Friday, July 08, 2005

On The Vagaries of Leaking

The present racketeers running the syndicate called the Bush Administration have a code of Omerta: you talk, you walk and when you walk, it is preferably with figurative bullets in your back. Every gang knows that the only way for the game to keep on being lucrative is to make it "smart" for every gang member to stay in good graces with the gang leader. If a gang member is thinking they are not getting a proper share of the loot and is dissatisfied, then the temptation comes to do some talking in certain ears on the outside to twist the game back towards their favor. So the gang has to have some way to enforce the notion that talking outside of the gang will be dealt with severely. Former Secretary of the Treasury O'Neill alluded to this when he published his book. He said that since he already has his nest egg and does not need a job, he is not in fear of the White House. Well (knowing full well I sound like the Clinton loonies...) maybe not now, but I wouldn't be surprised in a few years if a certain plane went down, or if a certain boat went out on a lake but came back empty.

This is at the bottom of the Plame affair. Joseph Wilson talked outside of the gang and his wife got the bullet - the crooks in the White House found a nice little bit of leverage and used it, a bit like "Accidents happen, see, it'd be a shame if anything happened to your wife." I don't think the aim of the leak was purely punitive on Mr. Wilson, but that it was also a warning to everybody in the White House privy to the gang's plans, lies and crimes.

But the Plame Affair has taken a whole new twist with the jailing of Judith Miller of the New York Times for not disclosing her source that told her of Plame's CIA status. The beauty of it is that an entirely innocent person - one who didn't report on it like the humanly challenged Novak - was going to jail for something that somebody in the gang did! And it is a member of the New York Times who printed the Wilson piece in the first place! You really can't get any better than that. There must have been a hell of a hoot in a certain spherically skewed room (or as I call it - the Roval Office) when she was arrested.

But I like looking at all the angles and implications, so let's get going shall we? I call this rumination:

Eight Ways of Looking at All That Is Black in the White House

1. Looking at Judith Miller: Miller was one of the gungest of the gung-ho "Iraq has WMD" criers. This is what probably made her a bit more sympathetic to the syndicate in the White House, even with her affiliation to the mostly reality-based New York Times. She is defending a principle - that her livelihood depends on her sources being able to talk to her in confidence. She is also defending a felon and a felony. Here is where it gets sticky. This was not a whistleblower fearing retribution from a government. This was an agent of the government using the press to punish somebody. This was Gotti telling a rival mob boss that there was a snitcher in the rival's gang.

2. Looking at Special Prosecutor Fitzerald: Follow the money. Who hired him? Who will fire him when if and when it is deemed appropriate? Who will close up shop citing lack of evidence if not fired? Who will not touch anyone in the gang? He is playing his role brilliantly using the liberal power of the press like a jiu-jiutsu master, but remember, this tale of sound and fury is being told at the behest of an idiot in the White House and will signify nothing.

3. Looking at Watergate: The Watergate associations are easy to make. A corrupt administration committing felonies not because they are forced to, but because that is the way they operate. Nixon did not need to break into the Watergate hotel and the Bush administration certainly could have gone on the same way without outing Plame. The opportunity and means to commit a crime were there and there was not any compelling reason to avoid committing the crime. The only moral reason for not doing anything for these crooks is if they would lose money or power by doing it.

4. Looking at Deep Throat: The leaker in Deep Throat was revealing the corruption of a government in the only way he could. He saw at firsthand that the FBI was complicit with the White House and the head of the FBI was little interested in acting on the information he had. Getting the information to the American people was pretty darned near patriotic whatever his motives may have been, be they revenge or disgust. The leaker in the Bush gang operated out of pure nastiness, vindictiveness and selfishness. It was not out of cherished American ideals such as Rule of Law but for the Rule of Men. The tyranny of King George over which the American Revolution was fought was precisely because it was government by Man and not Laws. But now we see a similar King George punishing somebody extra-legally as if by regal dictate. Is this why our Founding Fathers went to war? So a future President can be prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner? Deep Throat in Watergate revealed corruption, the leaker in the Plame affair embodies corruption.

