Monday, April 20, 2009

The Old Piercing Wit

I'm completely with Charles Pierce on this one, so figured might as well quote his fine prose verbatim:

I have now lived through three major episodes in my life where the political elite have told me quite plainly that neither I nor my fellow citizens are sufficiently mature to suffer the public prosecution of major crimes committed within my government. The first was when Gerry Ford told me I wasn't strong enough to handle the sight of Richard Nixon in the dock. (Ed. note--I would have thrown a parade.) Dick Cheney looked at this episode and determined that the only thing Nixon did wrong was get caught. The second time was when the entire government went into spasm over the crimes of the Iran-Contra gang and I was told that I wasn't strong enough to see Ronald Reagan impeached or his men packed off to Danbury. Dick Cheney looked at this and determined that the only thing Reagan and his men did wrong was get caught and, by then, Cheney had decided that even that wasn't really so very wrong and everybody should shut up. Now, Barack Obama, who won election by telling the country and its people that they were great because of all they'd done for him, has told me that I am not strong enough to handle the prosecution of pale and vicious bureaucrats, many of them acting at the behest of Dick Cheney, who decided that the only thing he was doing wrong was nothing at all, who have broken the law, disgraced their oaths, and manifestly belong in a one-room suite at the Hague. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm sick and goddamn tired of being told that, as a citizen, I am too fragile to bear the horrible burden of watching public criminals pay for their crimes and that, as a political entity, my fellow citizens and I are delicate flowers encased in candy-glass who must be kept away from the sight of men in fine suits weeping as they are ripped from the arms of their families and sent off to penal institutions manifestly more kind than those in which they arranged to get their rocks off vicariously while driving other men mad.

Hey, Mr. President. Put these barbarians on trial and watch me. I'll be the guy out in front of the courtroom with a lawn chair, some sandwiches, and a cooler of fine beer. I'll be the guy who hires the brass band to serenade these criminal bastards on their way off to the big house. I'll be the one who shows up at every one of their probation hearings with a copy of the Constitution, the way crime victims show up at the parole board when their attacker comes up for release. I'll declare a national holiday -- Victory Over Torture Day -- and lead the parade right up whatever gated street it is that Cheney lives on these days. Trust me, Mr. President. I can take it.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Last week off the coast of Somali, three Somali extortionists were assassinated by Navy marksmen. Obama signed the order -- so now he's a made man. How lucky we are to not be in the office we nonetheless elect women and men to carry out. So with Cheney. On the Newhour, in 2002, he told us, I recall it quite clearly, that this is what he was going to do. I could have gone out and gotten arrested -- I did in 1991; but I live a different style of life now. I watched, and cursed. So be it.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

We'll Rickey can't speak for everyone (certainly not the delightfully crazy dude who posted that last comment) but Charles Pierce is spot on.

1:51 PM  
Blogger E-6 said...

Spot on, indeed.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

I kept flip-flopping on Mr Furious' blog yesterday. But here's what it comes down to: even if the U.S. DOJ told me or my superiors that a form of torture is ok, it still isn't. Lots of troops throughout history have been told by their superiors that something pretty shady was OK, and they did it, and were ultimately busted for it, because it really isn't ok.

6:31 AM  

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