Thursday, June 14, 2007

I've met Libby. Do I hate him?

It might not surprise you to learn that I have highs and lows. Summer, and June in particular, is the season for frequent highs. When things are working well, this is euphoria, thank you God. Sometimes it is high anxiety but in any case is high energy. I try to focus this energy, of whatever form, into my work and my life.

On the occasion of Scooter Libby being remanded to prison, I find myself with mixed emotions. A human being is going to prison. A human being that I have seen in person at the trial, he passed by me several times, and looked at me in the courtroom several times, probably wondering which newspaper I write for. That would be firedoglake for the record. I believe we are the first bloggers to have official journalist credentials in a federal trial. It was my great privilege to be the emergency backup blogger in the courtroom and in the media room three times.

So do I hate this man? As a person, no. I tried to perceive whether there was something evil emanating from him. Answer: no. I don't think at heart he is an evil person. Yet, just as with John Hannah, I must keep in mind that their actions helped send our nation into a war of aggression based on lies, which they helped spread, a war which has killed 3,500 young Americans and blown off arms and legs of 20,000 more and created tens of thousands of post traumatic stress disorder patients who, along with their families, will likely suffer for decades. Hard to see this when looking at him.

For the record, there are people I perceive as being fundamentally evil [not entirely, thank you Quaker ancestors] and there are a small number of people that I hate. What does it mean to hate? That you wish hell upon them. I think I hate the man who carjacked and killed musician Dale Fredericks, Marine Band trombone player, because my own brother played trombone in another service band and it could just as easily have been him. Hate is bad for the soul. I try to move beyond it.

So this human Scooter Libby, that I do not hate, has been told he will be sent to prison, unless his desperate appeals work. Legally he has scant grounds for an appeal. Politically, it may be that people at a high enough level of power will never be sent to prison. But for now, it does seem that there will be justice. My father used to say, as he went off to work at his law office, "Do justice, love mercy. Well, one out of two." It is always harsh to send a human being to confinement. But so many people have worked to bring this case forward, to ensure that justice be done in spite of the power and privilege of the defendant. We rejoice today that our legal system while fragile is still working.

I also had the pleasure of meeting two people today, one at work and one at home. We tend to go in circles thinking that what we have is what will always be, instead of considering that something new and wonderful might come our way. My younger daughter is fond of advocating that we need to look up more often. She means literally up, as in trees and birds and sky and stars, but I think it works metaphorically as well. Let us look up for what is good, what is new, what is next.



egregious said...

When you look up, what do you see?

Bustednuckles said...

All day today it was the transmission in a Kenworth. ;)
I hope tomorrow is better.

surfer said...

Hi egregious. Thanks for these great thoughts. It's so true that hatred is bad for the soul!

When I look up today I see a C-130 Hercules search plane and a HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter flying up and down the coast looking for a tourist that got swept out to sea yesterday. The helicopter came overhead my house around midnight and again at 3 am last night, flying at about 150 feet, scanning the reefs for the body.

But I also see blue skies and beautiful clouds and stacks of sea birds.