5. Looking at the Press: Much has also been said about the freedom of the press in a true democracy. Oh, I agree with all that. But what about the responsibilities of the press? Where is our era's Ben Bradlee and Washington Post? Where are our Woodward and Bernstein? The crimes are out there. Sometimes it seems that not two weeks goes by where an administration crime can be investigated. No, I think the only thing the press is fighting here is the honor to keep anonymous sources to themselves. And the sources are not whistleblowers but whistlesilencers. Don't the whistlesilencers have the whole status quo edifice of power on their side? Do they need or require the efforts of a free press? Do we want them to have that power? The answer of course is complicated - the price of freedom is that sometimes those freedoms are used by people and things we don't like - the Nazi march in Skokie being a notable case.

But lets get back to the responsibilities of the press. Our custom and history has given the press the status of watchguards watching the powers that run our country. One could argue that they are failing in current times. The press are now "watchguards" at the pleasure of the government which means they are not watchguards at all. Thomas Paine did not bother with wondering what King George would think when he printed "Common Sense". The media owners and the reporters depend on the crumbs given to them by the syndicate in the government, anxious to not let those crumbs end up at a brick wall if they misstep and call black that is black and white that is white. The press's responsibility is to be on the side of free information that promotes a democracy by the people. Protecting a rat in the White House that wants to squelch free and accurate information which enhances democracy does not warrant any protection that I'd like the press to have. What do we end up with then, a Pravda (or Proveda) to read every morning?

But on the other side one could argue that the press is not to blame. How do I know of the crimes of the Bush mafia? I do not have any special source in a Washington parking garage telling me stories out of school. I am just a citizen reading multiple sources of information by journalists doing their job. The problem is that the American people do not want a Tea Party. It is hard to drink tea when your head is in the sand. The reason why Bush is getting away with the treasury and our future is because the American people want him to. There is no conceivable way an American twenty years from now (if there are Americans recognized as such then) can say "I didn't know it was going on" like the Good Germans did in Nazi Germany. They know it is going on and they want it to go on. The press is doing their jobs, but the audience is deaf and dumb.

6. Looking at Rove: The more one looks at Rove the more one looks at the heart of Darkness. A Mistah Kurtz at the end of a long fetid river ending at the effluent sewage of the White House. A river signposted with the skulls of whisper victims like Anne Richards and John McCain and John Kerry and Valerie Plame (and these are only the ones which I have names). There is no notion of good or evil in Roveland, just the inexorable will to dominate and destroy.

7. Looking at Novak: He was an accessory to the felony but also a journalist. One of Proveda's journalists that is. He has long been a recipient of Rove's leaks and whispers. Anyone who has spent anytime listening to him realizes that there a very loose screw in that man's head. The hatred for any compassion is remarkable. One wonders if he dangles spare kidneys and livers in front of hopeful organ transplant recipients just to see their reaction. But he is not the one going to jail. Like a coward he is sending someone else in his place. One of my favorite definitions of a Republican is this: He who evades the taxes to pay for the war he supports where his neighbor's son goes but not his own. Novak and the leaker do the crime, but Plame's career is ruined and Judith Miller does the time. Does any rightwing fantasy get any better than that? Not only do you get away with it - your enemies get punished! Awesome, dude!

So the question remains. How does Novak sleep at night? Is the man so without any scruples that he can rationalize this as something patriotic he's done? Or is he so up the river into the heart of darkness that he sees only actions devoid of any moral meanings? One can only stare into the face of evil and wonder.

8. Looking at the Burning Bush: In the old testament, the burning bush appeared to Moses and said "I am that I am". Bush loves to say to the nation that he is a humble Christian. One could go through every one of Jesus' parables and teachings and wonder how they ever could apply to the Bush administration (and Bush's life for that matter) except in the converse. He has used the "I am what I say I am" to deflect the anti-christlike policies of stealing from the poor, disenfranchising the weak and elevating Pharisees to unheard-of powers in our land.

The appointing of a special prosecutor was surprising for this gang. It was among the first times that they recognized that what they've done may appear wrong - (they don't for a minute think it was wrong - just that it might appear that way.) Certainly one of the lessons learned from Watergate and Iran/Contra is that any evidence that the President knows anything must be destroyed. One of the functions of the special prosecutor may be to make it easier to find that evidence - like gangsters calling in the cops on their enemy gangsters.

Bush will escape from this in the end, however it comes out. With Republicans owning Congress and the Supreme Court, and a nation of sheep he perpetually frightens, he can do wrong - in fact that is always his first instinct (Henry Kissinger heading the 9-11 panel? Bolton for UN?). But he is immune from the consequences of doing wrong - which ends up being the same as doing no wrong.