The Legacy of Libby: It is astoundingly difficult to fathom the extent to which this administration has gone to perpetrate clearly unconstitutional behavior in order to secure their elements of power. What is more surprising, though, than power trying to secure its place, is how removed the American public is to the tremendous illegalities and the systemic constitutional affronts which have taken place. From lying to go to war costing thousands of lives and billions of wasted dollars to suspending habeas corpus, perpetrating warrant-less wiretaps and now, commuting and probably ultimately pardoning a political crony, I. Scooter Libby, to save its own posterior, this administration has been guilty of some of the most heinous and corrupt behavior in the history of this country. Why are only the few incensed? How can truly treasonous illegal activity in the highest levels of our government be ignored by the masses and impeachment of both Cheney and Bush by the Congress be off the table?
I do keep reminding myself that all of these usurpations of power have as their bulwark the attacks of 9/11 and the fact that there are forces who, no doubt, want to do us great harm and would, in fact, consider using unthinkable methods to do so. The nuclear age sometimes, I suspect, makes behavior, otherwise considered impossible, possible. Still, with that in mind, I believe wise leadership could have carved out a much more credible and intellectually astute response to 9/11. It could have captured global hearts and minds by instituting significantly more prescient leadership. It could have saved lives. Instead it lost those hearts and minds it had in the palm of its hand and alienated the world in the process. It created an Al Qaeda in Iraq which never existed before, threatened the stability of the entire Middle East and dismantled those liberties at home which once were sewn into the very fabric of the American system by those sagacious men of the 18th century.
The legacy of Scooter Libby, I believe, is this: We are a different nation than we were a moment ago and the fact that a Scooter Libby can get away with his heinous crimes without a national uproar is reflective of that difference. At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" He said "A republic if you can keep it." I certainly hope we can.