,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

 

The Price for Arrogance

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I. "Scooter" Libby Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Lying


If it were not for the appointment of Patrick J. Fitzgerald as special counsel to investigate the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity, Mr. Libby would have continued to serve his boss, the vice president, and hatch plots/strategies to support the war in Iraq which they foisted on our nation.

Mr. Libby could still escape time in prison if he is pardoned by the president. One gets the feeling that the president is sympathetic. After all he,too, played a role in hyping Iraq's non-existent WMD to justify the war and it was former ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, who incurred the wrath of the warmongers by his op-ed article in The New York Times. Perhaps the only thing deterring President Bush from granting a pardon is his abysmal rating in the polls. Pardoning Libby isn't going to make him look good, especially after what U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said: "He acknowledged Libby had been a public servant for years, foregoing income he could have obtained in private practice. But, the judge noted, "we expect a lot" of senior government officials. Libby's high position, Walton remarked, came with high obligations. Walton derided the attacks launched by Libby partisans and commentators against the CIA leak investigation, the trial, and the verdict. "The evidence overwhelmingly indicates Mr. Libby's culpability," he declared. He blasted Libby for discussing Valerie Wilson with reporters without considering that she might have been an undercover officer. "Government officials must realize," he said, "if they're going to step over the line...there are consequences." Source: Yahoo News

The president,however, might succumb to pressure from Vice President Cheney and other conservatives. As the saying goes, on this issue he is between the proverbial a rock and a hard place. He is probably praying for Libby to succeed in staying out of prison until the 2008 election as the appeals process moves through the courts.

The late Senator William J. Fullbright was a giant. The fact that he supported racial segregation is a black mark against him. He was an outspoken critic of the war against Vietnam, and his 1966 book Arrogance of Power, is a classic.

Reading about Libby's jail sentence reminded me of passages from the book.





The attitude above all others which I feel sure is no longer valid is the arrogance of power, the tendency of great nations to equate power with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission. The dilemmas involved are preeminently American dilemmas, not because America has weaknesses that others do not have but because America is powerful as no nation has ever been before and the discrepancy between its power and the power of others appears to be increasing....

We are now engaged in a war to "defend freedom" in South Vietnam. Unlike the Republic of Korea, South Vietnam has an army which [is] without notable success and a weak, dictatorial government which does not command the loyalty of the South Vietn amese people. The official war aims of the United States Government, as I understand them, are to defeat what is regarded as North Vietnamese aggression, to demonstrate the futility of what the communists call "wars of national liberation," and to create conditions under which the South Vietnamese people will be able freely to determine their own future. I have not the slightest doubt of the sincerity of the President and the Vice President and the Secretaries of State and Defense in propounding these aims. What I do doubt - and doubt very much - is the ability of the United States to achieve these aims by the means being used. I do not question the power of our weapons and the efficiency of our logistics; I cannot say these things delight me as they seem to delight some of our officials, but they are certainly impressive. What I do question is the ability of the United States, or France or any other Western nation, to go into a small, alien, undeveloped Asian nation and create stability where there is chaos, the will to fight where there is defeatism, democracy racy where there is no tradition of it and honest government where corruption is almost a way of life. Our handicap is well expressed in the pungent Chinese proverb: "In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."

The Bushies, of course, remain oblivious. They live in a sort of dreamland of their making. But lately things have not been going well for them.....perhaps occasional nightmares haunt their sleep.
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