The Color of Whitewash
That was 837 days ago.
On December 30, 2003, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced at a news conference that he had recused himself from the Department of Justice investigation of who in the Bush Administration disclosed the identity of Ms. Plame. Mr. Ashcroft appointed then-Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey as acting Attorney General with respect to the investigation. In the same news conference, Mr. Comey announced that Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, would serve as special prosecutor for the investigation.
That was 668 days ago.
Today, October 28, 2005, Mr. Fitzgerald announced that the grand jury considering possible wrongdoing in the matter of the outing of Valerie had issued a five-count indictment against Vice President Richard Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The indictment comprises a single count of obstruction of justice and two counts each of perjury and of making false statements.
In other words, this indictment has nothing to do with possible crimes committed in the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity; instead, this indictment is entirely about directly and by omissions lying to a federal prosecutor and to a grand jury. This indictment clearly signals that lying to the American people, lying to the Congress, lying to the United Nations, lying to the entire world is irrelevant: just don't lie to Mr. Fitzgerald.
If it is now clear to the grand jury that Mr. Libby lied, then it is ipso facto the case that the truth is known; otherwise, no case would exist against Mr. Libby. That the truth is known, and yet no indictments arising from that truth have been issued, speaks volumes. At an unknown costlikely in the millions of dollarsa federal prosecutor has threatened and jailed people, has obliterated the last vestiges of journalistic source confidentiality, has gone to at least one foreign country to obtain an unpublished report on the Niger forgery, and has otherwise burned 668 days of investigative power by the largest justice department on the planet to come up with a stunning prize: a five-count indictment against a cockroach who allegedly lied to him, an allegation at least to some extent supported by another Administration shill posing as a reporter who, in the end, likely saved herself from a criminal charge by rolling over on the cockroach.
And now, as if to throw out faint hope to those who had expected morefar, far morethe prosecutor intones to the public, "It's not over"; but in the very next breath he says, "[T]he substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded."
In other words, it is over, save for the trial, the appeals, and the punditry.
In other words, the future will look something like this. The United States will continue to slog in a Middle East quagmire of its own making. Thousands of additional soldiers will be butchered by roadside bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms fire. Thousands of additional Iraqis will die at the hands of insurgents and coalition troops, and hundreds of thousands more will suffer deprivations because we created a war cut from the whole cloth of cynical lies.
We shall continue to capture foreign men in dark alleys, strip them naked, jam sedative-laced suppositories into them, and then fly them to countries where they will be tortured by whatever manner of modern or ancient abomination the country of rendition favors.
We shall continue to cuddle beside the other monstrosity of empire on the planet, China, ruled as it is by elderly, corrupt, Communist murderers whose latter half of the 20th Century is a horror story legacy of genocide on tens of millions of its own people.
We shall continue within our own borders to inform women that the state has compelling interest in their fetuses and, therefore, in their private bodies.
We shall continue to incarcerate millions to show how tough we are on crimes that are overwhelmingly generated by the poverty we sneer at.
We shall continue to rip open wildnernesses for trees for our oversized homes and for oil for our petroleum-swilling engines of modernity and convenience.
We shall continue to mortgage the nation, recklessly and wildly beyond any semblance of sanity, to other nations of the world just so we can have cheap products because our labor force is and has been losing purchasing power for a generation.
We shall continue to gut the treasury of the republic, handing it out to corporations that have eternal life but no soul to wrest good from the howl of insatiable greed.
We shall continue to suffer a spineless opposition without even the guts to stand up and walk out of the charade that has become the federal legislature.
We shall continue to crank out from our elementary and high schools tens of millions of kids so ignorant that they are vulnerable to any mythology that poses as fact and any policy whose historical parallels in disaster can be hidden.
We shall continue to put up little cameras on every corner of America, just in case someone's committing an illegal act, just in case someone needs to be reminded that being left alone is simply not an option when safety is so very much more important.
We shall continue to pit ourselves one against the other with our pet peeves, our religious pretensions, our insistence that our own sensitivities should be everyone's sensitivities, and our conviction that ours are the noble demands upon others for compliance.
We shall continue an Administration whose leader failed to protect us from a small band of ragged thugs, an Administration whose leader then preened himself on the very rubble his miserable incompetence had allowed to happen.
Take note of the edifying commercial over on the little, tiny screen: a cockroach is getting squashed. But don't forget: on the big, huge screen front and center is the feature presentation.
The 21st Century will now continue.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.