In From the Cold

Friday, December 22, 2006
In From the Cold: "obviously, such rules don't apply to former national security advisors. Mr. Berger received minimal punishment for offenses that would put mere mortals in grave legal jeopardy. Long-time readers of this blog may also recall that the federal judge who sentenced Berger actually imposed a 'harsher' punishment, since the recommended sentence from the Bush Justice Department was even milder. As we observed at the time, the department's 'go easy' approach smacked of insider politics, an example of high-ranking officials taking care of another member of the club, even if he worked for a Democratic Administration.

Sadly, those same practices seem to be in effect today, more than a year later. Was it any accident that the report was released less than a week before Christmas, when much of official Washington (including the press corps) is out of town. And why did it take so long for the IG to conclude his examination? The events were observed, reported and summarized years ago, and the criminal case against Mr. Berger was concluded last year. Given its glacial pace, we should be thankful the archives IG doesn't handle 'pressing' matters.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's observed famously that the 'rich are different from you and me.' No where is that more evident that inside the Beltway, where the rich and powerful sometimes go to great lengths to assist one another, with little concern for the gravity of offenses committed, and the example it provides to 'the rest of us.'"

8 comments:

loner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
loner said...

Hey, Seneca.

Acute accent over small e.

Merry Christmas, all.

I'm reading the first six Harry Potter books again. Planning something for sometime near May 25th assuming I'm still writing here at that date.

To a better 2007.

loner said...

F. Scott Fitzgerald's observed famously that the 'rich are different from you and me.' No where is that more evident that inside the Beltway,...

...and we know what the writer means because, well, this is the way we communicate now and I smile because the people who write such stupidities so poorly are some of the same people who go on and on about truth and integrity and standards and character as if they had a clue.

I bring this up because as it happens I finished reading, for the fourth or fifth time, A Small Town In Germany night before last. This is from a later novel by the same The Spy Who Came in from the Cold author, or at least the 1982 mini-series (the book is somewhere around here) someone based upon it:

In my time, Peter Guillam, I've seen Whitehall skirts go up and come down again. I've listened to all the excellent argument for doing nothing, and reaped the consequent frightful harvest. I've watched people hop up and down and call it progress. I've seen good men go to the wall and the idiots get promoted with a dazzling regularity. All I'm left with is me and thirty-odd years of cold war without the option.

—John Le Carré & John Hopkins, Smiley's People

The Fitzgerald quote is actually Hemingway rearranging things to suit himself.

Yes, they have more money.

Fucking amateurs.

Seneca the Younger said...

Acute accent over small e.

What?

Seneca the Younger said...

Okay, Loner, I give up. I can't find a single place where the material I quoted mentions le Carré and I've not the faintest foggy idea of what you're trying to say.

loner said...

Seneca—

Someday, I suppose, you'll surprise me—not that it matters. Your one undoubted contribution to my understanding of things real and abstract is the method by which special characters are added in HTML. Laziness on my part some years ago led to annoyance on your part and resulted in my sometimes making the attempt to punctuate properly where striking more than one key is required. "Acute accent over small e" refers to the last letter in the author's name. The author provided the title of the blog to which you linked. The section I reproduced of the section you reproduced is, in my view, deficient in both style and content. I might have, were I willing to spend more time and effort, attempted to engage on the earlier topic that refers to Malthus. I got as far as a title: With Remarks on the Lucidity of Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Paley, Bentham, Darwin, Mill...and Malthus. Then I went with the, if you like, confusing comment on the vacuousness of so much that I read these days when I'm not reading novels written by people who, at the very least, have competent editors. It seemed more appropriate.

Joyful Festivus.

Seneca the Younger said...

So if I'm getting this right, you expected that I would, from the clue that I once taught you how to get special characters in HTML, deduce that you didn't think the guy who wrote that about Berger was as good a prose stylist as Hemingway and Faulkner?

If you ever wonder why I think you often write pretentious twaddle, come back and have a look at this posting.

loner said...

Seneca—

I didn't expect anything and I wasn't disappointed.

Best.