I remember when I was a kid and the big news among my friends when we learned about Al Capone, was that he wasn’t put in jail for all the crimes he committed, because they couldn’t get him on the hard evidence. He and his cronies were too smart for that. So they sent him up the river on charges of tax evasion, which was easily proven through his accountant’s audit trail.
Then I grew up and wrote my master’s thesis on the case of Alger Hiss. Nixon’s first big fish was Hiss, a former high-ranking member of the Truman administration. Hiss was accused of passing classified secret information to Whittaker Chambers, an admitted Soviet spy during the 1930's, who then was editor in chief of Time Magazine and accused Hiss in the late 1940's.
Hiss was sent to jail for 4 years, and the multiple-choice test on the advanced high-school American History exam asks what he was convicted of—treason, espionage, or perjury? You guessed it!—perjury, for confusion over dates having to do with when he actually knew Chambers. Four years in prison, disbarred, and out of the loop forever for his dream job, Secretary of State. Perjury--not exactly a technicality according to Mr. Hiss.
Fifty years later there are still Republicans who think perjury is a very serious charge. When President Clinton LIED to a grand jury about not having sex with intern Monica Lewinsky, he was impeached and tried before the Senate and acquitted. Never mind about getting his country into a war under false pretenses—Bill Clinton said a blow job was not sex, and Henry Hyde, Tom Delay, and the rest of the high-minded republican congress who indicted him knew Clinton was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as stipulated in the just-short-of-holy-writ Constitution of the United States. Have all the sex you want, just don’t LIE about it—that’s perjury if you fib to a grand jury, and that’s serious!
Not always serious, actually. Sometimes, depending on who’s lying and who’s listening, it’s not that big a deal. I know this now, because Texas Senator Kay Baily Hutchison ‘splained it on today’s Meet the Press, hosted, by the way, by the leading MSM shill next to soon-to-be-former New York Times staffer Judith Miller--Tim Russert:
"An indictment of any kind is not a guilty verdict, and I do think we have in this country the right to go to court and have due process and be innocent until proven guilty. And secondly, I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."—Huffington Post 9/23/05
One can only ask Senator Hutcison, have you no sense of decency ma’am, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
As far as wasting taxpayer dollars—soon there will be listed officially 2,000 dead soldiers in the Iraq debacle started by the neocons, led by Cheney and endorsed by Bush. In fact, there are thousands more American dead who were not killed on the battlefield in Iraq, but who may have died in hospitals in Frankfort and elsewhere, or in transit and due to sickness etc—in all it has been estimated as many as 10,000 Americans have died related to the Iraq war.
Then there are the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians--men, women, children--who have been killed in this unnecessary enterprise, conducted by wealthy American men and women with greedy motives, misguided, isolated from reality, and leading a willing nation of sheep.
Hutchison has the nerve to call perjury a legal technicality. Russert gives her the airwaves to do this, and doesn’t challenge her. Children are allowed to watch Meet the Press because it is not censorable as violent or risqué—yet it is as politically pornographic as if it showed the most depraved acts of humanity.
That’s why one of the comments on Arriana’s post seems so apt, if not completely off the mark and a total non-sequitor. It seems all the more appropriate in the context of the discussion of perjury as a technicality:
Sorry to say this Arianna on your blog, but another point about that
smarmy, reptilian KayBailey Hutchinson - her weird dress had two 4" white bands of cloth across each of her breasts, and on each band, there was some odd decorative device that I swear, looked like a ring, right where her nipple would be, so in another context that contorted, lying, wrinkled face was sitting there in the camera with nipple rings, trying to feed the Nation her lies and distortions. Again, I'm sorry, and yes my hatred of Bush and all his crony apologists is glaring thru, but there is something perversely Freudian peculiar about Kay Baily and that dress with those cloth bands and those strange rings. Maybe I'm just a sick pup, but also, watching these repuglican evangelical freaks brings out the worst in me!
Check it out you all, on the evening reruns.