Thursday, March 8, 2007

Let’s Hear it for Libby, Folks!

Boston Globe: “Pressure on Bush for a Libby Pardon”
Pat Buchanan: Libby is a “Martyr of the War Party”

As one who thinks that I. Lewis Libby got what he deserved, I was surprised that last evening’s television news discussions were virtual pep rallies for Libby’s pardon. Guests had been selected to promote the idea that Libby was a wonderful guy who should be pardoned. Almost all of the Libby-related discussions centered on his prospects for a pardon. Yet no one suggested that Libby was not guilty of the serious crimes for which he was convicted; no one questioned that he consciously, deliberately committed those crimes over a long period.

By the time Bush pardons Libby, Bush he will be hailed as “bending to the public will” rather than cursed for letting one of his minions escape punishment for his crimes.

What are the arguments I heard favoring a pardon of this particular felon?

First, Libby is being painted as a “nice guy” who would be unhappy in prison, with a wife who would be unhappy because he was in prison and would also (teardrops) suffer if her husband isn’t pardoned because his obituary would mention that he was a convicted felon. There has long been an answer to that attitude: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Most con men and political criminals come across as “nice guys” or they wouldn’t have succeeded in their crimes. Shouldn’t the "nice" facade be irrelevant?

Second phony argument: Instead of being a bad person for committing his crimes, Libby was actually an exceptionally good person because he committed his crimes in order to protect his bosses. We should all admire him because he stood strong and bravely lied in order to protect Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, and others. We should reward him instead of punishing him because he was loyal to people who committed worse crimes. I’ve never heard this exonerative argument applied to an Al Capone associate or a Mafia member who committed perjury or obstructed justice in order to protect a higher-up in the mob. The idea that someone should be considered innocent because he committed crimes in order to protect a higher-up who committed worse crimes is moral and legal perversion.

Third false argument: Libby was small fry. Why aren’t the really important criminals on trial? The jury was forced to make a decision about the wrong man. Sure Libby was guilty, the argument goes, but his guilt was not on the scale of, say, Cheney’s guilt. Why should the little guy suffer if the big crooks aren’t going to be charged and brought to trial? Well, first, Lewis Libby was not a little guy in the Bush gang. He played an important role compared to most people in the administration, and he was significantly instrumental in more costly deceptions than lying to protect himself and his bosses. (On another day soon I am going to write about Libby’s active role in the neocon plan which led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq as well as Libby becoming Cheney’s right hand man.) Second, in any rational system of justice, the fact that one person committed more serious crimes than an accomplice or co-conspirator does not exonerate the accomplice. The driver of the getaway car who waits outside the bank for the armed robbers is not spared prison time because he wasn’t pointing a gun at a cashier. He is punished appropriately to the degree of his own crime, just as Libby will be if the law is allowed to function. In fact the tendency in criminal law is sometimes to hold all the participants in a crime responsible for the most serious consequences of the crime even if those consequences are caused by only one individual among the participants.

The idea that a criminal like Libby should not be punished because his bosses committed worse crimes, and because he lied in order to protect the higher-ups, undermines the entire idea of a rational legal system.

But I smell something even worse here. Look at how it works. The prosecutor (who is part of the System, regardless of his proclaimed independence) can persuade a grand jury to indict almost anyone he wants, but he chooses only “Nice Little Lewis Libby” and leaves out Rove, Cheney, and other perpetrators of the “underlying crime”. Libby is easily convicted amid clear evidence of the crimes of the higher-ups. But the prosecutor says he’s not going after anybody except Libby regardless of the evidence, and the System cranks up the “Pardon Libby!” campaign . . . which means that not only will Libby not be punished, but that NO ONE will be punished for revealing the CIA status of Valerie Wilson because her husband told the truth about the lack of evidence to support an attack on Iraq. It also means that Bush won’t be a villain for pardoning Libby, but instead a loyal leader responding to the will of the people.

I realize that the prosecutor could have more than one reason for not indicting certain individuals, but regardless of his personal reasons, I smell a cover-up. This is just too neat. Very serious crimes are committed in relation to promoting a lie-based war, the evidence becomes as clear as the morning sun, and yet in the end no one at all is punished. Well, no one except the Wilsons, who are already being tacitly criticized in some quarters for getting a nice Jewish boy into trouble.

Yes, and that leads to my final observation on why Libby is being treated like a hero instead of a criminal. When I saw how he was being boosted by the media I checked this morning and found out that he is Jewish. I noticed years ago that whenever an individual somewhere in the world was accused of a crime and there was a great international media outcry in support of the accused and against the accuser, the accused was usually Jewish. It became a kind of game with me to notice the phenomenon of “worldwide outrage” and see if the individual the protest supported was a Jew. I recall specifically the cases of the Russian “oligarchs” Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Yukos) and Vladimir Gusinsky (media mogul), when they were challenged by the Russian justice system and President Vladimir Putin. I don’t exaggerate: ALL the press coverage I saw which was available in the United States at the time made Khodorkovsky and Gusinsky look like heroic victims (just like Lewis Libby) and Putin look like a monster. That led to my discovering that the accused are Jewish.

In order to show that neither Khodorkovsky nor Gusinsky were admirable figures, and that Putin was not just politically motivated in approving their prosecution in the Russian court system, I am going to publish information about the “oligarchs” on this blog as soon as this post has had time to be noticed. I will also plan to give other examples of accused Jews being supported by communications media and politicians despite their guilt. The support may be quite overt, as in Libby’s case, or it may consist more of failing to publicize the guilty party and diverting attention to non-Jewish culprits. In any case, we see it at work before our eyes this very day. I think that if Libby were a Baptist or Roman Catholic he would not be getting the widespread support he's getting.


Zoey & Me said...

Bush said he would fire anyone who was involved in the outing of a CIA agent.

Nabila Harb said...

I salute your courage in refusing to keep quiet about the system that protects and favours Jewish interests and gives Jews preferential treatment in the West.

N. said...

Libby was small fry. Why aren’t the really important criminals on trial? The jury was forced to make a decision about the wrong man.

Some people's logis works in strange ways, indeed!

I too have been quite disturbed by how the media has been pampering Libby!

Thanks for the fun read, Fleming.