream Come True, as American as apple pie.

Even down to this recent L.A. Times headline: “[private] Contractors outnumber troops in Iraq,” which was wonderfully shocking in its honesty, at least -- War as Big Business with profits funneled directly into private corporate coffers that are often located off-shore in foreign countries untouchable by those nasty-sticky IRS fingers, while liabilities are shoved off onto taxpayers when the privately hired contractors are injured, tossed off the job, left uninsured and/or end up on the public dole and on various taxpayer financed Medicaid programs. Crony Capitalism at work -- Bury the silverware and hide the hogs in the swamp!

Unless you’re someone named Scooter Libby, of course. Then it’s all gravy.

Momma may have . . . . Poppa may have . . . but God Bless the Child that’s got his own . . . that’s got his own . . .

10 comments:

Steve said...

Ann, Im a big fan. I visit your blog every day. It pains me to say that you blew it big time with this posting. The most painful part is that you have always seemed a little anti-establishment when it comes to big media... but you fell right in line with the rest of the lemmings on this one...

Let me tease you with a line from this link (http://www.slate.com/id/2168642/).

"If Scooter Libby goes to jail, it will be because he made a telephone call to Tim Russert and because Tim Russert has a different recollection of the conversation."

One of the most liberal media websites I have ever seen called for Libby's freedom... BEFORE Bush commuted his sentence. The rest of the media use it as another tool to criticize the Bush administration.

I do agree with one thing you wrote... It's WHO you know. If Libby didn't have powerful friends he would be in jail now. hat is absolutely true... but that wouldnt make it any more just... he was fortunate to have powerful friends to save him from the frenzy of attackers after his bosses blood.

I suggest you read the article I have linked above and I would love to hear your remarks... and remember, "Before savoring the full absurdity of the thing, please purge your mind of any preconceptions or confusions."

Ron said...

What Cheney, Rove, Libby and their fellow squatters on Federal property (i.e. Bush) did to Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson absolutely disgusts me.

Recently, on Amy Goodman's amazing show, Democracy Now!, she conducted a lengthy interview with Joe Wilson, and it's flat-out excellent.

In case you missed it, here's the link.

Here are some excerpts:

JOSEPH WILSON: There is very little that this administration does these days that surprises me. I believe that the President is corrupt to the core, and his administration is corrupt from top to bottom. I think, in doing this, he has actively subverted the rule of law and the system of justice in our country, which has undergirded our democracy for 231 years. It's a disgrace.

and;

AMY GOODMAN: Valerie Plame also described how she learned that columnist Robert Novak had publicly identified her as a CIA agent.

VALERIE PLAME: I found out very early in the morning, when my husband came in and dropped the newspaper on the bed and said, “He did it.” And I quickly turned and read the article, and I felt like I had been hit in the gut. It was over an instant, and I immediately thought of my family's safety, the agents and networks that I had worked with, and everything goes through your mind in an instant.


Ann wrote:

"They voted these guys into office, not once but twice"

I'm not so sure about that one.

Squatters on Federal property occupying the White House rent free. Nothing more. Disgusting.

"Momma may have . . . . Poppa may have . . . but God Bless the Child that’s got his own . . . that’s got his own . . ."

Blood, Sweat and Tears, indeed.

4crapkiller said...

To RON:

I always thought there was something really strange about you. It is very obvious that there is something strange about Ann, who worships at your shrine.

I guess it comes down to taking the multimillionaire communistic leaning Amy Goodman seriously. No hard questions ever, never an opposing view. Agenda, you bet! Victimization of America.

Both Valerie and Joe Wilson have changed their stories continuously and substantially. This is well documented.

Poor victims!

As for Scooter Libby: this was the lawyer who represented Mark Rich and got him pardoned by Clinton when the negotiation for the money to the Clinton Library was accepted. Apparently he had far more enemies than friends in high places. I really wonder where the $250 grand to pay his fine came from?

In any case, this guy is finished unless he somehow shows up in the Hiliary administration. Hot potato!

I hope Plume and Wilson are finished also. Mark Rich just gets richer along with Amy Goodman.

Life is grand for everyone except for us poor victims. (Sigh).

Churadogs said...

Steve sez:""If Scooter Libby goes to jail, it will be because he made a telephone call to Tim Russert and because Tim Russert has a different recollection of the conversation."

Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents, etc. not talking to Tim Russert. If he had been like most "ordindary criminals," he would have been hustled into the Federal Pen while his lawyers filed appeals and if the appeals judge had found any errors or omissions & etc. he would have been sprung on the basis of that appeal. Of course, Scooter isn't some "ordinary" person, like you or me. Which was one of the points of the column. God bless the child . . .

Ron sez:"What Cheney, Rove, Libby and their fellow squatters on Federal property (i.e. Bush) did to Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson absolutely disgusts me."

Just read a news snippet that said the Plame case judge dismissed her case. Of course, the judge was appointed to the bench by Bush, not that there's any connection. No, perish the thought. The snippet said the judge found the charges of what was done distasteful but apparently not illegal, which is cool: Future administrations are now free to "out" CIA operatives so long as they claim they didn't know they were operating undercover?? Never mind if their "outing" then makes it easy for "The Bad Guys"to track down the network and, uh, deal with the linked folks. Wheeee!

Crap sez:"In any case, this guy is finished unless he somehow shows up in the Hiliary administration. Hot potato!"

Oh, pluuuueeeeze. Bill Kristol, one of the lead cheerleaders of the Shock 'n Awe neo-con disaster in Iraq is now a well paid columnist for Time. He should have been hissed off the stage with rotten tomates flying at his head. And look how badly Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy fared. And impeached but not convicted Bill Clinton. Scooter will do very, very well for himself, make no mistake.

Sorry, Crap, be we live in an era of No Accountability, the passive mantra of "mistakes WERE MADE" (we won't discuss how and by whom), and No need to dwell on the past (hustle it under the rug and hope nobody notices), it's time to move on to a glorious No Accountability Future free of consequences so we can passively watch as even more mistakes get made by someone, or something, like elves at midnight while nobody's looking --it's magic.

Ron said...

4CK:

"I always thought there was something really strange about you."

Thought?

Let me see if I have this straight... Joe Wilson is one of the few journalists that has the temerity to write an article that counters the squatters' fallacious reasons to go to war. The squatters, in an effort to silence any future quality reporting, turn into 13-year-old boys and tattletale the name of Wilson's wife, an intelligence agent, to the coddled, lazy press, thereby jeopardizing the safety of her family, her fellow intelligence agents, and this country as a whole. And I'M the "strange" one? OhhhhKaaaay...???

"Ann, who worships at your shrine."

That's a bit over the top, dontcha think? Look, Ann just happens to be one of the few people around here that's smart enough to grasp the concept of "bait and switchy," and the profound impact it's had on everything Tri-W over the past eight years (eight f-ing years!). That doesn't mean she "worships" at the SewerWatch shrine, that simply means she, like I, paid attention during critical thinking class.

Ann wrote:

"... we live in an era of No Accountability, the passive mantra of "mistakes WERE MADE" (we won't discuss how and by whom), and No need to dwell on the past (hustle it under the rug and hope nobody notices), it's time to move on to a glorious No Accountability Future..."

Welcome to the Tri-W mess.

And before anyone starts whining about how I spin everything into a sewer debate... oh no, no, no... as I've written many times in the past, the parallels between what led to the Iraq mess and what led to the Tri-W mess are almost identical: Lazy, coddled press + Untruthful administrators hell bent on agenda = Gigantic mess.

And that formula will work every single time, no matter what the subject.

Steve said...

Ron and Ann, read this...

"Libby was not charged with breaking the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Nobody was ever charged with breaking that law, designed to shield the names of covert agents.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor on the Libby case, determined that the law had not been broken in the first place.

The identity of the person who disclosed the name of Valerie Plame to Robert Novak—his name is Richard Armitage, incidentally—was known to those investigating the non-illegal leak before the full-dress inquiry began to grind its way through the system, incidentally imprisoning one reporter and consuming thousands of man hours of government time (and in time of war, at that)

Armitage identified himself to Colin Powell as Novak's source before the Fitzgerald inquiry had even been set on foot. The whole thing could—and should—have ended right there.

But William Howard Taft, the State Department's lawyer who had been told about Armitage (and who had passed on the name to the Justice Department), also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more.

Under the terms of the appalling and unconstitutional Intelligence Identities Protection Act the CIA can, in theory, "refer" any mention of itself to the Justice Department to see if the statute has been broken. The bar here is quite high. Perhaps for that reason, Justice sat on the referral for two months after Novak's original column. But then, rather late in the day, at the end of September 2003, then-CIA Director George Tenet himself sent a letter demanding to know whether the law had been broken.

