Our honesty in unlikely places award this month goes to three people, plus a runner up. The first-place winner is John Negroponte, “the butcher of Tegucigalpa, “ yes, the guy who saw no evil and heard no evil (but spoke plenty of it) to cover United States support of the terrorist Contras while they subverted the legally constituted government of Nicaragua. Mr. Negroponte, of course, is now America’s top spy, and he has been honest enough to say that he doesn’t think Iran is anywhere near having a nuclear weapon and doesn’t see what all the haste to whip up a war is about. For this honest assessment, he has been branded by some neocon pundits as “disloyal” to the administration. Remember, these are the guys who think they are superior to those of us in “the reality-based community.” Well, as the Queen of Hearts said, “A word means whatever I say it means, no more, no less.,” and our current head of state and his junta certainly are a Wonderland crowd.
Second prize for honesty in unlikely places goes to Iowa Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin, who called for drug czar John Walters to be fired for paying too much attention to marihuana and not enough to methamphetamines. Colorado Senator Ken Salazar is our runner-up. He wasn’t willing to go so far as to say Walters should be fired, but he did criticize the czar for going to Colorado to campaign against a marihuana legalization initiative there. Walters defended his actions by saying “There is a general feeling that people who use marijuana are harmless and kind of funny, There are people coming into the criminal justice system for marijuana and some are engaged in violent crimes, It doesn’t just make you giggle.”
If you want to take the violent crime out of the drug trade, Johnny boy, legalize ’em all and watch the prices drop down too low for criminals to mess with. Rum running stopped when prohibition ended, y’know?
Now, for the dishonesty in likely places award: George W. Bush, hands down, no question.. Here’s his winning stunt:
Back when Valerie Plame was first outed as a CIA secret operative (keeping tabs on Iran’s attempts to create nuclear weapons, it turns out), Mr. Bush made a great show of being serious about finding the leaker. A Grand Jury was convened. The FBI shook down newsrooms. New York Times reporter Judith Miller went to jail to protect her sources.
But now, lo and behold! Mr. Bush says he quietly declassified the information that the grand jury and the FBI were investigating as if it were a stolen secret. Now he tells us. I wonder how Judith Miller feels about that? I wonder how the grand jury feels about that? If you or I were to allege that a crime had occurred, and a grand jury investigation ensued, and then we said, “ Oh—ha ha! just fooling! I did it myself!” we would not even get a jury trial. We would be jailed for contempt of court so fast it would make our heads spin.
Now our commander-in-chief has done just that. He has demonstrated, here and elsewhere, that he was completely disingenuous when he took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this country. If ever there was a candidate for impeachment, for massive street demonstrations that won’t go away until he does, it’s the man in the White House now.
But where are the Democrats on this? Mostly out to lunch. Where is the press on this? Eating out of W’s hand, or worse. If the Democrats were an opposition party worthy of the name, they’d be boycotting Congress and setting up barricades in the streets. What a lily-livered lot of slime balls they are, putting up effete, token resistance here and there but rolling over on so many big questions—from putting Mussalito on the Supreme Court to authorizing the war and the Patriot Act, from passing the no-escape-for-the poor bankruptcy bill to removing first amendment protections from the internet, the Democrats have demonstrated a remarkable talent for dropping the ball, bending over, and dropping their trousers—and I wish they were doing it to moon the man in charge, but alas that’s not their message. We need a great infusion of rowdy new faces in the halls of government if we are going to get our ship of state off the rocks that Bush, Cheney, et cal have run us onto.
We could know what’s going on in Iran if the gang that couldn’t think straight hadn’t exposed Valerie Plame for petty, political reasons. If the gang that couldn’t think straight hadn’t blown America’s wad on the war in Iraq , a war with as much moral justification as Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, we would have enough money to achieve sustainable energy independence. We could have put our young people to work here in America creating the new infrastructure we will need to face the post-peak oil world. Instead, the gang has sent American youth overseas to be killed, maimed, and warped in the crucible of Iraq. We are destroying Iraq, and the long-range consequence of that will be our own destruction. I am incredibly sad and angry about this colossal waste of money and human energy. May we all live to see justice done. May there be enough honest judges left to put Libby, Rove, and their complicit bosses behind bars where they belong. May the liars and thieves in high places repent and spend their lives and fortunes making restitution for all the damage they have done. And, as they say, “May God have mercy on their souls.” I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes..