Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Okay everyone. Try not to panic

Rehabilitation should be society’s hope for every nonviolent offender—even if, as in Dr. Poindexter’s case, said offender escaped a deserved jail sentence thanks to a technicality. (He had lied to Congress and shredded official documents to conceal the Reagan administration’s conspiracy to trade arms for hostages and then use the dirty money for covert operations.)

We now know that under the ethical code of the Bush loyalists, lying can be permissible, even admirable, but only if the lies protect a politician from accountability for activities like dealing with a terrorist regime. Lying about the oral endearments of a lovestruck intern would obviously be dishonorable.

As Ari Fleischer explained in his blandly sinister style last February, "Admiral Poindexter is somebody who this administration thinks is an outstanding American, an outstanding citizen, who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving the military."

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