Thursday, July 05, 2007

Loyalty, What a Concept!

It appears that it doesn’t matter whether a person is convicted by a jury of their peers or that the judge gives pretty specific direction about penalty. Whoa, did I say a person. I didn’t mean any person. I meant only a special person who understands the concept of loyalty no matter the cost. Whoa, did I say cost. I didn’t mean that there would be any cost when one understands that no matter the law and no matter the penalty, there will be no cost because a person in power won’t let there be any cost. Of course you know I’m talking about Libby—you probably knew that because the Clinton’s weren’t big on loyalty. You remember how they let any number of people ‘hang out to dry’, so to speak. This doesn’t make them bad people. It just means that as a Clinton ‘person’ you knew they were not going to throw themselves in front of any train for you.

Here’s my dilemma about this situation. I think that a conviction by a jury should be taken somewhat seriously. I clearly differ from William Kristol about this. He was on TV the other day talking about how, because Libby’s perjury was not serious perjury, he should not have been convicted and therefore, he should not have been sentenced to any jail time. And additionally, Bill Clinton committed perjury and he didn’t go to jail so why should Libby have to go... (this is what every conservative arguing about the case says). Of course he also didn’t go to trial with a jury of his peers. (I am not discounting, just ignoring the impeachment by the Congress). Maybe he should have served, but he didn’t. And I am not going to argue about the apples and oranges of the crimes. There is no validity in any argument that depends on the comparison of two crimes and justifies an abuse of law by saying “na na ne na na.” I rest my case. Or maybe I don’t. I could easily retell the tale of the young black man who has served three years in jail for having consensual sex with his girlfriend. As long as he was in commuting mode, why didn’t the President commute that sentence. Oh yes, the young man wasn’t protecting the Vice President and the President from ongoing abuse of law.

Back to my dilemma. In the old days political people were expected to be loyal and in return for the loyalty, they were taken care of. What does that mean? It’s doesn’t have to be anything tangible. But it means that if the ‘principal’ for whom you are working screws up and you cover for them, they say ‘thank you’ instead of “off with her head”. Like the women who were on Chappaquiddick with the Kennedys. To this day no one—but them—actually knows what really happened. And they never talked. Was there some kind of a pay off? They gained fame for the fact that they happened to be there—perhaps it wasn’t the kind of notoriety they wanted, but they made a decision to be silent. They understood that it was more important than profiting by having had access to a situation because of who they worked for. George Stephanopoulis’ behavior -- remember, he was the information strategist 1993 onwards -- was the antithesis of this. He profited by telling tales of a world he would never have known had it not been for the generosity of his employers—the Clintons. Ah, another dilemma. Should one be loyal to people who are not going to return the favor? There was a time when expectations were, yes. Probably because you only had the person you saw in the mirror to answer to and there was a time when people cared about who looked back at them. And I guess the Clintons didn’t care about divulging inside information because they are nice to George, while they treated people like Craig Livingstone (you remember FBI Filegate where Craig actually realized that there had been a violation, went to the White House lawyer, explained what had been done inadvertently, and suggested there was a need for reparation,) like a criminal. As you can imagine this resulted in horrible consequences for Craig and his whole family—but that’s another blog.

Anyway, you see my dilemma about loyalty – it can be good or bad but that is totally situation dependent. In other words, is it good to be loyal even when you know it’s bad? Or is it bad to be loyal even when you know what you are doing will result in good? OK, now I have a headache as well as a dilemma. We’re just sayin...Iris


Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a regime that saw politics as more important than maintaining the cover of a highly trained CIA agent?

Libby is a distraction from a much higher crime, and American goes merrily skipping along.

Talk about an impeachable offense. What's a little perjury?

Oh, and have I forgotten about marching America into War on multiple lies? What IS a little perjury?

I now know the meaning of 'Compassionate Conservative.'

Anonymous said...

I recall a time when it was a more serious deal when a CIA operative was compromised. With Libby getting by with the commutation, you have to wonder about who is controlling the puppet @ 1600 Penn!