SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Joe Galloway, the dean of the Pentagon press corps, on Friday offered up a stark assessment of the Bush Administration in the McClatchy newspapers. “Why is it that the Bush administration, in its dying throes, looks remarkably more like an organized crime ring than one of the arms of the American government? A poorly organized and run crime ring, truly, but a crime ring nonetheless.”
Does anyone doubt that Karl Rove personally drew up the list of those prosecutors who were to be executed because they did not enthusiastically go after people who were likely to vote for the Democrats in any election?
The good attorney general should be fired if he didn’t know where that list came from and he should also be fired if he did know and denied it under oath before Congress. It was his department, the one that is supposedly dedicated to upholding the laws of our nation fairly and with an even hand, and he damned well should have known and damned well should have told the simple truth.
Where is it written in either the federal statutes or the Constitution of the United States that our laws against criminal acts apply to everyone but nice, meek, small-statured Republican political operatives who have a wonderful wife and children? Our prisons are full of nice, meek white-collar criminals who cheated a bit on their taxes or back-dated their bountiful option awards or raped and looted the coffers of corporations and beggared the poor fools who trusted them and bought stock in their criminal enterprises.
Galloway’s charges are right on target. Look at how the Bush Administration has reacted to the steadily unfolding scandal that is strangling the nation’s reputation for justice – from the lies and deceptions about the cashiering of U.S. attorneys, the threats and intimidation directed at the fired U.S. attorneys to get them to keep quiet, the stonewalling and destruction of evidence that ties the White House to prosecutorial manipulations, to the pardoning of Libby, to the gross overreaching that occurred in a courtroom in Montgomery – even as evidence of Rovian schemes is exploding into newspaper headlines around the country. This conduct is not the way that justice officers behave. It is exactly the way an organized crime kingpin would behave.
And let’s keep in focus the fact that the man Bush openly referred to with a mob nickname and who is openly dubbed the consigliere in newspapers around the world, Alberto Gonzales, continues to sit as the nation’s senior law-enforcement officer and to use the powers of his office to obstruct a proper criminal investigation. The only proper reaction to this reprehensible misconduct is the one Galloway shows: outrage.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”