Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Friday, December 09, 2005

CROSSROADS COMMENT: Scooter Libby and the "A" Team

The Scooter is heading to court to face a jury of his peers. Or not.

Playing humble in court, or anywhere for that matter, would be a very different kind of experience for a member of the inner circle of Team Bush. For the last six years these guys showed up to work with a big “A,” for arrogance, on the cuff links of their Brooks Brothers shirts. Humility is not their strong suit. This cabal of failed jocks and draft deferment experts got together over brandy and cigars and decided to pursue the delicate job of reshaping hearts and minds. They naturally chose as the object of their attentions that vast expanse of cultures, religions and languages we lump under the label “Middle East." This choice had absolutely nothing to do with oil. As their blunt instrument of change they chose war. Ooops!

So, how upsetting is it when one of their own must straggle into a court of law and defend himself against a list of charges that pierce to the he-man bone of Team Bush? And not even the ever imaginative Karl Rove has the nerve to Swift-boat special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald. Integrity trumps arrogance.

Right now The Scooter, Cheney’s right, left and under-handed man, indicted for nearly all the forms of lying available to a public official, is sitting somewhere in a very large mansion and feeling alone and far less important than he did last month. His phone may ring but you can bet that it won’t be Team Bush guys. He misses their usual jokes about the timidity of the press and the gullibility of the public. But The Scooter’s private line is now reserved for Team Legal. They’re calling regularly with advice on how to plead guilty and go for a suspended sentence–mansion home arrest and a stylish ankle bracelet, without the monogram “A.” Rather than risking 5 to 30 in the slammer, who would doubt the cringe and cave option is probably looking pretty good to The Scooter right about now? But one should never underestimate the power and pull of the big “A.”

I personally think he’ll eventually take Team Legal’s advice and plea bargain with every supple bone in his dark conscience. If there is anything that upsets the congenitally arrogant Team Bush more than having to actually answer hard questions truthfully, it’s facing informed and focused citizens. It’s highly doubtful that a jury of The Scooter’s peers would be as trusting and easily manipulated as one of those hand-picked photo op audiences Team Bush is so fond of assembling. Clearly the grand jury that indicted The Scooter wasn’t screened by Rove–however, given the driven nature and record of that guy, I’m not saying he didn’t look into doing so.

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