A Hole in the Ice: Lessons from a Flailing Dog’s Persistence

The conviction of Scooter Libby is just another crack in the ice. Though bold in its freshness, there is a danger that its impact will eventually be lost in the spiderweb of damage that has broken the thinly veiled surface of lies of this corrupt administration. The maze we have to untangle is mind boggling, and they like it that way.

Today we are challenged to break the ice apart before the cracks re-freeze and bury the clear waters of truth beneath a scarred legacy that will leave us forever weakened. We must keep throwing stones at the flat wall of ice until they skip across truth’s transparent surface.

Like the dog that was rescued from the frozen lake in Colorado recently, Tuesday’s determined flailing-for-truth punched a big hole that we must persistently hit to keep open. The dog’s name was Pearl. The dogs in our fight yesterday were the Federal Jury that convicted Scooter and the US Senate Judiciary Committee that is investigating the unusual firings of five US attorneys following the elections last year.

For the Libby jury, the biggest break in the ice may have come after the conviction, when juror Denis Collins told the press, “It was said a number of times, ‘What are we doing with this guy here? Where’s Rove? Where are the other guys?’ “

This pointed question turned the public’s finger right back around to the White House. Its semi-rhetorical tone managed to turn the administration’s “fall guy” into just a symptom of criminal corruption that the jury publicly acknowledged it believes goes much higher.

For the five former US attorneys in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the ice was broken because, in part, of a small hole created by an unnamed Justice Department official who emailed one of the attorneys, warning them that the DOJ would “pull their gloves off and offer public criticisms” of the fired attorneys if they spoke publicly about their suspicious firings. One of the attorneys called it “a shot across the bow.”

While the Attorney General’s folks deny that any were fired for anything except cause, all five received glowing evaluations in the weeks preceding their firings. One was fired to make room for a Karl Rove employee. Carol Lam, the US attorney in San Diego, was fired after her rigorous pursuit of the Randy “Duke” Cunningham corruption case, even though she was told when she was appointed, in the wake of Enron, to pursue white collar criminals.

Another attorney, David Iglesias of New Mexico, was fired after refusing to release sealed indictments against Democrats before last year’s congressional election. He testified that when he told Sen. Pete Domenici that he wouldn’t file the indictments before the election, the senator told him, “Sorry to hear that,” and hung up.

So now it’s time to get those ice picks, stones and bricks and whack away at a shattered ice pack of lies until we see truth again. Then, like Pearl the dog, we must get in the ice and flail, because in this, the people are the police, and though we may undo the damage of some megalomaniacal Republicans, we must be vigilant, lest the pendulum of corruption swing too easily the other way, and we end up switching red ice for blue.


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