So Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been convicted of telling nebulous "lies" to government investigators and, absent a successful appeal, will be doing some jail time for it.
I'll be the first to admit I don't know the "facts" of the case, but I'm not alone in that. Based on their post-trial comments, the jurors didn't know what they were there to do either.
And those who are jumping on the bandwagon and crowing that this is an indictment of Dick Cheney and the Bush administration are equally guilty of a lack of understanding and should be ashamed of themselves.
You do not put someone in jail because you dislike his boss.
Not, conversely, to you excuse criminal behavior because you like someone. That happens all too often as well. Consider a few people who are walking around free today who would have faced serious time in the slammer if put to the "Libby test:"
Bill Clinton: perjurer;
Hillary Clinton: multiple perjurer;
Sandy Berger: thief, perjurer;
Harry Reid: perjury, illegal real-estate transactions;
Ted Kennedy: manslaughter, DUI;
Rep. William Jefferson: bribe-taker.
At last report, all these people were doing just fine, having never been called to account for their malfeasance.
All -- what a surprise! -- are Democrats, and as such are members of the "ethical" party.
This is not to say no Republicans should be joining their Democrat colleagues in the cooler. At minimum, Jorge Bush, Alberto Gonzales, Michael Chertoff and Johnny Sutton should peeking through prison bars right now.
And these people represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
What bothers me most about this is not that Libby is, as of this moment, a convicted felon. Heck, it may well be that there was more to this case than the smoke-and-mirrors "evidence" the prosecution appears to have brought out. There are times when justice triumphs in strange ways, after all.
No, I'm angry because the double standard is so obvious.
While this was going on, Congress is howling about the despicable conditions in which our wounded soldiers receive "care." By all accounts, the military-hospital system has been in bad shape since the Vietnam War. It has been that way when we've had Republican presidents and congresses, and when Democrats have been in charge. To suddenly "discover" the facts and stand in front of microphones venting is hypocrisy at its worst.
None of these pathetic excuses for "leaders" have given a happy damn about that so long as there was no political advantage for them. They voted money for ridiculous schemes and self-aggrandizing projects, sent billions overseas to "aid" unfriendly nations, and didn't allocate money to turn the military hospital system into something that actually works. While they rage at George Bush -- who absolutely bears his share of guilt -- they should look in a mirror and see who else is to blame.
The most frustrating part of the situation is this: regardless of your political affiliation, there is no one in Washington who can be said to have clean hands. Without exception, they are political hacks, pandering to the gullible and grabbing whatever goodies -- legally gained or otherwise -- they can for themselves.
Until American citizens shed their partisan blinders and realize that corruption, lies and outright illegal behavior have become the rule and not the exception in Washington, it will always be so.
2 days ago