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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Not too long ago, I mentioned the parallels between the fictional Mafia family, The Sopranos, and the mob currently running the country. I mention this now in light of the sentencing of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby yesterday.

As you may or may not know, Scooter got a sentence of 2 1/2 years in federal prison, and while he's hardly likely to go to Levenworth, it still won't be a barrel of laughs. And I feel bad for him for a couple of reasons. First, he has a completely idiotic nickname that he outgrew about 40 years ago. Second, he is paying the price of prizing loyalty above honesty, and he's shown no signs of having learned anything from his experiences so far.

Years ago, I read a book called My Life in the Mafia by a guy named Vincent "Fat Vinnie" Teresa. Fat Vinnie was an associate of the New England mob back in the Sixties, and he ended up turning state's evidence after he found out his former friends weren't taking care of his family while he was in prison. I bring this up because it seems like Scooter Libby is destined for a similar experience.

There are those who want Mr. Bush to pardon Libby, but the White House seems to have no intention of doing so. And they're not going to for this reason: You can't pardon the innocent. To accept a pardon is a tacit admission of guilt, and the Bush Administration doesn't want any more attention given to their implicit guilt than absolutely necessary. And so, Scooter will sit in jail and Dick Cheney will go shoot some more friends on canned hunts.

Perhaps the lonely hours in his jail cell will give Scooter the opportunity to think over wisdom of maintaining the code of silence. Perhaps he will see the error of his ways and learn to put loyalty to his country and to justice and to truth above loyalty to a political party and its failed agenda. Perhaps he will come to see the outing of Valerie Plame as the political equivalent of a mob hit and will tell what he knows to those who can legally do something about it. Maybe not.

Two-and-a-half years is a long time to be separated from one's wife and family. It's a harsh penalty, but a fair one, and one that he has little chance of avoiding. Let us hope that that he will understand the suffering he has caused his family because of his unswerving loyalty to the Bush Administration's code of Omertà.