Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Catalogue of crimes

A lot of people are getting worked up about the possibility of major indictments in the ongoing "Treasongate" scandal. And there are indeed a lot of highly entertaining rumors floating about. I too happily celebrate whenever any of Bush's retainers is charged with any crime. But it is important to keep things in proper perspective. No matter how serious you consider the outing of a covert CIA agent for partisan advantage, the Bush regime's true crimes lie elsewhere. I have constructed a partial catalogue:
  • Carrying out mass murder in their insane imperial war in Iraq
  • Routinizing torture
  • Increasing the danger of future terrorist attacks
  • Moving the US toward theocracy
  • Diverting untold money and resources from the desparately poor to the idle rich
  • Breeding corruption at unprecedented levels both at home and in Iraq
  • Selling out the environment and future generations for a quick buck
  • Undermining science, expertise and the reality based approach to the world
  • Packing the judiciary with religious fanatics and corporate stooges
  • Making international cooperation on pressing issues of global concern vastly more difficult
  • Fanning the flames of homophobia
  • Giving away irreplacable public lands and nature preserves for private profit and destruction
This is what they should be on trial for, not the Plame affair.

The problem here is similar to attempts to assess the crimes of the Nixon administration. Everyone remembers Watergate. But this was a truly minor crime in the pantheon of atrocities Nixon fathered. The carpet bombing of North Vietnam and the secret invasion of Cambodia, with casualties in the millions, are just two examples. Watergate is utterly trivial by comparison. So too with Reagan. Setting aside those who buy into the absurd hagiography that followed his death, most journalists point to the Iran Contra scandal as the low point of the Reagan administration. Again this treachery is a minor crime compared to conducting an illegal war in Nicaragua or supporting death squads and mass murder in El Salvador and genocide in Guatemala.


At 10/18/2005 10:15 PM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I found your blog surfing.

The laws against outing CIA agents, were invented against the left. I believe it was to protect CIA agents, who supported the Greek Junta, and other dirty tricks.

Good writing. All the best.

At 10/19/2005 8:28 AM, Blogger velid said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree. I really just don't care about the outing of a CIA agent. I pretty much agree with Gary Leup on this:

"If high officials are indicted in the Plame Affair, the issue won't just be "Who exposed the identity of an undercover CIA agent in violation of the law?" That's for me always been a secondary consideration anyway. "How dare anyone expose the identity of a CIA agent!" just doesn't evoke moral indignation in me, maybe because I've read so much about the history of the CIA, which includes much of what normal objective people would have to call crime. I personally disagree with the Intelligence Identity Protection Act of 1982. (Can I do that in this free society?) I think people like Philip Agee, who resides in Cuba because he could be convicted under this law in the U.S., are good people."

Of course, the Bushies should care given their past record of outrage at similar actions. So it is funny and clearly hypocritical when they or their minions play down the importance of the leak.


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