Glenzilla On Torturers And Patrons Of Prostitutes
Here are just a few of the most cogent paragraphs; I urge you to read the entire article.
As a result of his minor, consensual, victimless, private crime (not because of his actual sin of hypocrisy as a former persecutor of prostitution rings), Spitzer was forced to resign as Governor, had intimate details of his sex life voyeuristically dissected by hordes of people driven by titillation masquerading as moral disgust, and was as humiliated and disgraced as a political figure can be.
Yet unlike Eliot Spitzer, Dick Cheney -- just like Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo; think tank scholar, author and former Georgetown School of Foreign Service Professor Doug Feith; Georgetown's current Distinguished University Professor George Tenet, and so many others -- isn't going to be forced to endure any humiliation or remorse rituals whatsoever. As Cheney is feted by network news anchors a year or two from now upon release of the book he plans to write, there will be no real objections that this monstrous war criminal and perverter of our constitutional framework is treated like some sort of retired royal dignitary. Cheney is and will remain a symbol of profound seriousness, entitled to respect and endowed with permanent wisdom.
What's most striking is not that we have zero intention of prosecuting the serious crimes committed by our leading establishment figures. It's that we don't even recognize them as crimes -- or even serious transgressions -- at all. To the contrary, we still demand that those who are culpable be treated as dignified, respectable, serious and inherently good leaders. Real outrage is never generated by the crimes and outrages they have undertaken, but only when they are not given their proper respectful due as leading American elites. Hence:
An Iraqi citizen throws his shoes at an American President who -- all based on false pretenses -- invaded, occupied and obliterated his country; set up prisons where his fellow citizens were encaged without trials and subjected to brutal treatment; slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more. And the outrage is predominantly directed at the disrespect, irreverence and the "ingratitude" displayed by the shoe-thrower, not the murderous and inhumane acts of the dignified American leader.
Tom Friedman goes on national television and sociopathically justifies the attack on another country by the need to make its citizens "Suck. On. This," and while Friedman is universally treated as one of America's most cherished and important public intellectuals, it's the college student who throws a harmless pie in Friedman's face to protest his deranged and highly damaging war-cheerleading that prompts angry condemnation ("absolutely horrifying," protested vocal Iraq war supporter Jonathan Chait). Dick Cheney -- on his way to a lavishly rich and respectful retirement full of five-and-six-figure-speech-fees -- giddily admits to war crimes and other brutal and illegal acts, and TNR is angry that Eliot Spitzer is allowed to opine in public before being humiliated and humbled some more.
There's more, plenty more. As I said, read the whole thing.