Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Commuting Scooter and other Bushit

david-baldinger-fourth-branch.jpgThe likudnik neocons in the Bush administration have been getting in trouble left, right and centre. The commuting of the sentence of indicted felon Irv Lewis Libby (Leibowitz), who also happened to be the lawyer for the Clinton-pardoned Marc Rich*, is just the latest, coming after US Vice-President Dick Cheney effectively declared himself above the law, and his office outside the Executive branch.

As many will be aware, Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff Libby was indicted on four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury in an attempt to derail their investigation into the leaking of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame’s identity was leaked to punish her diplomat husband Joe Wilson for his ardent and principled public criticism of the Bush junta’s criminal Iraq policy. Former Ambassador Wilson had written an op-ed in the Times criticizing the Bush administration for twisting intelligence to justify war in Iraq.

Juan Cole features this 12 second video below in a post aptly entitled ‘Libby was the Small Fish: Bush really Commuted the Sentences of Rove and Cheney‘. (See also Sidney Blumenthal, Bush and Cheney walk, too.) Cole writes:

As for Libby’s pardon, he was convicted of lying to a grand jury and obstructing the special counsel’s investigation. Iran-Contra criminal Elliott Abrams, now a deputy National Security Agency adviser to Bush, essentially committed the same crime as Libby, though he only pled guilty to withholding information from Congress.

Abrams was pardoned by George H. W. Bush, and then his son hired him. Congress, which should have been permanently outraged by having been misled by Abrams, gave him a pass. A far rightwing Likudnik, he has been handling Palestine issues for Bush! … Basically, in Bushworld, high government officials are above the law, including all international law and most domestic.

We also recall the recent storm of trouble another administration neocon hawk, Paul Wolfowitz, got himself into at the World Bank. Wolfowitz is another Israel-firster and also a former Cold War ‘Team B‘ member who produced fantastically inflated (which is to say completely wrong and removed from reality) strategic threat appraisals of the then Soviet Union. Wolfowitz was slapped on the wrist for abusing his power as President of the World Bank, coming after his long and unabashed promulgation of preemptive war both as a doctrine and as applied to Iraq, for which thousands of Americans are dead or wounded, and millions of Iraqis are dead, displaced or devastated. The Jerusalem Post named Paul Wolfowitz its inaugural “Man of the Year” in 2003.

Here is Keith Olbermann’s impassioned j’accuse on the eve of Independence Day, worth listening for the full ten minutes (transcript follows). While he does not mention Iraqi deaths or 911 as false flag, let’s give him due credit for what he does say.

**As a significant aside, like many of the administration’s neocon hawks, both Rich and Libby are Israel-firsters. Rich received a pardon from then President Clinton in part following clemency pleas from Israeli government officials including former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak; in May 2007, US-exile Rich was awarded an honorary doctorate from Bar Ilan University for his “contribution to Israel” and to the university’s research programs, according to his Wikipedia entry. Of Libby, Jack Straw, the former British Foreign Secretary (2001-2006) and Secretary of State for Justice has said: “It’s a toss-up whether [he] is working for the Israelis or the Americans on any given day.”


Olbermann Transcript excerpt

And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor, when just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge, when just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice, this President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.

“Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.”

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party’s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

And in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate—instantaneously—became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law of insisting—in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood – that he was the law.

Not the Constitution. Not the Congress. Not the Courts. Just him.

Just – Mr. Bush – as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the “referee” of Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s analogy. These are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush—and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal—the average citizen understands that, Sir.

It’s the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one—and it stinks. And they know it.

Nixon’s mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency. And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to “base,” but to country, echoes loudly into history. Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush. And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney. You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday. Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters. Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.

But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

2 comments on “Commuting Scooter and other Bushit

  1. 99
    6 July, 2007

    Just lovely, ain’t it? What a thing of beauty! Inspiring! Where do I sign up? Such leadership! Oh! Dazzling! I’m frickin’ dazzled to a yimmering pile of pulchritude on my bathroom floor over this stuff. I’m thinking maybe it would be easier for ME to move to the South Pole.

  2. peoplesgeography
    11 July, 2007

    Pulchritude, very apt.

    Libby, Liebowitz, Scooter whatever name he chooses (investigative journalist Wayne Madsen and academic James Petras, whom I highly regard, have used Leibowitz, but it’s not the issue here a racist hate-blog fixated on this and obsessed with yours truly claims, as if focussing on a name rather than the crime matters) is a disgrace.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"