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.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”