The facts are against Scooter Libby, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and their supporters. As are the polls. Another point I’m obliged to make
Here on the Times Oped page you’ll see David Brooks column claiming that the information Joe Wilson brought before the public four years ago turned out to all be a crock, a bunch of lies. And we’ll let Brooks’ scribble be a stand-in for what you will hear universally today from the right — namely, that just as Scooter Libby was charged with perjury and not the underlying crime of burning an American spy, the deeper underlying offense, the lie about uranium from Africa, didn’t even exist — that at the end of the day it was revealed that Wilson’s claims, which started the whole train down the tracks, were discredited as lies.
[ ]…And with that knowledge, I have to say that the claim that Wilson’s charges have been discredited, disproved or even meaningfully challenged is simply false. What he said on day one is all true. It’s really as simple as that.
Rather then fill up today’s post with snips of right-wing noise that are just reworded versions of the same lies that the right-wing pundits and bloggers have told repeatedly we’ll just let Brooks be representative of that mentality. All Republican criminal acts eventually reach the shrill climax of incoherent babbling and stories weaved out of pure imagination. The polls would indicate that there are some Republicans in America still in touch with reality. What we have left is that 28 percent that still think Bush can do no wrong and the tooth faerie really does leave cold cash under their pillows. That every Republican scandal has this same mentality attached seems familiar. Glenn Greenwald wrote about the Cult of Bush back in January of 2006. The Right’s cultist behavior has been described before, but generally only applied to religion based behavior. A perverse form of religion shapes many of the Bush supporters attitudes, but there are aspects of it that are just old fashioned allegiance to authority, a cult of followers. Bush followers constantly express the desire to control. Bush’s pardon of Libby displayed contempt for justice and equality under the law, but the Right is taking an ecstatic level of joy in Bush’s unabashed control and gaming of the legal system -a manifestation of cult behavior. Bush also taught the next generation a lesson: That the Right is separate from the rest of society, beyond the boundaries of societies rules and norms. Bush sent a huge message to his followers, echoed by pundits like Brooks that they must act only in accordance with the rules they make for themselves. Even if the rules of the Cult of the Right are counter to the common good of society at large. Tony Snow seemed incoherent in his news conference yesterday and while there is some truth in that there is another aspect of his attitude that should be considered. He was genuinely nonplussed that anyone would question the practices or judgment of his leader. The cult mentality just doesn’t allow for questioning their authority or dogma – political, personal or legal. Snow was doing his job as spin miester, but was also genuinely perplexed and maybe a little angry as many Bush supporters are this week that their charismatic leader (in their eyes Bush is charismatic) dare be questioned about the legal or moral basis for allowing a convicted felon that lied to cover up criminal wrong doing to go free. Obstruction of Justice, Continued
We know, for instance, that Cheney was the first person to tell Libby about Plame’s identity. We know that Cheney told Libby to leak Plame’s identity to the New York Times in an attempt to discredit her husband, who had accused the administration of manipulating prewar intelligence. We know that Cheney wrote talking points that may have encouraged Libby and others to mention Plame to reporters. We know that Cheney once talked to Bush about Libby’s assignment, and got permission from the president for Libby to leak hitherto classified information to the Times.
We don’t know why Libby decided to lie to federal investigators about his role in the leak. But it’s reasonable to conclude — or at least strongly suspect — that he was doing it to protect Cheney, and maybe even Bush.
Why, after all, was special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald so determined to get the truth from Libby and, barring that, to punish him for obstructing justice? Prosecutorial ethics preclude Fitzgerald, a Bush appointee, from answering such questions. But the most likely scenario is that he suspected that it was Cheney who committed the underlying crime — that Cheney instructed Libby to out a CIA agent in his no-holds-barred crusade against a critic.
To the Cult of the Right Libby is a hero. They’re blowing smoke, but that is not all there is to the Right’s crusade to save Libby or anyone else that sacrifices themselves for the sake of the movement. Libby lied to protect the cult leadership. To the Right that is the same as a WWII hero throwing himself on a grenade to save his comrades. In Bush’s statement on commuting Libby’s sentence he said, “The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged.” Public service? Libby has never rendered any service to the public, his gained his position in the Whitehouse because he proved over the years that he was willing to put the cult before the law, before ethics and before country. A fundamental characteristic of cult members is their willingness to be secretive, to be protective of the inner workings of the cult and a willingness to bend their will to that of their masters and Libby excelled at that while those U.S. Attorney’s that made the Whitehouse hit list did not. From the outside those attorneys looked like they would pass a normal political litmus test, all loyal Republicans, but their ethical standards were just that, ethics that were somewhat normal, they were not cultish enough to put aside their ethics to pursue goals defined as priorities by the Whitehouse; priorities that that not surprisingly purely political in nature. Few human beings are completely consistent in their personal or political philosophies, but the Cult of Conservatism in the Bush era consistency was among the first casualties, Bush Libby Commute Argument Contradicts His Own Justice Department’s Arguments. One set of rules for me another set for thy is the Conservative Cult motto. And HT to The Moderate Voice for this link, Bush and Cheney walk, too
The pardon is the one monarchical power that the framers of the Constitution assigned the presidency. But they placed one restriction, that it could not be exercised for impeachment. In other words, the president could not use his power to pardon himself. Bush is entirely within his narrow right to use the pardon power in the Libby case. But it violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the law governing that power because it is a consummate gesture of self-exoneration, at least if the vice president is an “entity within the executive branch.” Bush rewards Libby’s cover-up, thwarting the investigation into Cheney’s and perhaps his culpability. Bush’s commutation is the successful culmination of the obstruction of justice.
Since 1776, on every July Fourth, the Declaration of Independence has been posted in public places, published in newspapers and read aloud. Its bill of particulars contains these two passages defining royal tyranny and justifying revolution:
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. … For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.
Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq
The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government’s capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns.
The story about private contractors is a little iroinc is light of Bush’s newest grab for power, House Balks at Bush Order for New Powers
President Bush this month is giving an obscure White House office new powers over regulations affecting health, worker safety and the environment. Calling it a power grab, Democrats running Congress are intent on stopping him.
[ ]…Bush’s executive order:
_Requires agencies to identify “market failures,” where the private sector fell short in dealing with a problem, as a factor in proposing a rule. The White House regulatory affairs office is given authority to assess those conclusions.
_States that no rulemaking can go forward without the approval of an agency’s Regulatory Policy Office, to be headed by a presidential appointee.
In the cult you can’t see your failures or you ignore them and proceed with business as usual. Bush didn’t have a post Iraq invasion plan and has failed to adjust to changing conditions there. We all know that Bush’s handling of Katrina gave us a preview of how he would handle another terror attack. So in the Bush Cult where blinders are issued at the door all the more reason to continue to plan to conduct government business, the people’s business in such a way that it fails. To put a Bush appointee in charge of the RPO is just another way to make yet another part of our government ineffective.