The answer to that question, as Patrick Fitzgerald has since determined, is 'no'."

Churadogs said...

Steve, last time I looked, there's a law that says if you knowingly lie to an FBI agent while he's officially questioning you and he's on duty and questioning you on a case, etc.that's against the law. (You can always tell him to talk to your lawyer and ask that he please go away) And if Mr. FBI Guy comes back, again and again and says, "Uh, are you SURE you want to stick by that story????" you have a chance to say, "Oh, heh-heh, I guess I got muddled up," and this time tell the truth.

Or, if you lie to cover up or mislead his investigation (i.e. throw sand into the cop's eyes) you can be tried for obstruction of justice as well as lying to an investigator & etc..

Aren't there also laws on the books that if you lie under oath (during a grand jury investigation) that's perjury? I'm not talking a mere Oops, but knowingly lying?

And so you're tried for perjury and the jury is presented with sufficient evidence to reasonably conclude beyond a reasonable doubt and with a moral certainty that you knowingly lied under oath, then they find you guilty of perjury and a judge will peruse the sentencing guidelines and sentence you, after getting a probation report and hearing from all your friends what a great guy you are, so he rules and you either go to jail for a while, or pay a fine or both & etc. Unless you're Scooter Libby, and get your sentence commuted.

Libby wasn't convicted of "outing" a CIA officer. He was convicted of perjury. Two entirely different things. Or am I missing something here?

Plus what nobody seems to ever learn is this: It's often not the original crime that gets you in trouble, IT'S THE COVER UP afterwards.

I mean, if you look at the Plame/Wilson's civil suit. Appears that the judge tossed it out because the PRez and Veep can destroy lives with absolutely impunity -- may be "unsavory, -- but heck, so long as it's done as part of their job description, they're free from all consequences.

That being the case, if Libby had said, "Yeh, I outed that broad. Veepy Dick told me to sic those two for DARING to make public that Bush lied about the yellow cake in order to gin-up evidence to fit the policy (just like the British leaked intelligence report had it) in order to take us into the glorious Neo Con P-NAC War in Iraq. SO WHAT?

There might have been some political kerfuffle, Fox News would have spun that into something fine indeed, the Kool Aide drinking Bushies on the Hill would have announced this to be a glorious day for Truth, Justice & The American Way, and Libby and all the Cronies would have skipped off arm in arm into a glorious, sun-drenched future, no worse for wear.

Like I said: They never learn. Tell the truth. it will shock your friends and confound your enemies.

Now, here's Calvin Trillin's little poem:

On The Tributes To Scooter Libby That So Underwhelmed The Judge

The jury found that he had flat-out lied. /
Before the judge's sentence was applied, /
Supporters of poor Scooter were awhirl. /
So Kissinger and Wolfowitz and Perle /
Wrote letters, as did other grand highfliers /
Support of lying from some famous liars.

4crapkiller said...

AHHH Ann: Spend some time in divorce court and watch the proceedings. The lawyers lie, the plaintiff lies like a bandit, the defendant lies and hides funds. It is all about lies.

NOBODY, BUT A VERY FEW, ARE EVER PROSECUTED FOR PERJURY.

Hell, you and Ron tell half truths to spin your agenda. Never the other side of the question. The Trib omits information to fit an agenda, and the Nude Times, is always nude of fact.

OPINION RULES!

Churadogs said...

Crap sez:"OPINION RULES!"

Actually, you're only partly right. Opinion rules, yes, . . . for a while, usually for long enough to create real facts, real situations that cause real damage to real people, all when it's too late to undo those real facts set in motion by false opinions.

The thousands of dead (real) American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of dead (real)Iraqis, the gazillions of (real) dollars, are all dead (really dead) and (really)lost because of lies and "OPINION RULING" where real facts SHOULD have prevailed.

As for your statement that Nude Times is ALWAYS nude of facts, that "opinion" is wrong and equally nude of fact. and so it goes. I pointed out once that some of your "opinions" remind me of the old saying that when you point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at yourself. Hmmmmm. . . .

4crapkiller said...

To Ann:

I am sorry that I offend your secular progressive liberal religion. I appologize. I will do my best to always agree with you in the future and be "Politically Correct".

As soon as you show reason and respect for facts and reality, and learn to consider both sides of a story.