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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Latest poll reveals ethics concerns about the current Administration.

According to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, 55% of Americans believe the recent indictment of "Scooter" Libby indicates wider problems in the current administration, while 41% think it's an isolated incident, and 4% either had no opinion or did not answer. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points. I can really understand why the 4% don't have an opinion yet, though if it's just because they're too lazy, then fuck 'em. I can see not wanting to form an opinion until all of the data is in. I can respect that as an intellectually-honest choice. However, this was the most powerful chief of staff for a vice-president in the nation's history, and he served under the most powerful vice-president in the nation's history. If the allegations are true, I can't see how this could be seen as anything other than a symptom of a wider problem within this administration.

Mr. Libby may be innocent of the crimes of which he has been accused. In the United States, as a matter of constitutional law and over two centuries of precedents, all accused are considered innocent until proven guilty. If he is found innocent, I believe he should receive a public apology. However, if he is guilty, I believe he should face the maximum punishment allowed by law. The leak of the identity of a CIA operative is a very serious thing and may have very serious national security implications for years to come. How likely is a foreign agent to speak to a CIA operative with the knowledge that some petty bastard may blow the cover of the person to whom they report? I'm not sure, but I would wager that the probability is diminished now. Also, how likely is a citizen of the United States to choose to become a CIA operative in light of this scandal? Again, I'm not sure, but I would wager that the probability is diminished, perhaps substantially.

There are plenty of other ways to do political damage to an Ambassador or other government official you dislike. That type of thing has been going on for as long as governments have existed, and certainly occurred under past administrations. This, however, went far beyond the pale. It is my deepest regret that perjury has not been adequately prosecuted under past administrations.

1 comment:

an american said...

Damn, Fred, couldn't agree with your reasoning more.