I know I've been ranting lately, but I have another:
I'm tired of conservatives comparing the upcoming indictments to those handed down during Clinton's second term. Yes, there are likely to be for perjury and obstruction of justice: but the similarity stops there.
Clinton was investigated by a special prosecutor for his involvement in a land speculation deal that took place approximately 10 years before he became president... and everyone accepted the fact that the Clintons LOST money in the deal.
The original Republican special prosecutor, Fiske, was preparing to dismiss the case without any indictments - a conclusion that was in line with those reached in the Pillsbury Report (another investigation into the matter) - when he was replaced with independent council Ken Starr.
Making a long story short, that should still be about the end of it. Ken Starr when on a multi-year witch hunt using the power of the independent council to not only look into the Clinton's Whitewater investment, but Paula Jones sexual harassment suit - and any other 'sleezy' report regarding the presidents behavior he could find. What we wound up with was a perjury and obstruction charge based on the fact that the president lied about his relationship with Monica.
Ok, the president lied under oath about his "indiscretion" with an intern... This was the result of a multi-year (+70 million dollar) investigation that started out looking into an investment he made a decade earlier. Why was Ken Starr even interviewing people about the president's sexual conduct? Sounds like a witch hunt to me.
Fast-forward to today.
The United States is at war. Actually we're fighting two wars: one in Afghanistan in an attempt to stabilize a country that was run by a bunch of religious zealots who aided and harbored those who attacked us. The other, a war against a bunch of nationalists who oppose our presence and machinations in their country (they are supported by a relatively small number of terrorists). This second war has only the remotest of links to terrorism: a claim that democracy in Iraq will somehow quell the ground-swell of violent Islamic fundamentalism.
I doubt the outcome, but I guess we will see the results in the next 5-10 years. But I am drifting off topic.
So here we are: The current investigation centers on decisions and the subsequent actions high-level officials in the government made regarding the lead-up to war: Specifically, how the government used intimidation, lies and propaganda to convince the country that war with Iraq was necessary.
Ok, so here we are. Reader's Digest version:
- Bush administration: We have an investigation into specific allegations surrounding the public release, by high-level administration officials, of a covert operative's name. The indictments are likely to focus on "who said what and when", but perjury and obstruction of justice charges surrounding the issue seem directly applicable to the original topic of the investigation. If Rove and Libby perjured themselves, they should pay the price.
- Clinton administration: We had an investigation into Clinton's supposed use of 'undue pressure' in securing loans for a failing land deal. Three separate investigations resulted in no charges related to the matter. However, the special prosecutor did catch the president in a lie about who he had consensual sex with...
- Reagan administration (just to complete the picture): We had a president who authorized his operatives (North, Poindexter and others) to directly violate federal law by continuing aid to the Contra's in Nicaragua (after the Congress passed a law ending support for this group that had been killing civilians by the thousands). Additionally, the money used to support the Contras was obtained by illegally selling weapons systems to the Iranians - weapons systems we as tax payers paid for. Also remember, the Iranians were holding some of our citizens hostage in Lebanon (via their proxies) and considered us the 'Great Satan'.
But for my money the people who claim to be the most religious, most "moral" seem to turn out to be the ones we have to worry about most.