Sunday, February 18, 2007

Politics in the Courts

Victoria Toensing offers mock indictments with respect to the Libby case in the Washington Post:

THIS GRAND JURY CHARGES PATRICK J. FITZERALD with ignoring the fact that there was no basis for a criminal investigation from the day he was appointed, with handling some witnesses with kid gloves and banging on others with a mallet, with engaging in past contretemps with certain individuals that might have influenced his pursuit of their liberty, and with misleading the public in a news conference because . . . well, just because.
She also offers indictments of: the CIA, Joe Wilson, Ari Fleischer, Richard Armitage, the U.S. Justice Department, and the media.

If you want to know how things work in our system of politics, then this is probably something worth reading. It seems that cases like this are designed to present a story to the rationally ignorant public of abuse of power that will be punished by legal means. But instead, if we look at the entire picture painted by this story, we seem to be seeing a picture that suggests someone is trying to use our court system for simple, self-interested political purposes (and maybe just self-agrandizement). We should probably try to keep political trials for the court of public opinion. At least, that is one lesson I think we can draw from this case (and I think there have been many other cases like this as well).

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